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3D conversion, artistic integrity and Michael Bay
April 11, 2010 9:58 PM   Subscribe

Will post-conversion done badly kill 3D movies? Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks thinks it might. Or as Michael Bay puts it "You can’t just shit out a 3D movie".
posted by Artw (79 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
And Michael Bay knows about shitting out movies.
posted by clockzero at 10:03 PM on April 11, 2010 [44 favorites]


Or as Michael Bay puts it "You can’t just shit out a 3D movie"

ROFL
posted by nola at 10:05 PM on April 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Jealous lad. Bay has shat out so many movies that his gibbering ringpiece no longer possess the consistency or muscular control to do anything much other than flap about like a sad sick fish-shaped balloon, leaking watery film-sewage onto a protective tarp of celluloidal eye-vomit.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:05 PM on April 11, 2010 [21 favorites]


I woulda written clockzero's comment if I didn't pause to check how to spell "Armageddon".
posted by RavinDave at 10:06 PM on April 11, 2010


Will post-conversion done badly kill 3D movies?
We can only hope...
posted by msbutah at 10:07 PM on April 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Possibly I should have resisted the urge to point out how funny it was that Michael Bay was all upset about quality concerns, and the possibility that he might actually be right in some freakish stopped clock way, for the sake of there being some chance that people might read some of the other articles, some of which I thought fairly interesting. On the other hand, fuck Michael Bay and his stupid movies.
posted by Artw at 10:11 PM on April 11, 2010


The only way the Clash of the Titans remake could be worse in 3D than it was in 2D is if, at the end of the movie, a secret transmitter would send a signal OEDIPUS REX MODE INITIATED to those little black glasses and the frames suddenly sent metal shards far into my eyes, but not quite deeply enough to lobotomize me.
posted by adipocere at 10:12 PM on April 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


Welcome to the future buddy, where snark must be fresh like chips.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:13 PM on April 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I shit a piece of pie!
posted by not_on_display at 10:16 PM on April 11, 2010


OEDIPUS REX MODE could be, well, if not exactly worse certainly more socially gross...
posted by Artw at 10:17 PM on April 11, 2010


Is the new TRON movie going to be 3D? Seems obvious that it would be (Also, I just checked and it is)

I noticed in the trailer, there looked like there were some shots there were just there because they were going to look good in 3D, like a scene where the main character is in the real world and is riding a motor cycle. It looked like the shot was just there to show off awesome 3D Here's the trailer I'm talking about.

The shot is at 22-31 seconds (but even the opening shots) look to me like they'll look great in 3D, but aren't really that interesting in 2D.

The idea of going through and redoing a 2D movie in 3d seems hard to believe.

There are two ways to do it, one would be to completely re-render the entire thing, using the source just as a texture. And the other would be pull stuff out in photoshop and move things around based on how "far" you think they are.

And of course the shots won't be setup right, which will cause all kinds of problems.

I'm kind of curious to see what Clash of the Titans will look like having been "3Dified" so quickly. My guess is awful.
posted by delmoi at 10:17 PM on April 11, 2010


How about how all of the new 3D movies have been really, really bad? Is that a factor?
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 PM on April 11, 2010


And Michael Bay knows about shitting out movies.

I refuse to believe that anybody clicked on this thread with any intention but to make exactly this post.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:20 PM on April 11, 2010 [28 favorites]


There are two ways to do it, one would be to completely re-render the entire thing, using the source just as a texture. And the other would be pull stuff out in photoshop and move things around based on how "far" you think they are.

Art's first link covers this-- the answer is, roughly, "yes." The image is segmented into layers through rotoscoping, then the scene is rendered out to provide the depth.

And then there's a ton of paintfix work to cover up all the holes left in the resultant image/ fix the other eye/ etc.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:23 PM on April 11, 2010


actually i don't believe it's possible for Bay to think in more than one-dimensional.
posted by Hammond Rye at 10:24 PM on April 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


How Do You Convert a Flat Movie Into 3-D?
posted by Artw at 10:25 PM on April 11, 2010


I wish there was some better clarification of what 3D systems are in use and how they look on the screen in comparison with eachother.

For instance, I went to see Avatar in RealD when it first came out. At first I was worried, because the 3D previews they showed before the movie were unbearable. Characters floated "above" the screen in an irritating way, the same way red letters on a blue background do. It was like looking through an old View-Master toy.

But when the actual movie started, I was blown away. All the environments had true, lifelike depth to them, with no headache-inducing artifacts or doublevision, and even the smallest drop of water stood out in space like it was really there.

But how much of this was the RealD system, and how much was specific to Avatar? I'd heard a lot before the premiere about how Cameron had practically invented whole new technologies for it, and had filmed the movie specifically with RealD in mind. I'd also heard that rival systems like IMAX 3D or Dolby 3D showed the movie with a bigger image but using inferior 3D, but I never saw those versions.

I haven't seen any other modern 3D movies, so I have no frame of reference. But I keep hearing stuff about movies like Clash of the Titans being "retrofitted" to the 3D projection systems. And where does 3DTV enter the picture, anyway? It's all pretty confusing, and requires dropping cash on multiple viewings of the same movie to get an accurate assessment.

Bottom line: if every movie could have the same quality of 3D as Avatar, I'd buy a 3D ticket in a heartbeat every time. But with so much confusion about what's superior or inferior or jury-rigged or bootstrapped, I'm actually wary to see anything in 3D without seeing some reviews first.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:27 PM on April 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


The trailers before 3D movies always seem to be particularly stab-you-in-the-eye awful. I wonder of this is becuase they were not properly finished yet. On the other hand, one of the worst ones I've seen was for Alice in Wonderland, and though I've not seen the movie that was a post-production 3D job.
posted by Artw at 10:29 PM on April 11, 2010


I'd like to see the 3D classic Star Wars segment talked about in the first link. Just sayin'...
posted by Harald74 at 10:33 PM on April 11, 2010


Reading that Media Technology Intelligence post is amazing - I had no idea they put so much effort into pulling out the individual elements of the scene. I assumed there was some sort of clever algorithm that could do the job with a dozen artists cleaning up the tricky parts. 300-400 artists over 6 months? You could make another 2 films with that!

Avatar3D worked so well (at least the 3D part) because Cameron was clever about how he used his camera. In modern action films (and I assume Clash of the Titans) the camera moves in all sorts of zoomtastic swooping arcs and the shot changes every 2 seconds. Avatar for the most part used longer shots and a fairly static camera by comparison, giving the viewers' eyes a chance to adjust.

I suspect that older films may end up looking better in 3D (once the back-catalogue is processed) than anything filmed in 2D this century. Although I am not a big fan of needlessly re-doing old films for the sake of it, I would pay good money to see a 3D version of the 80s Little Shop of Horrors.
posted by AndrewStephens at 10:35 PM on April 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


For instance, I went to see Avatar in RealD when it first came out. At first I was worried, because the 3D previews they showed before the movie were unbearable. Characters floated "above" the screen in an irritating way, the same way red letters on a blue background do. It was like looking through an old View-Master toy.

It was much worse when I saw it. The 3D movie previews were completely out of focus, I mean, you could see nothing but a blurry full frame of a color. After 5 minutes of that, I actually got up to leave and go complain to the manager. Then suddenly it snapped into focus. So I sat down just in time for a stupid commercial recruiting for the Army. It had bad actors behind 3d wireframe images of satellites floating in the air. But the parallax was totally wrong and my eyes just could not fuse them into a 3D image. I thought, oh crap, I'm sitting too close, I should move to the back of the theater.

But then the movie came on and everything was perfect. Yes, 3D is incredibly difficult to do right.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:46 PM on April 11, 2010


It may be that as people's minds adjust to 3D cinema, older movies 3Dified might look better.
posted by delmoi at 10:47 PM on April 11, 2010


That Army advert (or was it National Guard) is at least twelve years long.
posted by Artw at 10:48 PM on April 11, 2010


Dear lord, this article is comedy gold.

from article: “‘This is another example of Hollywood getting it wrong,’ Cameron said.”

The odd thing about this is that Cameron clearly wasn't talking about Michael Bay here.

Seriously, I'm coming up with jokes, but none of them is as brilliant or humorously well-balanced as the simple fact that this article has Michael Bay complaining about a lack of excellence in filmmaking.
posted by koeselitz at 10:54 PM on April 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


More to the point:

It's astounding just how out of touch and frankly blind James Cameron and Michael Bay seem to be in this article. They're worrying over whether the conversion process will kill 3D and whether the studios are doing the right thing there when Hollywood is dying. Fewer movies with big budgets are made every year; it used to be the industry could support dozens of people like them, and now there are barely three or four people that command the same salaries as Bay and Cameron to do the same sorts of movies. Like dinosaurs who can't see beyond their own dwindling food-patch, I think they must really believe that everybody gets $100 million and change to do huge, ridiculous films.

There won't be time for the conversion process to kill 3D. The studio model is dead, and these men are on the way out. Asia is already making movies on the model of the future: low-budget movies that appeal to a specific, reliable market and are monetized in a direct and easily quantifiable way: through DVD sales. Hollywood may love playing the big, stupid gambles like Transformers 2, but everyone hates them for it now. And sooner or later they're going to notice they're losing, they've been losing for a long time, and the security guys are coming to the table to walk them out of the casino.
posted by koeselitz at 11:02 PM on April 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


The problem with 2D-to-3D are:
-incredibly labor-intensive
-depth is unnatural

The labor-intensive bit is pretty sad. They have people rotoscoping every single frame of every single scene. You simply can't trust the object and edge recognition to a computer. Some of it is automated but you literally have dozens or hundreds of poor-ass artists in pods tracing your film all day long for months and months. Quality and technique will vary, not to mention it takes fucking forever.

The end result (I haven't seen it in action, this is a technical objection) is that in order to simplify the process, you have layers. When someone is in "3D" right up close to the camera but the tip of their nose is the same "distance" from you as their eyes and ears, your visual system is getting a right fucking and it's going to look bad to boot.

Obviously 2D-to-3D is the only option for remaking films, and while I don't think it's always going to be worth it, who knows what a good team and a savvy redo might do to something like Terminator 2?

But I guarantee that once the dust settles, stereo setups are going to be the only way to do this. There's a premium on it now but Cameron did a lot of work in establishing standards during the production of Avatar, and a lot of those are making working in 3D a lot easier over the next couple years.

Even within stereo, though, there are divisions: Avatar was shot in "convergent" 3D, using cameras tilted toward one another like our eyes do to align on an object. Practical with virtual cameras, but in real life it's a nightmare to plan around, and it makes the production process extremely inflexible. There are a few people trying to push "parallel" 3D, which simplifies the process immensely and doesn't actually have the negative side effects that one would think would arise from two cameras orientated in ways our eyes never are.

There's a lot of work to do out there, but don't dismiss 3D. It will only get more compelling, more comfortable, and easier to execute — not just for Hollywood, either. A friend of mine had a short at SXSW shot on two RED Ones on a parallel rig, and it looked great though it was on a micro budget. I'm a curmudgeon on some things but with 3D I'm an evangelist. Why fight the future, even if it starts out in such ridiculous trappings as Avatar and this shitty Alice? Better to embrace it and enjoy what's possible.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:06 PM on April 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


How Do You Convert a Flat Movie Into 3-D?

I assume you just run towards the screen?
posted by davejay at 11:08 PM on April 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I get the intuitive "Lol micheal bay" reaction, but the guy is a friggin' MASTER of his form. He's not Fellini, no, but he makes the biggest, loudest, most immacuately staged ZOMG-ageddon films possible. Everyone just assumes they could do it, but I dare you to try. There is a very particular art to the kind of movies Bay makes. I don't necessairly think the Cinematic form stands to gain anything from Bay's participation, but he's not even a tenth as dumb as everyone writes him off as.
posted by GilloD at 11:10 PM on April 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Why fight the future, even if it starts out in such ridiculous trappings as Avatar and this shitty Alice?

I'm hardly one to fight the future-- I am a VFX artist, although I have yet to make any rent money on a stereoscopic film or conversion-- but I'm also partially-sighted and have one ferociously lazy eye. None of the 3D systems will work for me, period... thus, I'd kind of like them to keep 2D filmmaking around, even on big noisy action crap. I like big noisy action crap, and it just isn't as much fun at home in my apartment.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:18 PM on April 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I refuse to believe that anybody clicked on this thread with any intention but to make exactly this post.

*raises hand* Guilty here!
posted by Talez at 11:27 PM on April 11, 2010


It's astounding just how out of touch and frankly blind James Cameron and Michael Bay seem to be in this article. They're worrying over whether the conversion process will kill 3D and whether the studios are doing the right thing there when Hollywood is dying. ... There won't be time for the conversion process to kill 3D. The studio model is dead, and these men are on the way out.

[citation needed]
posted by delmoi at 11:28 PM on April 11, 2010


The biggest problem I had with Avatar's 3D was focus. No matter how realistic the depth is, the moment you shift your eyes to something that is not whatever the director wants you to be looking at right now, it's not going to resolve into focus like it would in real life.

With 2D film we are used to this, in 3D I found it extremely unsettling, even more so because the image was so realistic that it was easy to be fooled. In the end I had to keep looking at the middle of the screen and let the focus tell me where I should be paying attention. I don't see how this could be fixed.
posted by vanar sena at 11:46 PM on April 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm of the opinion that the good parts of Avatar would have been there without 3D and the bad parts aren't made up for by the 3D. Until there are hologram characters climbing out of the screen and walking down the aisle of my local cinema, I'm not really any more excited about this 3D trend than when I first saw House of Wax and Dial M for Murder in 3D at my local arthouse cinema in the mid-90s - both of which are fine films (of their type) without 3D.

And obviously this round of 3D is better than the blue-red shit they used in the 1980s.
posted by crossoverman at 11:55 PM on April 11, 2010


3D movies are going to save Hollywood. In the last 5 years, I can count the number of films I paid full price to see at a theater on one hand. In the last three months, I've gone to two. And paid a premium above full price to see the 3D version. Hollywood has finally figured out that they need to provide something in the theater that I can't get at home. The magic of going to the movies was lost over decades of abuse, but having something recede into the background and feel utterly real brings the magic back. Even Alice in Wonderland, which moved to 3D in post-production, was marvelous and magical. The 3D experience is something I am willing to pay a significant premium (over DVD rental) to have. I've walked out of those movies grinning like a damned fool because of the magic of being transported elsewhere. I know I'm not the only one.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:03 AM on April 12, 2010


The first link makes an interesting point about how 'dimensionalization' gives you more creative freedom than shooting fixed stereo - since you are having to fill gaps anyway, you have quite a bit more ability to change perspective and so forth in post. However, there is a technique that allows the flexibility without the compromises inherent in artificial scene reconstruction. It's called plenoptic imaging, and allows post-acquisition adjustment of focal plane, focal depth, and point of view using only real (or computationally interpolated) data from the image stream.
Last I look this was all still in the lab, but searching now I see that there are new commercial spinoffs, so I'm guessing we'll hear a lot more of this shortly.
posted by overyield at 12:43 AM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is going to be a problem for all of one year. And then automated tools are going to drop the price of 3D by orders of magnitude.

Don't believe me? See the Anti-Lamenessing Engine's gallery, specifically the depth recovery in their gallery. Yes, that's a single plane -- but that's a very complex scene to be extracting a layer out of. It will get better; there's a lot of funding behind it, and even if new movies are shot properly, old ones need to be transformed.

It is true that there's missing content -- but tools for generating plausible data are rampant at every SIGGRAPH, and are soon to be in every artist's toolkit with Content Aware Fill for Photoshop (or Resynthesizer for GIMP).

This is terrifyingly expensive only for now, because all of the sudden 3D isn't a bomb. The technology will adjust.

Though, as Cameron is almost certainly right about, there are shots you just don't make in 3D that are de rigeur in 2D. Those will be very difficult to fix.
posted by effugas at 1:06 AM on April 12, 2010


Having discussed a conversion in-depth (no pun intended) with a number of the companies mentioned in these articles, I can confirm that in terms of the specific conversion process, the quality of the result boils down to the time (and thus the cost) invested, plus the artistic judgement applied to the distribution of depth. But for a good overall result, the shot composition, camera movement and editing (rhythm) are just as important.
Also, even at best, the results should never be compared to stereoscopically shot material.

Thanks for the fascinating plenoptic (should be: polydioptric) imaging links, overyfield. Good demo video here (72MB .avi); more light-field camera info here.
posted by progosk at 1:21 AM on April 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I still haven't seen Avatar.

Yes, I am very proud of this but I realize it also makes he a huge fucking elitist douchebag.

I can live with that.
posted by bardic at 1:36 AM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


vanar sena: "The biggest problem I had with Avatar's 3D was focus. No matter how realistic the depth is, the moment you shift your eyes to something that is not whatever the director wants you to be looking at right now, it's not going to resolve into focus like it would in real life."

Which 3D version did you see? When I saw it in RealD, I was surprised to find that the focus adjusted naturally when looking at foreground or background objects. In retrospect, it was by far the most impressive aspect of the 3D projection. This might not be the case for other systems, though, or even for other RealD movies if it was some special technique Cameron cooked up just for Avatar.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:32 AM on April 12, 2010


OEDIPUS REX MODE INITIATED to those little black glasses and the frames suddenly sent metal shards far into my eyes


I like to think that I'd retain just enough presence of mind to scream "AHHHH! MOTHERFUCKER!".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:51 AM on April 12, 2010 [8 favorites]


You know, I had no interest in seeing Avatar, but this thread's making me think I should've seen it just to see the 3D- it sounds like I missed something pretty remarkable.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:10 AM on April 12, 2010


"3D movies are going to save Hollywood."

And porn.
posted by bwg at 3:10 AM on April 12, 2010


You know when 3D movies will take off? When you can walk into a high-end sunglasses store and buy sunglasses for everyday use that also work for the 3D on the screen. Then, comp some to celebrities for use in PR-friendly screenings of their newest 3D work.

After that, everyone will want those sunglasses (or perscription sunglasses) at a high price point, and will then drag everyone they know to the 3D version of every new movie so their friends can notice they're not wearing the big awful goggles.

send me my 3D check courtesy of this web site, big optics/production company conglomerates
posted by davejay at 3:21 AM on April 12, 2010


See, I would've said that 3D would take off as soon as you don't have to wear special eyewear to experience it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:32 AM on April 12, 2010


Rhaomi: "Which 3D version did you see? When I saw it in RealD, I was surprised to find that the focus adjusted naturally when looking at foreground or background objects. In retrospect, it was by far the most impressive aspect of the 3D projection. This might not be the case for other systems, though, or even for other RealD movies if it was some special technique Cameron cooked up just for Avatar."

Erm, in order for your eyes to see something in a movie in focus, it needs to be on the screen in focus. If anything, what you felt was your eyes adjusting, not the projection system, RealD or whichever it was, somehow magically adjusting focus for you.

The filmmaker can choose to keep every object in focus, while maintaining each one's specific depth in the scene. (Unfocussed objects are obviously one of the ways 2-D movies signified depth on screen.)

3-D can make some films stand out (I found its use in How To Train Your Dragon very well gauged), but it's not some special magic that changes the laws of optics, or the way your eyes work.
posted by progosk at 3:55 AM on April 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


I only saw Avatar once, but I would only assume that focus is an issue for the live action scenes. Everything rendered in CGI should be in focus.
posted by roguewraith at 4:08 AM on April 12, 2010


My boys took me to see How to Train Your Dragon in 3D last night, which was an excellent movie, but other than the previews, it didn't seem all that 3D to me. Is my eyeballs broked?
posted by rahnefan at 4:50 AM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


3D movies are going to save Hollywood. In the last 5 years, I can count the number of films I paid full price to see at a theater on one hand. In the last three months, I've gone to two. And paid a premium above full price to see the 3D version. Hollywood has finally figured out that they need to provide something in the theater that I can't get at home.

Between tickets and snacks, it cost me $75 to take my wife and daughter to see "How To Train Your Dragon" in 3D. If every movie goes 3D and charges extra for the privilege, I will undoubtedly STOP going to new movies altogether.
posted by briank at 5:07 AM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


See, I would've said that 3D would take off as soon as you don't have to wear special eyewear to experience it.

The only movie I've gone to see since ROTS was Avatar.

I hated the disposable 3d glasses they give out. My eyeglass frames are fairly large, and they didn't fit over them well. Annoying.

When I got home, I poked around and found on the internet an optics vendor who had circularly polarized **clip-ons** for about 30 bucks.

Then I realized I'd probably not go to the movies until Cameron comes out with something worthwhile again.

And, FWIW, not that it's been mentioned. I think one of the reasons I liked Avatar so much was for those 'longer shots'. I've never been a fan of hyperactive jump cutting...
posted by mikelieman at 5:20 AM on April 12, 2010


s/not/now/
posted by mikelieman at 5:21 AM on April 12, 2010


On the DVD for Real Life, Albert Brooks has a "3D" trailer. I don't know if it's really 3D or not, but it's great because a guy just happens to show up to play paddle ball so he can hit the ball out toward the audience. Hi-larious.

I took my son to see Clash of the Titans and I thought the 3D was terrible. No reason for it, really. While I remember Avatar as a 3D experience, my recollectons of Titans is as a 2D movie--and I'm not talking about the characterizations, either.
posted by Man-Thing at 6:01 AM on April 12, 2010


I still haven't seen Avatar.

Yes, I am very proud of this but I realize it also makes he a huge fucking elitist douchebag.


It's not not having seen Avatar that makes you an elitist douchebag. It's not even being proud of not having seen Avatar that makes you an elitist douchebag. It's telling everyone that you're proud of not having seen Avatar that makes you an elitist douchebag.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:01 AM on April 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Is the new TRON movie going to be 3D? Seems obvious that it would be (Also, I just checked and it is)

IIRC, they're doing a Wizard of Oz / Brainstorm thing where the real world is 2d and computerland is 3d.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:04 AM on April 12, 2010


In fact, here's that 3D trailer from Albert Brooks.
posted by Man-Thing at 6:06 AM on April 12, 2010


rahnefan: "Is my eyeballs broked?"

Just to make sure: they did give you a pair of glasses to wear at the movie theatre, correct? If not, then you went to see a 2-D showing of the movie, and your eyes are fine; if yes, then your eyes are probably still fine, but you're in the 12% of people who do not see stereo (for a variety of reasons).


mikelieman: "When I got home, I poked around and found on the internet an optics vendor who had circularly polarized **clip-ons** for about 30 bucks."

Be aware that of the projection systems commonly found in cinemas, only RealD is circular-polarised - Dolby3D is color-separated (wavelength-multiplexed) and XpanD is active-shutter, as was IMAX (now linear-polarised). I'd wait on those clip-ons...
posted by progosk at 6:18 AM on April 12, 2010


Pope Guilty: "You know, I had no interest in seeing Avatar, but this thread's making me think I should've seen it just to see the 3D- it sounds like I missed something pretty remarkable."

Avatar in 3D is a goddamn experience, man. I left the theater with two prevailing thoughts: "Wow that was a dumb movie" and "Fuck that was cool".
posted by graventy at 6:24 AM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


After seeing "Alice" in 3D, I'm making a point to never see a 2D to 3D conversion again. Nothing but a (literal) headache.

I loved the 3D in "Coraline," I thought it was thoughtfully used and technically beautiful. I think the only other 3D movie I've seen in the theaters was Jaws 3D, which was neither...
posted by JoanArkham at 7:01 AM on April 12, 2010


it sounds like I missed something pretty remarkable

You didn't. It wasn't a huge dramatic step forward. It was a cute and occasionally beautiful diversion.
posted by mediareport at 7:04 AM on April 12, 2010


Coraline I'd put up with Avatar as a case where the 3D actually improves the movie, rather than just sort of being there.
posted by Artw at 7:20 AM on April 12, 2010


I saw alice in 3-d. I wish I'd known it was converted post-production. I'd have just gone to the 2-d version. I was pretty disappointed that the "new 3-D" was exactly the same as my 3-D Ralph Snart comic from 1992.
posted by ServSci at 8:36 AM on April 12, 2010


Is the new TRON movie going to be 3D? Seems obvious that it would be (Also, I just checked and it is)

Nooooo... I don't want this movie to be any bigger wasted potential than it already might be. The only 3D I've seen since Metalstorm 3D: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, have been Up and Avatar -- and they both rocked, visually, so I'm getting used to very high expectations...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:39 AM on April 12, 2010


3Deece the KRAKEN!
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:54 AM on April 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Until I saw How to Train Your Dragon last weekend, Jaws 3D was also the only 3D movie I'd seen in the theater. I agree with JoanArkham, there were a few problems with Jaws 3D, but I have seldom laughed as hard in the theater...
posted by Mister_A at 9:01 AM on April 12, 2010


Everything rendered in CGI should be in focus.

I disagree - that's why CGI still looks fake most of the time. There's a lot of blurriness in the real world (as we see it).

Having just watched Avatar again in 2D, I can say that 3D took it from Half-Assed Dances with Aliens to Holyshit Eyeball Spectacular.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:06 AM on April 12, 2010


I've heard the reason Bay hates 3D is that he would have to change his whole movie style to cope with it. You can't combine blurry-shakey cam and two second cuts with 3D without people literarly puking in the aisles.

(The only 3D film I've seen is The Creature From The Black Lagoon at a film festival... I don't anything will ever beat that.)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:19 AM on April 12, 2010


I've heard the reason Bay hates 3D is that he would have to change his whole movie style to cope with it. You can't combine blurry-shakey cam and two second cuts with 3D without people literarly puking in the aisles.

...more frequently than is normal for a Bay movie.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:44 AM on April 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only good 3D movie I've seen so far is, How to Train Your Dragon. I was surprised how much I liked it.

Though maybe I shouldn't have been surprised, since it IS Dreamworks.
posted by misha at 11:22 AM on April 12, 2010


Oh, and do NOT see Clash of the Titans, in 2D or 3D, unless you are a masochist. It's just terribly disappointing. Why make a remake of a sucky film that actually sucks worse?
posted by misha at 11:26 AM on April 12, 2010


"The 3D experience is something I am willing to pay a significant premium (over DVD rental) to have."

Whereas I would be willing to pay a significant premium to avoid it. I hate the direction movies are taking these last few years. I love crappy actiony explodey movies, but I hate being made physically ill when I go to the theater. I barely made it through the most recent Star Trek movie; I didn't make it more than twenty minutes into the last Bourne movie. And now they're foisting even more of this horrible stuff on me?

"Which 3D version did you see?"

And that's another thing! Aside from the physical illness factor, I don't want to have to do research before I go to a movie.

Maybe I'll just quit. Thanks to the baby, I've only been to one new movie in the last year anyway, and I guess I don't really miss it. If I never tell her about movie theaters, maybe she'll never find out, and I'll never have to take her.
posted by nickmark at 11:46 AM on April 12, 2010


Is the new TRON movie going to be 3D?

Yes, and it's being filmed in 3D, using the camera technology developed by Cameron for Avatar. Naturally a lot will depend on script and director, but the 3D is being done "right", at any rate.
posted by hippybear at 12:46 PM on April 12, 2010


You can't combine blurry-shakey cam and two second cuts with 3D without people literarly puking in the aisles.

Clash of the Titans used shaky cam in almost every single fight scene and while the cuts weren't that quick, watching them in 3D was an absolute fucking chore because during some fights I simply could not find reference points quick enough. It all just became a blur and I'm convinced it was intentional, for now they can make things a whole lot easier on themselves by taking a bad screenplay extremely literally:
ONE OF THE CHARACTERS
Look out!

[BAD GUYS show up. They FIGHT.]
It used to be that a director would actually have to look this over, sigh at the task at hand and then take some time to fill in the details of the fight with something called a "shooting script", but Clash of the Titans shows that you don't really have to worry about that anymore.

All you have to do now is just show some character, it really doesn't matter who and only the stars are referred to by name anyway, expressing alarm. Then bad guys show up and there is a fight with swords or weapons or something. To film it, take a camera and run around while your actors hit each other with those swords or weapons. If you think you can put an awesome CGI monster in there, then just take your camera and run around while your actors flail at the air with those swords or weapons. (Remember to add the awesome CGI monster before releasing the movie.) If it's blurry so much the better; the audience will feel like they're right in the middle of it all!

The audience will know that the Good Guys won, or at least survived, because the movie won't end right there.
posted by Spatch at 12:56 PM on April 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


> It used to be that a director would actually have to look this over, sigh at the task at hand and then take some time to fill in the details of the fight with something called a "shooting script", but Clash of the Titans shows that you don't really have to worry about that anymore.

My wife and I spent that entire movie trying to guess (usually incorrectly) which of the hero's sidekicks were fighting/getting killed during the battle scenes, due to all the shaky-cam and quick cutting. At least twice I thought to myself "I thought that guy was already dead." It was good, dumb fun, but that bugged me (as it always does) and the 3-D seemed pretty tacked on.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:09 PM on April 12, 2010


Everyone just assumes they could do it [direct like Michael Bay], but I dare you to try.

Okay, lemme give this a try:

ALL RIGHT CAMERA JERK I WANT YOU TO SHAKE THAT CAMERA AROUND LIKE CRAZY, GOOD, CRAZIER! NOW ZOOM IN AND QUICKLY BACK OUT AND THEN I WANT YOU TO SPIN THAT CAMERA IN A TIGHT CIRCLE LIKE YOU'RE ME CHECKING OUT A GIRL AT CASTING! OKAY, GOOD, NOW, CGI PEOPLE! PUT A FUCKING ROBOT IN THERE! WHOO YEAH! IT'S BAYTIME! SOMEBODY CARPET-BOMB THAT PILE OF STRAW AND PACKING PEANUTS!
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:30 PM on April 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


gottabefunky: “I disagree - that's why CGI still looks fake most of the time. There's a lot of blurriness in the real world (as we see it).”

This is an interesting perspective, as it seems to be a product of the photographic era. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anything get blurry, aside from times that I had something in my eye. Our eyes don't go 'out of focus' like cameras do; we don't see everything in our peripheral vision as blurred.

The reason unblurred, 'perfect' CGI looks fake isn't because it doesn't reflect reality. It's because it's more perfect than the filmed segments that surround it. One might argue that what we need isn't less perfect CGI, but more perfect depth of field in the conventional cameras used to shoot the live-action bits.
posted by koeselitz at 8:45 PM on April 13, 2010


Airbender to be 3D converted
posted by Artw at 9:55 AM on April 23, 2010


I start to wonder if perhaps minimizing the number of cuts in your movie will make the 3D more natural-feeling.

And then I think of that one action movie with (Jet Li?) running up and around this huge staircase and beating up a bunch of people, and it's all one two-minute take...
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:00 AM on April 23, 2010


That is because Jet Li is awesome.

Awesome is considered expensive compared to jump cuts and shakey cam.
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on April 23, 2010


Watching The New Ring In 3D Will Spell Immediate Death
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on April 27, 2010


Cameron helping build 3-D camera for Mars rover
posted by homunculus at 5:17 PM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


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