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Is 3D really dead again or just resting?

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#1
Andrew Reid

Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:10 AM

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3D was oppressive, attention seeking and now 3D is dead. Quietly dropped by all consumer electronics firm if the 2013 CES is anything to go by.

Or is it?


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#2
halfmac

Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:50 AM

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It was dead before it got started.  Just a gimmick.  Helps stop foreign bootlegging.  Makes screen darker.


Alan Halfhill

#3
Glenn Thomas

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:35 AM

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In just the same way as people aren't buying into 3D, I can't see 4K doing any better. When you think about it, people already have big tvs that cover a large chunk of their walls. That technology will continue working for many years. It's not like the old days when tvs would die of a busted picture tube. And since the tv shows most of those people watch won't be 4k anytime soon either, I can't see there being a demand for 4k just to watch a small number of movies in a higher resolution. Not at least until the technology becomes so cheap that it's the standard for all screens.

 

But your average consumers are kind of stupid anyway. On a plane trip a couple of months back I noticed that everyone I could playing a movie, had it playing in the default squashed widescreen. 16:9 squashed to 4:3. About 12 screens I could see from where I was sitting, and not one seemed to have any idea they were watching it in the wrong aspect ratio. And if so, none knew that all they needed to do to fix it was click the clearly visible 'full screen' button.

 

Then I saw a 4K tv in Indonesia during that same trip. There was plenty of detail there if you looked closely, but overall I was put off by the lack of dynamic range in the footage they had on there. Lots of over blown highlights.


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#4
Sean Cunningham

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:41 AM

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Screens are only darker when the theater management and projection department aren't doing their jobs properly.

 

To this day seeing Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D in the theater is one of my favorite childhood memories.  The craze back then, in the early 1980s played up the fun.  All the movies that were shot and released in 3D were cheap, gimicky, for fun movies.  The recent craze made the mistake of taking itself seriously and a few lunatic filmmakers thinking serious narrative and traditional, big budget tent pole movies needed it, wanted it or were any good in it.  

 

Hopefully this weeds those fools out and returns 3D to the niche gimmick that it is so that the only people that actually use it anymore are filmmakers just doing it for the lulz and not as an extra dimension to feed their ego or pad box office numbers.

 

My phone shoots 3D pictures and video but it's nothing I've actually used except as a conversation piece.



#5
Caleb Genheimer

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:45 AM

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3D is not dead. It is very much here to stay. It is getting better all the time. Yes, it still has some technological problems, but not many. The dimness is the worst of it, really. In a good Sony 4K 3D theater, 3D can look fabulous. But the production needs to film it correctly. Use the correct rigs and (even more difficult) use the rigs correctly. Headaches come from shots that were not filmed correctly. These bad 3D shots should be a thing of the past, with many robotic 3D rigs existing that do all the complex adjustments for you. 

 

Sadly, the makers of 3D films haven't got their crap together. Too many cuts, too much fast motion, shallow DOF, jumping focal points drastically on cut . . . all these things still happen in 3D, including the occasional object that still flies out at your face. I think contrary to popular wisdom, 3D is most suited to films where the camera flows more, cuts less, and doesn't in general do anything drastic. With 3D everything should linger, giving the viewer plenty of time to sink into each space. 

 

You can say you don't like it, that's fine. but don's say it is dead, at least not in theaters. In home viewing/consumer cameras . . . yeah. maybe it is not really going to work right now. But even that is really rooted in how the technology works. 

 

all the fancy adjustments for 3D shooting . . . interocular distance, convergence, etc. isn't just calculated based on the scene in front of the cameras, oh no. You have to factor in your final delivery screen size too. So when Peter Jackson shot The Hobbit, the physical relationship of the two cameras to each other was set assuming a large movie theater display would be the final delivery screen. If they set everything correctly, you eyes shouldn't hurt and you shouldn't really get headaches. But what happens when The Hobbit is released for home theater? They cheat. They fudge things digitally as best they can, but for The Hobbit to look correct on your 40" plasma, the cameras would need to be in a different physical relationship to each other during filming. 

 

This is possibly why consumer level 3D is and will always be a bit of a gimmick. Well, not a gimmick, but limited and imperfect. All these small double lens 3D units for interchangeable lens cameras are crude approximations of how 3D ought to be captured in order to look correct, and that is why sometimes they look flat and almost always look just so very slightly wrong. 



#6
Sean Cunningham

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:52 AM

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Oh, it's worse than that.

 

Inter-occular and convergence settings are manipulated scene-by-scene, shot-by-shot during post production.  That's where the "3D Consultant" actually does most of their work.  



#7
Bruno

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:53 AM

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Screens are only darker when the theater management and projection department aren't doing their jobs properly.

 

Someone from a big cinema at Leicester square told me they don't run the lamps as bright as they should in 3D movies so they last longer, since they're so expensive, so there you go, it's all about the money. Ones make 3D films because of money, the others project them darker because of the money, same old same old.


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#8
pizmon

Posted 13 January 2013 - 04:41 AM

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Andrew I  am new to you forum, I like your website very much. I agreed pretty much with everything uptill now.

 

Couple notes to your previous article. I think that people at Canon knows that they cannot win the race with rapid advances in computing. It is easy to see that in the near future it will be not that difficult to assemble 4K camera at “home”. It all comes down to a sophisticated sensor; great computer power and intelligent software that will handle efficiently data flow from a sensor. I think the smart phones are good example where is the future of 2D technology. (Black magic cinema camera is essentially oversize I phone with more computer power larger sensor and lens mount :)

 

3D is here to stay and here is why. First, the problem of all 3D films these days is that they are filmed as 2D films with 3D technology.  Shots are framed as 2D, editing is 2D, film montage is 2D.  In the Hobbit I saw potential (in few shots, scenes) to use 3D space creatively for storytelling where it all comes down to anyway. In next 3D wave I hope someone will understand that 3D films needs to have different screen language as oppose to 2D (motion 24f/s blur, etc..) and a 3D film will be only made for 3D projections.

 

I started with 35mm film 20 years ago and I moved to 3D animation recently. It gives me much more creative freedom. Certainly I see more future in 3d animation and 3D filmmaking than any #K 2D filmmaking.

 

Physical light is an information; the question is what one is going to do with it :)



#9
tony wilson

Posted 13 January 2013 - 04:53 AM

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it brillant best ever 3 d is so cool innit
i love it it like real life only betteroror
it so fantastick i wanna see beyonce and adele singin a duet in 3d wid james comerunt directin.
day shud make der titanix movee again wid bradly cooper and taylor swift she good actris day so good actors be good in 3d
eye saw der hobitty movie in 3d eye sick 5 times vomit all over butt its was funny and great.
3d is likes life fun e innit.
doze koreans folks and chinese better start makin der tellys again cos i loves der washing up liquids advertisings in 3d
i fink when 4 or 5d comes it will be evin beter has to be cos der will be 1 or 2 xtra demensions innit

#10
Bruce Allen

Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:22 AM

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A couple of thoughts:

 

1. Saying that 2D films' use of depth cues to cleverly simulate 3D makes them somehow artistically superior is an odd argument. It's like saying painting is superior to sculpture because it simulates 3D rather than actually doing it. Also, have you noticed that the best 3D work still uses those depth cues as well?

 

2. Most of those 4K displays also support 3D. Some of them support it without glasses. A lot of them have alternate lines polarized opposite directions. This means you can put on cheap, lightweight 3D glasses and see a lovely high-res 3D image without flickering.

 

3. Personally I just like 3D when it's done well. Saying it's a format nobody wants is hyperbole. If you want to, say it's a format that a niche of people like.

 

4. We're just getting started. The future is quite clearly a glasses-free experience which is not just double-eye stereo but lightfield. Eg you move your head around and can see around the object. This should feel far more natural.

 

5. Have you considered that some of the reasons The Hobbit looked a little like video were due to things like 270 degree shutter, RED (limited dynamic range, skin tones), etc? It doesn't necessarily make sense to automatically blame what you didn't like about The Hobbit on 3D.

 

6. 3D can look amazing if projected properly. When you're sit in a bay at a top-end post house watching good content, you're like "holy shit this is awesome" Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, the reason filmmakers are excited about it is not because of technical or financial reasons but because they genuinely want to share that feeling? Sorry it doesn't measure up... but when technology improves (laser projection will do a lot, since it is brighter and due to technical polarization details, loses a lot less light when you view it through polarized glasses), I sincerely hope that some folks will get to experience that feeling too.

 

7. Marketing is about a simple message. "Smart 3D UHDTV" is just too complex. Focus on the new stuff. 3D is now assumed.

 

Bruce Allen

www.boacinema.com



#11
Sean Cunningham

Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:58 AM

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The Hobbit looked like video because of the high frame rate, compounded by 4K destroying any suspension of disbelief in the wardrobe, make-up, sets and props.  There's no debate on this.

 

3D simply didn't improve any of this it just might have made the whole experience less crap for some audiences for the novelty of feeling like they were taking part in the most expensive LARPing adventure any dungeonmaster had ever devised.



#12
MatthewP

Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

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Just so you know, 3D is far more than a firmware update. Whether the technology is passive or active, the displays themselves are considerably more expensive to produce.



#13
Axel

Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

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3D is so ridiculously unrealistic, it always reminds me of the shaking seats in Matinee:

 

Like Dracula, the count you can count on from time to time, 3D is going to take a rest. Will it be 30 years? 50 years? Who knows? People are not getting smarter. Before they do, they die, and the next generation falls for it again.

 

a4a21e8e06.jpg

Clearly the days of two-dimensional images were over!


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#14
Paul Watt

Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:24 PM

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After seeing the new Sony 4k TV a couple weeks ago, I think they'll find an eager market once the price becomes reasonable.  And all of the 4k TVs are 3D as far as I can tell.  The problem with most current 3d TVs is that they are crap.  You're either seeing half res, or dealing with active glasses and ghosting and flickering.  The Hobbit HFR 3D was very comfortable to watch, and the 3D looked great, even if the image looked videoish, and this problem ruined the fantasy of the movie.  Sports or docs in HFR 3D are things I'd be stoked to see.  

 

Also worth mentioning, The Hobbit was finished in 2K, so you can't blame 4K projection for the inconsistant makeup, or seeing Gandalf's contact lenses.  I never saw The Hobbit at 24 fps.  Did the makeup and other set problems show up there too?



#15
Sean Cunningham

Posted 13 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

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...The Hobbit HFR 3D was very comfortable to watch, and the 3D looked great, even if the image looked videoish, and this problem ruined the fantasy of the movie.  Sports or docs in HFR 3D are things I'd be stoked to see.  

...

 

Only a few years ago I'd have said both HFR and 3D would be an instant turn-off that would prevent me from seeing any film featuring especially HFR in the theater.  Since then I've warmed to the notion that certain subject material it maybe could offer an enhanced experience, even in a narrative setting, if it were carefully done.  

 

It didn't come to mind all through this recent Hobbit hate fest but last night it occurred to me that I would actually be compelled to the theater if someone were to make a new racing epic, ala Grand Prix.  

 

 

...to say nothing of something like Step Into Liquid.



#16
pask74

Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:25 PM

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I've never like 3D, personnally - just because I need to wear medical glasses and don't feel comfortable with another thingie on my nose to watch a film. On top of that, the 3D effects work half of the time because of my corrected sight and those glasses make the whole picture darker/less punchy than what is actually is, so I usually find myself splatting those glasses on my eyes when a 3D scene comes ... absurd!

I don't believe I'm the only one in this case.

 

Secondly, we've seen a similar situation in the audio industry a few years ago. Technology enabled us to mix surround sound (i.e. 5.1) but all what people wanted was free music, with little regard to the audio quality, so this format is now dead (for music, at least).

 

I'm wondering 3D's fate is not going to be the same ... Is 4K the equivalent of an audio-phile multi-$ music über-hi-fi?

My impression is that most of the people on the planet prefer eating more than eating well = watching more films in a lesser quality than less films of a better quality.

 

We live in an era where technology would allow us to produce amazing quality media, but most of the people go for the cheap-'n-easy instead... what a pity.

 

Just my 2 cents.



#17
kitchentable

Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

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Only a few years ago I'd have said both HFR and 3D would be an instant turn-off that would prevent me from seeing any film featuring especially HFR in the theater.  Since then I've warmed to the notion that certain subject material it maybe could offer an enhanced experience, even in a narrative setting, if it were carefully done.  

 

It didn't come to mind all through this recent Hobbit hate fest but last night it occurred to me that I would actually be compelled to the theater if someone were to make a new racing epic, ala Grand Prix.  

 

 

...to say nothing of something like Step Into Liquid.

 

Documentary rather than narrative but one motorsport feature that did work very well with 3D was the motorcycling film TT3D.

 


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#18
Glenn Bonat

Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

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FYI:

Since 1980 3d movies have generated $13,352,162,225 in box office revenue.

The following 3d films are in production or pre production:

 

Gravity WB 2013 Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Par. 1/25/13 Spiders (2013) MNE 2/8/13 Escape From Planet Earth Wein. 2/14/13 Jack the Giant Slayer WB (NL) 3/1/13 Oz: The Great and Powerful BV 3/8/13 The Croods Fox 3/22/13 G.I. Joe: Retaliation Par. 3/29/13 Iron Man 3 BV 5/3/13 The Great Gatsby (2013) WB 5/10/13 Star Trek Into Darkness Par. 5/17/13 Epic Fox 5/24/13 Man of Steel WB 6/14/13 Monsters University BV 6/21/13 Despicable Me 2 Uni. 7/3/13 Pacific Rim WB 7/12/13 Turbo Fox 7/19/13 The Wolverine Fox 7/26/13 The Smurfs 2 Sony 7/31/13 300: Rise of An Empire WB 8/2/13 Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Fox 8/16/13 One Direction Concert Movie Sony 8/30/13 Battle of the Year SGem 9/13/13 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Sony 9/27/13 Sin City: A Dame to Kill For W/Dim. 10/4/13 The Seventh Son WB 10/18/13 Mr. Peabody & Sherman Fox 11/1/13 Thor: The Dark World BV 11/8/13 Frozen (2013) BV 11/27/13 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug WB 12/13/13 Walking with Dinosaurs Fox 12/20/13 47 Ronin Uni. 12/25/13 Lego WB 2/7/14 Me and My Shadow Fox 3/14/14 Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV 4/4/14 Stretch Armstrong Rela. 4/11/14 The Amazing Spider-Man #2 (3D) Sony 5/2/14 Untitled Godzilla Project WB 5/16/14 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox 5/23/14 The Good Dinosaur BV 5/30/14 Jurassic Park 4 (3D) Uni. 6/13/14 How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox 6/20/14 Maleficent BV 7/2/14 The Hobbit: There and Back Again WB 7/18/14 X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox 7/18/14 Guardians of the Galaxy BV 8/1/14 Popeye (2014) Sony 9/26/14 Happy Smekday! Fox 11/26/14 The Untitled Minions Project Uni. 12/19/14 1952 BV 12/19/14 The Penguins of Madagascar Fox 3/27/15 Trolls (Working Title) Fox 6/5/15 The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind BV 6/19/15 Hotel Transylvania 2 Sony 9/25/15 B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations Fox 9/25/15 Mumbai Musical (Working Title) Fox 12/18/15 Kung Fu Panda 3 Fox 3/18/16 How to Train Your Dragon 3 Fox 6/17/16 Untitled Henry Selick Film BV TBD Halloween 3D W/Dim. TBD Truckers (working title) P/DW TBD Friday the 13th Part 2 in 3D WB TBD Super Secret Ghost Project (untitled as of yet) P/DW TBD Invertigo Sony

TBD

 

 

3D Focus UK reports:

"

A steady growth in the number of Blu-ray titles entering the market will help to maintain interest in 3DTV, the latest research suggests.

Futuresource estimates that by the end of 2012 175 titles will be available in the US, and with a further 105 expected to be released in 2013, total title availability will reach close to 300, a mix of blockbusters and indie films as well as niche and documentary releases.

Within Western Europe 3.1 million homes were 3D Blu-ray capable in 2011 [households owing both a 3D TV and either a standalone 3D Blu-ray player or PS3]. By 2016 41% Western European homes will be 3D Blu-ray capable.

In the US last year 4.8 million 3D Blu-ray sales were recorded with a further 3 million units in Western Europe where 3D titles represented 5% of total sales.

Futuresource expects US Blu-ray title sales to reach 11.5 million in 2012, boosted by the increased availability of 3D Blu-ray titles and blockbusters like The Amazing Spider-Man, accounting for 9% of total Blu-ray units. By 2016, 3D Blu-ray is expected to represent 24% of total Blu-ray sales.

Western European sales are forecast to reach 8 million in 2012 and will account for close to 11% of total Blu-ray title sales. By 2016 this share will rise close to 35%."

 

I would not write the 3D eulogy quite yet.



#19
Axel

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:21 AM

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Yes, Glenn, people tell me I don't know the first thing about economics. 3D pushed digitalization and saved the cinema. I appreciate that much. Sales of bluray discs show a growing percentage of 3D. I guess plastic toys of Wolverine offered at McDonald's also statistically do better.

I scanned the list of films about to be presented in 3D, and all I think is, why isn't there anything new? I don't say this is a hundred percent junk list, but I'm not looking forward to any one of them either. And if I would, I wished it was 2D. I was very anxious to see Prometheus, for example, but I was deeply disappointed. A good film doesn't need 3D, a bad film in 3D is like a foul fish covered with ketchup.

Economically 3D may not yet be dead. What am I talking about? Nothing a stockholder could understand, so I give up.
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#20
MOONGOAT

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:44 AM

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People are stupid. Can't change that. What you can do is stop going to 3D movies.






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