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Medicine Movies

Do You Have a Secret Immunity To 3D Movies? 495

An anonymous reader writes "Not everyone who fails to be wowed by the latest Hollywood wave of 3D movies is necessarily criticizing the movie or the 'gimmick.' The author states: 'At least 12% of people have some type of problem with their binocular vision but less than five percent have severe visual disabilities, making appreciation of 3D tricky or impossible... For the 12%, two-eyed vision can be improved with supervised vision therapy. If anyone else out there, like I did, suspects 3D is a giant con, then perhaps a trip to the optometrist is due.'"
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Do You Have a Secret Immunity To 3D Movies?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:11AM (#31817086)

    For the 10-15 minutes or so, I'm quite aware that the movie is in 3D. After that I totally forget about it and would probably be just as happy watching a 2D version (that is, unless it contains obnoxious "reach into the audience" effects).

  • by ptbarnett ( 159784 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:12AM (#31817098)
    .... but it gives me a horrible headache.

    Is it an eye problem? Perhaps. I have a slight astigmatism and wear glasses when I'm reading a book or looking at a computer monitor, but otherwise don't need them.

  • by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:12AM (#31817100)

    The article reads like someone who doesn't "get" 3D is brain damaged. Maybe that's true, but for me, I've enjoyed it since movies, TV, and games all look like "real life" to me. That is, my 3D vision is poor, so 2D looks just as good as 3D to me.

    I consider it an enhancement - I can watch a 2D movie, which to me looks as good as the 3D version, but I don't have to pay an extra $2 and I don't have to wear the stupid glasses.

  • by mstrcat ( 517519 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:16AM (#31817158)
    I'm one of those people with difficulties with binocular vision. I normal vision is entirely 2D...no depth perception at all. Apparently I"ve never had it, and until I watched a 3D movie (at the age of 39) I never knew I was missing anything. Needless to say when I first experienced depth perception I just about fell out of my chair. While I haven't investigated trying to correct the vision problem, I certainly am a huge fan of 3D movies. On the plus side, from my perspective normal movies are just as good as real life.
  • 5% (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:16AM (#31817166)

    I am of the 5% for which it is uncorrectable. If given the normal 3D glasses I can watch the movie just fine.

    The 3D effects are optically real; my brain will flatten them back down to 2D the same way it does with real objects.

  • by Target Practice ( 79470 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:19AM (#31817214)

    Same here. Slight astigmatism, and I find myself focusing far too hard in the movie theater. I paid attention last time to my eye strain while watching a 3-D movie, and it felt identical to when I'm studying a small coin or stamp intently. So, now I have a good excuse to stay home and organize my pennies instead of wallowing through the latest 3-D tripe with family...

    So, yeah. Astigmatic, and under a full moon I turn into a fat balding guy who collects coins and stamps. Wanna make something of it?

  • by FTWinston ( 1332785 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:24AM (#31817294) Homepage
    I'm short sighted, and have a dominant left eye on account of it being substantially less short sighted than the right. Red/green 3d glasses work fine for me (afaik), but magic eye is a complete failure.

    Watching Avatar was an interesting experience. When substantial 3d depth into the screen was used (such as the scene on the spaceship at the start with them all coming out of the stasis pods or whatever), the effect was very impressive.

    Out-of-the-screen effects, however required headache-inducing concentration to see any depth at all, and even then they largely looked quite poor. When everyone else was busy ducking out of the way, I was wondering why things were only projecting ever-so-slightly from the screen.

    Overall, I was disappointed at how infrequently the into-screen effects were used compared to out-of-screen ones (or maybe I was only able to see the depth when it was at its most extreme).
    Ocular upgrade, plz!
  • I agree. It's a stupid marketing trick. I especially thought this once I saw that Sony was thinking of coming out with all this 3D home theatre equipment. Stupid. Reminds me of the rash of 'clear' products in the early 90s.

  • So-called 4D movies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by querist ( 97166 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:27AM (#31817338) Homepage
    Yes, these exist.
    I'm sure they have been in the US for years, but as I live in a small town in the US the only place I've ever seen these is in China. They are 3D (usually "in your face" type of 3D) with additional effects such as air jets, water sprays, and one even had a little rubber hose activated by air to simulate a snake under your chair. The most creative one also had several devices in the seats themselves to simulate being hit or touched by various things. It was rather strange, and it really freaked out my colleagues. My kids (two of whom were with me in Guangzhou on the trip) really enjoyed it.
    For those of you who are saying 3D is a gimmick, you should try these so-called 4D movies.
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak@@@yahoo...com> on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:29AM (#31817356) Homepage Journal

    Well, I doubt it seriously immerses anyone any more than Jaws 3D did. It's popular at the moment, but consider that How To Tame opened much much lower than expected and Titans slipped in profits by far more than expected. If 3D was "the thing" to save Hollywood, why are the numbers not showing it? There's also the fact that 3D shutter lenses (sometimes used for modern 3D films) will cause headaches/nausia in some people because of the flickering. Also, 3D projection is inherently limited - as you move away from the imaginary point the 3D image would have been seen by the observer from, the brain is less able to compensate for the discrepancy between what it is seeing and what it should be seeing if the image really was 3D. There is always an ideal spot, and a very rapid fall-off around it. It's a consequence of the way the image is done. Effective 3D can't be done that way for a large audience. It is only effective to do 3D that way for single observers, which is why you see this sort of 3D being used by engineers, biologists or chemists at individual workstations - much more practical than headset VR or a CAVE system. It's pointless to use it anywhere else.

  • You don't need special glasses to see a 3d-movie in 2d. The 3d glasses work fine. They did for me anyway.

    I've got various eye-problems related to a severe infection I had as an infant. I've had surgery twice to try and correct my lazy-eye. And I'm totally immune to all kinds of 3d (3d movies, magic eye, etc.). Last time I went to the optometrist she explained that during the years where my eyes were crossed I developed a pyschological "blind spot". Since the eyes weren't pointing the same direction, I could either see double or just shut off the signal from one eye at a time. My brain opted for the latter.

    Since my eyes are straight now the problem is theoretically something I could train my brain to stop doing, but I've never had any luck with the eye-exercises they gave me.

    I went to see Avatar in 2d. Then I went to see it in 3d. The only difference at all for me was that in the 3d version if I took off the 3d glasses the whole screen looked fuzzy. If I kept them on nothing was in 3d, but the polarization meant that at least I could see the 2d images clearly.

  • Re:Fake 3D movies. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jer ( 18391 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:41AM (#31817568) Homepage

    so why do I have to pay 60% more for my ticket?

    Same reason you pay more to go in the evening than in the morning - perceived value. As long as there are enough people who think that the 60% markup on 3d vs. 2d is worth it to them, the theaters will charge the markup. When enough people decide that it isn't worth it, ticket prices will either start to drop off or theaters will stop doing the 3d altogether.

    If that's the way things are going, I predict the death of 3D.

    3d is going to live or die by the home theater, not by the movie theater. If TV manufacturers can convince people that they want 3d tv in their homes, 3d will thrive no matter what happens in the theater market. If they can't, 3d will idle for a while until someone comes up with a 3d technology people want in their homes. I don't know how popular 3d TV will be (I can't see shelling out the money for it myself, but I've long come to terms with the fact that I'm not in many people's "demographic target"), but that's where success will be measured - long term sales to home viewers, not opening weekend ticket sales.

  • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:41AM (#31817572) Journal
    Avatar in 3D was much better for me than 2D.

    I think the reason was they artificially made parts of many scenes in Avatar 2D (and 3D) out of focus. Even some mostly static scenes.

    It's not pleasant trying to focus on something that just stays out of focus - ever tried reading those "out-of-focus" texts? That's how Avatar 2D felt like in some scenes. I kept getting the "can't focus properly" feeling in my eyes.

    At least with Avatar 3D, I had better idea of what areas in the scene the director wanted me to focus on.

    Didn't help for the motion blurred scenes though. I don't like motion blurring. It sucks. In real life if I'm looking at a moving object, it's sharp, the rest of the scenery might go blurry, but it doesn't matter - I'm looking at the moving object. Then if I look at the rest of the scenery it's sharp, the moving objects go blurry.

    Make the moving objects blurry, and they'll remain blurry when I try to track them and so I get that "can't focus" feeling which I dislike. Yes I know movies are 24fps. No I don't care that real world recordings of moving objects in 24 fps get "naturally blurred".

    Fact is 24 fps sucks. It's way too low a frame rate. Back in the old days 24fps was excusable (it was a technological feat even - keep the film moving so it doesn't burn up, and have each frame pause momentarily before the next frame is moved in, etc).

    Nowadays 24 fps is disappointing.
  • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:51AM (#31817704) Homepage

    > 3D movies take great conscious effort...

    Watching them might be useful exercise for you.

  • Re:Fake 3D movies. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @11:55AM (#31817768) Homepage

    You have to pay more because everyone else around you are afraid to ask the same questions and don't walk away when exposed to price gouging.

    Honestly, most Americans are really spineless now. and it started 2 decades ago. I still get looks of astonishment from people when I haggle price. I refuse to buy a car or any big ticket item at the posted price. Most people think that you either get arrested for doing it, or they are afraid to.

    Heck I haggle on small ticket items. When I buy wine, if I find a good one I'll ask for a discount if I buy 3 or more bottles.

    I refused to see avatar until it was almost at the end of it's run. I got a better experience as I watched it in a mostly empty theater on a $8.00 a ticket matinee.. I though it was neat, but not impressed enough to go and see another one or pay more than regular price.

    But then I'm evil... I smuggle in a $1.25 candybar in my pocket instead of buying the $30.00 1 pound chocobar.. at the concession stand.

  • by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <slashdot@NosPam.pitabred.dyndns.org> on Monday April 12, 2010 @12:41PM (#31818456) Homepage

    This article may give you some neat insight: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/04/07/science-question-fro-7.html [boingboing.net]

    Long and short of it is, since it happened when you were an infant, there just may be nothing you can do about it, no matter what the exercises. Might be time to look into some stem-cell therapy ;)

  • by DriveDog ( 822962 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @12:51PM (#31818600)

    What's been made so far, as far as I know, is wholly depended on parallax (beyond what's already being captured normally in many films). Parallax is a weaker indicator of 3D for most people that other cues. Just because POV means they can get away with only showing 24 frames or so of distinct information per second doesn't mean that we can't use much more. Come on, people, double or quadruple the frame rate. Vary the depth of field more often. And remember, the only real way to make 3D images without the objects is to recreate the images in 3 dimensions using holography.

  • by RulerOf ( 975607 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:26PM (#31819188)

    Come on, people, double or quadruple the frame rate.

    There's a small problem with that. While yes, you could (and I think they should) use a technique like frame doubling (via an X:X pulldown, for example) to increase the actual frame rate output by a projector, when the actual content is being displayed at a frame rate of 24, 30, 60, etc., fps, your eyes can tell the difference.

    If a movie were to be filmed and then subsequently projected at 30 or 60 fps, for example, when you watched it, you'd come back with the feeling that it's "fake" or "poorly done." This isn't actually because that's the case, but rather because, as you've become accustomed to watching certain things at 24 fps such as movies and TV shows, and other things at 30 fps such as sports or the news, your brain makes the association that 24 fps content is "film" and 30 fps content is "live." The mystique behind film itself as an art relies on combining so many different factors together to create what you eventually see at the theater or on your home television, and even something as subtle as raising the frame rate by 25% can literally be enough to ruin your ability to enjoy a film.

    I wish I had a comparison video to show you, but I've never seen one and am too lazy to look one up for the purpose of this post, but the effect that frame rate has on perception of content really is amazing and definitely not worth dismissing.

    The best example I can think of might be the first Spidey/Goblin fight scene from Spider Man 3. While the movie was horrible, that fight and its camera movement were so fast that the frame rate of the recording couldn't keep a fluid image on the screen when I saw it. To increase the frame rate of the entire movie would have ruined it almost as much as Raimi's writing, and doing so for one scene simply isn't feasible.

  • by CorporateSuit ( 1319461 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:26PM (#31819192)
    Now that you have a group of "friends" to study, perhaps you should check the correlation of those who experienced more depth with those who play more sports. Basketball, Football, Golf, and others heavily rely on binocular vision for success, whereas sitting behind a 2-D computer screen at work all day requires none. Perhaps your binocular vision is atrophic from years and years of 2-D stimulation and theirs is hypersensitive because they've been trying to throw a ball into a hoop at varying distances an hour before the movie started. Or perhaps they prefer sports more than you do because they have greater binocular vision than you do... or maybe there is no correlation at all!

    Then, to test for a potential cause/effect, grab a class of students. Have half of them shoot hoops, and half play a computer game or draw, and then have them all watch a 3D movie, and rate the experience (based on scenes), and see if even a small exercise before the movie can prime the binocular controller in your brain.

    The possibilities, the possibilities!
  • by UpnAtom ( 551727 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @04:09PM (#31821718) Homepage
    Avatar was designed to be 3D from the start whereas Alice wasn't.

    For some, this may be incredibly important.

    Current technology is not true 3D - the actual distance of where your eyes are looking hasn't changed. All the current technology does is present a different 2D perspective to each eye.
    So actually, it is your mind that is creating the 3D effect by extrapolating from those cues and ignoring others (focal distance, lack of physical movement, lack of tactile & smell cues).

    Now some people's brains create a more immersive 3D effect than others'. Early cinema goers ducked to avoid oncoming trains [holonet.khm.de]. Remote tribes first encountering TV often have similar experiences.
    All of us learn to distinguish between TV & reality (probably before our memory works around age 4) and use different brain modes for interpreting each. Books too.
    Now, I'm the kind of person who likes to sit in the front row in the cinema and pretend I'm at an IMAX. So when it came to Avatar, knowing that it was my mind making the 3D effect, I hypnotised myself to make it as immersive as possible (yes, I'm a hypnotherapist [deep-trance.com])

    So in the opening scene where you fly over the forest, my jaw dropped and I remember exclaiming “holy shit” out loud. Because I actually felt like I was there.

    The concept of having an alternative Avatar reality is the perfect metaphor for coping with this. I felt it was more that my 'Avatar' that was a bit faulty rather than any flaws with my sensory interpretation.
    However, I ran into problems about 20 mins in.
    For 50 years or more, 2D filmmakers have been panning and cutting shots because they knew that their audience wasn't treating the camera as their own physical perspective. But if you're fully immersed with a 3D experience, it makes you feel like you're moving & teleporting every few seconds.

    Avatar was designed to be 3D from scratch and does this much less. Still, after 20 mins I had major motion sickness. Alice in Wonderland was designed to be 2D, does a ton of cutting and panning, and would have been unwatchable for me in 3D.

    In the future, I think many scenes will have to be shot twice, or perhaps with multiple, moving 2D cameras and a static 3D camera for the same shot.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam