3D movies - here to stay or soon to vanish again?

Will 3-D movies really draw people back from DVD’s ? That’s the hope of theaters investing in expensive new equipment.
Will it go mainstream, with name stars and normal plots instead of just cartoons and ones picked to show off depth?
Will they be cheap and easy enough to film that indie productions will try them?
Will movie DVD’s get the same capabilities? Perhaps released in game machine or special goggles format?

I love 3D movies. However, right now I would have to drive at least an hour to see one. If a local theater starts showing them, I’ll go and see even the bad ones.

I vote they are here to stay. The latest 3D movies are incredible visually. I do wonder, as you say, how well the medium will translate to regular filmmaking as opposed to the animated genre.

Even if it primarily stays just within that realm, it will still be great because there’s been no shortage of average to very good animated films.

I think 3D is here to stay, but I don’t see 2D vanishing any time soon. The equipment and the methods to use it are too ubiquitous and inexpensive.

For 3D to really succeed, though, editing styles will have to change (fewer cuts/longer shots) and frame rates may have to increase. It may not be possible going forward for the same cut of a movie to be used for both presentations.

You can get 3d setups for your computer, i have one. I don’t, however, know if dvds or blueray have the 3d info.

The first real test will be when James Cameron’s Avatar (which has a larger budget than even Titanic), is released this holiday seasons. The movie was designed from the ground-up with 3D in mind, using state-of-the-art technology to better integrate 3D creatures with live-action.

Early impressions of the first 20 minutes which were recently shown were beyond ecstatic, so here’s hoping the final movie lives up to the hype and really demonstrates what 3D can do.

I never saw it, but for how live action 3D will do, remember there was “My Bloody Valentine 3D”. So, if any of you saw it, how good were the 3D effects?

My wife watched it on DVD, without 3D*. I caught a little bit of it from the kitchen and such. It was loaded with “THIS IS A 3D MOVIE!” shots I had to laugh (mostly a pick-ax swinging at the camera).

During trailers before Up, there was a preview for an X-Games documentary (or something like that). I noticed pretty clearly that the fast-action often looked choppy and hard to watch, but there still were some “Wow” shots of flying bikes and the crowd behind.

*: I had offered to take her to a 3D theater showing of it for Valentine’s Day, despite disliking horror movies myself. We never got around to it before it left theaters.

I give 3D five years tops.

3D movies give people headaches – some seriously so. Until they can be created without having to wear glasses, that’s a basic fact of human physiology – the 3D effect wrecks havoc with your instincts. Maybe about a quarter of your audience find 3D actively unpleasant to watch, and it makes no sense to throw away a quarter of an audience.

There’s also nothing you can’t done in 3D that can’t be done in 2D just as well.

It has been – there’s been a 3D theater in Moscow using “lenticular” technology for decades. It’s the only theater in the world made for this type of 3D. And it doesn’t require flasses. For some reason, it hasn’t been very popular, and I don’t know why it hasn’t been tried elsewhere.
To tell the truth, I haven’t heard anything about it in years, so for all I know it’s gone. But still, it’s old technology. IIRC, the Moscow theater doesn’t actually use lenticular arrys, but merely a specialy-constructed screen.

There have been patents out for Television systems using no-glasses lenticular 3D technology for decades, too. I’ve been over them – as far as I can tell, they’d work. But nobody wants to put the money into them. as a bonus, the TV systems don’t merely provide a “2 eye” view, but would allow you to move around a bit and see more of a scene.

And not all glasses-using systems cause headaches. The LC glasses that cause alternate eyes to be blocked out has been used for years in computer 3D displays and for porn, of all things *. It’s too expensive for theater use (you can throw those circular-polarizer glasses Real 3D uses away, but a set of LC glasses would be too expensive), but there’s no reason home systems couldn’t use it.

*Further evidence to bolster my theory that horny males drive home entertainment technology.

I don’t see them taking off. I think they’ll continue to exist for the various CGI movies, and maybe a few others a year, but they certainly aren’t going to become the default moviegoing experience.

Also, that they charge extra for the 3D showings doesn’t help.

They already are. The 3D editions consistently outperform the 2D versions of the same films. That’s why traditionally conservative exhibition industry is installing the hardware. (That, and the fact that the studios are paying a large part of the bill through virtual print fees.)

Do you call Brendan Fraser a “name star”? Not everyone liked Journey to the Center of the Earth, but it was the first live-action, non-documentary 3D feature of the current digital 3D wave, and it’s made $240 million so far. Also, I’d question your last assumption. Many of the animated films released in 3D so far were not planned as 3D productions and didn’t use 3D particularly effectively. But, oddly enough, that didn’t keep them from being popular.

As Red Barchetta said, Avatar will probably be a watershed for live-action 3D production. However, don’t assume that its astronomical budget is because it’s in 3D, or that the expense of 3D is what’s holding back live-action production. Journey was made for “only” $60 million. Its producer told me that she estimated that 3D added about 20% to the production budget. Considering how it was reviewed, I think it probably would have performed substantially worse at the box office without the novelty of 3D, so it was a good investment.

The main factor holding back live-action 3D has been that there aren’t enough 3D screens for a true wide release. The number most people seem to be waiting for is 5,000 in North America. That’s the current worldwide count, and most are in the U.S. and Canada. So we’re getting close.

(BTW, the author of the linked article makes many of the same points I have made in other threads.)

For now it is somewhat simpler and cheaper to create a 3D version of an animated film than it is to shoot live-action 3D, but those costs will come down, as most digital technologies tend to do. So, yes, eventually you’ll be able to shoot 3D with a cheap home camcorder.

The technology is coming. Samsung and several other TV manufacturers are offering or have announced 3D-capable flat panel TVs. I haven’t looked lately, but I’m quite sure that with the convergence of computers with home theaters and other technologies, home 3D playback systems are not far off.

I’ve written extensively here and here about why I think 3D is here to stay, and why, contrary to what some people claim, this iteration of 3D is not just a flash in the pan, as previous revivals were. The simple fact is that, unlike the birth of 3D in the 1950s, and brief returns a few times since, today the theater chains are installing a permanent infrastructure in thousands of theaters to show 3D. And this will enable them to show live events, like concerts and sports events, as well as movies.

Also, the studios and top directors (do they get any topper than Cameron?) are producing dozens of new films in 3D, and the vast majority of those released to date have been quite profitable.

There’s no doubt in my mind that 3D is here to stay. That’s not to say that all films will be released in 3D any time soon, but I would expect the percentage to increase steadily. Ultimately, 3D may be as common as color, but that will probably take at least 10 years.

And there’s nothing that can be done in color that can’t be done in black & white, right?

Beowulf had name stars and a normal plot, and while it certainly benefited from the depth, it didn’t really depend on it. It’s just taking filmmakers a while to get used to 3D as a legitimate technique that augments other techniques, rather than as a standalone gimmick. But then, the same was true for color and sound when those appeared on the scene.

Only because they’re responding to hype and the successful application of a gimmick. I don’t think you can rely on that to sustain.

It might. I haven’t gone to see any 3D movies yet, partly because I don’t go to cinemas anymore, and partly because they’re not playing in 3D locally, I have to travel further. But also because I don’t see the point. It doesn’t improve a movie’s story, so why bother?

But the proles seem to like it, so who knows.

Neither did color.

Also, 3D movies charge more per ticket than their 2D counterparts.

They are pretty much here to stay, given that more theaters are doing it, and more are converting screens to fauxmax. However, they will stay pretty much the somain of animated films, or live action action films with large amounts of cgi.

Colour was a natural and inevitable progression, and caused no issue with viewing. Stereoscopic 3D is still problematic to view for many people and requires, possibly unavoidable, accessories.

Nonsense. It is one of the great tragedies of cinematic art that Chesty Morgan never made a 3D film.

Stereo movies don’t require special glasses, as I’ve noted above.

See here: