The most popular and advanced form of movies are 3D movies. 3D or 3-D films are motion pictures with an enhanced illusion of depth perception. (Cohen, 2009) The famous symbol for 3D movies is the anaglyph, which is made up of a red lens for the left eye and cyan lens for the right eye. The technology in making these films has developed over the years but still needs a lot more improvement to provide the perfect method of creating 3D films. 3D movies are generally of three kinds: a live action movie, an animated movie, and a 3D remake of a 2D movie.
Making 3D live action movies are based on the concept of perspective and dual images. Hold a finger in front of you and close one eye. Now open it and close the other eye. Did you notice the difference in the image when you closed one of your eyes? The key to that is that one lens makes your left eye focus on one image and the other lens makes your right eye focus on another image. Your eyes are looking at two different images simultaneously without even knowing it. To make this kind of movie, two normal 2D cameras could be put side-to-side to create a stereo pair or have a set of expensive stereoscopic cameras. One of the most well known 3D live action films produced was Avatar, which was shown in 2009.
Computer-generated images (CGI) or animated films are also in 3D format nowadays. They use computer to put an in depth, realistic, and 3D effect in the traditional method of 2D. They make separate images for the left and right eye by editing the images. There are even downloadable software programs now available on the internet, already designed to enable you to make your own movies in 3D. A number of tutorials are also available on how to make an animated movie. The cost to make 3D animated movies is also lower than making 3D live action movies. Known animated movies in 3D are The Adventures of Tintin, Brave, How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me 2, and many more.
Converting 2D movies into 3D is also possible. 2D to 3D conversion is the process of converted a film from 2D (normal film) to a 3D (or stereo) film for viewing with a stereographic viewing system. (Squires, 2011) Most techniques used in converting 2D movies are depth-based. Using special algorithms developed for this process, the digital files are both machine and manually edited to add a second view and provide separate left eye and right eye images. Animated 2D movies made with 3D models can be re-rendered in stereoscopic 3D by adding a second virtual camera if the original data is still available. These processes take a lot of time scanning and editing with such accuracy to provide comfort to the viewer’s eyes, and for the quality of art to not change. However, it’s difficult to convert a 2D movie if the original information about it is not anymore available. (Thomas, 2013) Some known 3D movies that were re-released are Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Titanic.
Although this kind of movie is popular, there are many downsides to producing and watching these movies. The budgets for producing these films are much higher than making traditional 2D films. A lot more equipment, programs and man power are needed to produce a good quality movie. This cost of production is in return passed to the viewers, making movie tickets double the price. Health concerns in viewing this type of movie must be addressed. The brain is sensitive to the images, and if the left and right eye images are not properly synched these movies can make your head ache and your eyes sore (Child, 2011). 3D movies can also induce motion sickness, nausea and disorientation. There also have been cases of people having seizures while watching 3D movies (Curry, 2013). Crosstalk between the eyes, caused by imperfect image separation, and the mismatch between convergence and accommodation, caused by the difference between an object's perceived position in front of or behind the screen, and the real origin of that light on the screen is also one of the effects of 3D movies. Many critics argue that humans don’t need 3D films because traditional 2D films already provide depth perception cues like occlusion, resolution, color etc. They also argue that the called 3D effect adds "not that much" to the film and described the effect as “nonsense”. There are also brightness concerns with 3D films. They cut down the brightness of the picture as high as 88%, and this greatly affects the quality of the film.
Although this evolution of film had greatly changed the movie industry, it isn’t appropriate to have the traditional method of making movies removed. They still need to polish the making of these films, and solve the problems concerning it. They must also find a way to lessen the cost of production or else this film making technology will not be funded and might die.
Cohen, David S., 2009. Filmmakers Like S3D's Emotional Wallop. Variety. http://variety.com/2009/digital/news/filmmakers-like-s3d-s-emotional-wallop-1118008671/. March 8, 2014.
Thomas, Alexander,2013. Why '3D' Will Fail... Again. Dr. Lex’s Site. http://www.dr-lex.be/info-stuff/3dfail.html. March 8, 2014.
2012. "Creating 3D Movie Content." Creating 3D Movies. 3D@Home, International 3D Society, http://www.3duniversity.net/page.aspx?page=12. March 8, 2014.
Curry, Matthew. 2013. Why Hollywood Must Stop Making 3D Films. What Culture. http://whatculture.com/film/why-hollywood-must-stop-making-3d-films.php#QJlyzjPW806Rd7Ho.99. March 8, 2014.
Squires, Scott. 2011. 2D to 3D Conversions. Effects Corner. http://effectscorner.blogspot.com/2011/08/2d-to-3d-conversions.html#.Uxrhwj-SyGY. March 8, 2014.
Child, Ben. 2011. 3D No Better Than 2D And Gives Filmgoers Headaches, Claims Study. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/film/2011/aug/11/3d-no-better-than-2d. March 8, 2014.