Walter Murch's summation of the S3D paradox at DVinfo.net

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Old February 3rd, 2011, 02:28 PM   #1
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Walter Murch's summation of the S3D paradox

Read here: Why 3D doesn't work and never will. Case closed. - Roger Ebert's Journal

Walter brings up some good points in his letter to Roger Ebert. However, he somewhat generalizes the dwarfism effect, which is hopefully now non-existant in today's films shot with much smaller interaxial separation.

I do agree with him on the issue of focus and negative parallax objects, something which I see in 3D films all too often, especially at theme parks. For the past couple of years I have restricted deep off-screen effects to out-of-focus objects or particles such as snow which, in my judgement, has proven to be an effective technique for headache-free S3D.

Thoughts?
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Old February 3rd, 2011, 06:55 PM   #2
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Well, I certainly do not need Roger Ebert to tell me how to make movies. Or, for that matter, which movies to like and which to dislike. He has always criticized 3D, and he has done so in a very pompous way.

Walter Murch, of course, is a different story. He is an experienced and respectable editor. Editors are often asked to fix things that should not need fixing, and would not need fixing if directors did not have the "we'll fix it in post" attitude. You cannot fix bad 3D in post. You have to do it right from the start.

The problem is not with 3D, the problem is with studios jumping on the 3D band wagon for all the wrong reasons, such as Avatar was successful and since it was a 3D movie, it was successful because it was in 3D. No, Avatar was successful for many reasons. 3D was only a small part of its success. Thinking that a movie will be just as successful as Avatar if you just make it in 3D is a mistake. The same mistake studios made in the 1950s, when every studio wanted to be the first to make the next 3D movie, so they rushed them out without doing it right.

Not every movie needs to be made in 3D, and some really should not be made in 3D. 3D is not just a gimmick. It is a different way of making a movie. It takes more than two cameras (or one camera with two lenses). When done right, nothing can beat it. When done poorly, it causes all the problems mentioned in the article.

The silliest thing so many 3D movies do is making objects come out of the screen just because their creators think it is a must in a 3D movie. It is about as much a must as having to have oversatured colors in every movie because it is in color.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 04:45 AM   #3
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I think the best comment is about "immersion." I agree that a good film will draw you in and become "dimensionless" anyway. I find 3D distracts from that rather than helping.

It's great for a short blast on a theme park ride but I see only cons to its use in cinema. Some others seem to love it and economics will eventually dictate how prevalent it becomes.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 07:03 AM   #4
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I can't help thinking about how Orsen Welles dimmed the lights to fade out at the end of a scene in Citizen Cane because his background was in stage. Ditto the use small apertures for deep DOF. Both effects were driven by his desire to mirror how humans experience reality. Citizen Cane is a great film for many reasons but not simply because of those "cinema effects".

Personally, I appreciate the 3D effect when used to immerse me in the story. When it's used to try and WOW me or throw things at me, it's no different than a cheesy transition, unnecessary violence or a badly written bit of a script. At the same time, 3D is not a requirement to immerse me either.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 09:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Personally, I appreciate the 3D effect when used to immerse me in the story. When it's used to try and WOW me or throw things at me, it's no different than a cheesy transition, unnecessary violence or a badly written bit of a script. At the same time, 3D is not a requirement to immerse me either.
I could say the same thing about color. There was a time when color was used to separate certain "spectacle" films from the rest of the pack, and the early Technicolor films featured production design that screams "Look at me, I'm in color!!"

Eventually, color became the norm. But that wasn't until there were technical advances that made color more affordable and easier both on set and in post. I think that 3D is moving towards a similar place, where it's becoming more affordable and easier to accomplish.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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Professor Banks of UC Berkley did extensive research in the area of focus/convergence coupling and has a conceptual solution for it, even though it requires fairly complex eyewear at this time. Couple of his papers are here: http://www.etcenter.org/files/public...anks_NAB09.pdf , http://bankslab.berkeley.edu/publica...on_model05.pdf . I cannot find the story about his correction, but little reference is mentioned here: 3D Technology Adds Up To Nausea & Headaches For Some | WUSA9.com | Washington, DC | . I saw his presentation at an SID conference. He has a very good understanding of the issue - the first step to correction.

This needs to be solved for an ultimate success. Color might have been unnecessary and expensive, but I don't think that color caused physical discomfort for too many people.

The rest of Ebert's rant will be gone with the "sweet sound of tubes" and "harshness of the non-analog audio", IMHO. People will learn how to use the technology better, develop better machines and skills. I hope all this will happen before too many folks get a bad experience with it.

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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:13 PM   #7
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Thanks, for the links, Pavle. And I agree with your comment on Ebert's rant.
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Old February 4th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #8
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Thanks Adam. I just found the link I was originally looking for. There are links to various recent articles, where Dr. Bank's "contraption" (vergence-accomodation device) is described. UC Berkeley Vision Science || Bank's Lab
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Old February 6th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pavel Houda View Post
This needs to be solved for an ultimate success.......
The $ value put on the various viewing locations at the end of the first link suggests that economics are the next major barrier to overcome for both theater operators and paying viewers. I can see why the person who sits at the $100 keeps wondering why it is that he keeps hearing about all that bad-mouthing of 3D movies.

This also explains so clearly why the sweet spot for watching 3D content using active-shutter glasses on any 3D-capable HDTV screen is so tight. Watching anaglyphs with the red and blue glasses on the computer screen e.g. YouTube 3D videos, presents the same problem.

Last edited by Wacharapong Chiowanich; February 6th, 2011 at 09:10 AM.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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$100 seats

Good to see that the high end 3D Thai theaters have that all sorted out, with the really comfy 600 baht sofa style seats usually located around the stereo sweet spot and assigned seating increasingly becoming the norm.
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