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3D Turning The Spotlight On....Dolby Glasses-Free 3D

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    All of you know by now where I stand with the current 3D format.

    Since its inception, I have become a huge advocate for the format and
    very pleased with the manner in which studios are increasing their rollout
    of 3D titles.

    When I heard last year that Dolby was about to introduce a glasses-free
    display I had my concerns. I could not fathom the possibility that any
    glasses-free display could offer the "in your face" pop-out experience that
    to date, could only be delivered through the use of active shutter or passive
    eyewear.

    Sadly, my intuitions were spot on.

    This past week, during our HTF MEET in Hollywood, a group of 60
    individuals had the opportunity to see Dolby's new technology up close.

    What we viewed was a 40-inch, 4th generation prototype display that was
    showing an endless loop of clips from films like Hugo, Transformers, Step
    Up Revolution and Titanic.

    For what it was, the 3D was mostly good. True to its word, Dolby 3D provided
    a world of depth to the source material. There was definitely a sense of separation
    between foreground and background images, though at times, the overall effect
    wasn't consistent. There were quite a few instances were level of depth seemingly
    changed from 3D to flat, and moving closer to the display seemed to provide a
    far better effect than being in the back of the room. I am being told that Dolby's
    3D works in a diamond shape from about 4-12 feet away, with the best side to
    side viewing at about halfway or 8 feet.

    Sadly, there was none of the pop-out that many fans are used to getting when
    wearing eyewear. At no time did images float before the face as if they were
    popping off the screen. At least, not as prominently as they would with eyewear.

    As someone who is always amazed at the things that Dolby can do, I found it
    to be a personal "cop out" for the company to say that the public and the
    filmmakers don't want pop-out gimmickry in their films, so the lack of such within
    their technology, is not a big deal.

    To me, it sounded as if that kind of technology is impossible to do, and as
    such, Dolby cannot provide the maximum 3D experience that comes with eyewear.
    When this happens, the only thing a company can do is sell the technology by
    dismissing one of its greatest strengths as not being important.

    It's rather odd that Dolby is promoting their technology with the advertisement
    that is included at the very top of this article. We see a ball player popping off
    the screen towards home viewers. What we saw was nothing even close to
    what that advertisement depicts nor seemingly the mantra Dolby stands behind.

    Sadly, it is my opinion that the public's yearning for a glasses-free technology
    and Dolby's offering of something that's mostly effective (but not totally) is
    going to cause a lowering of standards in this industry. In other words, the
    public will accept what Dolby is offering, it will become the standard, and those
    of us who want the "pop" that is always potentially there for the offering, will
    no longer have it. Five years from now, only those of us that bought into 3D
    in its early years will know just how good the technology used to look before it
    was dumbed down.

    I must mention that Dolby is still refining this technology and I expect the
    glasses-free experience to get even better, but with the company's diminished
    attitude about how good it should actually be, I remain quite pessimistic.

    Be careful of what you wish for.
     
  2. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I was very concerned as soon as I saw the first few minutes of HUGO with this system.
    What had been a very detailed 3-D image, with snow flying off the screen and multiple-layering of stereoscopic planes, was reduced to a nearly flat image lacking most of the original depth designed by the filmmakers.
    I was not impressed.
     
  3. dmiller68

    dmiller68 Supporting Actor

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    Well it was still very much a prototype. I thought some of the effects were good but I agree it still needs work.
     
  4. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

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    Thanks for the info and impressions Ron (and Bob and David).
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I was completely underwhelmed by the presentation. Hugo was my favorite 3D experience from last year's crop of movies (and the movie I wanted to win the Best Picture Oscar), so I found the clips we were shown at Dolby to be about a tenth as effective as they were in my own home theater experience with the title. The clips from Step Up I found to be as flat as a 2D viewing experience. At one point when the dancer's leg kicked out at the audience, you just knew it would have come right at your face in real 3D. In the clip, it looked no different than watching it in 2D.
     
  6. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    This sounds like the same thing I saw at the demonstration of Dolby Atmos. It's still in early prototype phase.

    Ron, I think that they will eventually get the system to work for pop-out imagery, but there will be a lot more R&D to work out the algorhythms to get there.

    I personally think this technology is still five years away.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    That's what I stated the other day and it will take that long before it's more affordable for most of us. I see no reason why I shouldn't go ahead and purchase the Panny TC-P65VT50 that I want to replace my 64" DLP with.







    Crawdaddy
     
  8. Pioneer14

    Pioneer14 Extra

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    Thanks for the info guys! It's just different without the glasses! :cool:
     
  9. dmiller68

    dmiller68 Supporting Actor

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    Can't recommend that plan high enough!
     
  10. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    I think I'm fairly vocal about my lack of enthusiasm for 3D in general which I won't get into here, but I am cautiously optimistic about glasses free 3D. Sure, it wasn't mind blowing-yet-though I think with some more time, it will get to where it should be. I'd much rather have the depth than the pop out in my 3D; the pop out always reminds me of something like Final Destination where flying glass comes "at" the audience.

    Here's the longer-term problem with in-home 3D: all the studios are looking to increased 3D ticket prices to boost film grosses and the 3D effect to lure people to the theater. If you can get that experience at home (albeit it with the disc, the player and a new TV), what's the use in going to the theater? I don't buy the communal movie experience argument. And now, when there is talk of day and date releases (theater and home video), it's REALLY not making any sense to me. Seems like the studios want to put theaters out of business.
     
  11. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    I have no problem wearing glasses, but I guess I'm in the minority. However I am also much more interested in depth inside the screen than pop out effects. The only problem I had in Dial M were the titles that popped out waaaaay too far.
     
  12. Adam Gregorich

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    I have a different take than Ron. Keep in mind this is a fourth generation engineering prototype. Each generation gets better and better. This was essentially a proof of concept. The ability to do "pop out" is there with glasses free, but its a trade off. The more "pop out" they do the less wide the viewing angle will be. This would be the perfect type of set for casual or party viewing. Often I don't have to bandwidth to devote to just a movie. Its hard to watch a 3D movie with glasses while multitasking on email or something else. No issues with glasses free. If you had a large group of people over, people could pop in and our of the room, or glance back and forth at the display and still have a convincing 3D experience. For "critical" 3D viewing, active shutter glasses are still the way to go,
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Quote:



    I am not convinced of that -- especially with Dolby already taking

    the attitude that pop-out is not important. I cannot imagine how

    images would actually float before one's face without the use of

    eyewear. I think the technology to do it is impossible right now,

    and as thus, we are being given something less perfected than

    what you would see with eyewear.






    Quote:



    If there was such an ability, none of us saw it.



    I'll remain cautiously optimistic about the improvements that

    will be made, but based on the majority of the comments here,

    there were many of us who simply were not impressed and not

    convinced that this technology has the ability to live up to what

    eyewear provides for us today.
     
  14. Everett S.

    Everett S. Movie King (formally a projectionist)

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    The projectionist at The Patterson Theatre in Balto. City ,Md. Mr. Ed Waytt told me in the early 70's when they got Color to work on Tv they could do any thing. If only he could see it now!
     
  15. Scott-S

    Scott-S Cinematographer
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    I had the opportunity to view the Dolby Display with Ron and I was left with a different opinion. I was actually impressed with it. It was definitely more subtle than the traditional 3D using glasses and that might be why we have different views. I think that my expectations were so low (not believing it could really work) that I was surprised when it did.
    We did go to Panasonic latter and were able to see Hugo on their traditional 3d (with glasses) and it definitely had more depth to it. I guess the trade-off is going to be with glasses you get more depth and glasses-free you get more subtle but a brighter image and no glasses.
    I am optimistic that the glasses-free can improve. But I think that it will always be a compromise between size of the sweet spot and the amount of depth.
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Is this one or the other? Or will tvs do both, autostereo and with glasses?
    How about front projectors? Any autostereo for pjs?
     
  17. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
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    I think glasses free is a stellar value add for the living room/family room, but it will never have a place where critical viewing occurs (the theater room). While I agree with Ron to some extent, I feel that Dolby has delivered the best viewing angles and compromise thus far and it could be a very compelling offering in the long run. I think we're going to have to accept to some degree that there are limited advances that can be made with their lenticular lens technology - and that we can't have depth and viewing angles, it will always be a compromise.
     
  18. J Whip

    J Whip Auditioning

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    I am no fan of 3D but it seems to me that for it to be a big success, it will have to be glasses free. At that point, it will be just like watching TV. I will not sit around for hours watching TV with glasses over my glasses. I have NO interest in 3D with glasses, active or otherwise. As for objects jumping out of the screen at you, that is one of the things that I hate about 3D and how it is used. That is not how real world is and it just a gimmick IMHO. 3D should add real world depth and that it it and not just two planes passing over each other which is basically all we get no anyway.
     
  19. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    So how does it work? Lenticular screen or something cleverer? I'm skeptical that the industry will continue to push 3D with 4K or 8K displays on the horizon. My feeling is we'll wind up with a hybrid technology that uses a combination of attention points and audience eye-tracking to deliver intelligent resolution and depth to the audience rather than an overall effect that's disappointing. I also wonder if with super-sized 4K or 8K displays a sort-of Cinerama peripheral vision effect might not be achievable.
     
  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    While not ideal, and it does infer compromise, this Dolby glasses-free version of 3D is still a neat development. Tthe idea of being able to lay on the couch without wearing glasses to watch 3D tilts it in favor over most glasses-3D solutions so far to me. (Sarcasm) If I have to sit in similar conditions as Alex (from "A Clockwork Orange" being "re-programmed" and sensitived to violence) to enjoy 3D (/Sarcasm), then glasses-free 3D might have some allure for some folks. Perhaps it doesn't have to be an either/or, but if the numbers can't be met, order-wise, it may be a moot issue, with glasses-3D here to stay.
     

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