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3D Unexpected viewing result from someone now able to view 3D movies in HT (1 Viewer)

Chuck Anstey

Nov 10, 1998
Real Name
Chuck Anstey
I now have the ability to view 3D movies in my home theater with the purchase of a Sony VW95ES projector recently. I had 3 3D movies I had purchased previously, Tron Legacy, Legends of the Guardians, and Drive Angry ($12 for 3D version so I had to buy it). I have views on how a 3D movie should look very similar to Ron's views and none of those movies ranked very highly for 3D effect. However I thought Tron Legacy and Legends... were great 3D even if nearly all the effects were behind the screen. I then bought and just watched Hugo, a movie highly rated for 3D effects and I discovered something unexpected.
My HT is a total bat cave in an unfinished part of my basement. I have black cloth covering all around the front of the screen and room. This has the effect of making almost everything that isn't the screen completely invisible while watch 3D movies due to the extra darkening of the glasses. I can tell when all the effects are behind the screen in this environment and the plane of the screen is obvious. What I found very interesting was that without some frame of reference in the real world, I couldn't tell which 3D effects were in front of the screen when most of them were in front, even when I knew for a fact the scene was pushing something at me like when the inspector was bending over towards Hugo more and more or at the end when George Melieas was on stage being extended outward on a zoom in shot. It is very strange to have something you know in your mind is "coming towards you" but the only visual cues you can see (the movie itself) don't really back that up. Normally in a theater you can see rows of seats in front of you, people's heads, etc. and that gives the frame of reference that the effect has come towards you by 50% or 75%. Basically I need to have some small amount of light in the area between the viewer and the screen to light up the speakers and floor to get the full "in yo' face" 3D effect. It is very weird. My son suggested I put a removable white border around the screen to mark the depth of the screen. I'll have to try that.
The other interesting (to me) result was I was I found myself not liking extremely strong 3D from parallax as much as 3D that appears normal. To explain: In Tron Legacy the scene where Clu is speaking to his vast army looked quite natural and realistic for depth. So does most of Legends of the Guardians. However in Hugo, the shot of Hugo looking out at the Eiffel Tower had the 3D effect from parallax showing incremental depth well past the Eiffel Tower way out in the distance. In the real world, something that far away looks pretty flat from parallax and other depth cues are used to judge relative distance like haze. Such strong parallax makes me think I am looking at a model because only something with the small scale of a model would appear so 3D over such a large range. I want my gimmicky 3D and things to appear both in front and behind the screen but the depth also has to appear reasonably natural for the implied location of the camera or it turns into the "small model" look.


Stunt Coordinator
Mar 11, 2001
Interesting post. I'd like to check it out myself, but I'm a long way from buying 3D hardware yet.

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