Post-production 3D Vs Filmed in 3D

I had for quite a long time dismissed 3D as a useless fad. But turns out my opinion was based on having seen a movie in 3D which had added the 3D in post production. (Captain America).

The 3D effects in Captain America were laughingly bad, reminding me more of those children’s pop up books, with its obvious layering of pieces of the set into the ‘depth’ of the 3D effect. So much so that it pulled me out of the movie on numerous occasions.

I finally got to see Prometheus over the weekend, which I believe was filmed in 3D, and the 3D effects in that movie were absolutely seamless. So much so that I didn’t even really notice the 3D as a ‘separate’ effect.

I’m still not a total convert, but it’s now solely based on me personally, with the glasses being a slight pain to fit over my actual glasses, and even in Prometheus winding up with a little headache earlier on as I adjusted. But as long as the movie is filmed in 3D, I’m happy from a technical perspective. And joy of joy I’m no longer concerned about the fact The Hobbit is being filmed in 3D.

Makes me wonder, why does anyone bother doing post-production 3D. If Captain America is typical of the results achieved by that method, it makes the experience worse, not better.

Because they can charge an additional 30% on top of the normal ticket price. Sad, but I believe it’s true.

There are some Directors who don’t like 3D and refuse to shoot in it, but the Studios still want to release it in 3D, because everything else is. Post is usually the way to please both of them. Though not, subsequently, audiences.

After watching The Pirates! and The Avengers in 3D I don’t really see what the big deal is. 3D doesn’t really make movies any more enjoyable it just makes them more expensive.

All I know is that the only preview I’ve ever seen that looked good was of a converted 3D movie, because there was a lot more depth of field. To me, just a shallow 3D isn’t worth seeing.

Then again, I can’t handle big screens (due to an inner ear thing–I get too dizzy if I can’t see the sides of the screen) so I’m not the target audience.

I have the same issue with big screens. Why do you think it’s inner ear related?

We are hard-wired to feel unwell when our inner ear disagrees with what our eyes out telling us. (as when you are in the cabin of a ship and your inner ear is telling you you’re going up and down and your eyes are telling you that you are sitting still because of the frame of reference of the walls and floor) This is a useful gift of evolution because for the vast majority of our history we could depend on this disagreement being an indication we had eaten the wrong thing and were poisoned, so the right thing to do would be to eject the contents of our stomach immediately

Seeing outside of the edges of the screen makes it easier to reconcile the inner ear with the visual because you have something to reassure your brain that you are really sitting still -this makes it easier for sensitive people to get through a movie without getting sick.

And you should avoid post converted 3D because it’s awful. Software cannot hope to accurately reproduce what a second camera would see, so the result will always look wrong.

This website will tell you what movies are filmed 3D or post 3D. There are a few reasons I’ve heard - post-production 3D is actually cheaper, filming 3D requires stronger lighting, and directors aren’t comfortable figuring out what scenes should pop in 3D.

I find that even a created-in 3D image looks like everything is either shoved in my face or receding into infinity (based on a few minutes of trailers attached to Coraline – I gave up and left before the movie itself started). Apparently it would have been worse if I’d been watching post-sythetic 3D.

I still haven’t seen any 3D that compares to what Avatar did in 2009, so if they want it to have serious staying power they better pick up their game.

Usually post 3D is bad, but I personally found Star Wars to look ok and I hear that Titanic did as well. Of course Lucas and Cameron are the types to do it to their prescious films only if they put in the time, money, and effort to do it right. I can see how that would be different than a studio rushing it out for the sake of ticket sales without much love and attention.

Wasn’t one of those “cavers find monsters and or trapped in a cave” movies a few years ago filmed in 3D?

How was that 3D? Seems to me thats the perfect environment for a 3D movie. Lots of continous stuff around in a decent range of distances.

Maybe not bad for conversions, but when I went to go see The Adventures of Tintin, they showed trailers for Titanic, The Phantom Menace, and The Hobbit - that order. I’m guessing they put their best up front for the trailers, but it still looked like a practical demonstration of how underwhelming 3D conversions are when contrasted with material that’s actually shot in 3D.

Post-production 3D doesn’t look especially realistic to me, but I think it can work as an artistic choice. I didn’t see Captain America in 3D, but I did see that version of the Avengers. I thought the artificial ‘pop’ was entirely appropriate in a movie that was meant to look like a live-action comic book. It was used like a CG animation technique, much like the artificial depth-of-field processing applied to TV shows shot on digital video to mimic the look of film.

The same effect would have been downright tragic in a subtler, real-world setting. It’s too easy to get it wrong and get stuck in the uncanny valley. If you want good 3D that’s not totally over the top, you really need to shoot with a 3D camera, because post-processing won’t cut it.