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Bob Whitehill, Stereoscopic Supervisor Pixar on 3D

3D Blu-ray Disney Interview

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#1 of 42 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 10 2012 - 01:14 AM

During the recent HTF Meet we were hosted by Disney for a packed morning.  Sarah Duran talked to us about the studio's preservation efforts and their restoration work done on the upcoming release of Peter Pan to Blu-ray.  We got on update from http://www.hometheat...00#post_4011662


This is an example of a 3D Depth Map created by Robert Neuman, the 3D Stereographer on the film. Positive numbers refer to the amount of pixels the image will come out of the screen and negative numbers refer to the amount of pixels the image will go deeper into the screen, creating the 3D depth.


 





 


 


Grey Scale – The final image in the computer representation of depth. Darker images will be furthest away, and lighter images will be closer to the viewer.]


 


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 then in a shot like this one of those great Z-axis shots that we were talking about, we actually developed a system that as the particulate specs came closer to camera, they would gradually just dissolve off so that you could still have this feeling of particulate rushing toward us without having to really flattened out the shot, but we didn't want those particulate pieces to just come 80, you know, 90 pixels separated in front of screen, we would actually have them just start to dissolve off once they got to, I think, 20 pixels they must start to dissolve maybe they would be dissolved by 40 pixels converged.  You might have gone with 36 pixels, I went with 40 pixels.


 


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.  So thanks for being part of the support group this morning. 


#2 of 42 OFFLINE   Brian Dobbs

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Posted December 11 2012 - 11:52 AM

Thanks Adam.

#3 of 42 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted December 12 2012 - 01:41 AM

Interesting article but i want far more pop out moments than they are giving us with these conversions thus i will just view them in 2D, i'd like Pixar to take the Dreamworks approach, they recognize the fun value of pop out on their animated titles.  Give me more pop out with the 3D content and i'll buy it otherwise i won't.   Depth is great but use the tools, give at least a handful of memorable pop out moments per film.

     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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#4 of 42 OFFLINE   GregK

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Posted December 12 2012 - 10:19 AM

Adam, thank you for taking the time to transcribe Mr. Whitehill's fascinating presentation, as well as taking the extra time to track down some of the visual extras. It was evident the Pixar team takes great pride in their work, and sometimes are even willing to break to their own stereoscopic rules, which is a good thing. When watching the various Pixar 3D Shorts available, one can see the advancements of the team, as in being more willing to push the envelope with more creative and deeper stereoscopic presentations. Compare Whitehill's work on Toy Story to Finding Nemo, and one will see a biiiiig difference. Foxy- Pixar did an obviously painstaking job (going back to ten year old files and recreating new left right views - no 2D/3D faux conversions here) with Finding Nemo, which also has its share of effective "pop out" moments.

#5 of 42 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 12 2012 - 11:42 AM


Quote:

Originally Posted by GregK /t/325904/bob-whitehill-stereoscopic-supervisor-pixar-on-3d#post_4012801

Adam, thank you for taking the time to transcribe Mr. Whitehill's fascinating presentation, as well as taking the extra time to track down some of the visual extras.

It was evident the Pixar team takes great pride in their work, and sometimes are even willing to break to their own stereoscopic rules, which is a good thing. When watching the various Pixar 3D Shorts available, one can see the advancements of the team, as in being more willing to push the envelope with more creative and deeper stereoscopic presentations. Compare Whitehill's work on Toy Story to Finding Nemo, and one will see a biiiiig difference.

Foxy- Pixar did an obviously painstaking job (going back to ten year old files and recreating new left right views - no 2D/3D faux conversions here) with Finding Nemo, which also has its share of effective "pop out" moments.

This was probably my favorite discussion of the week and the transcript doesn't do it justice.  Bob was a passionate, knowledgeable and really funny speaker.  I wish I could have included the original images but was told no  .  There were a few things that stood out to me:


 

    [*]
    Pixar isn't doing conversions per se, but actually using the original CG files to reanimate and create a brand new 3D film.  In the case of Nemo its actually higher resolution than the original.


 

    [*]
    Its been asked elsewhere on the forum why they don't just release the 3D disc and people w/o 3D can just play it back on their system in 2D.  I now understand why they have different discs for 2D and 3D.  I didn't realize prior to Bob's presentation that they actually tweak a lot of things between the versions as there are a lot of scenes in the 2D version that don't have the same impact in 3D without making small tweaks.


 

    [*]
    Ron has the same views as you do Malcolm.  He wants more things to come out at you.  Personally I think Pixar has focused on using 3D to really add to the "depth" of the picture and has avoided any "gimmicky" use, which I admit can be fun if used correctly.  I think you will see them start to push the envelope a bit more.  They are huge 3D supporters, but are also really being cautious about how far to push things based on the their research of eye fatigue.


#6 of 42 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted December 12 2012 - 12:56 PM

 /t/325904/bob-whitehill-stereoscopic-supervisor-pixar-on-3d#post_4012801 Foxy- Pixar did an obviously painstaking job (going back to ten year old files and recreating new left right views - no 2D/3D faux conversions here) with Finding Nemo, which also has its share of effective "pop out" moments.
  Yes i know, my bad choice of words, i know they go back to the original files and re-render it all.

     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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#7 of 42 OFFLINE   Doctorossi

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Posted December 12 2012 - 01:04 PM

Interesting article but i want far more pop out moments than they are giving us with these conversions thus i will just view them in 2D, i'd like Pixar to take the Dreamworks approach, they recognize the fun value of pop out on their animated titles.  Give me more pop out with the 3D content and i'll buy it otherwise i won't. Depth is great but use the tools, give at least a handful of memorable pop out moments per film.
And how come the bass don't shake my car?! I'd prefer they continue to use 3D (and other aesthetic values) to enhance storytelling rather than turn their films into gimmicky novelty amusement rides.

#8 of 42 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted December 12 2012 - 01:26 PM

Wow, this conversation sounds like all of the articles/reviews about 3-D in 1953!

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#9 of 42 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted December 12 2012 - 02:09 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctorossi /t/325904/bob-whitehill-stereoscopic-supervisor-pixar-on-3d#post_4012882 I'd prefer they continue to use 3D (and other aesthetic values) to enhance storytelling rather than turn their films into gimmicky novelty amusement rides.
  Nothing wrong with what you say, but why not add a handful of pop out moments which if done right can also enhance the storytelling.

     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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#10 of 42 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted December 12 2012 - 02:33 PM

In 1953, if they included gimmicks (off screen shots) the critics complained and said they were dragged in and unnecessary. If they didn't include any gimmicks, the critics complained and said "why shoot it in 3-D?" Talk about a no win situation. Somewhere I have an article discussing this. If I recall correctly, based on the comments taken in the lobby at different shows, it was primarily the younger audience that wanted gimmicks.

Bob Furmanek

www.3dfilmarchive.com


 


#11 of 42 OFFLINE   Panman40

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Posted December 12 2012 - 02:40 PM

I'm a 3D nut, its becoming clear that Disney Pixar 3D is about depth not pop out. I love depth but that comes hand in hand with the latter in my opinion. I enjoyed beauty and the beast. You can imagine my enthusiasm for Nemo !. I stepped out and ordered a USA copy at £31. Well I can say I am very disappointed with the 3D, its almost cardboard cut out quality. I have seen many other conversions which have both depth and some pop out leading to a natural and enjoyable 3D watch. I have just read a review of Brave 3D which I had on order, they mentioned that again this is just about depth with virtually no pop out moments. I was hoping as this was not a conversion that there would be some nice pop out for a great rounded 3D experience combined with natural depth. Regards.

#12 of 42 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted December 12 2012 - 04:29 PM

 /t/325904/bob-whitehill-stereoscopic-supervisor-pixar-on-3d#post_4012923 In 1953, if they included gimmicks (off screen shots) the critics complained and said they were dragged in and unnecessary. If they didn't include any gimmicks, the critics complained and said "why shoot it in 3-D?" Talk about a no win situation. Somewhere I have an article discussing this. If I recall correctly, based on the comments taken in the lobby at different shows, it was primarily the younger audience that wanted gimmicks.
  I can picture that happening back then and it does happens today, from my own point of view i am reaching my mid forties now and thus can't be called young anymore but i think films shot in 3D have a natural depth that is just wonderful, that always pulls me in, at the same time i feel a 3D film should have at least a handful of excellently composed pop out moments, i do not call this a gimmick, i think if done right it can enhance the film, horror is well suited to such moments as is animation.

     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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#13 of 42 OFFLINE   Panman40

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Posted December 12 2012 - 10:26 PM

Thanks Foxy, :D,

#14 of 42 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 13 2012 - 12:28 AM

 
I agree, you should be able to do both.

#15 of 42 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 13 2012 - 12:35 AM

Ron and Matt both reviewed the title.  Ron said it was one of the best animated 3D titles he had seen, and while he and Matt both said there wasn't as much pop out 3D as they would have liked, there was some.


 


Matt:


http://www.hometheat...-blu-ray-review


Ron:


http://www.hometheat...d-addict-review


Robert Harris:


The new Finding Nemo in 3D is nothing short of a revelation. This is the kind of release that would push me toward 3D, if I were on the fence.


http://www.hometheat...o-3d-in-blu-ray


 


I think I need to find time to watch it this weekend with the kids.

#16 of 42 OFFLINE   Doctorossi

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Posted December 13 2012 - 06:55 AM

Nothing wrong with what you say, but why not add a handful of pop out moments which if done right can also enhance the storytelling.
Storytelling should drive the 3D enhancement, not some arbitrary directive to create "pop-out" moments or any other kind of moments that are added for their own sake and not for the sake of enhancing the specifics of the story. I want to experience a good story, well told, not abstract eye-candy. The focus on storytelling as the driver for every aesthetic decision is the reason that Pixar movies are good and worth watching in the first place. This is a movie, not a carnival attraction.

#17 of 42 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted December 13 2012 - 07:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctorossi /t/325904/bob-whitehill-stereoscopic-supervisor-pixar-on-3d#post_4013214 Storytelling should drive the 3D enhancement, not some arbitrary directive to create "pop-out" moments or any other kind of moments that are added for their own sake and not for the sake of enhancing the specifics of the story. I want to experience a good story, well told, not abstract eye-candy. The focus on storytelling as the driver for every aesthetic decision is the reason that Pixar movies are good and worth watching in the first place. This is a movie, not a carnival attraction.
  Then why take a 2D movie and spend money re-rendering into 3D in the first place, especially since the stats tell us the majority of people who buy 3D capable sets are not using them for 3D, the pop out moments are not "added for their own sake" they can be part of the creative film making process and enhance the story, you can experience a good story and have great 3D depth and great 3D pop out, this is not a one or the other thing, you can do both.

     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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#18 of 42 OFFLINE   Dave Upton

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Posted December 13 2012 - 07:44 AM

This was one of the highlights of the meet for me, particularly because we hear so rarely from the folk making the decisions regarding 3D elements and their aggressiveness. His candor and presentation were extremely enjoyable.

#19 of 42 OFFLINE   Doctorossi

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Posted December 13 2012 - 08:08 AM

Then why take a 2D movie and spend money re-rendering into 3D in the first place
For the same reason you might add a surround mix- to aesthetically enhance the storytelling.
the pop out moments are not "added for their own sake" they can be part of the creative film making process and enhance the story
Why, then, do you describe them as an abstract ingredient and lament their non-inclusion, regardless of the story context? Do you not expect that the artists who executed this conversion considered what they wanted to do with it for the sake of enhancing the story and didn't add "pop-out moments" because they chose other options they thought would better enhance the story?

#20 of 42 OFFLINE   FoxyMulder

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Posted December 13 2012 - 08:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctorossi /t/325904/bob-whitehill-stereoscopic-supervisor-pixar-on-3d#post_4013262 Do you not expect that the artists who executed this conversion considered what they wanted to do with it for the sake of enhancing the story and didn't add "pop-out moments" because they chose other options they thought would better enhance the story?
  They think some people will suffer eye fatigue, this might be true but many will not, thus they are catering for the widest possible number of people instead of considering the benefits some good pop out moments will bring to their film, the people who suffer eye fatigue are unlikely to watch content in 3D anyways so no i do not think they chose the correct and wisest options, may i ask you Doctorossi what your favourite 3D film is, it will help me understand what type of 3D presentation you enjoy. 

     :Fun Movie Quotes:

"A good body with a dull brain is as cheap as life itself"   

"Maybe it's a sheep dog... let's keep going" 

"Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot"

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