Saturday, May 01, 2010


Considering today is the 1st of may (Jonathan Coulton fans will know what starts today)…we decided I was about time to use the movie gift cards my daughter-in-law Kathy bought us for Christmas.

It was a spur of the moment thing, and there's wasn't much playing that I was very interested in, but I noticed one of the movies (Clash of the Titans) was in 3D.

I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but the 3D technology far exceeded my expectations. My last experience of a 3D movie was the classic, headache-inducing red and blue glasses system. My most high-tech experience of 3D is the shutter-glasses I have for my PC, which works but produces a very noticeable flicker and darkens the picture significantly.

I'll be researching this later (because things I don't understand drive me nuts), but I've got no idea how the 3D glasses for the movie worked. I was expecting some variation on the shutter glasses I have for the PC, but instead they looked like a pair of cheap sunglasses without the tint.

I was absolutely blown away by the effect as well. At the start of the movie the title appeared on the screen and it appeared as if it was hovering just above the seat in front of me. There was no loss in quality or trade-off for the 3D (like the loss of color or headaches of the old red/blue glasses)…it was just an awesome experience.

In fact, the only slight negative just comes from getting used to the 3D. It's a movie where you're aware of the 3D space, but it's been filmed with normal 2D displays in mind. Just like color and sound changed what it meant to make movies, 3D is doing the same and people aren't quite sure how to best take advantage of it yet.

For example, everyone's seen an 'over-the-shoulder' conversation a million times. You see the back of one person's head on the left of the screen, and the other person's face on the right (or vice-versa). When the other person starts speaking, they switch.

On a 2D screen this is such normal 'cinematic language' you don't even think about it…but in 3D, you've suddenly got your nose buried in the first guy's hair and the other guy's standing too far away. Imagine joining a conversation while standing way too close to one guy while the other guy's on the other side of the room and you'll get the gist of what I'm saying.

Having said that, the whole 3D thing turned a bog-standard movie into a really enjoyable experience. If you haven't seen a 3D movie yet, I can highly recommend it.

1 comment:

MC Etcher said...

Hear hear! I can see 3D TV for video games, but 3D for regular TV is just a waste.