Saturday, September 5, 2009

The 3D Experience!

Some friends of mine said that Ice Age 3 was visually stunning in 3D. Thus, for no apparent reason, I went to Final Destination 4 which is also in 3D. As soon as I showed my ticket, Sathyam charged me Rs.20 extra for a glass that I should return when I leave the hall. I already received word that the movie is a disappointment & after paying more money for it, I took my seat with no expectations at all. When the movie started, it was all normal and I was able to see some depth in the visuals & everything was going fine but suddenly, I was stunned.

In the title animation, there was a splatter of blood which suddenly shot out of the picture and entered the real world. That is when I started to see the magic unfold. A guy talking on his phone was late to the movie & just crossed between me & the screen. At that exact moment, a rod poked out of the screen at full speed & to me, it appeared as if the rod from the movie had just hit the guy (in real life). There was a race in the movie and there were bits flying of the racing cars. Those bits flew towards the camera & I actually blinked when it was about to hit the camera. It was an involuntary reaction of my body to what my brain was perceiving as an impending danger to me eyes. How friggin awesome is that! The best shot though, was a snake moving slowly towards you & when it suddenly attacked, I got the urge to catch it with my hands.

I explored this 3D technology when a driver update for the latest graphic cards hit the net to turn our nVidia card systems into 3D enabled gaming machines. The idea is very simple actually. Our brain perceives distance between objects because both our eyes don't see the exact same picture. Just try closing one eye & remember what you see. Then close the other & compare it what you saw before. There will be a small difference between what the left eye saw & what the right eye saw. This data is used by the brain to calculate the distance between various objects thus giving us, 3D vision. The image below shows the difference between what a left eye & right eye will see in real life.

So, the trick is to capture the movie using two different cameras similar to how our eyes see things. Then, project both videos on the screen and to make sure that one eye doesn't see what the other eye is supposed to see, we get the glasses which filter (using shapes or colors) out the video that is meant for the other eye.

This simple technology produces amazing results. Even in a simple shot where a guy walks between the camera and the main character, you are able to see that this guy is much closer. He doesn't exactly appear next to you like how the business adverts claim, but he does seem out of the screen. Watching the camera travel over a grass surface in 3D is enough to get me excited. It simply looks much better than our usual 2D cinema. Why aren't all our movies in 3D?!! This is just better & creates a much more realistic experience. Forget IMAX, this is way more exciting. Thanks to this movie, my expectations have sky-rocketed for the James Cameron's Avatar.

To sum it up, NO, the characters won't jump out of the screen & dance with you. But, you will be fooled at least for a second and when a nail speeds towards you like a bullet, that one second will be one helluva experience. Watching a 3D movie is a worthy experience to actually add to your BucketList, if you are a true movie buff.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to speak your mind..