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Finding Nemo: THE HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW



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#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 22 2012 - 07:23 AM

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What can I say?  I love 3D!  From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content.  I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite.  That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT.  I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky.  However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation.  These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves.  I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum.  My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released.   As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.










FINDING NEMO

  

Studio: Walt Disney

Product Release: December 4, 2012

Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital EX

Running Time: 102 Minutes

Rating: G



Posted Image

ON A SCALE 0-5

Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5

3D Separation: 5

3D In Yo' Face Factor: 4



I really feel sorry for those that don't have the means of acquiring a

3D display or just dismiss the format completely.  I say this, because

these are individuals that may never have the opportunity to witness the

many wonderful things that I have seen this technology do in elevating

the home viewing experience.   


I have to give a huge amount of kudos to Walt Disney's support of 3D.

For without them, the format may not be as strong as it still stands today.

When considering their entire 3D catalog for the home, there are some real

gems out there that translate beautifully to the home screen.  These releases

include Toy Story, Toy Story 2Toy Story 3, Meet The Robinsons, Bolt,

The Lion King and Beauty and The Beast.  Yeah, I'm plugging my reviews,

but these titles are among the most solid 3D animated titles that are available

on store shelves right now.   As I am about to post this review, Disney is

readying their 3D Blu-ray release of UP, which I also found to be exceptional.


...but before you consider any of those titles, I think that at this moment,

the ONE Disney animated title that has left the most lasting impression

upon me is the upcoming release of Disney*Pixar's Finding Nemo. I will

get into just why you should immediately put this Blu-ray on your preorder

list in just a moment.


First the story...





Clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo (Alexander Gould) are the  last

of their remaining family members after a horrific shark attack. Under the

circumstances, you would expect a father to be very over-protective of his

only son.  It's not before long that Nemo swims out into open waters, gets

scooped up by a diver and then is held captive in an office aquarium. While

attempting to rescue his son, Marlin meets Dora (Ellen DeGeneres), a good-hearted

tang fish that suffers from short-memory loss.  Together, the two brave hungry

sharks and a whale in an effort to find Nemo.





There are two primary factors here that make this 3D release of Finding Nemo

an exceptional one.  First is the transfer itself.  I dare anyone not to have

their mouth hanging open wide in disbelief for the first several minutes of

the film as we are introduced to the Great Barrier Reef.  Never have I seen my

plasma display such an exhibition of vibrant coloration. And none of this would be

as jaw-dropping as it is if not for the razor-sharp transfer that brings out the most

intricate of detail and texture across the sea floor.





The second primary factor is the 3D itself.  Pixar animators have gone

back to the film's original source files, recomposing 2D shots for 3D.  The

end result of that labor is awe-inspiring.  The animators have been able to

successfully create a three-dimensional environment that looks as if you

could literally reach in and touch it.  Objects, such as plant life, have been

carefully staged in the foreground and background to create a convincing

illusion of depth. There are moments where things look infinitely deep.  It's

very easy to notice the different layers of animation with the placement of sun

rays beaming towards the water floor against the sea floor backdrop and the

constant presence of sea specks/spots that seem to float atop everything else.


What I found quite astonishing about this up-conversion is that the fish do

actually seem as if they are residing outside the borders of the display

screen...almost...almost...floating before the viewer.  Bird beaks and fish

fins often project themselves outward. It's not an "In Yo' Face" effect by any

means, but it's enough to keep the viewer in awe of the nearly flawless 3D

presentation.  There are a few scenes that take place in murky water (such

as the meeting with Bruce the shark and his cohorts) that tend to look more flat,

but in the scheme of things, I'm probably being more anal about the loss of

depth than I should be.  Crosstalk/Ghosting not an issue here at all.


We had the opportunity to sit and speak with Disney animators during

our 2013 HTF Hollywood Meet.  This is what they had to say about the

revisions done to Finding Nemo:

One of the great challenges and one of the great rewards of Finding Nemo is
all this floating particulate matter.  You know, they put all this flowing
particular matter into the original movie to make sure that it felt like the
ocean, it didn't feel like a clean aquarium.  And so we would have to
carefully dial in each one those little particular pieces because if we set
the 3D for Bruce the character here, for instance, a lot of that particulate
would be too far out into the audience space and so we may kind of crush it,
you cull it, you move it and scale it so they're going to work on
shot-by-shot basis.



And yeah, it's just more of the same -- this was a fun shot to convert

because all of those mines are actually a painting, they were all flat in
space and so we had to go in and rotoscope out each of those minds and make
them place between the space.  All right, so guys why don't we gear up that
sequence from Nemo and, yeah, hope you enjoy this.  Put on your glasses,
we'll -- you'll see what I mean by the particulate being both a real boom to
volume and space, but also kind of be a problem, so I hope you make good
choices that how much particulate to leave in and where to place it [Plays
3D clip from Finding Nemo of exploding mine scene].

See, not a conversion, an actual recreation, we would go back and re-film
it.  In fact, we re-filmed it at a higher resolution, it was originally 1600
X 900, we rendered at 2K which was many more pixels per frame, which over
the course of the movie was 91 trillion something more pixels which should
give you a sharper, better picture.  






The Blu-ray features a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that was downcoverted

to 5.1 on my system.  As you would expect, it sounds amazing.  With exceptional

affects panning, expect your entire living room to be turned into a living aquarium

as you listen to the "swooshing" of fish effortlessly darting from one channel to another.

This engaging soundtrack constantly reminds the viewer that they are not only under

the sea, but within one that it is continuously "living."  There is a strong sense of LFE

that is used to itensify the action sequences as well as adding "oomph" to Thomas

Newman's score.


Finding Nemo arrives as a 5-Disc Combo pack with 3D Blu-ray+2D Blu-ray+Blu-Ray

Bonus Disc+DVD+Digital Copy.  The Blu-ray case comes encased inside a lenticular

sleeve.


3D Trailers included here are Monsters Inc. (which will see a 3D reissue),

Monsters University and Planes.



CONCLUSION






I don't know exactly what I found most mesmerizing about watching

Finding Nemo.  I suppose it's a culmination of the film's heart-touching

story, superb animation, and the way it has been translated to the screen

in 3D by Pixar's animation team.  There as so many visual "WOW" moments

to be seen from beginning to end that by the time it's all over, you feel as

if you have watched something quite rewarding.


As of the date of the posting of this review, Finding Nemo stands as

the best up-converted animated title I have seen.  



Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc. 



Equipment


LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display

Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player

Denon 3311CI Receiver

Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers

SV Sound Subwoofer





Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted November 22 2012 - 01:21 PM

Well, wow. Best 3D conversion, and I know you liked BatB, as did I. I've got this and Up ordered. FYI, if you are in Disney Rewards, entering the magic code for these movies gets you a movie ticket to the upcoming release of Monsters. I think there's an update coming to your list of best 3D movies. I love Finding Nemo. It's a great story and wonderful to look at in either 3D or 2D.
Johnny
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#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Mark Walker

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Posted November 22 2012 - 03:43 PM

This film from the beginning was the obvious choice for re-rendering in 3D. I have not seen any films in the theater that were converted to 3D (that were previous released) except for Finding Nemo. With characters that are forever swimming, it was the most appropriate and best user of 3D for a film I have seen. Glad to hear the new Blu holds up. Now I just need to get a 3D system.

Paramount, please release DRAGONSLAYER on Blu-ray

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Vermithrax Pejorative deserves to be seen in high-def.


#4 of 20 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted November 22 2012 - 04:13 PM

when I was at the HTF Hollywood event, I really enjoyed Disney's presentation on how they converted this to 3D. It almost seems like Finding Nemo was made for 3D. I can't wait to watch this in 3D! Great review Ron!

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#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted November 23 2012 - 07:02 AM

When referring to Pixar titles, I find that "conversion" is not an accurate description of what they do to these titles. The conversion of live action titles is a very different process, where 3D space is "created" out of a 2D element using CGI tools. When we talk about CGI animation, they are working with 3D elements to begin with, and there is placement of a virtual camera in this 3D environment which gives us the "shots" which end up in the finished picture. The 3D versions of the Pixar films add a second camera and adjust camera positioning and convergence within the 3D environment to create stereopsis. It is a virtual refilming of the performance as originally created within the rendering environment, which makes it hard to find a term to describe it. Stereo reformatting almost seems a dumbing down of what they are doing.


"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted November 24 2012 - 11:23 AM

I was very impressed with the presentation on how Pixar "converts" their older films to 3D during the meet in October.  They really account for everything-air bubbles, fleck of debris, the direction flotsam and jetsam goes, etc.



#7 of 20 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 24 2012 - 10:11 PM

I have updated the review to include comments

made my the Disney animation team on the creative

process of bringing NEMO to 3D.


Ronald J Epstein
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#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted November 25 2012 - 02:32 AM

Oh man.  Just when I think I'm done buying for a while......



#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted November 25 2012 - 06:35 AM

I have updated the review to include comments made my the Disney animation team on the creative process of bringing NEMO to 3D.

Thanks, Ron. I just really find it unjust to lump the fantastic wrk Pixar has done in with the cheap and nasty "conversion" work that is out there. Titanic is the exception that proves the rule.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Chuck Anstey

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Posted November 26 2012 - 03:40 AM

So did they go back and re-render the entire movie with a left and right eye or is this some hybrid where it is effectively a conversion and not a true 3D movie? It is unclear from their comments if they were talking about the issues of using software to convert 2D to 3D (fake 3D) and manually had to fix things or the issues associated with creating quality 3D from the re-renderings now that they have to pay attention to apparent 3D depth as view by the viewer.

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted November 26 2012 - 04:05 AM

There were no bonus features in this set that dealt specifically with the 3D rendering, but on other films that have been re-rendered like the first two TOY STORY films, the bonuses said they do go back and render each shot to decide the amount of depth and the positioning of objects within the frame to optimize 3D.



#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted November 26 2012 - 04:11 AM

That is essentially what the Pixar folks said and demonstrated at the HTF Meet, Matt.  There are some minor objects they even remove (Brave was used as an example).


#13 of 20 ONLINE   DavidJ

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Posted November 26 2012 - 04:25 PM

Really looking forward to picking this disc up and seeing it in 3D too.

#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Todd Erwin

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Posted January 18 2013 - 07:12 PM

I found it interesting that the demos we were shown in October were in 2.40:1 aspect ratio (and I believe Pixar made mention about the change in aspect ratio for the theatrical release), but the Blu-ray release is in the original 1.78:1 ratio.



#15 of 20 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted January 19 2013 - 12:01 AM

^ I'm nearly positive that when I saw the 3-D Finding Nemo in theaters, it was still 1.85/1.78.

#16 of 20 OFFLINE   EdReedFan20

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Posted January 19 2013 - 05:20 AM

 I recently watched this on Starz OnDemand. I've seen plenty of 3D already and most of it is fantastic, but Finding Nemo is a class of its own. There was a scene where you could see the seafloor close up and I got for the first time the sensation that my TV was an open window. It felt as if (if I could) I could pop my head into my TV and the seafloor would continue in all directions (minus the water flowing out of my TV).



#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 20 2013 - 06:01 AM

Very happy to see that my opinion regarding the quality of the
3D presentation is shared by so many others on this forum.


This is one of the best 3D titles currently available.


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#18 of 20 OFFLINE   lukejosephchung

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Posted January 20 2013 - 08:47 AM

I saw the original 2D presentation of this on my birthday 10 years(!)ago, Ron...the film's visuals and story blew me away then, and has been enhanced even further by Pixar's full-blown 3D re-rendering of the images...thrilled to death to have this in my library to watch in such beautifully presented dimensional picture quality...there's "in-your-face" depth content, but not to the point where it makes the viewer dizzy...love this newly minted BD from Pixar!!!Posted Image



#19 of 20 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted January 21 2013 - 10:52 AM

I saw the original 2D presentation of this on my birthday 10 years(!)ago, Ron...the film's visuals and story blew me away then, and has been enhanced even further by Pixar's full-blown 3D re-rendering of the images...thrilled to death to have this in my library to watch in such beautifully presented dimensional picture quality...there's "in-your-face" depth content, but not to the point where it makes the viewer dizzy...love this newly minted BD from Pixar!!!:D

This movie is a demo disc for 3D. Well, it's a demo disc for fine filmmaking too. Is it just me, or does this movie look better at home than in the theater?
Johnny
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#20 of 20 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted January 21 2013 - 11:33 AM

Very happy to see that my opinion regarding the quality of the  3D presentation is shared by so many others on this forum. This is one of the best 3D titles currently available.

while I am not a fan of finding nemo. I agree with you and others that the 3d is just excellent. Jacob





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