Since it debuted half a century ago, 3D cinema has mainly been a gimmick. To date, perhaps my favorite of the all these movies is a short horror film farce by the Three Stooges, because it fully embraces the silliness of 3D, using every gag imaginable, with no pretensions of it being an art form.
But 3D can be taken seriously if it's done right, says Jon Landau, producer of the (admittedly somewhat hokey) blockbuster Titanic, who is now working with his director partner Jim Cameron on the live action 3D flick Avatar. He extolled the virtues of 3D at the Consumer Electronics Show during a press event in which Panasonic announced plans to bring 3D capabilities to its plasma TVs and Blu-ray players.
The trick to making a 3D film that isn't gimmicky, says Landau, is not to think too much about the 3D. "You have to be careful not to fall into the trap that the imagery would suggest to you, which is 'stay on me longer, look how real I am, stay on that shot,'" he explained. "It's like transferring from black-and-whit to color. Just because it's in color doesn't mean I want to hang on the shot of the flower longer while the lead actor is talking."
In fact, all the editing for Avatar is being done on a 2D version of the film, which takes the perspective from the "left-eye" of the two-camera setup. Afterwards, the same edits are carried over to the right-eye video. "We fought to hold to the standard cinematic techniques," he said, following the same rules that make a good-looking 2D film rather than getting caught up in the 3D effects.
Great idea with the editing. I hate how technology tends to become the focus of a movie. A good movie ought to make you forget all about how it was made while you are watching it.
They need to drop all this nonsense with the left eye seeing this and the right eye seeing that, funny glasses and special film. If they just were able to make the whole image in focus it would appear three dimensional. Think about it...everything in the world is in focus, crisp as can be but depending on what draws your attention some things go in and out of focus while you are looking at them, which creates a visible three dimensional world. In a movie if everything was in focus you could look past the actors face into the background, right now you would just see mostly unfocused blobs which end up trapping your attention on the actor for lack of being able to see anything else. True 3D comes through absolute focus so the eye has a choice of what to see.
Rather interesting in that simplicity is so central. But really, everyone is looking for a new type of 3D vis. , Specifically in gaming. The programmers who figure out how to put the 3D into the hardware, instead of the recorded movie.....well, it's not going to happen overnight.
Visualize....3D isn't created by focus. In real life your eyes are looking into three dimensional space at three dimensional objects. There is actual real depth that exists. When you're watching a movie, you're looking at a flat two dimensional screen. The depth has to be artificially created. If focus was the only issue, all of my photographs that have more depth of field would be in 3D.