Please Explain: 3D Technology and 3D Vision

Friday, February 26, 2010

Today’s Please Explain is about 3D technology—from the movies to the future of television. Lawrence Cormack, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, and Phil McNally, Global Stereoscopic Supervisor for Dreamworks Animation join us to explain how it works.


Lawrence Cormack, and Phil McNally,

Comments [11]

John from USA

I don't see the fuss about 3D. Call me old-fashioned, but I think a good script, good acting and good direction are what is important to a movie or TV show. Avatar was terrible, but it looked good. But that's not enough for me. I like watching online video sites and keep up to date with but I can't see what the 3D hype is all about. I think in 2 years, 3D will be yesterday's news. Don't believe the hype, 3D is just another gimmick.

Apr. 03 2010 07:48 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Martina from Brooklyn -- Sony and other companies already have 3D TV's on the market; quite expensive though. I read recently that Sony expects 3D TVs to make up 20% of their sales over the next 5 years.

Feb. 26 2010 02:03 PM
Jed Kronfeld from Upper West Side, NY

I can't see in 3D. It's something I never figured out that I can't until I got my first pair of glasses. Throughout this time where I only saw in 2D, 3D movies were the only things I could see in 3D.

Feb. 26 2010 01:55 PM
Jane from Astoria, NY

The thing that bothered me the most and makes me prefer 2D to 3D, was that even though the 3D elements of any given shot looked great, the other elements that were rendered in 2D looked blurry through my glasses. Why do some things look great (very three dimesional) but other elements seem blurry around the edges? I have 20/20 vision and have never experienced blurry vision, so the 2 hrs and 40 min of feeling like my vision is impaired makes my head hurt!

Feb. 26 2010 01:47 PM
Martina from Brooklyn NY

hello - my question is how far away are we from being able to watch 3D movies at home - such as with a projector from a DVD player (vs on a TV or computer screen)?

Feb. 26 2010 01:41 PM
Manuel Macarrulla from Brooklyn, New York.

I feel that "Up" and "Avatar" are superb movies, but, not at all due to their 3D effects, but due to their content (or, the power of the story.) I think that 3D is aesthetically hideous because of the very fact that it obliterates the picture plane. In other words, I like my pictures flat. I wish Holywood would stop fooling around with 3D. I've spoken to a good number of other folks who think as I do about this.

Feb. 26 2010 01:39 PM
JP from NJ

I was born cross eyed and had 2 eye corrective surgeries at a very young age. Like all people who are cross eyed, I don’t see in “stereo vision” and do not have natural depth perception. Is it bad for me to watch 3D movies? Will watching Avitar drive me nuts?

Feb. 26 2010 01:38 PM
Phil A from Park Slope

Please ask how the process of compositing images is complicated in 3D post production.


Feb. 26 2010 01:18 PM
Pieter from Red Hook

I was born with a severe lazy eye and my brain does not pay attention to the sight of that eye. Thus I have spent all my life with vision that is more 2D than 3D. My depth perception is very poor.

I have been getting therapy for it recently to improve it and get my brain to "pay attention" to it.

Recently saw Avatar and was actually able to see the 3D effect for a lot of it. Mainly by getting instant feedback from the effects. Which was quite amazing. But boy did my head hurt afterward.

Feb. 26 2010 01:18 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Please ask about studios rushing to convert 2D movies to 3D, ala the upcoming "Alice In Wonderland." I'm curious about how that works. Thanks.

Feb. 26 2010 12:52 PM
Charity from Boston, MA

I'm dismayed by the strong push towards 3D in films and television, because I'm part of the more than 10% of the population that can't actually see in stereo - in my case, I'm legally blind in one eye.

My mother and sister both have similar problems, since they're both nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. While we all function perfectly well in 3d reality, none of us can comfortably view 3D films.

Feb. 26 2010 12:08 PM

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