3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Was The Star Wars Episode 1 3D Conversion a Success or Not

March 1st, 2012 · 6 Comments · 3D Movies & Videos

The Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D has been available for a while now in movie theaters and although it may not have generate that much interest as George Lucas has hoped for, he can generally consider the conversion to 3D a success. Some people were Ok with the level of quality of the conversion to 3D, others were disappointed, but in the end it is all down to the numbers for the big guys in Hollywood. And it depends on these numbers if Lucas will decide to convert the other parts of the Star wars saga in 3D as well or not, but it is not only about the Star Wars as other movie studios are also interested in the results to help them decide should they convert old movies in 3D and bring them back to the big screen for a re-release in 3D…

So based on the numbers was the Star Wars Episode 1 3D conversion a success or not? The US box office shows that the movie has generated over $40 million dollars revenue and internationally the 3D release of Star Wars Episode 1 has accumulated over $46 million dollars, so getting something like $100 million US dollars worldwide in just about a month for an old movie that was converted to 3D is something that can be considered as a success. The budget required for a 3D conversion is significantly less that what you would need for shooting a large scale new movie and with a revenue from it going to something like $100 million dollars for everyone looking just at the numbers is a huge success. Does that make the viewers expecting a spectacular experience from the 3D conversion happy, probably not that much as the experience could’ve been better, and hopefully we’ll get it improved in the next episodes. And we can assume that with results like these Lucas will decide to give 3D conversion another try with the next episode from the saga, because these numbers seem encouraging.

Up until now there haven’t been that many old movies brough back to life on the big screen converted in 3D, there have been quite a lot of disappointments coming from new movies that were shot in 2D and then converted to 3D… and not that well converted. And until now animations were the ones getting the 3D threatment in terms of conversions from 2D to 3D, and the results that Disney’s The Lion King 3D and Beauty and the Beast 3D were so good (in terms of numbers) that Disney decided to convert more of its animated movies and bring them in 3D on the big screen again. The Lion King converted in 3D is by far the top grossing old 2D animation converted to 3D (and such movie for that matter) surpassing worldwide gross of over $160 million dollars so far. But now that the Star Wars Episode 1 3D conversion is old news, all eyes are directed on the upcoming digitally re-mastered 3D conversion of James Cameron’s Titanic that will be re-released in early April to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ship Titanic setting sail.

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Disney and Pixar to Convert to 3D More Of Their Classic Animations

October 4th, 2011 · 9 Comments · 2D to 3D Conversion

The big success that the re-release in movie theaters of Disney’s classic animation The Lion King in 3D (converted from the 2D original to 3D), about 80 million USD in the US box office so far, the company appears to have decided to have more of its classic animations converted to 3D for the big screen as well. Disney has announced that the following titles from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios will be released converted in 3D in 2012 and 2013:

– Beauty and the Beast – January 13, 2012
– Finding Nemo – September 14, 2012
– Monsters, Inc. – January 18, 2013 (Monsters University, a prequel to the original film, arrives in theaters in Disney Digital 3D on June 21, 2013)
– The Little Mermaid – September 13, 2013

Now if this is a good move or not is still yet to be seen, but there will be a lot of controversy surrounding these releases as they will be 2D to 3D conversions. Disney’s decision is apparently driven by the good profit that they have realized with the Lion King 3D conversion, but it is still unclear if other of their classic and more recent animations will also manage to attract so much attention. Starting today The Lion King is already available on Blu-ray 3D and the same goest for the movie Beauty and the Beast also already converted and available on Blu-ray 3D media. And since the 3D conversion for the Beauty and the Beast is already ready the January 13th release date for the big screen shouldn’t be a problem. There is also quite some time until September next year for a proper conversion of Finding Nemo, so Disney is apparently not rushing things just to make some quick profit, but should instead take their time to do good conversion to 3D. I’ve already seen the 3D conversion of the Lion King and Beauty and the Beast and can say that is was done quite well, although far from perfect, and without major issues to bother the normal viewer. I’ve watched both movies converted in 3D and will watch the other conversions from Disney as well even if it is just out of curiosity, would you?

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The Lion King 3D Soon Coming to a Cinema Near You and on Blu-ray 3D

August 24th, 2011 · 8 Comments · 3D Movies & Videos

Disney’s The Lion King 3D is going to be hitting 3D movie theaters on September 16th for two weeks, but the release will be available in limited number of 3D cinemas. So if you are unable to watch the new 3D version of the popular animation, you will be able to get in on Blu-ray 3D starting October 4th. The original Lion King was released in 1994 and instantly became big hit, making it one of Disney’s most popular animations and probably the one bringing in some of the highest profits, so it is no wonder that the company has decided to revive the movie in 3D. As you can guess it is a conversion from the original movie into a 3D one, so it is essentially a 2D to 3D conversion like most new movies we see in 3D nowadays. But unlike new movies that can be shot now in 3D instead of 2D and then converted to 3D, with a older classic movie you are only able to convert it to 3D if you want to bring it “back to life”… or do a remake in 3D, but that will be a process requiring a lot more time and resources.

You can say that Disney is checking the interest of the audience to see if people are going to be willing to watch an older classic animated movie on the big screen in 3D, so if The Lion King 3D turns out to be a success they may as well bring more of their popular classic animations converted into 3D. And this movie has all the chances to do it, if the conversion is really well done and the result is as convincing as if the movie was originally intended to be made in 3D format. And we have all the chances to get exactly that considering that the conversion was led by Robert Neuman as a stereographer who already has experience with making quite a few stereoscopic 3D animated movies. According to the information available the conversion of The Lion King took about 4 months to complete by a team of over 60 people, so we should be getting a high-quality 3D conversion.

Due to the fact that the movie is a hand-drawn type of animation and not computer generated 3D animation, as most recent 3D movies are made, I’m expecting that the conversion to 3D will not be that perfect. Even just considering the fact the movie has not been planned for a 3D version when was originally made and that makes some scenes harder for planning an realizing the level of depth, so that there won’t be any objects violating the stereoscopic window for example (cut by the sides or the top of the frame while at the same time they produce the feeling of jumping out of the screen). Hopefully there will be just minor issues with that of smaller objects, so that they won’t be bothersome for the audience, as you cannot just go for adding depth to the movie, you also need some things to pop-out at times for the best user experience.

Of course when having an animated movie you don’t need to add 3D to make it more realistic, after all animations do rely on stylization of the characters and scenes in order to better convey the desired emotions. Don’t forget that animations are mostly intended for younger audience and thus the extra stereoscopic 3D features in the movie should have the main goal of putting the viewer deeper into the story displayed on the screen and helping better translate the ideas of the authors of the movie. Hopefully this was done well enough in The Lion King 3D, so that instead of being WOWed by the 3D effects in the movie you will kind of forget all about the movie being a 3D one, as all your attention would be focused on the world of Simba and the adventure that lies in front of him.

Unfortunately The Lion King 3D movie won’t be hitting the movie theaters nowhere near where I live, so I’ll be waiting for the Blu-ray 3D version to become available in order to get it and watch the movie.

You can already pre-order The Lion King 3D movie on Blu-ray 3D…

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