3-D, And Why It’s Not Just a Gimmick

3-D, And Why It’s Not Just a Gimmick

Movies Tech

One of the most offensive things you can say to a movie buff (depending on the movie buff, that is) is that 3-D is the future of filmmaking. I fall into that category but not for the reasons you might think. There are plenty of people out there who bemoan 3-D as just a marketing gimmick, that it doesn’t really work, and that it does nothing but cause headaches. There are very few exceptions to this such as Avatar and Dredd. I, however, feel that 3-D is just another tool at the disposal of the filmmaker. Even Wim Wenders, the celebrated director of two of my personal favorite films (Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire) has announced that he’s going to direct solely in 3-D from here on and he doesn’t exactly make Michael Baysplosion flicks. The problem is that 3-D is getting a bad wrap and it’s all unfair because it’s not the fault of the filmmakers or even the studios. Here we’ll go in depth as to why 3-D doesn’t seem to work, ways it can/does work, and what the future holds for it as a medium.

It’s the Theater’s Fault

One of the biggest complaints you will hear about 3-D is that it is very dark compared to watching something in 2-D. Welp, you can blame that on your lazy local theater. When you put on 3-D glasses you cut the brightness of the image in half. Then you have to factor in that a projection filter is used to accomodate 3-D. In other words you only get 1/4 of the brightness you need to get a faithful image. This can be compensated by the projectionist but most local theater owners either don’t know enough or don’t care enough to raise the brightness levels and the audience suffers for it.

It’s Also, Sorta, the Studio’s Fault

Here’s where you CAN pin the blame on the studios. When you convert a to 3-D when it was shot in 2-D, you’re looking at a process that should, for all intents and purposes, take over a year to do properly. But studios try to meet already set deadlines. GI Joe: Retaliation is the only movie I’ve heard of that where the studio has taken the proper time to have it converted to 3-D.  Converting to 3-D without taking the proper time essentially means that you’re racing to beat the clock, and it’s a battle you will lose 9 times out of 10.

How Frame Rate Affects It

When the Hobbit was announced to be at 48 frames per second people were not sure what to make of it. To quickly explain it, the human eye sees everything at roughly 60 frames per second. Movies are traditionally shown at 24 fps. This gives movies that almost inexplicable dream-like quality that many refer to as the “film look”. This is part of why many people had an adverse reaction to the 48 fps projection of the Hobbit and why Warner Bros. is limiting the 48 fps showings and featuring a standard 24 fps showing instead. The problem however is that 48 fps is perfect for 3-D! The headaches that 3-D cause are a combination of darker images (which we just explained) and blurred images. If you are going to have a realistic, three dimensional experience that is supposed to be closer to reality then you have to sacrifice the dream-like image of 24 fps for a higher frame rate that is more faithful to the human eye. This is part of why James Cameron is saying that the sequel to Avatar will be 60 fps, in order to fully realize the goals of 3-D.

It Is, Sadly, Still a Gimmick..and It’s Our Fault

One of the saddest parts about 3-D is that it can be so much more than just a marketing gimmick. But the fact is that not a lot of people are going to the movies anymore. Sure they’ll turn up for the gigantic blockbusters like the Avengers and even Looper, but a large portion of movie goers are streaming their movies or pirating them. 3-D is being used as a gimmick because it’s something you can’t experience on your laptop. It’s being used to get butts in seats again because Hollywood is desperate. After all why do you think there’s such an emphasis on remakes, sequels, and adaptations? These are properties that have built in fan-bases already. The problem is that Hollywood is not in a position to take risks, but that’s their fault as well. It’s their fault for cranking out movies blindly and it’s our fault for not going to the movies to support the kind of movies we actually want to see. If we do that then 3-D will stop just being a marketing gimmick and will become a tool for filmmakers, it will be just another brush to paint with at the artist’s discretion.

UPDATE: G4 Is Dead.

UPDATE: G4 Is Dead.

Tech TV

So, remember way back when I told you guys about how G4 was looking to rebrand? Well it’s finally happening, much to the anger of longtime fans, such as myself. Kotaku is reporting that G4 is holding meetings today to essentially announce the cancelations of X-Play and Attack of the Show, the only gaming related shows the network has left. I guess on the bright side it means they can give Cops more airtime…because that’s EXACTLY what that show needed.

The move is being done to rebrand the channel for the “modern male”…because the modern male apparently doesn’t play video games. In all seriousness this is lousy news. I’m gonna go watch Good Burger so I can feel better about life.

GoPro Hero 3 Revealed!

GoPro Hero 3 Revealed!

Sexy and it knows it…and now we’ll banish ourselves from the internet for making that joke. *sigh*

If you haven’t heard of GoPro then you’ve probably been living under a rock….a rock people probably jump from while wearing GoPros. Their line of Hero cams has been incredible and at midnight they revealed the GoPro Hero 3. The Hero3 is pretty much what you would expect from GoPro. It’s small, has a pretty wide lens, oh yeah and it can record 4K resolution. That’s right, 4K resolution. The crazy part? This camera is only $400. 4K for $400?!? Yeah, that’s just a lot ridiculous. It does need to be said that the 4k resolution comes with a sacrifice. First of all the file size on that is going to be tremendous. Second of all the 4K option is only available at 15 frames per second. In other words you’ll have the most beautiful jerky footage in history. But if you know your computer isn’t 4K ready but you still want to utilize a higher resolution for any multi-k projects then you’ll be happy to know that there is a 2.7K resolution option at the standard 24 frames per second. So if you’re one of the five people that’s been able to get your hands on a Blackmagic Cinema Camera you can get some cool footage of the aproximate resolution which should look neat once editing is done.

For those whose computers can only handle 1080p, don’t worry. There are three models of this camera available at different price points. The White and Silver editions run up to $200 and $300 respectively, but in my opinion if you’re going to shell out that kind of money then go with the previously mentioned Black edition which has the 4K and 2.7K options. It can do everything the other cameras can do and it can do it much much better and you still have the 1080p option if you want it. It’s also worth noting that all three editions are Wi-fi enabled so you can use an external remote to initiate recording. This thing looks absolutely. If you haven’t picked up a GoPro before then you absolutely need to as the price on the older models are likely to drop (you know, for those who are thrifty). And as if there wasn’t enough to love, just look at the video down below. I mean just look at it.