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 Classic 3D vs. Modern 3D 
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Cross Eyed!
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I recently saw the original (1995) Toy Story in 3D and I was struck by just how muted they have made the 3D effect. A number of people have commented on this in other contexts: a lot of the 3D content being produced today for film, television and blu-ray is extremely low-key. It's almost as if the film makers are trying to make the 3D element as discreet as possible, so that it doesn't risk offending anyone.

After watching Toy Story, I went pack and compared the current 3D version to the images from the 3D View-Master reels that were produced for Toy Story back in 1995, when the film was new. In both cases, the 3D images were created in the same way: by taking the original renderings and adding a virtual second camera. The View-Master images, without exception, are much more dramatic; there is a substantially larger stereo separation in all the photos.

If anyone is interested, I have made an album of the View-Master images alongside screen grabs from the 3D video - formatted for cross-eye viewing:

https://picasaweb.google.com/Shawmkreitzman/ToyStoryCrossView?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMKn0LaN5ozeIg&feat=directlink

Companies like Fuji and Nintendo warn young children not to look at 3D displays for health reasons, but many generations of kids grew up enjoying much more dramatic 3D on a regular basis. I am not aware of a single View-Master related health problem...

Why is everyone so afraid of 3D?


Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:25 am
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It's probably because of the fear of health problems, but the Viewmaster and the 3D movie were also not supposed to be seen on the same screen, at the same distance and for the same duration. So I guess it should have had some influence over the rendering in each case.


Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:58 am
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Thanks ShawmK, for doing this.

Basically, I totally agree. Not only that, but if 3D does fizzle out and die it won't be because the technology wasn't good enough or that it gave people headaches. It will be because studios and developers were so conservative with the 3D as to basically kill any advantage it had. What we get now, in most movies, is an experience that is barely better than 2D (in some cases worse, like with bad conversions) but have to endure the disadvantage of losing a massive amount of light and also deal with the annoyance of wearing glasses. Really, its a horrible situation. Its no wonder most people on the internet call 3D a "gimmick". Because the way its implemented today, it basically is. They use the word "3D" to increase ticket prices or as a bullet point on the box, but in the end don't provide the "3D" experience people would actually want.

I don't think this is simply because of comfort issues. I have been playing 3D games for nearly 10 years with a variety of settings (some very extreme) and I have never encountered discomfort because of this. I have also seen many older IMAX 3D movies, when they were a lot more liberal with the 3D, and I don't remember anybody complaining about that. I also grew up with the Viewmaster as a kid, and certainly I did not go blind from using that. I just don't understand why they don't go all the way.

What they are doing now basically amounts to advertising a movie theater with "Immersive 7.1 Surround Sound System" and when you get to the movie, they turn the sound volume down so low you can barely hear it. Sure, technically its 7.1 surround, but if you can't hear it: whats the point?

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Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:56 pm
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...not to mention all ass conversions of the modern time...
"Why is everyone so afraid of 3D?": Fear and because some people always finds something to blame, whether or not it's actually related to their eventual problems.

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Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:47 pm
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I am losing interest in mainstream 3D because of the 3D Lite that we are presented with. Most of the modern films, as mentioned, do have a shallow 3D. I only have "Resident Evil" and "Monster House" on Blu-Ray 3D and in both cases I was not "wowed" by what I saw. To my eyes, it does not look like true stereoscopic vision. I don't want to watch a 3D movie and have to keep asking myself "Is that scene in 3D or 2D?". I want to have my socks knocked off from the first scene to the final scene and sit there watching the movie with my mouth wide open, awestruck and feeling totally immersed in the film. Nothing I have seen yet has been a patch on my blueprint for 3D movies "The House of Wax" (1953)

Now being the cynic that I am, here are the reasons I think that we are being given 3D Lite (Health reasons aside)

1) Film Makers don 't know what true 3D should really look like. They need better training.
2) We are getting 3D Lite now as a marketing ploy so that in years to come, the movies can be re-sold with a promotion along the lines of "For the first time in true 3D"
3) Novices of 3D may be happy with 3D Lite because to their inexperienced eyes it does look different to 2D and they may never have seen the real deal. They may only have ever seen 3D in the Cinema. Not everyone is aware of YT3D and the like after all.
4) Apart from Cameron, there are few 3D visionaries in Hollywood.

I won't be buying a 3D TV 3D Blu-Ray player for a while. At least not until some classic 3D movies from the 50's are realised on the format. Any more news on this?

Gae43

http://house-on-haunted-hill-3d.blogspot.com/
http://2d23dconversions-carnivalofsouls3d.blogspot.com/


Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:50 am
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I think the 3d in movies done with 2d similar is so that people don't complain about the conversion movies anymore. Its there way to make even the dual camera recording low in stereo so that no matter what way they make the 3d film they will all be alike. So then nobody can tell the difference between a conversion film and a dual camera.

Other than that eh I think most everyone in the technology sector think stereoscopic 3d with glasses is a dinosaur. Hollywood is looking for better tech like holography. They really don't give a care if people don't like stereo3d or the way it was made, it is what it is. Avatar even had visual anomolies and all james used was convergence but still it was nothing spectacular, it was only an introduction to a simulated volume acheivement aka "doll house effect". Where most of the movie really had window violations. Since professors and doctors said that all this stuff gives people eye strain and headaches hollywood neither tech companies want people to view a mess of disfunction on their screen.

What if the theatres had a autostereoscopic screen, would we still have to pay 3 dollars extra on a ticket :lol: ? I thought the 3 extra bones was for the specs and i always took mine home anyways. And was'nt that depth silder for home use on a 3d movie player supposed to give more depth and pop-out or what ever you call it. Its kind of like buying the worlds fastest computer but when you get it home its really not that fast and only a grabby thing to want.

As i see it most stereo3d stuff out now is a waste of time to view but its still nice to see the tech getting better hopefully.

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Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:00 am
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The best stereoscopic experience today is playing games in stereo. Movies are far away in immersion and will probably always be. An exception may be releasing movies as engine scripts in which you can adjust all parameters to your own personal liking. A method like this is troublesome with real stereoscopic capture though. Most of the time i find cgi-movies looking better in 3d than most real captures anyway.

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Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:28 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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My personal background is with 3D still photography, and I have a huge collection of vintage 19th and 20th Century 3D photographs. By comparison, modern Hollywood 3D is extremely mild. If you want to see some really stunning 3D, buy a Victorian Stereoscope on Ebay and get a few Keystone StereoViews. Tron Legacy is amateur night by comparison...

I think part of the problem is that very few film-makers in Hollywood have any real experience filming in 3D. Stereoscopic cinematography requires a different set of skills and, to a certain extent, a different rule book. (hand-held cameras, fast editing, shallow focus: not a great idea in 3D!) Cinematographers and directors who have a great deal of experience with 2D film-making need to essentially go back to school with 3D - but no studio in its right mind will spend two hundred million dollars on a student film.

Gae43, you're right; House of Wax is fantastic in 3D. So are Kiss Me Kate and Dial M for Murder. I am amazed that studios will spend incredible time and money converting films like Titanic and the Lion King, while they continue to ignore the huge legacy of excellent 3D films that are already available to them...


Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:51 pm
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Directors are not supposed to be masters in stereoscopy, that's what stereographers and stereo companies are for. And every recent major 3D production has used them, last example being Transformers which employed Legend3D, Prime Focus and In-Three among many others. Just have a look at the full credit for this movie, there were 63 people working just for the stereo part : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1399103/fullcredits. Stereo is certainly not a single-man affair, but a full-team oriented activity. And I think these people understand stereo a lot better than people in the 50's.

Concerning old movies I think most people aren't interested in movies from the 50's, that's the case for 2D and I see no reason why it wouldn't be the case for 3D. Do anyone here seriously think House of Wax is a good movie in regard to current standards ? I really doubt it. Interesting from an historical point of view, but nothing more. I'd like to see it in 3D though, but it's because I'm pretty much interested in stereo, not because I expect it to be a good movie. Heck, I've never had the wish to see it in 2D for all these years, although I've seen movies like Titanic or Star Wars several times already (which are expected to be converted soon).

Cinematography has pretty much progressed in the last 60 years, and I doubt these movies would have much success if they were released in Blu-Ray 3D right now. Converting movies from the past 15 years makes much more sense for studios, especially since they generally expect a good return on investment.


Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:14 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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Stereographers can advise on issues such as parallax, convergence, focal planes etc, but ultimately it is down to good old fashioned directors, cinematographers and editors to make decisions about camera angles, lighting, shot length and so on. What works in 2D doesn't necessarily work in 3D. By the same logic, cinematographers in the 1940s who were used to filming in black and white had to learn a whole new set of rules to film in colour.

Many (not all) films today appear to be essentially filmed as if they were 2D and then handed off to a stereo company for tweaking. Again, if film-makers in the 50's had made movies in black and white and then added the colour in post production, everyone would have laughed at them.

As far as old movies are concerned, everyone's personal taste is obviously different, but for my money I think House of Wax is a far better film than, say, My Bloody Valentine. And many 3D films from the 50s are considered major classics today, in 2D or 3D: Kiss Me Kate, Dial M for Murder, Hondo, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Miss Sadie Thomson... All of these films are respected and enjoyed today, in whatever format they are shown. They have been released on VHS and DVD and have always done well. Since these film already exist in 3D, it would be fairly cheap for studios to release them on 3D blu ray - certainly far cheaper than the cost of converting a 2D film into fake 3D.

Much of the criticism of 1950's era 3D was due to the problems of keeping two separate 35mm projectors properly synchronised for the duration of the film. When they were shown correctly, the quality of the 3D was generally excellent. In some ways better than modern digital 3D: the two projectors didn't have the brightness problems that audiences are complaining about so much today.

http://www.3dfilmpf.org/info-top-10-3D-myths.html


Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:19 pm
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ShawmK wrote:
Stereographers can advise on issues such as parallax, convergence, focal planes etc, but ultimately it is down to good old fashioned directors, cinematographers and editors to make decisions about camera angles, lighting, shot length and so on. What works in 2D doesn't necessarily work in 3D?
You really think directors are not aware of these things ? It's been explained in numerous books about 3D movie making. If an amateur does know this, don't you think a professional director involved in a $200 million production does too ?

If 3D is mild in current movies it's not because they don't know how to do it "deeper", it's because it's more comfortable for most people. That's a choice, not something based on ignorance.

And by the way, André de Toth the director of House of Wax was blind in one eye. As Vincent Price said : "When they wanted a director for [a 3-D] film, they hired a man who couldn’t see 3-D at all! Andre de Toth was a very good director, but he really was the wrong director for 3-D."

ShawmK wrote:
Many (not all) films today appear to be essentially filmed as if they were 2D and then handed off to a stereo company for tweaking.
Some compromise has to be found between what works in 2D and what works in 3D. For an optimal 3D effect there should be a minimal amount of takes in a film for example, but that's clearly not practical in real-life.

ShawmK wrote:
As far as old movies are concerned, everyone's personal taste is obviously different, but for my money I think House of Wax is a far better film than, say, My Bloody Valentine
That's precisely the problem, I probably would feel the same as you if I had seen both, but that's not the case for 90% of the people who go to cinema theaters. And for Hollywood that's the only population that counts.

Simple illustration, total US gross in theaters :
- Dial M for Murder : $6 million ;
- House of Wax : $23 million ;
- My Bloody Valentine : $51 million.
Source : http://www.the-numbers.com/

ShawmK wrote:
And many 3D films from the 50s are considered major classics today, in 2D or 3D [...] All of these films are respected and enjoyed today, in whatever format they are shown. They have been released on VHS and DVD and have always done well.
The Mad Magician has been released in 3D on the Sony PSN, along with two shorts from The Three Stooges. Miss Sadie Thompson is also expected to be available soon.
- The Mad Magician (3D) ;
- The Three Stooges Pardon My Backfire (Short) (3D) ;
- The Three Stooges Spooks (Short) (3D).

Sony also said they have 8 more 3D movies (10 in total) mostly from the 1950s ready for restoration, with the aim of an eventual Blu-ray release :
http://nl.hardware.info/extern/7021567/ ... on-blu-ray

I wouldn't hold my breath for releases from other studios though, Sony has a vested interest in 3D because they make 3D TVs, monitors, Blu-Ray players and even HMDs, but that's the only movie company in this situation.

ShawmK wrote:
Much of the criticism of 1950's era 3D was due to the problems of keeping two separate 35mm projectors properly synchronised for the duration of the film. When they were shown correctly, the quality of the 3D was generally excellent.
It's not the only reason why it failed, this single problem doesn't explain the total failure of 3D movies in the 50's in less than 2 years. It's also explained by the success of widescreen formats (CinemaScope) that 3D movies did not use and by the use of silver screens which rendered movies basically unwatchable for sideline seatings. Also this doesn't explain the fall of the second wave of 3D films between 1981 and 1983. To me the headaches caused by excessive camera separation are probably the culprits, but we'll never really know. And I think that's the only reason why current 3D movies are more conservative with stereo separation.

ShawmK wrote:
In some ways better than modern digital 3D: the two projectors didn't have the brightness problems that audiences are complaining about so much today.
You must be joking aren't you ?

Hollis Alpert of The Saturday Review talking about Bwana Devil in 3D : "It is the worst movie in my rather faltering memory, and my hangover from it was so painful that I immediately went to see a two-dimensional movie for relief. The polarization process darkened the image so that everything seems to be happening in late afternoon on a cloudy day. Nigel Bruce will either loom up before you or look like a puppet."

Another one : "Michael Bay lobbied exhibitor CEOs worldwide in his effort to ensure that their projectors were up to a proper brightness of six Lamberts, a level which is significantly greater than standard screen brightness, and slightly brighter than that in an IMAX theater. [...] We can thank Paramount, too, for releasing digital prints “mastered and color graded with extra sharpening,” which Dr. Sandrew says “placed special attention on color and contrast to create a superior 3D experience when projected at six Lamberts.”"
Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhughes/ ... -part-1/2/


Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:28 pm
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I just can't buy the argument that the weak-sauce 3D we are being served is only because of health concerns. Please, go back and look at those images of Toy Story that ShawmK posted. Not only are the Blu-Ray shots mild, they can barely pass as 3D at all. Unless I was told they were 3D shots (and trusted the word of ShawmK), I would assume it was just 2D. Its that bad. With the Viewmaster slides it is patently clear the image is 3D. No questions. No ifs, ands, or buts. Its 3D. I can't say the same for many recent movies.

If the directors are really so concerned about the health of people's eyes, they should just save us the disappointment of sitting through their weak-sauce, lame excuse for a dimension, and just release the movie in 2D. Seriously. Go big or go home.

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Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:55 pm
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cybereality wrote:
I just can't buy the argument that the weak-sauce 3D we are being served is only because of health concerns. Please, go back and look at those images of Toy Story that ShawmK posted.
As I said, the ViewMaster is supposed to be used for very small periods of time which last several seconds at most, you can't compare that to a 100 minutes 3D movie. Also the separation shown for the images of the movie would be much higher in a cinema, and using the viewmaster images in a cinema would make them impossible to fuse for anyone. It's all about the size...

And do you really think directors wouldn't go for higher separations if they were sure it would be best for everyone ? They don't do that for their pleasure, they simply want their movies to be seen by as many people as possible.

Also don't forget that not all people have the same eye separation, a recent study showed that the majority of adults have an IPD between 50 and 75mm, and almost all adults are between 45 and 80mm, which greatly reduces the maximum camera separation. Also children have lower eye separation, this report shows that the minimum is 40mm for children over age 5 (8yold in this particular case).

The publication : http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~nad10/pubs/EI5291A-05.pdf

cybereality wrote:
If the directors are really so concerned about the health of people's eyes, they should just save us the disappointment of sitting through their weak-sauce, lame excuse for a dimension, and just release the movie in 2D. Seriously. Go big or go home.
Considering the fact that "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" made more than 60% of its attendance with the 3D version, that would be quite stupid of them to show it only in 2D.


Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:49 pm
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Ok, I measured the separation of a point (Woody's left eye) in the images where Woody is behind Buzz's legs. In the Viewmaster image there is a 21 pixels separation and for the image from the movie it's 4 pixels, both images beeing 256 pixels wide.

If you transpose that to a 27" monitor, a 50" television and a 100" projector, the parallax would be :
- Viewmaster : 4.9cm, 9cm, 18cm ;
- Movie : 0.9cm, 1.7cm, 3.5cm.

So it's clearly not possible for movies to have the same separation than Viewmaster images if they are intended to be seen on a TV or with a projector. There should be no problem on a monitor in this particular case, but in this scene Woody is very close to the camera. That would be very different in deeper scenes, and probably not suitable for viewing on a monitor either.

And if you look at the Viewmaster image in a real Viewmaster, the depth effect should be very mild too, because the apparent size of an image is very low (12.9 x 11.9cm). In this case the separation would only be of 1cm, equivalent to the image from the movie seen on a 27" monitor.


Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:36 pm
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Hey guys.....look what I just found! Some nice restored clips there.

http://www.youtube.com/user/gillman3d#p ... 873EkrOgME
:)

I'm seriously thinking of uploading the completed 15 mins of my House on Haunted Hill 3D conversion to YouTube. It's taken me 1-2 hours a day for 9 months just to get this far with it. I don't think I'll be doing any more as it is just too tedious and slow a process for one guy to attempt. I may just upload a lower quality anaglyph version for now though.

Gae43


Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:08 am
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cybereality wrote:
If the directors are really so concerned about the health of people's eyes, they should just save us the disappointment of sitting through their weak-sauce, lame excuse for a dimension, and just release the movie in 2D. Seriously. Go big or go home.
I agree fully and the facts presented makes it more clear. If depth isn't allowed to use then what point is it to release a 3d-movie at all? Put down the 3dmoviebusiness and keep 3d to games. It seems like it's the only way 3d can be done properly with good and immersive 3d-effect, hours after hours...

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Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:12 pm
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Gae43, thanks for posting the link; it looks like an excellent restoration. It's certainly a lot better than the awful field-sequential version.

Fredz, a lot of your points are well taken, but I would just say a couple of things further:

You compare the box office grosses for House of Wax and My Bloody Valentine, but don't forget those film were made more than fifty years apart. 23 million in 1953 translates to a box office gross of about 184 million in today's money. With ticket prices going up all the time, it's no surprise that there is a new "top grossing film of all time" every few months or so.

A few years ago the British Film Institute published a list of the top 100 films of all time, based on audience attendance. Not the box office receipts, but the actual number of film goers who saw the movies. The results were very interesting:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/ultimatefilm/chart/complete.php

You are absolutely right about Bwana Devil - it is a truly awful film. If it hadn't been for the novelty of the 3D it would almost certainly have vanished without a trace, like so many other B movies of the period. Then, as now, Hollywood tried to use 3D to boost ticket sales for films that didn't have much else going for them. The same can be said about Widescreen and stereo sound (which was also a new innovation of that time).

Although it is true that 3D intended for a large cinema screen will look weaker on a television screen or computer monitor, that doesn't completely explain the 3D style seen in most current films. If you look at the stereo effect in many IMAX films, for example (which are composed for huge screens) the sense of depth is very strong, even when viewed in a household environment.
Take this image from the film Transitions, for example:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Shawmkreitzman/3DCaps?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUw_TF89-YqQE#5675545997311460418

Plus, there have been a number of modern films that have used 3D very effectively (in my opinion). Putting aside Avatar for a moment (everyone talks about Avatar) I thought the 3D in films like Monsters vs Aliens, Step Up and The Hole was first rate.
The Hole in particular I thought used the 3D very intelligently. In almost every shot there was depth information for the eye to explore, and the shots tended to be long enough to give the audience time to really look around before cutting to the next shot.
https://picasaweb.google.com/Shawmkreitzman/3DCaps?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUw_TF89-YqQE#5675544736863587378

In all of these films, the 3D felt like something more than an excuse to charge higher ticket prices.

The 3D in a film like Tron Legacy, by contrast, is used stupidly. Take a shot like this, for example:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Shawmkreitzman/3DCaps?authkey=Gv1sRgCImUw_TF89-YqQE#5675544707038913282
There is no way to have a "perception of depth" when there is no depth to perceive!


Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:53 pm
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ShawmK wrote:
You compare the box office grosses for House of Wax and My Bloody Valentine, but don't forget those film were made more than fifty years apart. 23 million in 1953 translates to a box office gross of about 184 million in today's money. With ticket prices going up all the time, it's no surprise that there is a new "top grossing film of all time" every few months or so.
Yes they've been released 60 years ago, and that is part of my point. They've had 60 years to enhance their attendance with several releases, and a movie like My Bloody Valentine had only 2 years and one release. And despite the fact that Valentine was only a B-grade movie of dubious quality, it was still a lot more successful than any A-grade 3D movie of the 50s.

If I were a producer my choice would be quite simple. There is obviously not a lot of money to be made from older 3D movies but a lot more money can be made with average new 3D movies or conversions of older movies that were successful in 2D (Titanic, Star Wars, Disney classics, etc.). Not that I like this situation, but that's what is happening right now.

ShawmK wrote:
A few years ago the British Film Institute published a list of the top 100 films of all time, based on audience attendance. Not the box office receipts, but the actual number of film goers who saw the movies. The results were very interesting.
Very interesting indeed, I didn't expect older movies to do that well. That said this list is for the UK, here is another one for the US and the results are somewhat different : http://mrob.com/pub/film-video/topadj.html

In your list, 40 movies are made before 1960 and 60 after that date, which still indicates that more recent movies are globally more successful. In the US list, that's 22 before 1960 and 78 after 1960. So that clearly indicates that recent movies are much more successful than older ones, and it can only change in this direction in the future (more recent movies in the list).

Even more interesting, in the US list there are 2 native 3D movies (Avatar and Toy Story 3), 3 movies that have been converted to 3D (The Lion King, Shrek 2 and Toy Story 2) and 7 more in the pipe for conversion (Star Wars franchise, Titanic and Finding Nemo). Except for the Star Wars franchise, all of them date from less than 20 years ago. There must be a reason for this.

ShawmK wrote:
Although it is true that 3D intended for a large cinema screen will look weaker on a television screen or computer monitor, that doesn't completely explain the 3D style seen in most current films. If you look at the stereo effect in many IMAX films, for example (which are composed for huge screens) the sense of depth is very strong, even when viewed in a household environment. Take this image from the film Transitions, for example:
Sure, but movies in IMAX 3D theaters are generally very short movies, Transitions only lasted for 20 minutes for example. That's the reason why 3D movies can be less conservative in regard to 3D in these theaters. Feature movies shown in IMAX 3D theaters have the same separation than in RealD or Xpand theaters though.

And by the way that image of Transitions is a pretty poor example of 3D, there is a major vertical disparity in it. Seems in 1986 they couldn't digitally modify incorrect stereoscopy...

ShawmK wrote:
Plus, there have been a number of modern films that have used 3D very effectively (in my opinion). Putting aside Avatar for a moment (everyone talks about Avatar) I thought the 3D in films like Monsters vs Aliens, Step Up and The Hole was first rate.
Yep, small budget movies (Step Up, The Hole) and the first 3D movie by a studio (Monsters vs Aliens - Dreamworks) used higher separation than other movies and out-of-the-screen effects. Curiously that was not the case for the second 3D movie by Dreamworks (How to Train your Dragon) or any big budget movie.

ShawmK wrote:
The 3D in a film like Tron Legacy, by contrast, is used stupidly. Take a shot like this, for example. [...] There is no way to have a "perception of depth" when there is no depth to perceive!
I completely agree with you on this one, this movie shouldn't have been released in 3D, it was just surfing on the 3D wave to make more money. To me that's the main problem with the current 3D wave, but the kind of 3D I can see in Avatar or How to Train your Dragon for example is absolutely not a problem for me.


Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:40 pm
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Ok, maybe I was a bit harsh. Some 3D movies actually are done well and deserve the treatment. Surprisingly "Step Up 3D" was one of these films (ignore the horrible acting/plot). Also, I thought "Priest" was top-notch, even knowing it was a conversion. "Tangled" was also really well done. And, more recently, "Immortals" had some nice shots in it. But overall I feel like most movies are a wasted opportunity. For example, Tron was a huge let down. The movie and music and everything was awesome. But the 3D was just a waste. They could have done so much more with that. I am glad that 3D is getting some much deserved interest from directors and movie studios, but they need to push the medium further. As it stands now, they are just *way* too conservative and people will just bore of this 2.2D non-sense.

Just so we are on the same page, here are some shots from 3D games that are up to my standard of what 3D should look like. Why can't they just put this on a movie screen?

Attachment:
Batman_3DVision.jpg


Attachment:
MirrorsEdge_3D.png


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I didn't find these images particulary enjoyable in 3D on my 19" monitor, didn't test them on my DLP projector though (102" diagonal). The one from Mirror's Edge was even a bit hard on my eyes, probably because there is an heavy window violation in the foreground. Anyway you can't directly use such images as-is in movie theaters, the separation for the farthest points is way too important in both.

For the Batman image, the farthest point has a separation of 107 pixels for a 1920 pixels width. On a 12m wide cinema screen this would give a 67cm separation (89cm on a 16m wide). It's impossible to fuse such images. Even on a 100" projection screen the separation would be 12cm, which is also way too much. For the Mirror's edge image the farthest point would give 20cm and 27cm on resp. 12m and 16m wide cinema screens. It should be ok on a 100" inch projection screen though, even for children (3.7cm).

As I said previously separation should be less than 5cm for the majority of adults, less than 4.5cm for most adults and less than 4cm for all children (5 years old or more). I can understand that these values are somewhat limitating when you've got an eye separation of 6.5cm (which is my case), but movies are unfortunately not made only for you and me.

Talking about Priest 3D, I'm pretty much surprised that you did find it good in 3D, most reviews I have read said that the 3D was very mild, that it was pretty much invisible because of the very dark shots and that it didn't add anything to immersion. I'll try to find captures to see if the 3D in it is acceptable though, but I really doubt it.


Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:18 pm
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Ok, found a couple of pictures taken from the Blu-Ray 3D of Priest 3D on some websites. They were in 1920x800 SBS-half so I resized them to 2048x576 to have a correct aspect ratio and not loose nor incorrectly add too much detail.
Attachment:
Priest3D-1.jpg
Attachment:
Priest3D-2.jpg
Attachment:
Priest3D-3.jpg
Attachment:
Priest3D-4.jpg
Attachment:
Priest3D-5.jpg
Attachment:
Priest3D-6.jpg
Attachment:
Priest3D-7.jpg
As I feared, this conversion is really subpar, you've at best a cardboard effect and at worst no 3D at all. The result is probably more convincing with CGI effects since they've certainly been rendered in stereo 3D, but for live action it confirms that nobody is able to do it even remotely correctly for now.


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Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:21 am
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Here's a good one.......http://www.flickr.com/photos/58022240@N00/4319784168/

Sure there's some ghosting in it but at least it's in 3D. Give me this type over 3D Lite anytime.


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Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:09 am
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@Fredz: Those shots of Priest are all close-up portraits, which wasn't the best material in the movie. The really good shots were the ones with more stuff in them: landscapes, the shots in the city, action scenes. I believe because a lot of this was CG and rendered in true 3D. And certainly it was not the best 3D if seen, but it was very good considering it was a conversion.

Lets say someone is viewing extreme 3D gaming on a 27" 3D monitor. And they are sitting very close, about 12" away. This would be a bigger FOV than sitting in the middle of a regular movie theater. But the 3D effect on the monitor can be much greater (ie more separation). Does the FOV not matter at all, is it only a factor of how big the image actually is? Is this because of the vergence-accommodation? I'm not sure I understand.

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Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:25 pm
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cybereality wrote:
Those shots of Priest are all close-up portraits, which wasn't the best material in the movie. The really good shots were the ones with more stuff in them: landscapes, the shots in the city, action scenes. I believe because a lot of this was CG and rendered in true 3D. And certainly it was not the best 3D if seen, but it was very good considering it was a conversion.
Shots 1 and 3 are actually showing parts of the city, but I don't see any 3D for the houses or other objects in the background. Here are a couple more shots from the city and landscapes but they are in the same league, even for the last one that seems to be a CG render :
Attachment:
Priest3D-8.jpg
Attachment:
Priest3D-9.jpg
Attachment:
Priest3D-10.jpg
Attachment:
Priest3D-11.jpg
cybereality wrote:
Lets say someone is viewing extreme 3D gaming on a 27" 3D monitor. And they are sitting very close, about 12" away. This would be a bigger FOV than sitting in the middle of a regular movie theater.
Yep, at 110° that would be quite a bigger FOV than in cinemas, which generally offer between 26° and 61.8° (around 36° for the middle row). But looking at a computer monitor at this distance is really not a good idea. As I already said there you shouldn't be closer than 30" from a screen else the muscles of your eyes will start to hurt after some time (resting point of vergence and accommodation).
cybereality wrote:
But the 3D effect on the monitor can be much greater (ie more separation).
You can't have more parallax on a monitor than on a movie screen since your eyes still have the same separation. If an object has a 10cm parallax your eyes will diverge no matter if the viewing distance is 12" or 30m. It'll probably be less painful from 30m but it does still correspond to an impossible situation in real life. The max parallax value shouldn't be greater than your eye separation, whatever the viewing distance or the screen size.
cybereality wrote:
Does the FOV not matter at all, is it only a factor of how big the image actually is? Is this because of the vergence-accommodation? I'm not sure I understand.
A bigger FOV enhances immersion but doesn't augment the depth perception, on a given screen size it will even flatten everything if you sit closer. If you watch a 27" monitor from a 12" viewing distance you'll have a lesser 3D effect than when you are at 40".

The vergence-accommodation has nothing to do with FOV, it's only related to the difference between the distance to the screen and the distance to the virtual object. And this adds further limitations to what you can and can't do in stereo 3D, independently of the eye separation limitation.


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I know this is a controversial topic, but I strongly feel that the vergence/accommodation argument has been greatly overstated by critics of 3D (Walter Murch, I'm talking about you!).
http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2011/01/post_4.html

The argument is that our eyes can't handle the discrepancy between the virtual position of a three-dimensional object and the actual position of the display on which it appears. Walter Murch said that this runs counter to evolution. He went so far as to say that this has never occurred in 600 million years of evolution; I assume he double checked his numbers before publishing. Because he is Walter Murch (who is actually most famous as a sound designer, by the way) his comments were repeated and re-published all over the media, and this has become a favourite argument of the anti-3D lobby.

Try this, however:

Get up and look at your reflection in a mirror.

If you stand, say, two feet in front of the mirror, your reflection will appear to be four feet away (two feet in front of the mirror, and two feet behind). The reflection is three-dimensional, because each eye is seeing the reflection from a slightly different perspective. So, your eyes will be converging on a virtual image that is four feet away, even though you are actually looking at the surface of the mirror, two feet away. You obviously haven't just developed x-ray vision: you are not staring two feet into the wall.

If your mirror is in a large room, you can carry this even further by focusing on the far wall. Now your eyes are converging on a spot ten, twenty, thirty feet away, even though the mirror is still only two feet in front of you.

We humans have been looking into mirrors for a long time (not 600 million years, I grant you) without experiencing any difficulties. Good 3D photography simply replicates this, and has been doing so since 1838. Our eyes and our brains should have absolutely no difficulty with the illusion.

Frankly, I was amazed to see someone like Walter Murch making this argument. I just don't know how he can look himself in the mirror every morning.


Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:11 am
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Quote:
Frankly, I was amazed to see someone like Walter Murch making this argument. I just don't know how he can look himself in the mirror every morning.


Oh I'm sure he can.....but maybe his reflection is in 2D? :mrgreen:

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Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:27 am
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ShawmK wrote:
I know this is a controversial topic, but I strongly feel that the vergence/accommodation argument has been greatly overstated by critics of 3D (Walter Murch, I'm talking about you!).
It's not controversial at all, Walter Murch is completely wrong on a lot of aspects about the vergence-accommodation conflict.

1) It's not true than the vergence-accommodation conflict is like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time, we do it without thinking about it when using 3D glasses.

2) It's also wrong to say that after 20 minutes or so many people get headaches, it depends on the force of the conflict. The duration before it becomes uncomfortable is also variable, for small values of the conflict it's not a problem at all.

3) His blurb on the editing of 3D films that could not be as rapid as for 2D films is also wrong most of the time. It's true only for high values of the vergence-accommodation conflict.

Still, he's right when he says that the vergence-accommodation conflict does exist and his explanation is also correct (conflict when distances of vergence and accommodation are different). He's also right when he says that the problem can't be corrected for stereoscopy and that other techniques must be found to overcome this (holograms, displays with multiple focal distances, etc.).

But for now we only have stereoscopy to play with, so content creators use several techniques to limit the effects of the conflict. And that's precisely why filmmakers have recently been relatively conservative with their use of depth effects in current 3D movies.

ShawmK wrote:
Get up and look at your reflection in a mirror. [...]
Your test is wrong, when we look at something in a mirror our eyes converge to the point we look at, but they also focus to this point and not on the surface. Else the thing we'd be looking at in the mirror would appear blurry. And when it's blurry it's because we both focus and converge on the surface (or another different point).

ShawmK wrote:
We humans have been looking into mirrors for a long time (not 600 million years, I grant you) without experiencing any difficulties. Good 3D photography simply replicates this, and has been doing so since 1838. Our eyes and our brains should have absolutely no difficulty with the illusion.
No, 3D photography doesn't replicate this, our eyes are focusing on the paper but they converge to a virtual object that is at a different distance than the paper. Else we wouldn't feel a depth perception.

--

Anyway, if people want to learn more about the vergence-accommodation conflict - and science in general - they shouldn't listen to journalists but to scientists. There have been several excellent research papers already published on this subject in the past 3 years :
- Vergence–accommodation conflicts hinder visual performance and cause visual fatigue ;
- Consequences of Incorrect Focus Cues in Stereo Displays ;
- The zone of comfort: Predicting visual discomfort with stereo displays.

If you don't feel like reading research papers you can still read this interview of Martin Banks (PhD, Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at Berkeley), but it's quite an oversimplification of the subject :
- In Focus: The Vision Problems Facing Gamers

This executive briefing is also very interesting, probably the best compromise between the interview and the research papers :
- Executive Briefing: Basic Visual Perception Concepts Related to 3D Movies.

Here is the conclusion of this research for 3D movies that can be found at the end of the third paper I gave a link for :
Quote:
Stereo cinematographers use rules for constructing content for comfortable viewing. From conversations with many of them, it is evident that there is no consensus on one quantitative rule. There is, however, a simple rule that is reasonably consistent with their practice: Crossed disparity (nearer than the screen) should not exceed 2–3% of the screen width and uncrossed disparity (farther) should not exceed 1–2% of screen width. We will call this the percentage rule.
Quote:
Our data imply a larger range for comfortable viewing than the percentage rule implies [...] our data also imply greater tolerance for near disparities relative to the percentage rule than for far disparities. We suggest that the percentage rule be modified to incorporate this asymmetry, i.e., that 3–4% be allowed for near disparities and 1–2% for far disparities. We conclude that the percentage rule, coupled with reasonable assumptions about viewing distance, is a fairly reasonable guideline for creating comfortable viewing, but it may require some modification.


Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:34 am
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And why not use a more defined use of volume pop-out, there is a setting that would be comfortable for everyone with more volume. I don't think there is such a thing as multiple object stereo separation for two view object displacement, just two cameras displacing two views and you could techically get more volume from multi object render stereo displacment. The point is not with the current involvment and settings, its with a more well defined stereo3d entertainment experience, three dee like a depth hologram not 3d like a cardboard cutout.

I watched pirates of the carribean on stranger tides that i converted from blu-ray 3d to .wmv 3d and the 3d was limited without much convergence and thats ok but it gave my mom a headache, the picture was clear and the 3d was kinda there but when i watch her since we are the only ones who watch 3d stuff as my hobby she gives me a sad look when i say that the 3d is crappy without volume and its like a gamble with hollywood as to what the movie i get will look like in 3d, then its just anther guessing game till the next contruction comes out.

If you can only make one visual cue then why not make the 3d outstand on that certain spot at least and maybe have vergence cues on other spots of the scene just to take a focus for at least 1 or 2 seconds. I don't watch movies just to look at the poeple in them, its nice to see the objects, buildings, hands and light poles and things. I just don't think we need to see the whole screen in our focus, people usually have a line of sight else they are just to relaxed.

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Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:46 pm
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Yeah, and 600 million years ago we also didn't fly thousands of feet in the air at 500MPH. But we do today. Its called technological evolution.

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Classic 3D vs Modern 3D. Modern 3D kicks Classic 3D's ass. Try viewing modern 3D on a quality display. Full 1080P per eye from a direct 3D blu-ray. Not some ripped stolen copy. A quality display will reproduce inky blacks. Viewing movies on the cheapest 3D LCD you can buy. Will probably make you think modern 3D is poor. I've seen many movies at my local theater that looked like 3D lite. But on my high end display, the same material has a very distinct image clarity and much more 3D wow effect. I don't feel that projectors give enough inky blacks either. At least the so called high end ones I've seen. Also, get back from the screen and let the 3D effect happen. I've read sooo many comments from people sitting way to close to the displays.

chief's verdict: Modern 3D kicks Classic 3D to the curb.


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Chiefwinston wrote:
Classic 3D vs Modern 3D. Modern 3D kicks Classic 3D's ass. Try viewing modern 3D on a quality display. Full 1080P per eye from a direct 3D blu-ray. Not some ripped stolen copy. A quality display will reproduce inky blacks. Viewing movies on the cheapest 3D LCD you can buy. Will probably make you think modern 3D is poor. I've seen many movies at my local theater that looked like 3D lite. But on my high end display, the same material has a very distinct image clarity and much more 3D wow effect. I don't feel that projectors give enough inky blacks either. At least the so called high end ones I've seen. Also, get back from the screen and let the 3D effect happen. I've read sooo many comments from people sitting way to close to the displays.

chief's verdict: Modern 3D kicks Classic 3D to the curb.


Enjoy.


A lot of it depends on the size of the display, I'll give you that much. However, you really need a screen the size of imax for most of the movies these days to get decent 3D. I still think that it could be helped somewhat by increasing the image displacement more, but it's almost impossible for me to find this out without a lot of hassle.
I still think that the 3D isn't nearly as pronounced as it should be in the modern movies. I understand that they are trying to keep the number of people who will feel ill by watching the movies, but it's making the 3D almost non-existant.


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Its like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat but, he has the rabbit under a cloth and puts it in the hat before he takes it out. Stereo3d puts a cloth on the effect and does not pull the effect out.

In the 50's i'm sure they had some good 3d, i've seen good 3d.

Chiefwinston, have you seen 3d float in the middle of your room from your tv set? Most people don't use hardware blu-ray player and use a windows computer.

I see everyones anguish and its from having no Volume, theres depth and popout but what matters most is volume. Let overridden depth and popout come last. I would rather have floating cubic volume objects on the screen anyday.

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Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:05 am
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Ok, here is one with some serious 3D settings up as far as I could comfortably go on a 23" screen.

You won't see this in theaters!

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Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:10 pm
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I'm wishing hollywood makes the beat in 3d like you can somewhat get in games. Comfortable effective 3d. Nice 3d picture btw too. It looks pretty well rounded 3d and no window violations.

They are just focusing on the two camera system way to much, I don't even think they have a computer hooked into their cameras to adjust all the objects separations properly, really neither does nvidia, tridef I would assume. Whats wrong with letting a computer help render a film recording? Heck why not even transcode it into directx.

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Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:03 am
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Dom wrote:
Nice 3d picture btw too. It looks pretty well rounded 3d and no window violations.
There are a couple of problems with this picture :
- there is popout in the whole 1/5 bottom of the screen which makes the scene quite unrealistic and creates an heavy window violation in the bottom ;
- the negative parallax on the character's hood produces 13.2cm of popout on a 19" screen viewed at a 50cm distance, which is a lot higher than what the comfortable range should be (7cm max at 50cm for the 1/3 diopters limit explained in the last paper) ;
- it's painful to rapidely look at the background and the foreground and vice versa in the zone of the character's head because of the heavy difference between positive and negative parallax ;
- the HUD elements don't appear at the appropriate position in 3D, particularly in the bottom where it looks like they are inside the ground.

All this is not really a problem when looking at the image for some seconds, but playing with these settings for some minutes should make most people uncomfortable. It's certainly out of question to use such settings for the whole duration of a 3D movie too.


Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:43 pm
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Inspite of all the errors in the image it looks completely ok to me. Those old rules needs to be redone. ^^

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Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:20 pm
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I'm not talking about old rules here, the last paper I gave a link for has been published only 4 months ago. And their findings are not based on some vague assumptions like the "percentage rule" used by 3D filmmakers, they are based on a scientific method, ie. objective and reproductible experiments that are peer-reviewed before publication.

You may find the image ok, but I guess you can still see the window violation in the bottom and the problem with the HUD. And I guess you can also understand that before being able to tell if this image will be comfortable for most viewers, you'd have to test it on a representative sample of the population first. That's precisely what researchers have been doing in these papers.

Cybereality also said that he pushed the 3D effect as far as it could comfortably go on his 23" screen. So if someone who's been exposed to stereoscopy for so many years has found a limit to what he can handle (13cm popout at a 50cm viewing distance), are you really surprised that casual viewers have a lower tolerance (7cm popout at 50cm according to researchers) ? Also the max. positive parallax I measured in this image was 4.42cm for a 23" 16:9 monitor, which is sensibly lower than the 6.5cm average IPD. Why do you think cyber only used around 68% of the max. depth setting instead of 100% ?


Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:01 am
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Hugo is supposed to really push the 3D medium forward. Hopefully this will be what we are waiting for. I am going to see it over the break and I'll post my findings.

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Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:46 pm
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Did you see "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" in 3D btw ? What did you think about it in case you watched it ?


Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:51 pm
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Fredz wrote:
Did you see "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" in 3D btw ? What did you think about it in case you watched it ?

I actually missed that one. Used to make a point to catch every single 3D flick, but just been really busy these days.

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