I already wear glasses for watching TV. Now I have to wear this s#1t on top my own glasses to get 3D? There’s no effing way I’m doing that! And another thing, because of the head splitting headache (and subsequent nightmare that night where I dreamt I had a headache) after watching Avatar in 3D, I’m pretty much done with 3D movies. Maybe because Avatar was so bad it sent me over the edge.

  1. Russ says:

    The stereo 3D of the last decade or so isn’t the same as the 3D of, say, the 1950’s. A lot of research has gone on since, much of it done by the now-defunct Polaroid corporation. Researchers were commissioned to solve the known issues with 3D:

    – Headaches in many viewers after a time
    – Inability to focus on “near” 3D objects
    – “Ghosting” (show-through of the wrong-eye image)

    The core problem with stereo 3D is its plane of focus can differ from where the actual 3D object is “supposed” to be. In other words, the lens in your eye needs to remain focused on the screen even though your brain is trying to say that the target is much closer or farther away, and as a result you need to overcome something called the accommodation-convergence reflex. The Polaroid researchers showed test subjects clips from the 1950’s-style 3D movies while training a camera on the subjects’ eyes– and found that when the movie thrust something toward the viewer, the viewers’ pupils would diverge to compensate– a phenomenon that never happens in nature, and which quickly causes headaches and/or dizzyness.

    What emerged from that research wasn’t so much a change in the basic 3D technology as it was a set of rules for filmmakers. 3D objects that approach the audience need to move slowly, stay near the center of the screen (to avoid being clipped by the edges of the screen for one eye or the other), and the gimmick can’t be used frequently or for very long. There cannot be multiple objects in play at different depths– if the audience is focused on a distant object and a near one “pops” into the frame, the audience can’t focus on it and the near object is merely a confusing blur. The viewer’s eyes need to be “led” from one depth to another.

    Polaroid was responsible for the 3D technology in “Captain Eo”, which followed the rules painstakingly, was remarkably clear, and remains a landmark 3D film. But they can’t stop other filmmakers from breaking the rules, and so some 3D is better than others.

    The game-changer in play for 3D right now is that a permanent infrastructure exists for it. Most theatres have at least one 3D-capable screen, so why not shoot in stereo 3D if it’ll fill a few more seats or bring in a few more dollars? Going from 3D to 2D is trivial.

    3D is certainly not for everyone. You have to have two good eyes — (if you wear glasses, similar prescriptions in each eye). You need to have functional depth perception, which not everyone has. Otherwise you just get clunky glasses for no benefit.


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