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    Does film have a 3D future?

    This is a discussion on Does film have a 3D future? within the Entertainment forums, part of the Community channel category; Does film have a 3D future? - Telegraph For some people, the novelty of 3D film has already worn off, ...

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      Does film have a 3D future?

      Does film have a 3D future? - Telegraph
      For some people, the novelty of 3D film has already worn off, but others claim the technology has a bright future, says Sophie Curtis

      3D technology was behind some of the great cinematic successes of 2013, from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which grossed $209 million worldwide on its opening weekend, to Gravity, which is currently nominated for ten Oscars. But is our fascination with 3D wearing off, or will it continue to influence the way we view film in years to come?

      Filmmakers user 3D to tell their story in a unique and emotive way. Like oversaturated colours in a joyous outdoor scene or brooding music playing as the backdrop to a dramatic sequence, depth in a 3D film can bring a moviegoer closer to the action for a more immersive experience.

      "If watching a movie in 2D is like opening a window into a new world, 3D is like being transported inside the world where the action happens all around you," said Bob Mayson, managing director of RealD Europe, which develops the technology, used for projecting films in 3D.

      The days of 3D as a gimmick are long over, according to Mayson. What once was used for nothing more than objects flying off the screen is now used by the world’s best filmmakers to heighten the sense of realism in a movie and to transport an audience to a new place for an increased sensory experience.

      Some of today’s greatest filmmakers are using 3D in extraordinary ways. Heart-stopping space debris hurdling toward you in Gravity, the feeling of pure isolation from being adrift in the ocean in Life of Pi and the sheer scale of a journey across a new world in The Hobbit are just a few examples of 3D being used to illicit a greater emotional response from a moviegoer.

      However, some people claim that the novelty of 3D has already worn off, and that the inconvenience of wearing a pair of polarised glasses is enough to put them off watching films in three dimensions. Film makers therefore have to remain focused on the moviegoer’s experience to ensure that 3D remains integral to film in the years to come.

      Although 3D has traditionally been used in blockbuster action films, horror films and animation, some filmmakers are experimenting with 3D in less obvious ways -- in documenttaries like Egypt 3D, for example, which gives a stereoscopic journey through the world of pyramids, pharaohs, mummification, sphinxes, hieroglyphs and gods.

      Mayson believes that 3D can be used with great success in films of any genre: "The smoke and debris that drifts in the air just beyond reach in Fedor Bondarchuk’s Stalingrad for example lends detail and realism to the battlefield – and pitches the audience right in the heart of the battle," he said.

      There is also scope for 3D to become integral to home TV viewing, according to Mayson, although this will take some time and additional technology breakthroughs.

      "To start, there needs to be a healthy mix of content available for viewers. This hasn’t fully materialised to-date. Also, while the home 3D viewing experience today can be phenomenal, it is a different type of environment than in theatres," he said.

      "In a theatre, a viewer is solely focused on what they are watching. In the home, people tend to multi-task and have conversations about what they are watching. In this more mixed environment, 3D glasses can act to separate a viewer from their more social viewing."

      Mayson believes that continued technology advancements toward glasses-free 3D consumer electronics will help the growth of the space, as will a growing library of 3D content that will be available for viewing on displays like tablets, smartphones, computers and eventually TVs.

      "From ultra-bright images on screen to 3D imaginatively incorporated into the filmmaking process from the very start, when done well, 3D can continue to be a great additive to the moviegoing experience," he said.


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      Re: Does film have a 3D future?

      I hope so.

      I have just finished watching a 3D version of Gravity. the 3D effects were excellent, the film was good.
      It is a bit of a nuisance having to wear glasses, but it is no big deal.

      I will always try to see a film in 3D rather than 2D if possible.

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      Re: Does film have a 3D future?

      I've just got myself a 3D TV and sometimes I'll be watching the film and switch to check the forums too.

      It can be tiring watching the films though.

      I've yet to watch Gravity but I intend to see it in 3D.

      Another film to watch is The Life of Pi in 3D. I've watched it in both 2D and 3D and prefer it in 3D.

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      Re: Does film have a 3D future?

      I would give it a go if a system came out where you did not need special glasses, until then though for me 3D is a non-runner.

      In my time, not counting the current offering, I have seen 3D die a death twice. The first time I can remember being taken to the Cinema by my Mum to watch Alan Ladd star in a 3D version of Shane. I'm not sure of the year but would hazard a guess of around 1953.

      Then IIRC it made another appearance with some movie, Horrors of the waxworks/museum sometime, and I'm guessing, in the 80's.

      Both iterations were relatively short lived.

      It seems to be a gimmick that they roll out every couple of generations in the hope of extracting some extra profit from a younger generation who think it is something new.

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      Re: Does film have a 3D future?

      The system used in the 80s required you to wear coloured glasses. For me this totally ruined the effect as everything was tinged either red and green or red and blue.

      The system in the cinemas at the moment works reasonably well. The only pitfalls for me are getting the right seat, so that the small lights on the ceiling don't shine in your eyes & the fact that they darken the screen a little. They don't require batteries and the images don't appear to flicker, although there were problems with hi-res version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. They did fix it for the latest release (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug).

      For the home market there are currently two main types LG uses the same system as you get in the Cinema, but this means that the resolution is limited to 720p, not 1080. The alternative is with passive glasses which 'flicker' very rapidly. These allow you to view in the full 1080p (1080i with Sky 3D channel). I have found that where there is direct sunlight, you see the flickering. Otherwise I've been fine with it.

      As for watching without glasses, this has been developed already. I can't remember if the TVs have been launched, but it is happening.

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      Re: Does film have a 3D future?

      3D has been a haven that Cinema has run to when they are worried by other media. In the 1950's 3D was reintroduced to combat the spread of TV and the decline in cinema audiences - it failed. However the introduction of Cinemascope was a success as it introduced a widescreen format when TV was firmly stuck with 4:3. The recent introduction of 3D was based around new technology that was available for the cinema and later home viewing but still the 3D format has had limited success. I use my teenage grandchildren as a litmus test - I bought them a 60" 3D TV for Christmas and even with Samsungs active 3D system they seem disinterested. They will watch 3D if it's available but if it isn't they happily watch 2D. In fact they use the TV more for XBox and a 3D version of games might be a success.

      Personally I believe 3D needs to be via a holograph system where anyone can see the effect from all angles. However that seems a generation away.
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      Re: Does film have a 3D future?

      They are developing holograph display for a TV like device. They are a long way away at the present time though.

      One thing which will worry the production team and directors is that currently they have a major control over the view point of the audience. This aids how a film or TV programme is seen.

      A films such as Psycho relied heavily on the positioning of the camera and some sound effects. Having someone see the girl in the shower getting stabbed whilst you are looking from the side just would not be the same.

      What about Porky's? Or the beginning and ending of of Despicable Me & Despicable Me 2?

      Camera positioning really does aid the suspense and humour of a film.

      It would not be impossible, but a whole new technique would need to be learnt to make films with holographic displays.

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