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The Last Airbender


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#1 John Young

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:58 PM

M. K. Shamalan’s Avatar: The Last Airbender: Book 1.

Going in, I thought I hated 3D. Now, I really do.

Things I learned: I must be ok with Digital Cinema, because I didn’t know I was watching a digital picture until after I crawled up to the projector (something I always do).

The XPanD 3D system sucks. Yes, it makes things look 3D, but it also washes out all the color and moves the contrast from 1 - 10 to something like 4-6, and maybe even 2-4 (it’s rather dark). Every time I took the glasses off the colors just exploded and everything was amazing! Put the glasses back on, and it looked as tho I was watching a low budget film with dark sunglasses on. Things with intricate lighting didn't even show up until I took the glasses off. I'll have to go watch it normal, and see if it comes to life for me.

The effects are seamless and outstanding. But, given that ILM did them, and the fact that they have been around a while, it was expected.

I also learned that if you are going to make a 3D picture, you SHOULD NOT do fast pans. That makes my head hurt, as my eyes try to follow one set of motion blurs. Having 2 sets in that sudo 2D into 3D After Effects style makes it really hard.

My personal preference is: just don’t make pictures in 3D in the first place.

These are just my thoughts of the film. How do you feel?
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 04:08 AM

Going in, I thought I hated 3D.




You are not alone. I mean, I don't hate 3D unconditionally, I'm just very cautious about it because I don't think I've ever seen it done well, and done not-well, it really is quite unpleasant. It is being done in the wrong way - postproduction conversion - for the wrong reasons - bandwagon-jumping profiteering. These are great reasons to dislike it.


The effects are seamless and outstanding. But, given that ILM did them, and the fact that they have been around a while, it was expected.




Again, quite. For what it cost, you'd hope so!




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#3 Keith Mottram

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 09:10 AM

It was a 2D to 3D conversion. It was shot to dark for 3D anyway from what I can tell from the trailers to make a good conversion. I think there should be a disclaimer for any 2d to 3d conversions as then everyone wouldn't bother and good 3D can continue. Otherwise this sort of shit will kill the movement. which would be a shame as good 3D is the future...
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 10:10 AM

I really hope it isn't.
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#5 John Holland

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 11:08 AM

The Future !!! its the past 50 year old gimmick it sucks .
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#6 Keith Mottram

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 07:56 AM

The Future !!! its the past 50 year old gimmick it sucks .


Actually 3D has been around since pretty much the dawn of photography. It no more sucks than colour sucks to some crusty black and white aficionado. Anyone who thinks that people will happily watch 2D forever is deluded. We see in 3D why on earth should we watch films in 2D? Its a retarded attitude. You might not like the 3D films you've seen, but if you don't like 3D walk around with an eye patch on...
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#7 Chris Millar

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 08:38 AM

Actually 3D has been around since pretty much the dawn of photography. It no more sucks than colour sucks to some crusty black and white aficionado. Anyone who thinks that people will happily watch 2D forever is deluded. We see in 3D why on earth should we watch films in 2D? Its a retarded attitude. You might not like the 3D films you've seen, but if you don't like 3D walk around with an eye patch on...


Any particular reason the same logic shouldn't apply to say, hmmm - painting ?

Why aren't telephones stereo - etc...

As you mention 3D stereo pairs have been around for a looooong time, but ask yourself why most examples of 3D stills are antique
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#8 Mike Lary

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 09:05 AM

Actually 3D has been around since pretty much the dawn of photography. It no more sucks than colour sucks to some crusty black and white aficionado. Anyone who thinks that people will happily watch 2D forever is deluded. We see in 3D why on earth should we watch films in 2D? Its a retarded attitude. You might not like the 3D films you've seen, but if you don't like 3D walk around with an eye patch on...

We don't see in 3D. We see in 2D. Our brain takes the 2D images fed to it by our eyes and interprets spatial relationships. Our brain is used to interpreting 2D. That's why still photos and motion pictures have been universally accepted since their creation. The experience of viewing a movie in 3D bears little resemblance to that of moving through the real world. It's a spectacle.

There's a reason why 3D images enjoyed short lives even on the backs of cereal boxes. They're gimmicks, and gimmicks are boring.
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#9 John Young

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:49 PM

I went and watched it again in 2D, and it was much more enjoyable, especially with the two boys that would kiss when it was REALLY dark, and the woman behind me that would OOooh and AAHhhh every time something excited happened. It was however still darker than I cared but the colors were MUCH better. And the sequence at the end with the ocean (reminds me of The Abyss) is just about the coolest thing I have seen since.

When I went to see it in 3D, no one Ooooed at anything. This time, it was shown on Film, which is good, and the theatre lights were REALLY low, which also helped.

Does anyone have any technical details about what film stocks were used? I know they used Arri cameras, or at least thats what I read in the credits. I'm a little curious as to why the forground was so dark and the background very much brighter.
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#10 Keith Mottram

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 08:48 AM

We don't see in 3D. We see in 2D. Our brain takes the 2D images fed to it by our eyes and interprets spatial relationships. Our brain is used to interpreting 2D. That's why still photos and motion pictures have been universally accepted since their creation. The experience of viewing a movie in 3D bears little resemblance to that of moving through the real world. It's a spectacle.

There's a reason why 3D images enjoyed short lives even on the backs of cereal boxes. They're gimmicks, and gimmicks are boring.



Thanks for being so pedantic and for using a cereal box analogy, what a brilliant contribution. In fact if you think about what you wrote you'll quickly realise how dumb your post is as with 3D cinema/ televisoin we are doing exactly that- having our brains fuse two 2d images and create the 'spatial relationship'. But if you insist I am quite happy working on a 'spectacle', it's more interesting than playing King Canute anyway...
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#11 Keith Mottram

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 08:56 AM

Any particular reason the same logic shouldn't apply to say, hmmm - painting ?

Why aren't telephones stereo - etc...

As you mention 3D stereo pairs have been around for a looooong time, but ask yourself why most examples of 3D stills are antique


a- sculpture

b- Shooting 3D has been difficult to do prior to digital technology

c- ditto telephones which erm preceded stereo, of course now we have VOIP in erm stereo...

Christ I feel like I'm talking to creationists on this thread.
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 09:38 AM

The thing about 3D is that the only people who are currently supporting it are people who think, very possibly mistakenly, that they can make some money out of it. And Keith.

P
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#13 Mike Lary

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 10:26 AM

Thanks for being so pedantic and for using a cereal box analogy, what a brilliant contribution. In fact if you think about what you wrote you'll quickly realise how dumb your post is as with 3D cinema/ televisoin we are doing exactly that- having our brains fuse two 2d images and create the 'spatial relationship'. But if you insist I am quite happy working on a 'spectacle', it's more interesting than playing King Canute anyway...


The cereal box reference is not an analogy, Keith. It's an actual example of the sporadic and short lived success of 3D imagery over the past century. And there's nothing pedantic about using fact to disprove inaccurate statements. Your last statement about 3D imagery being closer to real world vision than 2D imagery makes just as little sense as the first. The real world is three dimensional. 3D projection is not. And we don't have to wear glasses in the real world in order for our brain to create spatial relationships. A third grader could see the clear and obvious distinctions.
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#14 Keith Mottram

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 11:48 AM

A third grader could see the clear and obvious distinctions.


There's only two graders in the building at the moment but when the third gets back from a meeting I'll ask him, he'll have a good opinion as he's grading a 3D feature at the moment...
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#15 Chris Millar

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 04:02 PM

a- sculpture

b- Shooting 3D has been difficult to do prior to digital technology

c- ditto telephones which erm preceded stereo, of course now we have VOIP in erm stereo...

Christ I feel like I'm talking to creationists on this thread.


So, sculpture is 3D painting ? And painting is 2D sculpture ?? 3D film, that's still flat isn't it ? I can't walk around it like sculpture - so we can't be happy until volumetric displays are in HD ? (gawd, why am I even bothering asking this)

The 'ease' of shooting anything has been difficult prior to digital technology - the entry costs have just been lowered (what you do with the gear has always been and will continue to be hard, go onto wastetube with its new 3D and 4K support :lol: :rolleyes: to get get an idea)

Yes, telephones proceeded stereo (did I claim otherwise ? actually, please don't quote this and answer) - when the concept of stereo audio playback came about, years and years ago, did everyone complain that their telephones weren't stereo ? that was my point

But in seeing how much care you put into posting here (which reflects for the time being your general personality), unless you get somehow provocative or contradictory and I cant help myself I don't care what you have to say in reply - class me as a deluded and crusty black and white aficionado that's not worth the time and we'll get along swimmingly - Toodle pip :)
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#16 Ravi Kiran

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 10:55 AM

After seeing Clash of the Titans in 3D I refuse to see any 2D film converted to 3D. The effect is mediocre, and the image is dull and washed out. I thought Avatar looked good in 3D, but I saw it in IMAX, so that was the best-case-scenario. On a non-technical note, the vast majority of the movies released so far this year in 3D have been utterly uninteresting to me, except for Toy Story 3. But I saw that in 2D.
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#17 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 04:01 PM

Does anyone have any technical details about what film stocks were used? I know they used Arri cameras, or at least thats what I read in the credits. I'm a little curious as to why the forground was so dark and the background very much brighter.
[/quote]

I was the loader on this movie. We shot 5205 250D, and 5219 500T. The rule of thumb being that all true exteriors were the 05, and all interior was the 19. The interesting thing being, the majority of the movie was shot onstage in Philadelphia. We had what is supposedly the biggest single set ever built on the east coast in history- the Northern Water Tribe area. We used the 500T for that because we physically shot it inside, even though it is almost always a day exterior in the movie. It was lit with many spacelights from above. A mixed color temp ambiance, but mostly coming out as daylight, but we shot the 500T uncorrected. There were also some scenes where we picked up a scene physically shot outside on the 250D, and when we picked it up, we shot indoors on a stage, and would film the pickups on the 500T.

We had 5 bodies for the entire show- 3 Arricam LTs, a 435, and a 235. The A and B cameras were LTs, and the C camera (which was also our 2nd unit "A" camera) was also an LT. The 435 was the D camera, but did not work very often. Only for a few high speed shots that were beyond the 75fps the 235 can do, or is it was the easiest on to use at the time. The 235 worked a lot. We used it as our main steadicam camera, and also for handheld. The DP would often like to throw in the 235 at the last second built to get handheld coverage of a scene. We carried an entire set of Masterprimes, and also the 15-40 Optimo, the 17-80 Optimo, and the 24-290 Optimo. We also had a macro we carried- a 10mm Ultraprime if I'm remembering right?, and a 400mm prime. Almost the entire movie was shot on the zooms. We pretty much only came off a zoom if we needed wider than 15mm, or a stop greater than the Optimos allowed.

For one scene- the scene in where Aang rallies the Earth Nation people to revolt, we had 2 3-perf Arricam LTs. The scene was originally planned as a steadicam one-r, and it ran beyond what a 400' 4 perf roll would allow us. We shot that with 2 3-perf cameras, and 1 4-perf LT as well. If you see it, is is not a one-r, but there is 3 perf in the movie.

Alright, any other questions feel free to ask. Hope this helps!
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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 04:18 PM

Did you happen to encounter Tash Gamper? I recall a number of years ago shooting some awful short film on DVCAM on which she very dutifully stood around a lot until the one, single scene where we needed a one-eighth-of-a-degree rotation of the lens barrel to accommodate the 2/3" depth of field... I felt terrible about that...

P
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#19 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 04:56 PM

Did you happen to encounter Tash Gamper? I recall a number of years ago shooting some awful short film on DVCAM on which she very dutifully stood around a lot until the one, single scene where we needed a one-eighth-of-a-degree rotation of the lens barrel to accommodate the 2/3" depth of field... I felt terrible about that...

P


I did not. We shot for about 15 weeks in and around Philadelphia, but right before Philly, there was a week and a half of shooting in Greenland. Maybe they were a part of that? But I don't recall hearing the name mentioned before.
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#20 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:27 PM

And we don't have to wear glasses in the real world in order for our brain to create spatial relationships. A third grader could see the clear and obvious distinctions.


One doesn't have to wear glasses to veiw stereo pairs.

I find that free viewing stereo pairs is rather meditative.
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