3D Cinema




After years in the doldrums it looks as if the art of making 3D images is about to come back in a BIG way, this time in the form of cinema films, however, it is inevitable that this will re-stimulate a resurgence in the 3D genre in general.

In the past there have been two main ways to project and view 3D films to large audiences. One method uses anaglyph technology. This is where glasses with one red and one blue (cyan) lens must be worn enable to viewer to see the depth effect of the projected, colour shifted image. Most people are familiar with this format.  Anaglyphs create a great effect of depth, but it isn't real 3D and the wearing of coloured glasses is quite stressful to the eyes over protracted periods of time. There were a number of films made using this technique in the 1950's

The other commonly used method of viewing projected 3D films and images is through the use of polarised glasses. This is achieved by deliberately restricting the light that reaches each eye through the use of filters. Two images are projected through orthogonal polarising filters onto the same screen and the viewer wears spectacles, looking similar to sun glasses, that consist of orthogonally polarised filters. Each filter passes the light which is similarly polarised, resulting in each eye seeing a slightly different image, thus creating the 3-D depth effect. Cinemas showing this type of film require a specially designed silvered screen, because 3D projection onto a standard screen causes a loss of polarisation. 

The projection of films in 3D is by no means a recent invention, in fact, as far back as the late 1930's Edwin H. Land created a film to be projected using the polarised method.

The advent of high quality digital projection has reawakened film makers interest in presenting films in 3D, coupled with the increasing need to continue to find new things to draw people to the cinema. In recent years 3D films, such as Polar Express, have proved themselves to be major money earners for the film industry. Almost all major feature films currently being made are also being produced in a 3D format as well. These films are most commonly being presented in IMAX theatres, but the trend will be towards smaller cinemas as the trend grows.

Huge amounts of money are being sunk into the film making industry to make 3D films and that is a sure sign that in return, 3D film and cinema will produce gigantic profits for its investors.

Once people have become used to watching three dimensional films it will soon become the norm and 3D will no longer just be the reserve of a few specialist collectors. This will spread into 3D photography (already easily within the reach of most people) and 3D gaming. 3D collecting will boom and prices will rise sharply for scarcer, collectable items.

The past few years have seen a sure and steady rise in the value of 3D items, most notable are those bearing the View-Master brand name, although, as this web site demonstrates, the 3D world is vastly larger than just this one brand.

There has never been a better time to start collecting 3D. For those that thought that the 3D era stopped when the View-Master brand passed to Fisher-Price, I say,

"3D is Dead, Long Live 3D"

Link to Up and coming 3D films

Link to list of 3D films (Wikipedia)

Keith Clatworthy, web site author

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