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Has 3D Film-Making Had Its Day?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the i-vote-yes dept.

Movies 436

dryriver sends this hopeful note from the BBC: "'It's three years since audiences around the world swarmed into cinemas to see James Cameron's Avatar. It rapidly became the biggest grossing film of all time, in part because of its ground-breaking digital 3D technology. But, in retrospect, Avatar now seems the high-point of 3D movie-making, with little since 2009 to challenge its achievement. Three years on, has the appeal of 3D gone flat? Nic Knowland has been a respected director of photography in Britain for 30 years. He's seen cinema trends and fads come and go, but never one for which he's had so little enthusiasm as 3D. 'From the cinematographer's perspective it may offer production value and scale to certain kinds of film. But for many movies it offers only distraction and some fairly uncomfortable viewing experiences for the audience. I haven't yet encountered a director of photography who's genuinely enthusiastic about it.'"

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It's not true 3D (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42392861)

It's not popular because it's false advertising. Holograms or bust.

Re:It's not true 3D (5, Informative)

Sussurros (2457406) | about 2 years ago | (#42393237)

Now that's the grain of truth at the heart of every comment about 3D. If it's not a hologram it's not good enough. Since the 1950s there has been 3D after 3D after 3D but all anyone wants is the hologram of Princess Leia from the movie.

Re:It's not true 3D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393405)

True. I hope it will come with better recording tech than R2D2 had though :^>

Re:It's not true 3D (2)

bn-7bc (909819) | about 2 years ago | (#42393463)

Well I can't comment on Leie, but may i nominate a certain borg and a certain linguist (Star trek ent) for holographic representation :)

Films shot in Technicolor (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#42393343)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technicolor [wikipedia.org]

When "Technicolor" was first announced to the world it was BIG NEWS.

Folks flocked to watch movies shot in "Technicolor" just because they were not black and white.

Even lousy movies, movies that are worthless/meaningless, raked in truckloads of cash, just because they were in color.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Films_shot_in_Technicolor [wikipedia.org]

Then, the fancy died down.

This 3D thing is of course no different.

Re:Films shot in Technicolor (0)

Phreakiture (547094) | about 2 years ago | (#42393495)

My mod points just expired. If they hadn't, you would have gotten some for them, because this is exactly what it is.

No. (5, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42392869)

Nor will it EVER have its day until there is a real 3D display system.

Now, stereoscopic filmmaking may be over, but that's hardly 3D except in the eyes of the bewildered.

I guarantee you, when a 3D production can be made, distributed and enjoyed, the day of 3D will begin, and it isn't likely to *ever* go back to 2D (or the pale imitation that is stereoscopy.)

Also, happy solstice + 3. I wish you a suitably bacchanalian event, complete with frolicking, consensual partner of your choice.

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42392941)

Even if there were real 3D, how would you make use of this properly? Current story telling only works because you can limit and control what people see. How will a horror movie work if half the audience can already see the guy hiding behind the rock before he leaps out? (This is just one example of a ton of problems that would arise)

I'm not sure that most people who want 3D know what they are actually asking for - personally I think 2D is perfect just leave it alone.

Re:No. (2)

Dyne09 (1305257) | about 2 years ago | (#42392973)

Even if there were real 3D, how would you make use of this properly? Current story telling only works because you can limit and control what people see. How will a horror movie work if half the audience can already see the guy hiding behind the rock before he leaps out? (This is just one example of a ton of problems that would arise)

I'm not sure that most people who want 3D know what they are actually asking for - personally I think 2D is perfect just leave it alone.

You can still have true 3D and mise en scene at the same time. True 3D film would still require a director's eye to progress the story, focus the attention of the audience, and deliver some degree us suspense and drama. One could have true 3D, and not at the same time have it basically be a Holodeck program where the viewer sees everything.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#42393041)

Even if there were real 3D, how would you make use of this properly? Current story telling only works because you can limit and control what people see. How will a horror movie work if half the audience can already see the guy hiding behind the rock before he leaps out?

I guess I was misinformed and all magicians only exist in 2 dimensions.

Re:No. (2)

dontclapthrowmoney (1534613) | about 2 years ago | (#42393073)

Even if there were real 3D, how would you make use of this properly?

Ever seen a play?

Re:No. (2)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about 2 years ago | (#42393083)

Yes. And the storytelling was not so much better in the play that I would forego all 2D movies, hence.

Re:No. (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 2 years ago | (#42393111)

Depends on the play. Most plays take place on the stage, remote from the audience. A few take place across the theater, including in the rows (mostly comedies, but also works well for horror). The former is not a substantial difference from a 2D movie; the latter is a HUGE difference, with huge potential for telling stories in different ways.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42392963)

The solstice was last week.

Re:No. (5, Interesting)

zakkudo (2638939) | about 2 years ago | (#42392965)

True 3D will also fail as long as we keep the current ADD-style scene changes. (I can barely stomache them now.) Cutting between people talking is a nightmare for 3D and will always be extremely disorienting. The current filming style in Hollywood is prohibitive to anything that isn't straight 2D and I don't see them changing it. That is just the way it is.

Re:No. (0)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#42393105)

I'm sure a lot of stupid people said the same thing about "talking pictures." Just because some in the industry will try to stick to doing thing the old way doesn't mean they will be successfull. Ultimately the benefits of the improved viewing expierence will outway the costs of changing the way shots are laid out and transitions are made, so long as they find a way to make true holographic movies feasible in the first place.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | about 2 years ago | (#42393361)

I think he has a point. Unless Hollywood can sort out the issue with how to perform cuts without forcing the eyes to refocus all the time, it will be disorienting and to some people even sickening. If 3D gets even more realistic, it'll be a bigger problem.

Maybe it is less important to fix the problems with the 3D itself and more important to focus on transitions which are softer on the eyes and brain. Just watch films from before smooth transitions. You can see how much better films became when a simple smooth transition method came along.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 2 years ago | (#42393481)

"Talking pictures" were an immediate success, unlike 3D which the film industry has been trying to ram down our throats for almost 60 years...

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393251)

"stomache"

LOL. American?

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#42392985)

I don't care much for stereoscopic imaging, mostly because of the ever increasingly uncomfortable glasses.

However, the 48fps increase I await with much enthusiasm. It is not revolutionary at all but 24fps one of the things that annoy me most about movies these days. As soon as the scene is moving, everything is blurred out and choppy.

Re:No. (2)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#42393033)

If the hobbit is any indication 48fps is the best thing to ever happen to stereoscopic 3D. 100% flicker and headache free. The image was at least as smooth and easy on the eyes as any 2D content I've seen.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393061)

But those stupid glasses kinda ruin it, if they can find a way to do it without forcing me to wear hard plastic then fine, go ahead. But good riddance to 3D otherwise.

Re:No. (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#42393231)

Buy some circular polarised lenses for your frames of choice then. Just make sure you get the left and right ones the right way around.

Re:No. (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 years ago | (#42393501)

Not for me it made me throw up. but then again so does fake3D now.

Not everyone sees stereoscopically.

Re:No. (2)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | about 2 years ago | (#42393097)

Daleks don't frolick. :-p

Re:No. (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 2 years ago | (#42393205)

You guys are the ones missing out. :-P

This is not war - this is PEST CONTROL... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393389)

APK = Dalek, you = Cybermen - Quoting Dr. Who episode "Doomsday" with video (lol):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysvNOmDMVvk [youtube.com]

See position 2.50 on the YouTube player control... says it all about you Sardaukar86 vs. myself (you nobody "ne'er-do-well" troll who hasn't done SQUAT of note in computing who trolled me REPEATEDLY yesterday... & you failed!)

Proof?

Sure - See the link below with it - your NUMEROUS fails vs. myself where, of course? You were SHOWN failing for proof... as always.

http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3339513&cid=42391603 [slashdot.org]

(ROTFLMAO!)

Especially since you're "the inferior species known as cybermen" (trolls actually).

APK

P.S.=> Quoting the Daleks regarding YOU, vs. myself? Ok:

"You are superior in only 1 respect - YOU ARE BETTER AT DYING", ala -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3339513&cid=42391603 [slashdot.org]

... apk

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | about 2 years ago | (#42393127)

Now, stereoscopic filmmaking may be over, but that's hardly 3D except in the eyes of the bewildered.

That's a very common opinion, but it's wrong. I've done everything from good old 2D 24 FPS through interactive live theater. Live theater is a close analog to what you are talking about, where you can move around and see shifts in perspective. The experience changes depending on what you do. It'll be an interesting tech demo when we get holoprojectors and holocameras. And, certainly there will be some people who use it to great effect.

But, a key part of the reason that film is so much more popular of a medium than live theater is the fact that the director and cinematographer can ove the camera and make you look at exactly whatever they want you to see. It's an incredibly powerful storytelling tool to be able to show your audience a very specific image. If you look at the original "A Few Good Men" and the movie version, you will see that the writing had to change quite a lot. I think it's a particularly good example of how storytelling changes for the cinema. You didin't need as many expositional monologs in the movie version because the camera could just show you something. That "show" vs. "tell" distinction is fundamental to why just taking a play and shooting it doesn't make a good movie. And, that distinction is why taking away the Director's ability to show you very specific images doesn't improve storytelling, even if it is more 'natural' and more technologically sophisticated.

Stereo cinematography isn't what it could be, but don't assume that it's just a technical problem. It's largely a business problem because doing a great 3D picture, where the cinematography isn't interesting in 2D simply isn't a good business plan. You need to be able to sell tickets in 2D theaters, and you need to be able to sell DVD's in order to make a profit. So, the 2D version has to have primacy, and that means that 3D cinematography takes a back seat. You won't see big studios really interested in 'artistic' stereo until stereo displays are ubiquitous enough that selling a 3D picture is a given.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393139)

Now how the hell do I mod this? I disagree, but your seasonal greeting is so nice, I can't bring myself to mod you down...

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

GuldKalle (1065310) | about 2 years ago | (#42393399)

You shouldn't downmod just because you disagree, anyway.

Re:No. (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about 2 years ago | (#42393221)

tell me again how sculptures make paintings obsolete?

Re:No. (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 2 years ago | (#42393323)

If creating a sculpture took the same amount of time and effort as painting a painting, they would.

Re:No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393425)

Bollocks. I wouldn't hang a sculpture on my wall.

God i hope so. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42392879)

Stupid ass gimmick is still stupid. Doesn't make a crap movie any better. And doesn't quite look right.

Money wasted on 3d could have been spent on something better.

But i don't think it's going away yet. Now we're starting to see remakes of old movies... BUT NOW IN 3D! We run it thru our shitty 3d conversion. Call it a new movie. Charge full price for it again. AND renew the copyright date on it! win win win win win for the studios.

Re:God i hope so. (2)

aliquis (678370) | about 2 years ago | (#42392935)

For rendered movies are they really conversions and not re-renders?

Re:God i hope so. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42393161)

Titanic 3D was the best 3D I've seen so far....

Re:God i hope so. (4, Funny)

darkHanzz (2579493) | about 2 years ago | (#42393299)

But the boat still sunk, right ?

Re:God i hope so. (1)

mangu (126918) | about 2 years ago | (#42393379)

Now we're starting to see remakes of old movies... BUT NOW IN 3D!

I've seen the opposite. An old classic [wikipedia.org] that was originally filmed in 3D in 1954 was remade in 1998 as a normal 2D film [wikipedia.org] .

3D is NOT new, it was tried and failed before. It will fail again and again, it will fail as many times as they try it.

People pay to see an entertaining story, they don't pay to see stupid tricks. Why do they think people will pay again and again to see stuff thrown at the screen, which seems to be the only thing that makes 3D necessary?

life of pi (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about 2 years ago | (#42392881)

it added nothing and enhanced everything -- a lot.

"3D" has it's uses as does high FPS and resolution (5, Insightful)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | about 2 years ago | (#42392901)

The use of such high visual fidelity should be for things where visuals trump all. Sports (god I hate sports) benefit because you're watching the action. Nature shows (various National Geographic things or the Planet Earth series) benefit because... it's fucking nature and the only sensory experience you can get from a TV is sight and sound. Action flicks or CGI wankfests (Transformers, blah), again, because you're watching the spectacles, not the shitpoor Bruckheimer dialogue & acting.

But now what's the point of high FPS in a drama? Would Downton Abbey be that much better in 3D? Is a comedy going to be more hilarious in 1080p?

Re:"3D" has it's uses as does high FPS and resolut (2)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#42393117)

Saying that high resolution, fps, and 3D don't belong in a drama is like saying a high quality sound system is only appropriate for rock and hip hop and what is the point of using one to play Mozart. The problem with 3D isn't that it is a gimmick it is that it's been marketed as one and it is a relatively poor gimmick. It isn't some stunt to deliver better graphics. Watching a movie in 2D vs 3D is like watching a play vs watching a movie. You are suspending belief which is fine and there is content worth suspending belief to consume. But I'd rather not have to and that same content would be enhanced if I didn't have to. Close one eye. It isn't a horrible view of the world but it isn't what things look like. For the most part you don't notice the world is 3D vs 2D and things aren't jumping out at you all the time. In most cases the difference is subtle. But it is there and there is no content that isn't more enjoyable looking the way it is supposed to.

Just because something isn't flashy doesn't mean the experience isn't enhanced by a high quality image, at high fps (subconsciously you see the flicker on 2D too and it tires your eyes), and 3D. The entire point of a movie is the same as a book. To escape into an alternate reality for just a bit. Look around you. Anything less three dimensional, lower resolution, at a lower frame rate, or with a lower quality of audio is less immersive. The closer a drama hits on these points, the more you feel the moment and the more dramatic it is. The more in the moment I am, the more hilarious the comedy.

Is it more dramatic when a jewelry box is opened to reveal cut glass or the sparkle of a diamond? The visual impact has a dramatic impact quite aside from the monetary one. Why would dramatic film be any different?

Re:"3D" has it's uses as does high FPS and resolut (2)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | about 2 years ago | (#42393169)

What I mean with drama is that the kind of subtleties, the emotional responses, the dialogue, those things are not enhanced with greater FPS, resolutions, or stereoscopic "3D". It's a seriously flat plateau as far bang for buck when it comes to quality in genre. Yeah, you probably don't want to watch an old realmedia video with massive blocking artifacts and muffled sound but once you hit SD resolution and stereo sound, that's enough. Minor jump in enjoyability for DVD quality but then after that is just a waste of storage space, bandwidth, and/or CPU use.

Also, I would say that for any sound, when given quality source files, higher quality sound systems is always better for for anything. You (a rhetorical you) could say that modern, overcompressed and low dynamic range music wouldn't benefit as much and that's probably true. ...but then I'd also say that anything over stereo would be a waste since I only have two ears anyway but whatevs.

Anyway, I feel you're missing the important distinction between emotional connection with viewer and visually immersing the viewer. Just as I don't need to be 1080p with 7.1 surround sound to mourn the death of a character, I don't even need it to be real. It could be CGI, a handdrawn comic, or just a combination of letters on a surface. It's not the number of pixels or how many are flashed at me in a second that regulates the impact it has on me.

Re:"3D" has it's uses as does high FPS and resolut (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393261)

Saying that high resolution, fps, and 3D don't belong in a drama is like saying a high quality sound system is only appropriate for rock and hip hop and what is the point of using one to play Mozart.

With all due respect, your analogy was seriously flawed. Mozart is PRECISELY the kind of music I would want to listen to with super-duper Dolby Megastereo THX 15.3 sound of the highest quality available, because it has lots of different instruments playing at once, and die-hard Mozart fanboys love to hear all the notes played by every member of the orchestra, right down to the guy with the tambourine sitting at the back near the toilet doors.

Re:"3D" has it's uses as does high FPS and resolut (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393383)

That's not a tambourine he's shaking.

Probably the future...I guess (4, Insightful)

Dyne09 (1305257) | about 2 years ago | (#42392933)

As much as I hate to say it, the 3D format for film will probably be the future. Even if this current fad dies down, the next iteration of 3D technology will probably carry it forward into the future. It's essentially the next logical step in production, the same way colorization was when it first came out. This is not to say I LIKE the 3D element in films that have been produced recently - I have seen The Hobbit and the Life of Pi in the past two weeks, neither of which where really enhanced by 3D. In fact, when I saw the Avengers in 3D, I wanted to puke from the crappy usage of post rendering. However, if you look back at early usage of colorization, it was gimmicky, and often extremely unrealistic. It took many many years for it to develop into an actual viable tool. Before everyone starts whining about how awful 3D is, there are many techniques for proper 3D rendering that modern artists haven't mastered, or have actively chosen to ignore. As an example, using deep focus to prevent blurring of items in the frame helps the human eye in 3D movies, but it contradicts pretty much most of what modern film theory tells us so far, and as such it's how we've learned to both make and perceive film. It's going to take a great deal of re-working and re-imagining to make 3D an augmentation, and not just an attraction. And this isn't counting the technological constraints of 3D, which still haven't quite made it to critical mass yet. The point is, see The Hobbit in 2D. You'll be much happier.

Re:Probably the future...I guess (0)

Dyne09 (1305257) | about 2 years ago | (#42392937)

Er, I mean...I for one welcome our new 3D overlords!

Re:Probably the future...I guess (0)

scotts13 (1371443) | about 2 years ago | (#42392995)

I disagree. I think the word is out; 3D doesn't enhance the viewing experience in the vast majority of cases. However, it DOES raise costs; and if those costs aren't rewarded with higher ticket prices, current 3D technology will die a quick death. It's already essentially dead as far as the home TV market is concerned. Further, the current offering has polluted the 3D well for a long time to come.

Now, LAST time 3D came around, I was a reasonably accomplished stereoscopic photographer, to the point of owning the specialized projector and glasses to show my efforts. You know what? The novelty wore off. It was, is, and will be, a gimmick. Even with a completely different and perfect 3D system, holography or not, it doesn't enhance visual storytelling. And hopefully, telling a story will continue to be a significant consideration in filmmaking.

Re:Probably the future...I guess (2)

Dyne09 (1305257) | about 2 years ago | (#42393025)

Nonsense. 3D could totally enhance the storytelling process. It just doesn't do it right now, a point that I think most of us can agree. With sufficient technological innovation (and I mean pretty far beyond what we have now), I am sure it could completely make productions that much more enjoyable. I just think that we're no where near the true starting point, and I am happy to enjoy my quality movie in 2D for time being.

Re:Probably the future...I guess (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#42393157)

3D would definitely enhance the experience, however such technology doesn't exist yet, the stereoscopic garbage they are passing off as 3D is merely a distraction and definitely detracts from the movie going experience for most.

Re:Probably the future...I guess (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 2 years ago | (#42393515)

they have had 40 years to work on the story telling aspects. fake3d came out in the 70's.

Sure they use polarized lens instead of colored ones but it is the same thing.

It still sucks.

Re:Probably the future...I guess (2)

Announ (1960946) | about 2 years ago | (#42393255)

Sadly, The Hobbit in 2D is only available downconverted to standard 24 fps frame rate. While the 3D may not be there yet, the higher smoothness is a much-needed improvement.

Kill it. Kill it now lest it does any more damage! (5, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 years ago | (#42392943)

The sooner it goes away the better.

The primary deleterious effect of 3D in my local movie theaters is that the 2 or 3 popular movies at any time now occupy 4 or 6 screens, for the 3D and non 3D versions. This pushes out 2 or 3 other options, so there are fewer options available. This is not a good thing.

Re:Kill it. Kill it now lest it does any more dama (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#42393053)

The sooner it goes away the better.

Seconded. I *always* go see the 2D version of any movie I want to see.

And even those suffer, because of the scenes that are so obviously a gimmick for the 3D version. Very distracting and annoying, even in 2D.

Like so many other applications of technology, we need a better reason than "because we can".

Re:Kill it. Kill it now lest it does any more dama (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#42393195)

The sooner it goes away the better.

3D isn't going away for two big reasons:

1. Theaters have already invested in expensive new projectors and they're going to get their money's worth out of them, come hell or high water
2a. Animations look good in 3D. Old animations can be cheaply/easily re-rendered in 3D and put back into theaters.
2b. Because of 2a, even if everyone else forsakes 3D, kid-oriented animations will keep the pipeline full.

Re:Kill it. Kill it now lest it does any more dama (2)

tsa (15680) | about 2 years ago | (#42393273)

I have the impression that around 50% of the people like 3D and the rest doesn't. Because theaters have invested a lot in 3D this means it won't go away for a long time.

2D at 48fps (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42392969)

I wish the option of 2D at 48 fps was available.

It's uncomfortable. (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#42392977)

For one, it's uncomfortable. They eye is constantly seeking, working to maintain the picture, and still there are lots of spots where the depth feels completely out-of-place and breaks all visual immersion. Also, having to wear silly glasses on top of glasses doesn't make it any more fun. Secondly, directors still use it as a "LOOK AT THIS EFFECT!! FUCKING LOOK AT IT!" - gimmick, totally ignoring all logic and coherence and making every effort for that particular scene to pop out as much as possible -- switching constantly between normal, non-pronounced effects on calm scenes and then the sudden onslaught of totally overdone effects on action scenes makes for a really jarring experience.

Re:It's uncomfortable. (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 2 years ago | (#42393213)

... having to wear silly glasses on top of glasses *FOR THREE FRIGGING HOURS* doesn't make it any more fun.

TFTFY. Happy Holidays and all that. :D

Re:It's uncomfortable. (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 2 years ago | (#42393241)

This is what the original article claimed as well.

If you have differences in depth of field for your eyesight, particularly if you've had your eyes lasered into monovision, then yes, I could see it being uncomfortable; however, that's easily solvable by not watching in a 3D theater or by using equal polarization in both eyes so you simply don't see the 3D effect at all, and get the same polar frame in both your eyes. And yes, such "2D glasses" do exist.

You can also get 3D prescription lenses, which, if your eyesight is bad enough you need correction in a movie theater in the first place, you are likely already carrying around a second pair of corrective lenses, since polarized sunglasses will back out one or both eyse when using an LCD screen at work, so what's yet another pair.

The place I've seen 3D truly failing has mostly been in movies that drop in and out of 3D, or have limited depth of field because it's digitally separate planes that have been poorly composited in post-production. In those cases, I hold the cinematographer responsible, which may be why he's feeling uncomfortable about the technology.

Re:It's uncomfortable. (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 2 years ago | (#42393281)

"You can also get 3D prescription lenses, which, if your eyesight is bad enough you need correction in a movie theater in the first place, you are likely already carrying around a second pair of corrective lenses, since polarized sunglasses will back out one or both eyse when using an LCD screen at work, so what's yet another pair."

Polarized glasses work fine with Real3D system which uses frequency-based 3D.

Re:It's uncomfortable. (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#42393407)

What's frequency-based 3D?

Re:It's uncomfortable. (2)

Cyberax (705495) | about 2 years ago | (#42393419)

Sorry, it's called Dolby 3D: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_3D [wikipedia.org] - it really is MUCH better than polarization-based 3D.

Re:It's uncomfortable. (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 2 years ago | (#42393417)

Doesn't real3D use circular polarized light? I think I saw The Hobbit in a cinema with real3D, and that was circularly polarized light.

TVs (1)

Zemran (3101) | about 2 years ago | (#42392979)

More to the point, why are people paying so much to buy 3D TVs? What a complete and utter waste of your hard earnt money...

Re:TVs (4, Insightful)

nxtw (866177) | about 2 years ago | (#42393045)

People aren't buying expensive TVs because they are 3D; they are buying high end TVs which mostly happen to have 3D.

Now if these 3D TVs had real 120 Hz input (for two frames of 1080p60 in 3D using shutter glasses) it might be a useful feature to use without the glasses on. But so far I think they all only support two frames of 1080p30 at most - standard HDMI doesn't have enough bandwidth, and newer spec hardware and cables are required.

With 48 fps movies, we may see more TVs using 240 Hz, but probably none with any high-bandwidth inputs, especially if 3D goes away.

Re:TVs (2)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#42393051)

3D in a TV isn't all that expensive. You just need a TV that can handle a high enough refresh rate, and some cheap electronics to sync with shutter glasses. The rest can be handled by software.

Expensive 3D TVs are expensive because it tends to be a gimmick added to high end televisions.

It goes in cycles and bursts (3, Insightful)

IdahoEv (195056) | about 2 years ago | (#42393001)

There are major, but short-lived, bursts of stereoscopic 3D movies seem to come every 15-20 years or so, as another new generation is available to be briefly wowed by a technology that's not new and that doesn't really add anything to the moviegoing experience. People get over it and we move on.

Re:It goes in cycles and bursts (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#42393107)

Imo, it will probably be more likely to become a fixture in video games than in movies. Just the nature of the beast.

Re:It goes in cycles and bursts (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 2 years ago | (#42393283)

And the old generation just constantly bitches at these new-fangled 'computers', 'bookfaces' and all that oranges^H apples.

In reality, a new equilibrium is found: 3D works great for animated films (they are computer-rendered anyway) and some high-profile pictures ("Cirque du Soleil", "The Hobbit", etc.). Most other films are better off in 2D.

Re:It goes in cycles and bursts (2)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#42393311)

And the old generation just constantly bitches at these new-fangled 'computers', 'bookfaces' and all that oranges^H apples.

I can reveal to you that it has nothing to do with age.

The Hobbit demonstrates... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393019)

that 3D works well when combined with HFR and XD. In action sequences, though, The Hobbit is just like any other action film: busy, overblown and not served well by all of the technology. The technology really shone however when just one or a few characters were on the screen. At times it was easy to forget one was watching a movie and to buy into the illusion of watching a live stage play.

Movies vs Games (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393063)

3D in movies is unlikely to advance further. I don't think the same can be said for video games, though. Video games have the complete scene data so instead of just having a few separate planes for action, the 3d is actually in 3d.

The big problem is that filming in 3d is costly, expensive, and requires innovation -- Avatar basically required James Cameron to invent his own 3d filming methods using his own money. It worked for him, but almost every other 3d movie is a shitty 2d->3d conversion which simply cannot compare to a full 3d experience.

The real problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393071)

The problem are the bean counter and sales bozos that rule most companies. Never asking what would make a great product, but rather keen on making shit as fast and cheap as possible. The result : annoying shit products. In this case bad 3D movies. Avatar was the high point 'cause much effort was put into its making. You need to know how to use 3D. You need to invest time and money. You need to pay attention to details (even before you start shooting). Too much for the Hollywood TRASH churned out every minute.

Thats's the problem. 3D is awesome. If it would be used correctly and wisely.

dredd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393075)

was awesome

So many problems for so many people. (3, Interesting)

Spinalcold (955025) | about 2 years ago | (#42393081)

I know they target the normal vision for these movies, but the fact is that a huge amount of people don't have normal vision and can't watch these 3d movies well. I have astigmatism, and most others I have talked to with a string astigmatism have a hard time with these movies. Personally, my eyes can't focus well, but I know others that get dizzy or headaches. It isn't main steam because they ignored a huge population base!

3d in movies is terrible, 3d in video games is not (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393091)

I have a 3d vision projector. Playing Skyrim in 3d is pretty badass. Video games have to store the render geometry somewhere, so it is available to use to create 2 views into a single render scene. No new tech needed, no hard to use filming techniques required, no massive infrastructure investment necessary.

The same projector, when used in movies, generally sucks. Avatar is basically impossible to buy, and the other movies are mostly terrible. For movies, 3d seems best on documentaries (especially space) where it adds an extra tiny hint of wonder.

Re:3d in movies is terrible, 3d in video games is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393335)

Avatar is basically impossible to buy,

Say what? [amazon.com]

Avatar Vs Avengers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393109)

I thought The Avengers kicked ass in 3D.

Polarized 3D, bad 3D production the real problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393113)

If you want good stereoscopic 3D, you need good contrast and high resolution details, which only a white screen and shutter glasses or Dolby 3D (Infitec color notch filtering) can deliver. IMAX, Real3d and other silver screen polarization technologies look washed out and have vignette issues. Don't take my word for it, see Hobbit at a theater that didn't chose cheep glasses over image quality.
The other problem is that creating 3D without causing eye strain requires inter ocular distance management that many movie producers don't know about (or care about). Hobbit got it right, most films do not.
The third problem is bad films jumping on the 3D bandwagon to make money are re-giving it a B-movie gimmick reputation.
Best 3D films so far are Coroline, Frankenweenie, Hobbit, Monster House, Dispicable Me, and Avatar. Pixar films are way too conservative to be interesting. I totally agree that the choppy editing style is not compatible with good 3D.

Extreme "Meh" (5, Insightful)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about 2 years ago | (#42393115)

I don't care whether it's 2D or 3D, or even wowza effin' holograms: it doesn't matter. What matters is the story. Shit, son, I can be thoroughly entertained by a book - imagination required. The vehicle of delivery means naught if the story doesn't compel. If the story is compelling by itself, I don't need the video embellishments. One could say that if you, as a film maker, have to resort to some form of 3D to draw an audience, that you have failed: you should not rely on the presentation to rescue your ass. Unfortunately, we'll have to learn this lesson over and over again.

Re:Extreme "Meh" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393171)

If only that were true. What you speak of is a grand fantasy that cannot survive the world we live in. Stupidity is king and ignorance is bliss.

Re:Extreme "Meh" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393191)

Roger Ebert is one of the consistent critics of 3D. However, he has singled out a few movies for wonderful use of 3D to enhance the enjoyment of the story.
To name but a few,

Life of Pi 3D
Hugo 3D
Avatar 3D

I agree with everything the OP said about 3D for 3Ds sake, but don't forget about instances where the 3D version of the movie is as good, if not better than the 2D version of the movie.

It's been fascinating to watch the criticisms of the Hobbit in 3D with HFR because the picture looks too real. I usually feel a little motion sick seeing a 3D movie at 24FPS (the few I have seen), so I'm hoping for something better from the HFR (48FPS) version of the Hobbit, despite the nay-sayers. I have a nagging feeling this is a case of people struggling to adjust to genuine improvements. I'm not a fan of motion blur, so I suspect I'll be ok with HFR.

I guess shitty movies (2)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#42393147)

can't be made better with 3D.

Instead of remking shit like Red Dawn into a bigger pile of shit 20 year later give us some fucking good shows and fuck the 3D. No wonder so many people pirate. They'd rather pirate in the privacy of their own home then be seen in public watching crap.

Tired (3, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | about 2 years ago | (#42393175)

I'm tired of another one trying to prove that 3D is money grab scheme, or just pompous extra to pay more for ticket. Essentially, *any* technical improvement ends in that bin, so please stop speculate. It all depends how it's used.

I have seen quite a number of 3D movies for these last years and as usual, it all depends on talent. "Prometheus" was just so well done in 3D - you can discuss about acting, script, but 3D was awesomely done here. Thing there and there, not overdone, but done at right time and place it made wonders.

"Hobit" 3D with all 48 FPS was also beautiful. It took time to adapt, but when I "forgot" that it moves too fast, it was amazing.

"Transfomers 3" in same time was kinda shitty, only few scenes like done specially for 3D looked good, but also not immersion, but "ohh nice 3D demo" wise (not that I'm against nice 3D demos, but that's not worth the ticket).

What about 3D scientific movies (nature movies, ocean movies)? What about Cirque du Soleil new 3D movie, which looks so artistic that I can't hardly see money maker there? What about Life of Pi?

Look, 3D is technology, essentially it's a tool - as 48 FPS, or Doubly Surround. It all matters how it's used. 3D won't make shallow movie enjoyable to me. But it sure can make movie I like more spectacular.

I never thought it'd come to this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393177)

Just a few years ago I'd never have believed that there'd be 3D movies available every day, and that I'd not CARE enough to go see a single one of them.

Yet that's what's happened. Still a 3D virgin. It's not 3D per se, just that all big budget movies seem to be crap. Only so many times you can visit a theatre and leave disappointed.

The studios seem to be catering to an audience of attention deficient MTV-generation teenagers, with predictable shaved-down plots, storylines full of holes, same hollow stereotype characters populating every damn franchise.

Just look at what Hollywood has done to some of the greatest comic books of our time - it's like it was enough to just reproduce some of the most spectacular scenes in CGI, leaving a hollowed-out husk of a story just for excuse (and perhaps adding a romantic subplot, or some out-of-place sitcom where there should be none).

I still seem to remember a time when video games tried to mimic movies - it seems this has been completely reversed, with cheap CGI "action" taking the place of storytelling and character/atmosphere building.

Re:I never thought it'd come to this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393233)

You complain about Gen MTV in one breath and then castigate Hollywood for ruining... comic books? WTF?

Thank you for completely wasting my time.

3D movies were never more than a Trojan horse (5, Interesting)

howlingfrog (211151) | about 2 years ago | (#42393193)

...to force theaters to switch to digital projectors, and pay for it themselves. Digital distribution is orders of magnitude cheaper than 35mm film distribution, which is why the studios wanted the change. They could say to small independent theaters, "We're not sending you 35mm prints any more, so you better switch or you'll go out of business." But the MPAA needs the big chains like AMC and Regal as much as AMC and Regal need the MPAA. If AMC stops showing Universal's movies, AMC goes out of business, but so does Universal. There were originally negotiations about sharing the cost of the equipment rollout, but no agreement was ever reached. So the studios started making boatloads of 3D movies and hyping them to death so audiences would demand the change. Audiences are starting to catch on that it's just a gimmick, but it's done its job. Most theaters are digital now and the last few exceptions will be switching within the next year or so. And the studios didn't have to contribute a dime.

Every 20 years. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393209)

About every 20 years filmmakers discover 3D, try it and then toss it aside again. Since ~1890. Yup, that's right, 1890 as in late 19th century. So far I've seen nothing to indicate this time is different...

More things to come (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393211)

I believe 4D (with all the physical effects) will be big and immersive in a few days. The boundaries between video gaming and media are narrowing through technology. Even if the movie studios are slow in adopting well known technology (like Stereoscopic 3D), there are going to be a few pioneers who will push the limits of entertainment.

We need more 3D (1)

caywen (942955) | about 2 years ago | (#42393219)

It's not good enough, yet. It being distracting is evidence of that. Make it better, and it'll join color, high definition, surround sound, and other technological advances in their it-doesnt-make-movies-better-but-it-doesnt-hurt status. As always, story telling and character development will and always matter most.

Hate 3D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393243)

Took my kids to see The Hobbit today. We planned to go to the 1330 conventional session but it was sold out. Neither I nor the kids wanted to see it in 3D at 1400 but it was either that or turn around and go home. The 3D session was far from full so that said something. After nearly 3 hours watching this movie I was mentally exhausted and more determined than ever not to watch another 3D movie.

Money for nothing, (chicks for free) ? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 years ago | (#42393247)

Perhaps if the theaters didn't try to rape our wallets for the 3D glasses (every time), then - to add insult to injury - ask us to "please recycle them". I can't imagine the things the theaters sell cost more than a nickle to make in volume. Perhaps if they let us buy a permanent pair and/or bring our own. Ya, I get that's how they try to recoup their expenses for the 3D projectors, etc, but that's their problem, not mine.

Perhaps it's how the 3D isn't used to add anything of real value to the plot, movie or viewing experience - like watching the News on TV in high definition (seriously, a channel in my area advertises that as a plus). It's the frelling NEWS people. Avatar wasn't too bad in 3D, as it seemed to add interesting visual depth, but I also saw it in the theater in 2D for comparison and much preferred the movie and experience in 2D.

Rise of the Guardians (4, Informative)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about 2 years ago | (#42393303)

Just saw "Rise of the Guardians" in 3D with the entire family. Visually fantastic, and without doubt the best 3D film I have seen. So the clear answer to the OP question is simply "No".
It may just be that the filmmakers need to learn how to best use 3D, the same way they had to learn using color.

3D movies on Youtube already exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393315)

and have fun African sound tracks : 3d movie [youtube.com]

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42393331)

... and it was thirty years ago.

Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

3D isn't always bad (1)

SilenceBE (1439827) | about 2 years ago | (#42393341)

The problem is that the movie industry sees it as the new cash cow.

* When you look at good movies like Avatar and Hugo you will notice that there is such a thing as doing 3D right. The problem is that this is not the case for most movies.

* Most movies available are (bad) conversions of movies that where never produced with 3D in mind.

* It is ridiculous expensive not only the movie tickets but you need to see the prices they are asking for one stupid 3D movie here in this country. 28 a 35 euro's... And then they complain those things aren't selling even if a lot of people have 3D tv's at home (as you weren't able for a period of time to buy tv's without 3D)

I hated 3D because the active glasses made me sick and gave me headaches, with the passive versions I don't have a problem.

My comment is in the form of recent trivia (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | about 2 years ago | (#42393367)

Which film won all accolades last year?

Hints: it is mostly silent, black and white and most definitively 2D.

3D is the overall strategy of the big studios to keep milking the blockbuster, a cinematic product whose cost is spiraling out of control and will continue to make money only as long as the average public is shown new shiny gimmicks.

HR3D (5, Interesting)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about 2 years ago | (#42393423)

I was searching if anyone mentioned hr3d, to mod him up. But unfortunately not, so instead of modding i have to mention it myself.

HR3D [mit.edu] (high rank 3d display, where rank stands for high rank matrix used in calculations) is the future of 3d displays. It uses the parallax effect, but to much higher extend, using dual or triple stacked LCD displays. Where each display is serving as a special parallax barrier. HR3D is calculation intensive currently, this is why it is not widely adopted. But the computations costs will decrease, and it will become popular. It is not only two viewing angles for two eyes. It can have 16, 25, 36 or even more viewing angles. And you could look from far above, from far below, from far left from far right. And even look behind something. Though generating content for hr3d requires having 16, 25, 36 or even more cameras (each recording from another perspective) instead of just two cameras recording for two eyes. So it is mostly suitable for digital content, or simply put an OpenGL driver to display OpenGL graphics in real 3D. If a movie director wanted to make a movie, with actors, his camera would look like an insect head, due to so many cameras required. Or maybe some special 3D-camera that records everything and recalculated whole scene in 3D.

I am watching their progress, and can't wait when I'll be able to buy some hr3d display with OpenGL drivers for linux. Also if they went IPO I would buy their stock immediately.

Painful (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 2 years ago | (#42393471)

I watched Avatar. Managed to get through it. Had serious eye discomfort by the end. Haven't been to another 3D movie since. I don't like paying extra in order for the privilege of experiencing discomfort.

All that's happened as a result is I go to far fewer movies, as the local theatre is fond of putting as much in 3D as possible. So I guess the upside is that Hollywood's desire for this is saving me quite a lot of money.

The usual fingerpointing (1)

Tomsk70 (984457) | about 2 years ago | (#42393493)

People said this about widescreen on VHS ('what's the point?')
Then they said it about surround sound ('why would I need this at home?')
Then it was about DVD ('This is just to get us off of VHS and buy all those films again')
Now it's about 3D - ingoring that many are quite happily watching Hugo in 3D at home right now. Yes, there actually have been a number of popular 3D films since Avatar - unless you have an axe to gring, it would seem. TinTin, Tron Legacy and even some of the post-jobs like Avengers are very, very good, to say nothing of 3D offerings available right now like The Hobbit, or upcoming converstion like the remaining Star Wars films that my kids can't wait to see.

And *that's* before we get to the likes of Battlefield 3 in 3D - but hey, go right on complaining about the first-gen 3D TV's as if they'll prove your point, you won't sound like people trumpeting the end of Windows when Vista came out...and will probably look just as foolish too.

Sorry but this article puts nothing new on the table table, and is just another whinge by someone not on board that doesn't like change.

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