Popular Mechanics article - The Tech Behind 3D's Big Revival

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Popular Mechanics article - The Tech Behind 3D's Big Revival

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The Tech Behind 3D's Big Revival

3D has been around for a century, but only now are we seeing 3D in Super Bowl ads and in big Hollywood 3D releases like Coraline and Monsters vs. Aliens. So what has convinced Hollywood that 3D is finally ready for its closeup? The short answer is that technology has finally caught up with the concept.

By Erin McCarthy
Published in the April 2009 issue.

Hollywood is buzzing about 3D. Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has compared it to the introduction of color. Director James Cameron delayed the release of his stereoscopic epic Avatar in part to give theaters more time to convert to 3D capability. A dozen or more stereoscopic films will be released in 2009, and more than 30 movies are in production. But stereoscopic films are not a revolutionary concept; in fact, audiences have been paying for them since The Power of Love in 1922. The golden age of 3D was in the 1950s, with a brief resurgence in the 1980s. Each time experts heralded the format as the next big thing in filmmaking, and each time, the surge quietly subsided.


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