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Current 3-D Movie Technology Fails December 24, 2010

Posted by aggrogahu| in Essay, Miscellaneous.

I watched Tron Legacy in 3-D Wednesday, marking the first time I’ve watched a movie in 3-D since the recent craze started. I was quite skeptical ever since movie companies hopped on the bandwagon after Avatar’s success, and even after watching this visual-effects showpiece, I’ve just affirmed my bias, now with specific points to back my opinion.

The mark of a technologically advanced being is an asymmetrical bobcut.

3-D glasses fail – besides the fact that you look like an idiot wearing them, the lenses by nature darken everything by a few shades. Especially in Tron Legacy, it makes it difficult to appreciate the particularly darker scenes (90% of the movie). 3-D technology needs to follow the 3DS’s lead and do away with glasses altogether.

Live Action to Virtual Reality fails – when video cameras capture a scene, they record it into frames, which are 2-D. Essentially it’s impossible to upgrade it back to 3-D; it’s like taking a JPEG and upgrading that back to a Photoshop file. When you try to convert video frames to 3-D, you’re basically cutting pieces of photos and putting them in layers. So that’s a physical limitation there.

Furthermore, there’s a problem that comes into play when you take into consideration the concept of focus in photography and videography. Focus is essentially how you express depth in two dimensions. Whatever the camera is focusing on is in focus while anything else that is either in front or behind and out of the depth of field is blurry. This fails in 3-D movies because you’ll have objects placed in front and behind each other trying to simulate three-dimensional depth, but ultimately you’ll have out of focus blobs popping out at you. In true three dimensions, you get to choose what you want to focus on; obviously you can’t do that in faux movie theater 3-D because the focus is set, despite how things are juxtaposed like true depth.

The solution to these 2-D/3-D incompatibility issues? There really isn’t one. 3-D in movies as it stands just doesn’t make sense. It’s a gimmick. It fails.

On a completely different note, the Daft-Punk-produced soundtrack was epic.


1. MkMiku - February 10, 2011

This is why I’ll never watch another 3D movie again. Luckily, I got to see Tron for free.

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