Monday, May 17, 2010

3-D fails

I've seen two films with the new 3-D technology now: Avatar and Clash of the Titans (the 1981 version's better). And I, along with many others I've spoken to, am not thrilled by the 3-D. Though I appreciate the fresh experiences it provides, I much prefer traditional HD.

The problem is clarity. It seems the new 3-D tech creates tunnel vision, blurring all but the small part of the movie screen one is focused on. One might argue that this mimics natural vision, but the effect is not noticed with natural vision. It's simply a crisper picture and more pleasant experience for many, if not most viewers, without 3-D.

So, while I was cautiously excited about the new tech before it was demonstrated, I'm now hoping gaming will avoid the fad.

But there is an alternative to explore. Why not eliminate TV screens altogether and project visuals directly to the glasses?

It would make less sense for movies than for games, since movies rely on tighter control of what the audience is seeing at any given moment. But for games, think of all you could do with that extra joystick on the controller if looking in a 3-D environment was controlled by the player turning and tilting his head. And might it feel more immersive? A vestibular system in the glasses' rims could detect tilt.

I'm not impressed by the latest 3-D tech, but there are still plenty of viewing options to explore.

P.S. Yes, I plan on blogging again, though probably not with the same frequency as before.


  1. Never been or will ever be a fan of 3-D in game or movie formats. I wish it had stayed buried in the '80s but as with these things they go in cycles, I suppose.

    Am personally more interested in projects like Natal that look to break down the barriers between passive viewing and interaction.

    Good to see you back, Aaron.

  2. I agree. Natal is a big step, even if the implementation isn't the best. I can't wait to hear what Microsoft and Sony have planned at E3.

  3. Avatar was pretty fantastic IMO. However, other 3d movies, Alice in wonderland and Clash of the Titans are fails because the movie wasn't shot to accommodate the 3d aspect, it was shot in 2d then later adapted for 3d.

    The problem is the angle and the reflexive surface of the screen. Most theaters weren't designed to project 3d content, so if your watching the movie at an off axis or not in a up to date theater, then the movie won't look right, which is part of the problem. I only know this because I work for a Audio Visual company and we've had clients request 3d for shows and we tell them, it ain't there yet.

    As to the fad.. I hate to say it but it isn't going away any time soon. Proof of this is the furor at which Sony, Samsung and others have started to push out 3d LCD units. When companies like this invest serious money, then it's going to start happening, no matter what percentage of the populous, which I'm sure is greater than most people want to admit, decides it's a waste of time and effort.

    I don't see it becoming the norm, but I do seeing it having a niche in entertainment for now.

  4. Ahh, thanks. I was having trouble understanding how so many great directors were committing to 3-D when it has that focus issue, but perhaps I just haven't seen it on a 3-D screen yet.


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