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Why Bad 3D, Not 3D Glasses, Gives You Headaches

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the subset-equal-to-set dept.

Movies 255

Barence writes "The most common complaint about 3D is that the glasses give you a headache, but that's not actually true, according to the man who teaches the pros how to make better 3D. Speaking at the BBC in London, Buzz Hays, chief instructor for the Sony 3D Technology Center in Culver City, California, explained: 'It's not the technology's fault, it's really the content that can cause these problems. It's easy to make 3D but it's hard to make it good — and by "good" I mean taking care to make sure that this isn't going to cause eyestrain.' He went on to detail some of the mistakes made by inexperienced 3D film makers, from poor composition of shots, through uncomfortable convergence settings, to overuse of on-set monitors without viewing their content on a big screen. But the biggest admission Buzz made was that not even the 'experts' know all the tricks yet, which is why 3D should only get better from here. In the same seminar, Buzz also explained why 3D glasses are here to stay — at least for the next few years."

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255 comments

The glasses can do it too ... (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113474)

At least, I'm pretty sure that the movie Avatar was not physically squeezing on the sides of my head and pushing down on my nose.

Re:The glasses can do it too ... (2, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113558)

Or the feeling that you had been mugged at the box office for the extra $3 and told that it's not for the glasses so you'll have to pay each time you see a 3D movie.

Re:The glasses can do it too ... (3, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113710)

They were telling you the truth. There's no way the glasses cost $3 in the quantities they buy them in. What you're paying for with the additional $3 is the, extremely expensive, new projector equipment in the theater along with the premium experience that 3D is supposed to be.

Re:The glasses can do it too ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33113830)

You mean the all-too-common crappy retrofit of an existing projector.

Seriously, I've gone to some 3D cinemas that had horrible picture quality issues, worse than consumer 3D stuff.

Re:The glasses can do it too ... (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114488)

You mean the all-too-common crappy retrofit of an existing projector.

That seems a little unlikely, considering that all the modern 3-D systems require digital projection. You can certainly have picture quality issues with a digital projector, but that's usually due to operator error, rather than old equipment.

Re:The glasses can do it too ... (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114132)

Well, that and the simple law of economics: something is worth what people will pay. People will pay more to see the 3d version, and so they charge more. Simple as that. If you don't want to pay the premium, then go to the 3d showing. Most theaters have 2d versions.

cameras and training... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33114190)

for the cinematographers who are mostly self-employed in the industry, and have to buy something the size of a closet so it can hold two cameras...and then expect to move that thing attached to you with a steadicam rig.

Re:The glasses can do it too ... (2, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114474)

It depends on the glasses. Simply circular-polarised glasses are dirt cheap. The funky multi-layer-dichroic filters used in Dolby-3D (it's like anaglyph, but with 6 specific wavelengths, 3 per eye. Think RlRrGlGrBlBr) are hella expensive. $50 per pair is what I've seen quoted and mentioned by the engineers. I guess the feel that the money saved on not needing a retro-reflective silver screen is better spent on the initial glasses cost and cleaning them between performances.
BTW, is the 'pay for your glasses' thing an American thing? Last time I saw a 3D film (in the UK), the glasses were included in the ticket price and gave them back after the performance.

Re:The glasses can do it too ... (1)

Tea-Bone of Brooklyn (828337) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114178)

You mean the glasses they claim it's "green" to recycle (by whatever definition they're using that word) rather than reuse them a dozen times? I'd much rather have the opportunity to let them rip me off once for a decent pair in my prescription.

Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (4, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113488)

Why do I hate 3D glasses? Because I'm near sighted and had to wear glasses every day of my life... now watching movies or television is going to require a SECOND pair on top of the first one? Go to hell, hollywood, for making my everyday life even more impractical than it already is.

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33113624)

Its not the technology, you're just wearing them wrong... oops thats the Iphone.

These companies dont care if you hurt your eyes as long as you keep buying new things.

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (3, Informative)

Scootin159 (557129) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113686)

Similar complaint here: I can only see with one eye. Thus to me, 3D movies only cost more, have a lower contrast and really blurry without special glasses. Of course, I'll still end up watching more of them than I wish because my wife loves the gimmick.

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (1)

sado196 (1405635) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113808)

If only everyone was blind, you were king, and you could ban such silly gimmicks.

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33114046)

Exactly, I hate these silly retorts. Great, you can't climb a ladder because you were in an accident and lost your left arm.

Please, remember to bring up your handicap every single chance you get to remind us how sad your story is.

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33114082)

If only everyone was blind, you were king, and you could ban such silly gimmicks.

said the blind man to his deaf wife, as he picked up his hammer and saw...

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33113704)

Honestly glasses are a pain you should try contacts.

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (0, Flamebait)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113754)

con.... tacts.... ? What are those?

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (1)

TheReaperD (937405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114344)

Unfortunately, depending on what your vision problems are or any other eye issues you have, contacts are not an option. You have to wear glasses. My dad has a vision issue that cannot be corrected by either contacts or surgery so, he's stuck with glasses and 3D movies suck for him.

Also there are issues with people like me who have troubles with the yellow part of the color spectrum that apparently plays hell with (but does not completely disable) modern 3D technology.

In summery, 3D movies and TV are NOT for everyone. Please stop behaving like it is. Thank you.

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (2, Informative)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113770)

I too have worn glasses since childhood. I've never had a problem wearing the 3d glasses over my normal ones, and I purchase my frames from the "big" sized rack at the eye doctor's shop. Don't you think that, maybe, you're just being a little bit of a drama queen?

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (2, Interesting)

MortimerV (896247) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113852)

Maybe your frames are different, maybe you have a big nose, maybe your theater uses differently sized 3D glasses, who knows!

Come to think of it, if you use big framed glasses do they have a separate nosepiece? Mine are small, thin glasses, but the nosepiece adds extra space to them. It's not the glasses pressing into my face, it's the nosepiece on my nose.

If I ever go to another 3D showing, I'm tempted to take the lenses from the 3D glasses and attempt to make them into a clip-on. That'd solve the annoyance of the big frames and mean I only have to wear one pair of glasses!

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (2, Insightful)

ebuck (585470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114454)

I too have worn glasses since childhood. I've never had a problem wearing the 3d glasses over my normal ones, and I purchase my frames from the "big" sized rack at the eye doctor's shop. Don't you think that, maybe, you're just being a little bit of a drama queen?

Let's see. There are three general descriptions of eye defects, shortsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. They can be present in varying degrees. Astigmatism and short (or near) sightedness can be mixed in the same eye. Astigmatism involves an axis which will vary from person to person. There are literally tens of thousands of frames, each with their own dimensions. The standardized parts of the dimensions only extend to critical areas like the nose width and frame arm length.

Having an eye defect, and having been exposed to the world of corrected vision your whole life, how can you honestly tell me that a complete stranger shouldn't have a problem because you don't? Do you lack enough empathy for a person similar to yourself that you want to rub their affliction into their face), or are you actually so undereducated about your own condition that you believe the rest of the eyeglass wearing world is exactly like you?

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113868)

I was surprised how well the 3D glasses fit over my pair or seeing glasses.
Sure it is not as nice as only having one pair on, but it works

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113906)

Get contact lenses. They're cheaper than glasses and you might even get laid. If you have the money you can get your eye's lenses replaced with a cybernetic implant for about $15k.

Glasses SUCK and suck hard; I wore glasses until I was 50, when I fonally got contacts. I had my left lens replaced with the device I mentioned four years later.

Google CrystaLens. Or read this journal. [slashdot.org]

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (1)

nephridium (928664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113948)

Go to hell, hollywood, for making my everyday life even more impractical than it already is.

Erm, it's not Hollywood's fault that current 3D technology requires goggles. If you could name a technology that lets people see 3D movies on the big screen without wearing glasses I'm sure Hollywood would already be all over it; those glasses are not only a nuisance for short-sighted people, you know?

It's also not Hollywood's fault that 3D movies are hugely popular and are bringing the people back into the cinemas. What I see is that once a 3D HDTV becomes a common household product so will the glasses to view 3D media, they will become more comfortable, probably even fashion items, and people with eye disorders will be able to get lenses that support viewing 3D media (eg. for use in a second set of glasses worn when going to the cinema or watching a movie at home). - Unless of course some genius comes up with a method to do this without glasses - he/she could make millions...

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114380)

Why do I hate 3D glasses? Because I'm near sighted and had to wear glasses every day of my life... now watching movies or television is going to require a SECOND pair on top of the first one?

That - or lenses made to your prescription.

Re:Cyclops, use your eyebeams! (2, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114462)

Great idea! I'm going to pay 500$ per pair of 3D glasses I'll need... one for television, one per movie theater chain (not likely to use the same model, are they?), one per game console, one for the PC...

It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d screen. (1, Informative)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113538)

As subject, this just for lameness filter.

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (1)

ViViDboarder (1473973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113650)

It, the movie, is not 3D, but you, the viewer, are seeing Three Dimensions. If your brain is perceiving Three Dimensions, does it really matter?

Why not? (2, Insightful)

sirwired (27582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113668)

Your current vision system consists of a pair of 2D image sensors (a.k.a. your Retinas)... so I don't see why the mere fact that the screen is 2D should be an absolute obstacle to re-creating the parallax that makes your 2D vision into 3D.

SirWired

Re:Why not? (1, Troll)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113802)

NO NO NO NO NO.

It is NOT 3d, it is NOTHING LIKE 3d.

The "object" that I am viewing (the flat, 2d, screen) is a fixed distance from my eyes, the parallax for EVERYTHING displayed on the screen, and the focal length for EVERYTHING displayed on that screen is the same.

This is as "3d" as those optical illusions are "motion". eg NOT.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33113842)

One word: focus.

Yes, the images provided to the eyes matches the images they would see if they were actually staring at a 3D object, but the eyes must focus on a fixed depth, because the images are actually 2D. This means that where there's one of those reach out and touch the audience effects, your eyes will try to focus on the apparently nearer object, but fail because the image is way back on the screen. This results in a headache.

Re:Why not? (2, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113964)

It's NOT just the parallax. That's just the part that is actually simulated. We ALSO get depth information from the eye's focus. That's why when you close one eye and look around, it doesn't look exactly like looking at a picture of the room.

Note that the parallax is only simulated. The distance between the eyes matters. The 3D camera system just takes a reasonable average separation and calls it good.

Part of the headache is that the parallax says there is a varying depth, but the focus says it's flat.

Try getting around with one eye closed and the other dilated by the ophthalmologist and you'll 'see'.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33114180)

Have I got some bad news for you.

All we ever see is a 2d image. In fact we see 2 of them! Our brains just happen to be very adept at interpreting these two images as a single 3d composite. So I'll see you pedantry and raise you to the fact that what we really see is a composite of two finite pixel arrays.

Re:Why not? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114398)

Your current vision system consists of a pair of 2D image sensors (a.k.a. your Retinas)

It also contains a lens that focuses (if you're under 40) which has an additional 3D effect; your brain knows how far something is away by its focus. In a movie, you're not using your eye's depth for field to discern distance, the camera's lens does.

The retina is a very important part of vision, but the brain is the organ that actually sees, and it doesn't just use data from the retina, it also uses data from the nerves that control focus and the nerves in your iris that adjust your eyes' aperture.

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (1, Informative)

iammani (1392285) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113670)

As far as your eye knows it really is 3D (if it is wearing 3D glasses of course). So for all practical purposes it can be called 3D.

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33113758)

Not true, the point of view does not respond to changes in head/eye position as it would with a 3-dimenstional object. Your eye can tell that it's not perciving things that really exist in 3 dimensions because of that.

That's probably the cause of the eyestrain. Your eyes keep moving and altering focus to try and sort out whether what you're seeing a 3-d object or not (it seems 3-d but doesn't respond like it's 3-d)

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (1)

anstice8 (1742206) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114122)

That's not true. Your eyes themselves only see in 2 dimensions. Depth is perceived after the brain has processed both images. The glasses allow you to obtain 2 different images in each eye, and if pulled off correctly your brain won't be able to tell the difference.

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114028)

Please, that's not remotely true.

Watch Avatar. Now try to focus on something that's out-of-focus in the background.

"WTF", your eyes say, "I know I'm *supposed* to be able to bring that tree into focus, but I can't!" That's because it's *not* 3D. At best, its a fragile optical illusion.

Your brain can tell the difference. (2, Insightful)

Inominate (412637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114084)

We use a more than binocular vision to see things in 3d. One way is moving our head position, though in a movie theater this isn't really a big deal. Another important way is by focus. This is one reason why 3d movies cause headaches. When they gimmick out to make things "pop out" of the screen, the image our eyes see doesn't match up with how our eye wants to focus on it.

There's nothing really wrong with 3d movies, it could potentially add something. The current state of 3d movies however is to pack the movies with distracting "HOLY SHIT IT'S 3D!" gimmicks that add nothing.

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33113794)

Mirrors. Completely flat. Such good 3d that people have been known to walk into them by accident.

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (1)

Maarx (1794262) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113888)

Wouldn't you, by definition, be walking into yourself? I can't quite wrap my mind around what's going on here.

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33114090)

Mirrors. Completely flat.

My mirrors are convex, you insensitive clod!

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113828)

The term "3D", in this context, is referring to the simulation of the experience of viewing the scene in the video as being three dimensional from the standpoint of the viewer. It makes perfect sense and this crap argument is just an incompetent attempt at pedantry.

Re:It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d scree (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114468)

It is NOT 3d, you CANNOT get 3d from a 2d screen

Go to a play, then.

Give me black and white (5, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113542)

I'd take a black and white movie/show with a decent story over Avatar and its ilk and damn day of the week.

Re:Give me black and white (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33113824)

But fortunately for the rest of us, hollywood tries to make movies that most people enjoy, not just 01 or 10 people.

If you're trying to figure it out still, you are in that "01 or 10" group.

Re:Give me black and white (1)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113932)

Sin City was good.

Re:Give me black and white (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113936)

Me too!

In fact, I'd take a decent movie made by a group of enthousiastic amateurs over any move produced by "big media", anytime.

Re:Give me black and white (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114006)

> ...movie/show with a decent story...

They quit making those in the middle of the last century.

Re:Give me black and white (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114268)

Sometimes the content of the story doesn't have to be good. People often go to expos to see new technology, and not to take it home and play with it. The same thing can be said of some video games and movies. You have your preference, and others have theirs.

How many FPS games are successful based solely on graphical technology, while adding nothing to the genre? Surprisingly, a lot.

I may anger a few people, but I'd say that the movie Jurassic Park had a sub-par plot. Science creates monsters, they run amok, and their creators along with some innocent bystanders try to get away with their lives. Yet, it was one of the my most favorite movies, and was a hit among the masses, because it was the first time CG actually looked good alongside live action.

Re:Give me black and white (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114352)

Why you didn't think Pokahon... Err Umm Avatar was a good movie.

Make the 3D fad go away (4, Insightful)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113614)

I'm sorry, I have yet to see a movie in 3D where 3D provided anything additional to my movie experience other than a headache.

I watched Avater, and was distracted from the movie by the places that the 3D effect broke up badly. Of course, I get distracted by the film reel change indicators also.

Why do the movie companies believe that we want 3D? Heck, why do the television manufacturers believe that I'm willing to spend 2 grand more for it? Does anyone here feel that its a useful addition to a movie? /frank

Re:Make the 3D fad go away (2, Funny)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113786)

I do. I absolutely can not get enough 3D content. I suffer through Red/Cyan anaglyph just to do my gaming in 3D. I've only seen two movies in 3D, as I'm fairly offended by the price (especially after the article, which I think made Slashdot, about non-sterile glasses, covered in cooties), but I hope to get my hands on a second projector soon, so I can chop up my cootie-encrusted theater glasses and live out my darkest, most polarized fantasies on the nearest reflective surface.

3D TV is another ball of wax... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113788)

Heck, why do the television manufacturers believe that I'm willing to spend 2 grand more for it?

I agree with the view of this being nonsense. Last I heard, there was all of one 3D-BluRay movie. Really, how many times does someone want to watch Monsters vs. Aliens? I can't even think of anyone I know who watched that movie in the theater in 3D, so I'm not sure why someone would buy a 3D TV to watch it in 3D at home...

And sure, they are promising that more movies will come out in 3D, yet the movies that do so well in 3D in the theater (Avatar, Clash of the Titans especially) are then released only in 2D on Blu-ray.

Re:3D TV is another ball of wax... (1)

amentajo (1199437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114184)

the movies that do so well in 3D in the theater (Avatar, Clash of the Titans especially) are then released only in 2D on Blu-ray.

*sigh*
It's released in 2D on Blu-ray so that people who want to see the movie at all buy it now. Then, at a later date, (probably when 3D TVs are more common) it'll be re-released in 3D to get as many people as possible to buy both versions of it, where they otherwise would have only bought the 3D version if it were available now.

Right?

Re:3D TV is another ball of wax... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114440)

the movies that do so well in 3D in the theater (Avatar, Clash of the Titans especially) are then released only in 2D on Blu-ray.

It's released in 2D on Blu-ray so that people who want to see the movie at all buy it now. Then, at a later date, (probably when 3D TVs are more common) it'll be re-released in 3D to get as many people as possible to buy both versions of it, where they otherwise would have only bought the 3D version if it were available now.

That is one possible explanation. But on the other hand, why would they expect people to buy 3D TV sets when there are (almost) no 3D movies available to watch in 3D?

On top of that, every 3D set that I have seen advertised so far requires one pair of (expensive) glasses for every person who wants to watch the movie in 3D. And you can buy quite a few Blu-ray titles for less than the cost of another pair of glasses, so I don't think that having more 3D movies available will do much to eat into sales of 2D Blu-ray movies.

Re:Make the 3D fad go away (4, Insightful)

brasselv (1471265) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113844)

Why do the movie companies believe that we want 3D?

Because otherwise you have no reason to upgrade your Blue-Ray player.

Re:Make the 3D fad go away (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113980)

I'd need to buy a blu-ray player first, before I could upgrade it.

Re:Make the 3D fad go away (5, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113866)

"I get distracted by the film reel change indicators also."

That, right there, should be all the clue you should need to tell you that your are abnormally over critical.

Re:Make the 3D fad go away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33114078)

I watched a few scenes of U23D, that was a completely different experience then anything I have seen before.

It actually made you feel to be on the stage with the band, completely different from a normal concert registration.
Also Bono was so nearby it was a little bit too intimate for my taste, which is also something different from what I've felt before in a movie theater.

From this I think, if we get passed the gimmick of 3D, it can be used for dramatic effect and actually add to the emotion of a movie.

Also U23D was shown in the theater of the IBC (International Broadcasting Conference) so it was probably setup perfectly, so I did not get a headache. Also the people who made U23D spend a lot of time getting the 3D composition correct.

I have also been to 3D showings at normal theaters and they felt like they were pulling my eyes out of my sockets, this was caused probably by both a convergence issue at the theater, and bad 3D composition in the animations.

Re:Make the 3D fad go away (1)

nephridium (928664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114128)

Apparently enough people think otherwise. You picked Avatar as an example: a movie that has already grossed 750 MILLION [imdb.com] and is set for a re-release later this year [newsinfilm.com] (with a crummy 8 minutes of additional footage - really?), because apparently people haven't seen enough of it yet.

And in the case of Avatar it's definitely not because of an elaborate storyline, character development or any deep philosophical underpinnings - this movie works solely because of the visual effects - without those people would simply put it down as a mediocre rehash of Dances with Wolves in Space and wouldn't even give it a second glimpse.

Re:Make the 3D fad go away (1)

nephridium (928664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114198)

Little amendment - the 750 million figure was for the US alone - worldwide we're talking about "$2.7 billion in theaters alone" (for my second link) - and I'm sure Bluray sales won't be too shabby either.

Re:Make the 3D fad go away (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114492)

Why do the movie companies believe that we want 3D? Heck, why do the television manufacturers believe that I'm willing to spend 2 grand more for it?

because they're young and refuse to learn from history. 3D has come as a fad periodically during my life; I have a 3D movie on VHS (usues the two color cardboard glasses). The 3D at Epcot is impressive, but I agree with you that it doesn't and won't add to the experience.

As to why they think you'll buy it, how else are they going to get you to shell out on a new TV?

Depth of Field (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113658)

Call me back when they fix the depth of field issue. The whole scene needs to be in focus so that when my eyes aren't looking at precisely what the director wants, my eyes don't try to focus on something that can't be focused on.

Then Ebert is really against 3D because of how much darker the picture is, when normal movies are already projected too darkly half the time.

At this point, it still seems to be a gimmick. I remember reading that 3D ticket sales had fallen from 85% (or so) of ticket sales in some of the earlier 3D movies this year to ~40%. Clearly, people are realizing that it's usually a scam for an extra $5 from you.

Cameron worked on it for 10+ years. Nolan explicitly fought against making Inception 3D because he didn't think it would work. There is no way the no-name director of American Pie 7: Bagpipe Retreat is going to do 3D well.

Re:Depth of Field (1)

Z_A_Commando (991404) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113854)

Call me back when they fix the depth of field issue. The whole scene needs to be in focus so that when my eyes aren't looking at precisely what the director wants, my eyes don't try to focus on something that can't be focused on.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if optical technology is capable of this. Each "eye" of a 3D camera has to focus on something by its very nature. Where this doesn't apply is with CGI. The only movie I've ever seen in 3D was Toy Story 3. While it wasn't worth the extra cost to see the 3D, 3D meant everything was in focus so you could look anywhere on screen and not just where the director wanted you to look.

Re:Depth of Field (1)

john83 (923470) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113860)

Call me back when they fix the depth of field issue. The whole scene needs to be in focus so that when my eyes aren't looking at precisely what the director wants, my eyes don't try to focus on something that can't be focused on.

I'm unclear: is this a problem you have specifically with 3D, or with cinema in general? Every imaging system has limited depth of field. What you're asking for is technically impossible except in animated films.

Re:Depth of Field (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114110)

What you're asking for is technically impossible except in animated films.

100% CGI for most movies will be standard sooner than you think.

Re:Depth of Field (2, Informative)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114228)

With a standard movie, when your eye can't focus on something it just files it into 'pattern on wall' and ignores it. In 3D, your eyes think they should be able to pick out objects and focus on them (because they can switch parallax to them), but they can't.

Re:Depth of Field (2, Informative)

profplump (309017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114404)

In films that don't pretend to be 3D there's no conflict between the parallax and my focal distance, so I never have any reason to attempt to focus at some other depth. In fact, the limited field of focus is often used to show differing distances, to help make up for the lack of real depth information.

Plus it's *not* impossible to capture a re-focusable image -- you just need to capture the entire light field as opposed to the 2D projection of the light field captured by traditional photography. While not in common use, such devices actually exist: http://graphics.stanford.edu/papers/lfcamera/ [stanford.edu]

Re:Depth of Field (1)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114452)

You can select aperture, focal length, and focus position such that you end up with a distance past which everything is in focus. This is called a hyperfocal distance. It would require some major changes in the way you film, for example close-up shots would be very difficult and the lower aperture values require more light. Or you can just attempt to have either everything within the depth of field, or so far out of the DOF that it is just a total blur without any distinguishing features to draw the viewer's eye.

But there is one real major problem with 3d and focus: It removes a major tool in the filmmaker's toolbox. Think about a horror film shot which is focused on the protagonist, and something moves in the background. Is it as suspenseful and scary if everything is in focus and you can immediately see that it was just a branch? How about where the director racks focus from one object to another, drawing you through the scene? Try either of those in a 3D film and you are sure to cause headaches as people's eyes try to figure out what to focus on.

Re:Depth of Field (2, Informative)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113892)

I think the 85% may be at least partially due to hype, saturation, and (I suppose to a much smaller degree) technical details.

Avatar was hugely hyped. No other movie since has had so much energy poured into its marketing, particularly focusing on the sweeping majesty of the 3D. I watched in on a crummy screen, in 2D and was so horrified by the film itself that I have no plans to see it... but a kajillion people did. As a science fiction film, it also appealed more to the types of people interested in 3D, and technology. Shrek: Forever After appeals to a lot of people who just don't are about the 3D, or aren't even aware of the option.

Additionally, several of the movies that came out shortly after Avatar were "faked", with 3D added once the film was in the can. As huge fan of 3D, I am not willing to sit through a film stuffed with someone's idea of appropriate parallax. I want accurate parallax, dammit, or I want no parallax at all.

Re:Depth of Field (2, Interesting)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113896)

I'm a big fan of 3D, but I have to agree with you on the depth of field thing. I've gotten used to it, for the most part, but when I started watching 3D films, I had the same problem you did. I suppose that this would be an easy thing to fix for 3D rendered films (Shrek, Toy Story, etc.) but for live action films it will require new cameras with infinite focus.

Re:Depth of Field (2, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114234)

It IS a gimmick. Note that there is absolutely nothing new about the technology. We've been able to do 3-D since the stereoscope (invented 1838). We've had the ability (and actual existent hardware) to do it with polarized glasses for decades. The old style color based 3-D from the '50s works as well as it ever works on a standard old color television (and so, with a regular DVD player or VHS).

Note the distinct lack of clamor for any of that for decades on end. Note that the 3-D bluray COULD render the 3-D content into the old-style red-blue 3D so it can work on a regular TV. They're not interested in that since it would mean less drooling early adopters paying through the nose for a 3-D TV.

Re:Depth of Field (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114410)

Then Ebert is really against 3D because of how much darker the picture is, when normal movies are already projected too darkly half the time.

Blame the "digital" mania on that. Films used to be exactly that, films made of some plastic through which a *strong* light was passed.

With digital projectors, where light passes through an LCD, that light must be dimmer because the blacks would be washed out, no LCD has as much contrast as film.

They are missing the biggest factor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33113680)

The biggest problems with current-technology 3D is FOCUS. With 3D glasses, your eyes correctly converge to look at a near object, or diverge more to look at a far object, but the focus of your lens is still fixed to the distance of the screen. This unnatural coupling between convergance distance and focus distance is the biggest factor that makes current-generation 3D painful.

I love 3D stuff (0)

Kurru (1723818) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113682)

I wear glasses and love 3D stuff! Really adds to the feeling of being there imho, sure it sucks having to wear a 2nd pair of glasses, but it sucks more having to wear 1 pair of glasses in the first place. tldr; 3D = good & people love to complain

Solution is at hand (1)

MoeDumb (1108389) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113684)

Removable 3-D contact lenses! It would make zillions for the inventor. I don't imagine they'd be too hard to make either. As a prescription item, 3-D contacts would be the perfect solution and do away with any more need for 3-D glasses. It's just too bad I can't patent my idea.

Of course its not the tech's fault. (5, Insightful)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113696)

He's the chief instructor for the Sony 3D Technology Center, so of course he'll tell you its not the tech's fault. Its his job to make sure people don't go against this technology. Its all about PR and the millions/billions of dollars invested and wanted to be made from this. Its like when a cellphone loses signal when you hold it in the wrong way, its not their products fault, it's the users fault because to admit "Hey, we screwed up" will cost much more money then to try to trivialize the problem and hope people will shift blame from the real issue (the tech itself).

Porn (3, Insightful)

jamesyouwish (1738816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113700)

The 3D technology will only proliferate when the porn industry adopts it.

Buzz also explained why 3D glasses are here to... (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113724)

Does it start with an M and ends with a Y?

Re:Buzz also explained why 3D glasses are here to. (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113822)

Only if more than two humans manage to have a completely differently behaving brain. So no...

Re:Buzz also explained why 3D glasses are here to. (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113928)

Oh, I get it, masturbatory.

Re:Buzz also explained why 3D glasses are here to. (0)

.Bruce Perens (150539) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114036)

The Mummy was an okay film but a re-release won't save 3D.

3D will die...again (3, Insightful)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113734)

I just hope that it dies before it starts to change the way cinematographers shoot movies, because they are under pressure to make the movie '3d-able'. Composing a film for 3d is an entirely different paradigm compared to the decades/centuries of NORMAL filmmaking and cinematography. I bet in future decades, when people watch today's movies without the lame 3D glasses, everyone looks back at pictures from this era and wonder why everything is composed in the center of the frame, with deep-focus effects and limited pans and zooms.

Center composition for SDTV (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114030)

I bet in future decades, when people watch today's movies without the lame 3D glasses, everyone looks back at pictures from this era and wonder why everything is composed in the center of the frame

Part of framing shots with a huge overscan has nothing to do with 3D and everything to do with SDTV. SDTV has a 4:3 display aspect ratio, and cinema is closer to 7:3, so "reformatting to fit this screen" cuts off a horizontal area that adds up to roughly the height of the picture. Even though VHS is dead, cable TV is still around, and secondary TVs in houses are still standard-definition. They could pan-and-scan, but that tends to look artificial for several reasons: jerky starts and stops in the panning motion, panning motion at 60 Hz is uncannily smoother than the film at 24 Hz and lacks motion blur, no attempt to synchronize pan movement with camera movement, etc. And they still have to frame the shot with the expectation of part of it getting cut off, which means pushing things together.

Maybe (2, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113838)

Maybe it's not the 3D that gives you a headache, it's the plot (or lack of it).

OK, they ran out of the safe room they had found, and into the scarey laboratory with the evil monster, split up, ripped up/off their clothes (always necessary), and then started randomly pressing every button in sight, and jumping into the first dark room they could find. Why should I be surprised that something bad happens to them? [Noise from banging my head on chair in front of me] Why should I get a headache? [bang! bang!]

Bloody hell.... (1)

the_hellspawn (908071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113870)

Just reading this story and the comments gave me a headache.

So... (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113880)

So what they're saying is that it's an inherent failure in the current design of 3D technology - that there is no way to make a movie look good in 3D without explicitly having that in mind all the time. So it's like spam email - the inherent flaws in the current 3D technology mean that there's nothing can be done about filmmakers abusing it, or doing it poorly, or not doing it at all?

That's got me convinced then - I won't ever buy the current generation of 3D. Thanks, "Buzz" and Sony, you made an already-certain decision of mine even more concrete.

Seriously? 3D still believed to be the future? (0)

Voidburn (1869406) | more than 3 years ago | (#33113894)

Why in the world, now that we have gorgeous 400Hz LCD screens with amazing contrast and colors, would I want to go and ruin it by using a technology which makes images look worse? Not to mention the mandatory shaded glasses that absorb a good portion of the screen's light. I mean, seriously, who's buying it?!

I was hoping all the fuzz about it would be dead by now.. what is this, the third time they try to push this tech into the market? I sure hope this is another fail and the last at that!

I blame the movie content (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114064)

My first 3D movie experience was The Last Airbender. I don't think it was the 3D that gave me the headache, but the really bad acting and butchered storyline. And also the 3D. It seemed like 99.5% of the movie was 2D, with only a small handful of brief scenes actually being in 3D, which were done poorly. The Legend of the Guardians trailer was much more interesting that the movie we paid to see, both in content and 3D effects.

The solution actually isn't that difficult... (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114092)

I'm no expert on this, but I have a feeling that doubling the framerate might help substantially. The eye strain for me, outside of convergence issues, is the severe motion blur. I think the main issue with this "fix" is that current 3D projector technology can't run at double the framerate...and that's where the "tricks" and the "good 3D" comes into play. The hardware is limited, so they're having to come up with work arounds to make something that looks bad look better.

When I can watch 60fps 3D (we're talking about 60fps per eye, not 30fps per eye) I might bite. 24fps film makes me queasy enough during action screens...

gets blurry half way through (1)

MikeB0Lton (962403) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114276)

I can't be the only nerd in here who gets artificial butter all over the lenses by the halfway point of the movie. Popcorn salt doesn't do much for them either.

Re:gets blurry half way through (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114360)

I can't be the only nerd in here who gets artificial butter all over the lenses by the halfway point of the movie. Popcorn salt doesn't do much for them either.

Look on the bright side, however bad it is now, it'll be even worse when the Pr0n industry goes 3D.

accurate 3D is boring (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114368)

3D movies exaggerate the 3D effect in order to impress. Actual, accurate 3D would be pretty boring, because anything more than a dozen feet away would be basically little different from a flat projection.

Easy way to test (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114396)

Are there more reports of headaches from watching "Step It Up 3D" than "Avatar"?
Compare with headaches from the 2D versions...

Nobody cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33114414)

On a recent long now foundation seminar (http://www.longnow.org/seminars/, Jesse Schell for those interested) a professor of game design pointed out that Stereoscopy was invented in the first half of the 1800's. Alfred Hitchcock played with it before deciding that he couldn't use 3D to accomplish anything meaningful. If anyone were interested, we could have started having every singe image presented in 3D starting over 100 years ago. But we don't because after the novelty wore off, living in that world would be incredibly annoying. (Pop-up ads would probably be grounds for murder.)

Maybe this time the kids are going to start doing it, but I'm guessing not so much.

re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33114424)

OT: How are people with amblyopia supposed to watch 3D movies?

A guide to 3D display technology (1)

crf00 (1048098) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114436)

TechCrunch [crunchgear.com] actually gave a very detailed explanation on how 3D display technology works. Everyone who wants to know more should read about this.

Long Exposure = Headaches (1)

relikx (1266746) | more than 3 years ago | (#33114472)

I was recently a subject in market research around 3D televisions specifically, we watched 3 2-hour World Cup matches with a small break in between each. By the end, it was just too much...now granted I can't say another pair of glasses could have helped things some but the reason 3D won't catch on like HD is because it only works well in moderation.
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