3D Vision Blog

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

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Only 2D Trailers of Movies Being Converted in 3D, but WHY?

November 29th, 2011 · 11 Comments · 3D Movies & Videos

Ok, we know that movie studios are totally ignoring all the millions of people that already have 3D HDTVs, 3D-equipped PCs, or event 3D-capable smartphones by not officially releasing stereoscopic 3D trailers for upcoming 3D movies online (with still very few exceptions). It seems that most of them don’t care about bringing these people in the cinema by showing them a glimpse at the 3D experience they have prepared for them in the movie theater, but at the same time they want to convince them to go and see a 3D movie by showing them a 2D trailer of that movie. Many 3D enthusiasts and 3D professionals are still wondering what is the stupid reason behind all of this and there could be a lot of these, some more reasonable, others not that much. For example the fact that a traditional 2D trailer with a lot of short and fast cuts does not work that well in stereo 3D, or that you need to find the right person for making a good 3D trailer, or the extra cost for making such a promotional material, or simply because you have crappy stereo 3D effects and want to cheat more people to go into the movie theater and get disappointed by the 3D effects they see. Who knows what it is exactly.

But why the hell you need to make only a 2D video trailer for an old blockbuster movie that you are going to be re-releasing converted in stereoscopic 3D? I mean you’ve seen the movie in 2D already, the whole movie and whether you liked it or not, there is no new footage in 2D that you can actually see in the “new trailer” and that video footage to make you go and see the converted to 3D version. Like in the case of the embedded official trailed for the Titanic in 3D that is coming on April 6th 2012, they could’ve just present the last part of the video with the text saying that Titanic is returning on April 6. But then again would millions of people watch an official trailer with just some text saying something that they’ve already read about, well the “new” 2D trailer for Titanic in 3D is here and millions have watched it already. But only talking about the movie in 3D even if it is by James Cameron himself probably won’t convince people that are not that big fans of the movie to go and watch it, for the movie fans however, 3D or not 3D they will surely watch it yet again, even probably multiple times. And one more thing, the original 2D version of the movie Titanic was a bit over 3 hours long (194 minutes to be exact) and going to see a 2D to 3D conversion that is over three hours might be a bit of a challenge for a lot of people. Watching a 3D movie like Avatar that is almost three hours long is one thing, but watching a converted to 3D movie like Titanic would be for over 3 hours, can turn out to be a big problem for a lot of people that are still fairly new to 3D and you can expect a lot of these… and if the 3D conversion is not at its best, then who knows.

Anyway, back on the 3D trailers thing. The problem is that it is not just one hit movie like Titanic, others are doing the same by pushing out “new” 2D trailers that contain no clue or information, let alone a glimpse of the experience that awaits the viewers when they go to the movie theaters to see the 3D conversion. And with all the negative media coverage that 3D conversions are still getting (some crappy ones fully deserve it) it may be quite hard to convince people that are not sure if they want to go and watch the new 3D return of a movie they liked a lot in 2D some years ago. Of course releasing a 3D trailer could be a double edged knife, because if you’ve done a crappy job with the 3D conversion or even with the trailer in 3D you can actually drive away viewers instead to attract their attention. So are movie studios too afraid not to mes up, or it is all about the money and they don’t care about the viewers as long as the numbers are satisfactory in the end… what do you think?

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The Classic Book “The Theory of Stereoscopic Transmission” On-line

October 21st, 2011 · 1 Comment · General 3D News

The classic book “The Theory of Stereoscopic Transmission and its application to the motion picture” by Raymond and Nigel Spottiswoode with illustrations by Brian Borthwick, originally published in 1953, but out-of-print for many years, is now available in electronic format and for free for everyone willing to read it. This book is the latest addition to the Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference Virtual Library, and joins several other pioneering but hard to obtain texts in the field of stereoscopic imaging. By converting classic publications into electronic editions, the SD&A aims to make these volumes easily accessible to stereoscopic researchers once again.

“The Theory of Stereoscopic Transmission” provides a theoretical analysis of the three-dimensional geometry of capture and presentation of stereoscopic images as typified by 3D movies, so it is definetly an interesting read as the 3D basics are still the same as they were may years ago. Titles of chapters in the book include: Stereoscopic Depth Range, The Stereoscopic Window, Stereoscopic Calculators, Cameras with Variable Separation and Convergence, Projection, The Human Factor in Stereoscopic Transmission, and much more. An errata list is provided at the end of the book. Also included is an 8 page anaglyph 3D insert “Stereoscopic Diagrams” by Brian Borthwick and Jack Coote which illustrates some of the concepts in the book in 3D.

To download for free the classic book “The Theory of Stereoscopic Transmission”…

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3D Glasses in Movie Theaters and Should You BYO 3D Glasses

September 30th, 2011 · 5 Comments · 3D Movies & Videos


In the last few days there has been a lot of controversy going on around the fact that Sony has announced that it plans to stop subsidizing the 3D glasses in movie theaters starting next year with the release of the movies “Men in Black III” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.” This has angered the National Association of Theater Owners in US that did not accept these news happily, and this was not the first try for big movie studio to stop subsidizing the glasses. It has happened with 20th Century Fox back in 2009, but they have renounced their plan to stop subsidizing the 3D glasses after the same thing happened as is now happening with Sony. Will Sony do the same as 20th Century Fox is still not clear, but it is clear that unless this happens as an industry wide move the movie theater owners won’t be happy at all. But you know, there are already quite a few placer around the world where movie studios are actually not subsidizing the 3D glasses. This can easily be arranged adjusting the profit distribution shares between the movie theater owners and the movie studios, however movie studios like Sony probably just want to move the cost for the 3D glasses to the theater owners. And this all could lead to a 3D ticket price increase or a decrease in the number of 3D movie projections, but it could also lead to a big market increase in one relatively new category of products – personal movie theater 3D glasses…

Buying and bringing your own personal (BYO) 3D glasses with you when going to a 3D movie projection is already something that quite a few people prefer doing, especially considering some of the side effects of the reusable 3D glasses you usually get in the theater. The reusable 3D glasses in movie theaters are usually being washed in between projections in order to have them cleaned, but how many times you’ve seen the lenses of these glasses scratched or smudged with some cleaning fluid or whatever? You usually have to carefully wipe them out yourself before using them, that is unless you carry your own personal pair of 3D glasses that you can take out and enjoy the movie. There are also some movie theaters that hand out what appears to be packed single-use pairs of glasses that get proper treatment before being repacked and distributed for the next projection… this is usually a better and more problem free solution for the audience, but is probably also more expensive. But you know, getting 3D glasses for a 3D movie projection is something you’d normally expect to get as a service from the movie theater, so should you also not expect to get a discount from the ticket when you BYO 3D glasses? This is one of the options and movie theaters could also start offering different brands of compatible 3D glasses with the type of projection system they are using. And this way they can even further increase their profit by offering different types of personal 3D glasses and in different price ranges, so that you will know when you spent some money for a personal pair of glasses you would then get a discount from the 3D movie tickets.

Having movie theaters offering different personal 3D glasses is probably the best way, especially considering the fact that there are multiple 3D projection systems in use that require the viewer to wear a different type of 3D glasses to see the proper image. These are mostly passive solutions – IMAX, RealD and Dolby 3D as well as some active ones such as XpanD, which is probably the most widely used active solution for 3D movie theaters. Obviously active and passive 3D viewing methods are not compatible, although you may be able to make a kind of an universal solution, but even the different passive solutions are not compatible with each other due to the different method of light polarization being used in each. When you look around you will see that pretty much all better looking and especially designer 3D glasses available are compatible with RealD’s projection system only. Sure you could pretty easily also find IMAX or Dolby 3D glasses, but these are usually the same not so practical and not so good looking type of 3D glasses that you get handed out when you enter the respective 3D movie theater. The IMAX 3D glasses shouldn’t be expensive and hard to produce, but most likely IMAX is not giving out license to anyone else to make designer 3D glasses compatible with their solutions, the same could also apply to Dolby 3D, although their glasses should be a bit more expensive and harder to produce due to the way their lenses work. This would of course need to change if the market of personal 3D glasses continues to grow and there is a big potential for that, although the presence of multiple formats makes it harder for the users. Depending on what format the local movie theaters around you use you may need to buy multiple different pairs of 3D glasses and if you go for more expensive designer brands such as Calvin Klein or Oakley it could turn out to be quite an expensive thing to do. And if you don’t go watching 3D movies that often it becomes even less attractive, even though there are a lot of options for personal 3D glasses that don’t cost over $100 USD…

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