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3D is a absolute abomination

3Ddigital The White Haired Witch BFI Film Festival 2014 RealD 3D

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#1 Freya Black

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 04:54 AM

Last night I attended my first ever 3D screening in "RealD 3D" I had no idea that the screening was going to be in 3D as there was no indication of this in the description on the website:

 

https://whatson.bfi....hoflunarkingdom

 

When I arrived they handed me the glasses and I was like "Oh I must be at the wrong screening and I showed them my ticket (which also said nothing about 3D on it) but it turned out that it was indeed the right screening. Having got inside I sat down and suddenly realised that not only was it in 3D but of course it was a subtitled film. Normally I have no problem with subtitles but this film featured tiny little subtitles that floated in front of the movie. It took me about 15 minutes to get the hang of reading the subtitles in 3D although it was still hard to see the movie and the subtitles at the same time as it required more concentration on the floating text. By this point I had kind of missed a lot of the dialogue which was annoying because it was quite a convoluted movie anyway.

 

Having got the hang of it I was very unimpressed with the images which just looked like viewmaster stuff in motion and seemed pointless and annoying. It just seemed like a silly effect like when people get too carried away with photoshop or something. It was at it's best when the effect was very mild.

 

Oddly I found that sometimes the movie looked better with the glasses off obviously for a lot of scenes it was blurred in a nasty way and you couldn't read the subtitles without the glassed.

 

About half way into the movie there was some strange fight scene that was very fast and it had a very strange effect because I felt instantly nauseous and had to claw the glasses off my face as fast as I could. It was very odd as the effect was almost instant and very sudden unlike "The Blair Witch Project" thing where you slowly get sick from the shaking camera work. I'd not experienced anything like it. Once that scene was over I was able to wear the glasses again without problems beyond the more general pain of doing the 3D thing. It was beyond unpleasant for the few seconds it lasted.

 

Oddly once it was all over and I got up to leave I felt really, really dizzy and once I stepped outside it was a very strange experience because everything seemed suddenly hyper real and magical. The only thing I can compare it to was a very mild version of when you have been through some kind of traumatic event and you are out the other end and you have that feeling for a while like you are going to make an effort to enjoy your life and make the most of your future. It was kind of like that on a small scale.

 

The movie wasn't great but the whole 3D thing was a really unpleasant experience. Thankfully it was my first 3D movie so at least I feel like I know what everyone is talking about with it all now, so I got something out of it for my pain.

 

I can't believe that 3D tickets attract a premium. It was quite horrible and I will be sure to try and avoid the experience again.

 

Freya

 

 


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#2 Freya Black

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 05:00 AM

...and another thing. People go on about high definition and 4K and all this stuff but I was wondering what the resolution of those funny plastic glasses were. They seemed mostly only "sharp" at the centre and they made the movie look standard def at best and that was before the glasses attracted fingers marks on them etc.

 

Just cheap plastic which also seemed bad for the environment.

Is there anything else that you can use the lenses from these glasses for in order to try and re-cycle them?

 

Freya


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#3 cole t parzenn

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 10:56 AM

If the glasses are passive, they're polarized filters and, if they're active, they're shutters, right? Why would they cause softness?


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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 11:13 AM

Yes, it is, isn't it!

 

Subtitles in 3D are quite an interesting topic. The digital cinema package that is sent to exhibitors has provision for conventional subtitles. It does not have any provision, however, for 3D subtitles with any sort of depth control. Normal subtitles can be used, but of course sit at screen-apparent distance. Depending on the scene this may appear to be physically within or behind objects in the scene, which is very uncomfortable. For this reason, subtitled 3D DCPs have the subtitles "stuck down" in the image data. Deluxe in London (where I learned about this) has in-house software to allow the apparent position of 3D subtitles to be controlled and rendered appropriately into the image. 

 

Actually mastering films like this is not an exact science. Having subtitles that jump in apparent distance between cuts, or subtitles that need to actually move around to avoid seeming to intersect with onscreen objects, are difficult issues. 

 

just looked like viewmaster stuff in motion

 

Er, yup, that's pretty much what it is.

 

I felt instantly nauseous

 

There are a few ways to provoke that. I've been in demos at places like NAB where they demostrate "wrong" and it is, as you say, immediately and quite literally sickening (I find even "right" is eventually sickening, but that's another moan). 

 

This is one of the many reasons why it's so hard to make it comfortable: getting it wrong is so very, very uncomfortable that even slight degrees of wrong are a real problem.

 

If the glasses are passive, they're polarized filters and, if they're active, they're shutters, right? Why would they cause softness?

 

No intrinsic reason, but practically, because they're optically imperfect. That cheap plastic has (inevitably) a slight diffusion effect, even when clean and new. Because it's cheap. RealD uses circular polarisation. The most common alternative at the moment uses two sets of slightly different primary colours. The latter requires quite careful thin-film coatings (as a lens coating) and is more or less technically required to be somewhat better optically, but it's still not great.

 

P


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#5 Mark Dunn

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 11:25 AM

So not the crock it used to be in the 50s,, but still a crock?

I quite liked 'Captain Eo' at Disneyland in '92. Is modern digital 3D really worse than that?


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#6 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 12:02 PM

I would generally agree with you Freya most films screened in 3D are visually not worth the effort they put in.

There are exceptions though and when It's done well with the right story and director, makes for a fun couple of hours!

Transformers "Dark of the Moon" was jaw dropping good in the Cinema! For me it was a "ok now I get it" moment.


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#7 John E Clark

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 01:32 PM

The funiest 3-D experience I've ever had was for a showing of Andy Warhol's "Flesh for Frankenstein"(1973)... in 3-D...  where one of the audience was taking snap shots (back in the days before handi-video-cams...) with a flash...

 

I could imagine him wondering why was the screen all 'white'...

 

I've not been impressed with 3-D ever... ok... I do have a fetish for images using lenticular materals... aka 'winkies'... so I will by a 3-D Bluray... to get the Winkie cover art...


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#8 GregBest

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 07:02 PM

LOVE the new 3D.  See everything I can in it.  Would love it if ALL movies were filmed in it.  (I can see me being the "Bad Cop" around here)  Maybe I'm wrong but I always felt the biggest reason movies used "moving pictures" was to present us with experience close to our reality and about it, so we can relate and enjoy the presentation before us?  A visual theater of sites and sounds we recognize and relate to in our real world... thus the FILMING part as opposed to hand drawn or computer cartoons.... that experience, TO ME, is getting better and better with more detailed, realistic pictures, higher frames rates, and the new 3D.  For me, the 3D is not about sticking swords in my face - I don't even bother with those - but it is about expanding the immersion into a "real world" and living there with those people on the screen.   3D is just another step closer.  Some day, virtual reality will be the new theater, and the masses will be all over that, why not enjoy the 3D experience now if you can?
 

I will admit, I am not one with vision problems where the 3D causes headaches etc and I TOTALLY understand it doesn't work out well for them... I doubt they will ever stop making 2D versions because of the huge market space for that... but, for me, I really enjoy 3D simply for the increased depth, realism and immersion into the STORY.  If the story sucks, 3D won't help it.

 

PS Hated Avatar.  Only watched it once, just can't sit through it again.  It is a great achievment, looks great and all, was nice 3D to a point, but the story was so lacking for me... the STORY actually made the 3D forgettable to me.  NEVER have I want to go back to "that place" again.  Man, I wish it had a story because I've enjoyed most of Cameron's stuff.


Edited by GregBest, 19 October 2014 - 07:05 PM.

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#9 Dan Dorland

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Posted 19 October 2014 - 10:37 PM

IMO How to Train Your Dragon is so far the only movie where the 3D was an asset. 99% of the time it's just a distraction.


Edited by Dan Dorland, 19 October 2014 - 10:38 PM.

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#10 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 02:19 AM

I think the philosophical question for me is do i want to go to the movies for an escape into what I know is fake, or an experience. Personally, I'll take my experiences with real people (or a holodeck) and keep my movies an escape into a"moving story." 


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#11 Freya Black

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 05:30 AM

I will admit, I am not one with vision problems where the 3D causes headaches etc and I TOTALLY understand it doesn't work out well for them... I doubt they will ever stop making 2D versions because of the huge market space for that... but, for me, I really enjoy 3D simply for the increased depth, realism and immersion into the STORY.  If the story sucks, 3D won't help it.

 

I don't have vision problems that cause me to have headaches either.

 

You bring up a really good point about reality however. We all have our own ways of perceiving reality and for me reality looks nothing like a viewmaster reel. So for me there was no realism. Also in an unrelated thing I found that the 3D made me less immersed in the movie because of all the silly looking 3D going on and because of the 3D subtitles.

 

However I was thinking the other day that what might really work in 3D is a Terry Gilliam animation, Monty Python style! That could be interesting.

 

Freya


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#12 Freya Black

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 05:41 AM

LOVE the new 3D.  See everything I can in it.  Would love it if ALL movies were filmed in it.  (I can see me being the "Bad Cop" around here)  Maybe I'm wrong but I always felt the biggest reason movies used "moving pictures" was to present us with experience close to our reality and about it, so we can relate and enjoy the presentation before us?  A visual theater of sites and sounds we recognize and relate to in our real world... thus the FILMING part as opposed to hand drawn or computer cartoons.... that experience, TO ME, is getting better and better with more detailed, realistic pictures, higher frames rates, and the new 3D.  For me, the 3D is not about sticking swords in my face - I don't even bother with those - but it is about expanding the immersion into a "real world" and living there with those people on the screen.   3D is just another step closer.  Some day, virtual reality will be the new theater, and the masses will be all over that, why not enjoy the 3D experience now if you can?

 

Movies by definition have moving images, otherwise it is photography which many people still practice and consider valid in itself.

 

What you describe about presenting reality before us seems to be something like actualities or possibly documentaries which are not really what movies are most associated with. Obviously for a documentary getting closer to reality would be considered a good thing.

 

Freya


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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 05:49 AM

I think the philosophical question for me is do i want to go to the movies for an escape into what I know is fake, or an experience.

 

This is incredibly spot on.

 

One of the things I really like about movies tends to be their honesty, that it's made clear from the outset that it is all make-believe. There is no pretense about it being reality or real. I think that is a great tradition.

 

Freya


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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 05:57 AM

No intrinsic reason, but practically, because they're optically imperfect. That cheap plastic has (inevitably) a slight diffusion effect, even when clean and new. Because it's cheap. RealD uses circular polarisation. The most common alternative at the moment uses two sets of slightly different primary colours. The latter requires quite careful thin-film coatings (as a lens coating) and is more or less technically required to be somewhat better optically, but it's still not great.

 

P

 

Exactly.

 

Even if it was really high quality glass, you are putting another layer of filtering in the optical path, and these RealD glasses are clearly not made to the highest quality and seem to vary in sharpness across the filter.

 

Freya


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#15 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 11:45 AM

Oh god Freya; don't say such things about Monty Python or else they may remaster Holy Grail or something like that for "3d" just to make more money off of it. Personally I'd love to see a Terrence Malick 3d movie-- which he shoots 3d from the get go. That would pique my interest a little bit.


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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 12:05 PM

Oh god Freya; don't say such things about Monty Python or else they may remaster Holy Grail or something like that for "3d" just to make more money off of it. Personally I'd love to see a Terrence Malick 3d movie-- which he shoots 3d from the get go. That would pique my interest a little bit.

 

No I just mean the cardboard cut out animation that Terry Gilliam used to do not any other nonsense!

Cardboard cutouts seem perfect for 3D.

 

storytime.jpg

 

anfscd-animation1.png

 

I had a Paddington Bear viewmaster reel as a child and it worked really well:

 

paddington-on-station.jpg


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#17 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 03:31 PM

Aye it would be interesting-- like a living diorama, almost. Though I am not 100% certain it's a 3d I'd pay to see for long periods of time. 3D, for me, should be stuff like Nature does on PBS, or some space documentary, perhaps, concerts or the like. that "works" for me, at least in theory.


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#18 Freya Black

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 08:10 AM

Aye it would be interesting-- like a living diorama, almost. Though I am not 100% certain it's a 3d I'd pay to see for long periods of time. 3D, for me, should be stuff like Nature does on PBS, or some space documentary, perhaps, concerts or the like. that "works" for me, at least in theory.

 

I agree it would work much better for short films or as I've said before it would be great for art installations.

Too long wearing the silly glasses is just torture.

 

Freya


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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 09:37 AM

The problem with space documentaries is that almost everything is going to be more than thirty virtual feet away. OK, if you simulate a shot from the cabin of a space shuttle looking back into the payload area, then some of that is going to be inside stereoscopy range, but mostly it won't be. 

 

Which is one reason it doesn't really work very well.

 

P


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#20 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:29 AM

Quiet Phil; you are destroying my hopes and dreams :P

Plus I would be ok with in a space documentary some level of "fakeness" just to get people to go oooohhh ahhhh.


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