OT: what's your take on the 3D craze?

Mindmatter wrote on 8/2/2014, 3:52 AM
Hi all,

so after I had gotten sick in my very first Avatar viewing years ago, I was pleased to find out that I could watch all following 3D movies without any problem.
Thing was, as much I had initially looked forward to some kind of enhanced exerience, I found it increasingly annoying and disappointing. Prometheus was already bad, Transformers 4 finally triggered a full blown annoyance.
It starts with the dark glasses - how on earth is it possible that no one, the whole industry included, never complained about an at least 2 stop darkening of the whole movie?? It is mostly downright unwatchable, there's a huge loss in brightness and conrast, night scenes are a mess. Then, the 3D "effect" itself is just...silly.
There's door opening and sticking in my face. Random objects out of a scene suddenly detach and stand in the room or fly towards me, but then lose all plasticity somewhere in front of me. The subtitles stand in the room...great. Scenes with corridors or tunnels etc supposed to have real 3 dimensional depth get about as much dimensionality as one of these funny plastic spiderman or Jesus pics with that 3D effect you get when you change the viewing angle.

I wonder what the general public really thinks of it, it seems to me that they are not really asked about their opinion, but that the industry rather tries to push and sell 3D as a huge success while really just forcing it upon the public. I for one would rather see those films in 2 D and not miss a thing. I'm considering waiting for the new planet of the apes on BD to avoid the 3D cinema view.
As long as 3D does not mean REAL 3D, like being holographically surrounded with scenes and objects on a proportionally realistic cale , it's just an annoying gimmick to me... But that would really change filmmaking and its elaborate visual language and intricaciesaltogether I guess.

What's your opinion?


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Comments

PeterDuke wrote on 8/2/2014, 4:15 AM
I haven't watched many 3D movies but I do agree that 3D should be there to make the movie more natural rather be "in your face". By the same token I don't like wham bam explosions and excessive special effects of recent action movies either.
Grazie wrote on 8/2/2014, 4:18 AM
My opinion? Go for a long walk in the Countryside and enjoy the real World as our wonderful eyes show us. What 2D gives us is the directed option to create narrative that will spellbind, inspire and captivate our audiences. That's what 2D can do over and above our quest, search for 3D. IMO? 3D is like smearing the Mona Lisa's lips with thick lip gloss.

Now, 4k and upwards . . . . That's another thing.

That's my opinion.

Grazie

farss wrote on 8/2/2014, 4:49 AM
[I]"It starts with the dark glasses - how on earth is it possible that no one, the whole industry included, never complained about an at least 2 stop darkening of the whole movie??"[/I]

Not true at all, a huge number of people "in the industry" complained about the cheapskates and incompetents who let this happen. In many theatres it's also seen the polarizing filters left on projectors so even a 2D movie is darker than it should be.


Bob.
John_Cline wrote on 8/2/2014, 4:56 AM
Personally, I like 3D, I've seen some excellent 3D and some amazingly bad 3D. Your question will likely be quite polarizing and some people are going to respond with very strong opinions, mostly about how much they HATE it. Get out your flame suit.

I'm not really that interested in 3D movies, I much more interested in documentary work in 3D which will take me to places I will likely never have a chance to visit. I have a 50" Panasonic Plasma TV which uses active shutter glasses and it does 3D quite well. What I really want is 3D at 4k resolution. 3D has been around for a while and it's really only caught on with a niche crowd, I happen to be a member of that crowd.
Richard Jones wrote on 8/2/2014, 5:48 AM
I'm wih Grazie on this although I can empathize up to a point with John's view about documentaries.

Is it not the case that the sale of 3D Television Sets has started to diminish over the past year or so? Certainly you seem to see fewer such sets on display in the stores these days --- or is this just a casual observation without substance?.

For me the idea of having to put on a pair of specs to watch 3D is a total put-off!

Richard
ushere wrote on 8/2/2014, 6:22 AM
i want to know what's after 4k....

3d, 4k, are more marketing opportunities for manufacturers rather than of any real significance. i mean the average viewer watching 10 and more year old repeats, along with abysmal game / reality shows, not to mention appalling hollywood schlock interspersed with youtube compiles is pretty indifferent to our never ending quest to supply them with the perfect picture...
farss wrote on 8/2/2014, 8:48 AM
[I]" not to mention appalling hollywood schlock interspersed with youtube compiles is pretty indifferent to our never ending quest to supply them with the perfect picture... "[/I]

I think once again we'll have some form of divide between home and cinema unless there's some significant change in our homes and the way we lead our lives.

4K and beyond as well as 3D is just too attention grabbing. I certainly enjoy watching 3D at home but there's no way I can fit a sound system that does it justice into my home and really I need a bigger TV to do justice to the vision as well.

Bob.
richard-amirault wrote on 8/2/2014, 9:03 AM
3D is how 99% of us see the world every day.

However, most filmmakers have not yet learned how to "properly" do 3D in films. It is a learning curve like most things.

"in your face" 3D is a juvenile phase filmmakers are going thru. Stereo (and 5.1 Dolby is an extension of that) is 3D for your ears. When stereo sound in films first came out I imagine there was a lot of "in your ears" type of sound ... ping pong effects and the stereo sound stage set way too extreme. However, over time, people have learned to do it better.

I think (really hope) that 3D for our eyes will be the same.

There *have* been some films without the "in your face" 3D ... like Disney's UP

For those who ask "What does 3D add to the film?" I reply:
What does color add to the film?
What does stereo sound add to the film?

For some films these are not "needed" but we accept them anyway. We see in color. We hear in stereo. We see in 3D. Why not film in 3D?
SWS wrote on 8/2/2014, 9:15 AM
Being one who "already" wears glasses, 3D has been a bit of a pain as well though the years.

For me, the only 3D film that I'm really glad I saw was "Gravity" to be honest it was IMAX 3D and it might have been just as fun flat...none the less it was a FUN ride.

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Kimberly wrote on 8/2/2014, 9:39 AM
We replaced our old tube tele last summer with a nifty Samsung 3D. We bought it for its other specifications and the 3D was a "bonus."

The TV arrived, we put on our 3D glasses, and watched "Meerkats" on Netflix. The subject was endearing so we watched far longer than we might otherwise have done. But, for me, it was a novelty at best and we haven't watched anything in 3D since.

Regards,

Kimberly
Rob Franks wrote on 8/2/2014, 9:49 AM
I don't get people who stand around bad mouthing 3d and calling it a "gimmick". Is it a gimmick? Sure it is. But then so is 24p, the film effect, and even the costumes the actors are wearing. Come on... it's the movies, and 3d is just another option available to the consumer. People have objections to more options???

Personally speaking, I think people like James Cameron deserve a hardy pat on the back for the exploration, commitment, and time spent trying to figure new ways to keep this industry fresh, new, and thriving. If only we had more such people to drag us out of the old and stagnating world of the film effect and 24p. It gets boring.

As for 3d itself, some is done well (Avatar, Gravity) and some is not. No different from a script like "12 Angry Men" vs "The (incredibly trashy) Expendables"

I do have a 3d tv and I don't buy all my movies in 3d... but every so often it's a really nice option.
John222 wrote on 8/2/2014, 10:23 AM
I think it's currently used for sillyness, but I think it has potential. Personally, I wear glasses and having to wear a pair on top of what I'm already wearing is a PIA.
Chienworks wrote on 8/2/2014, 11:13 AM
So far the only 3D movie i've seen that didn't burn my brain and scramble my eyes was "The Hobbit ~ The Unexpected Journey". (I wanted to try the 2nd one in 3D but my friends disagreed.) The 3D was so natural that it was almost unnoticeable. Of course, that's what good stereo became 50 years ago.

I dunno what theaters are doing wrong most of the time with their 3D projection, whether it's misalignment, bad phasing, the projectors are out of sync by a frame, or just plain bad 3D production, but most of the 3D movies i've been to i find myself closing one eye to cut down on the painful chaos. The worst was "Beowolf". Not only was it 2D converted to 3D so it looked like all the actors were paper-doll cutouts, but the combined image was so bad that i couldn't even see what was going on on the screen with both eyes open. It basically was static noise when viewed with both. I felt like one eye was seeing a completely different part of the movie from the other, or possibly a different movie all together, and the two combined with a level of visual crosstalk that was simply impossible to look at.
riredale wrote on 8/2/2014, 12:01 PM
There's the inconvenience of it (darkened screen, glasses) and then there's the un-naturalness of many productions. It should be there but subtle.

The only analogy I can think of is my projects involving 4-channel surround sound a few years back. Doing a walk-around documentary in surround is easy to understand--just record two rear-facing audio channels along with the regular ones. If the additional audio is not time-coded it makes editing more involved, of course, but after a while one gets into a routine that works relatively painlessly.

But the first time I heard 4-channel surround at my editing station it was disorienting. It was so... different. But after a while, one doesn't think about the effect at all, and in fact if one then cuts out the rear audio the results sound terrible and unnatural. Hollywood surround, by the way, is pretty hokey since almost everything they put on the tracks is synthetic.

So to me it comes down to naturalness. Don't have objects whizzing by or doors opening in your face. Just shoot as you'd normally shoot. Only now you have a bit of depth.

Which brings up another thought: filmmakers have shot and viewers have understood a sort of 3-D substitute since the beginning of cinema--focus. Camera focus is on the speaker, background is fuzzy. But it might be that shooting in 3-D requires, instead, a very wide depth of field in order to appear natural.
Mindmatter wrote on 8/2/2014, 3:24 PM
Interesting points and views
from everybody, thanks to all for joining in!

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Robert Johnston wrote on 8/2/2014, 5:20 PM
A whole lot of people don't even know about 3D and many more don't know about 3D TV. Once I let them watch my 3D Smart TV, they then comment that "you won't want to watch regular TV again." I'm letting them view 3D videos edited with Vegas Pro 12 (source videos from two almost identical video cameras). Some people think that if you have a 3D TV that you can't watch regular shows. I just tell them that it IS a regular TV that can also play 3D.

I recently watched "Dial M for Murder" and "House of Wax" that were shot in 3D back in the 50's. They didn't work too well in theaters because the projectionists couldn't sync up the projectors during mandatory intermission. Now, with the movies on DVD in perfect sync, they play beautifully on TV. Most of the movie is behind the screen plane and is easy to watch, unlike the "The Croods" animation film that I couldn't finish watching.

Producing home 3D HD video is very rewarding, especially if you like working with precision. The 3D video is very clear compared to 2D video. Blu-ray media is the best because you can have two full HD frames. Streaming 3D to my TV requires side-by-side (half) or Top-Bottom (half) format.

Going into Best Buy, I didn't see a single 3D TV on display. I had to order my 40 incher from Amazon and prayed that it would work out. Larger screens are progressively more difficult to watch homemade 3D because divergence exceeding 2.5" or 65 mm is more likely.

As long as I have a 3D TV and I have a 3D NLE, I don't need for there to be a "craze."

Geoff_Wood wrote on 8/2/2014, 11:38 PM
Merely a visual equivalent of the 5.1 gimmick, IMO.....

geoff
Geoff_Wood wrote on 8/2/2014, 11:42 PM
4K in a domestic environment is great for people with very small rooms and huge TVs, who don't want commercial physical media.

geoff (cynical hat on today !)
JackW wrote on 8/3/2014, 12:09 AM
Interesting article by Walter Murch on the subject of 3D. Worth a read.

Jack
John_Cline wrote on 8/3/2014, 3:20 AM
"4K in a domestic environment is great for people with very small rooms and huge TVs, who don't want commercial physical media."

That would be me. Bring it on.
Arthur.S wrote on 8/3/2014, 4:24 AM
Hands up...I've never seen a movie in 3D. I've seen, and been mightily impressed with short imax 3D 'demos' and I've loved all of the various 3D rides at the big theme parks in Florida etc I've been. But the thought of watching a 2 to 3 hour film with those glasses on? No thanks. As a Home Cinema enthusiast, I disagree with 5.1 being a gimmick. Try watching say, Gladiator in 5.1 (on a decent system of course) then watch in stereo. No contest. The 5.1 really immerses you into the movie.
TeetimeNC wrote on 8/3/2014, 7:59 AM
>Try watching say, Gladiator in 5.1 (on a decent system of course) then watch in stereo. No contest. The 5.1 really immerses you into the movie.

Agree, and even better is Das Boot director's cut. When the sub is under attack by depth charges and valves are popping all around the viewer, the terror is quite convincing.

/jerry
GeeBax wrote on 8/3/2014, 5:55 PM
I have a 65" Sony Smart TV which features 3D viewing. I find it very enjoyable, particularly the better quality 3D movies. I don't see it as a gimmick at all, and have even produced a couple of my own 3D shorts.

As usual, the naysayers are most likely those who do not have the facility.
Geoff_Wood wrote on 8/4/2014, 2:42 AM
Have the facility - spilt my coffee ! ;-)

But seriously, I find 2D surround-sound coupled with limited-span 3D TV mostly irritating. Depends on the production values of both I guess.

geoff