Thursday, July 14, 2011

3D Rocks!

Tangled (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy)Watching the Disney movie Tangled at home in 3D is a beautiful experience.  It is a wonderful animated musical in the Disney tradition with interesting characters, fun songs and great animation art.  Seeing the intricate textures in the clothing, the foliage and Rapunzal’s hair in 3D enriches the experience immensely.

Personally, I enjoy 3D photography, 3D video games and watching movies in 3D. I use an Alienware monitor on my computer and a Sony Bravia 3D TV in the living room.  I prefer the active shutter glasses technology because they provide complete separation between the left and right views while allowing each view to be presented in full HD resolution.

As a 3D enthusiast, I am frustrated by many of the negative articles in the press that target the technology. The rest of this post is a response to some of the specific attacks.

3D is only good for gimmicks - Many people have their perception of 3D from early theme rides at Disney and Universal studios or some old 3D movies where the point of the 3D was to surprise or scare the audience by poking things deeply out of the screen. Today’s approach to 3D cinematography is completely different.  Following in the footsteps of James Cameron and his masterpiece Avatar, directors and animators now use 3D to add depth and realism to each scene. A good 3D movie immerses you deeply into the story.

3D makes movies dark and hard to see - The 3D glasses, whether they are polarized glasses in the theater or active shutter glasses at home, reduce the amount of light reaching each eye. The image on the screen needs to be bright enough to look good while wearing the glasses. Unfortunately, some theaters have not been projecting the movies at the correct brightness which does make the movie appear too dark.  This should never be a problem at home because you can adjust the brightness to your own 3D tastes. Our Sony Bravia automatically boosts the brightness of the screen when it switches to 3D content.

3D gives people headaches - When we view a normal 2D screen, we are looking at a subject represented on the surface of the screen and also focusing on the surface of the screen. On a 3D screen, we are still focusing on the surface of the screen, but the subject may be respresented behind or in front of the screen. Just like any other new form of physical activity, using our eye muscles in this new way takes some training.  If you develop any discomfort while watching 3D, take a break to let you eyes rest. With a little practice, most people get comfortable with 3D very quickly.

People don’t want to wear glasses all the time to watch TV - I agree.  When you are casually watching television, leave the set in 2D mode.  Any 3D set also produces beautiful 2D images.  Save the 3D experience for those evenings when you want to relax and get totally immersed in the movie. Dim the lights, have your popcorn close by, put on your glasses and enjoy the movie.

All of the negative press about 3D hurts because each of the attacks contains an element of truth. The greater truth is that 3D makes watching a movie a much richer experience.  Don’t let the critics keep you from experiencing 3D for yourself.

What is your favorite 3D movie?