Relearning what was taught in 2D Film school for Stereo 3D

Un-learn what was taught in 2D Film school, to create better Stereo 3D movies.

Stereoscopic 3D – “Tool” versus “Medium”:

In the still shot from the old Alfred Hitchcock 3D movie Dial M for Murder (click for bigger image), one scene shows a plot being hatched between the two actors. What is of interest to us, is the lamp in the foreground that is out of focus. If this were a regular 2D movie, it would not be of consequence, and would in fact add to and suggest “depth” in the scene. In 3D however, it looks like a blurry mess if the audience tries to resolve the details of the carvings on the sides of the lamp or tries to see the objects on the table in front.

This brings up two interesting points.  Should everything be in focus in a 3D movie? and secondly should the use of depth-of-field, an established technique in 2D cinematography to be given equal importance as a story telling technique when used in making stereoscopic 3D movies.

Purists amongst Stereo-graphers will say …

Read the rest in the Book, “THINK in 3D” via Amazon: Paperback & e-book (also on iPad via free kindle app)

  • We have two ears, so stereo 3D sound is normal. We have two eyes, so stereoscopic 3D movies should be normal. Because of the technical difficulties, most cinematography has been in 2D. To create a feeling of depth, cinematographers used perspective, selective focus, variations in scene brightness, and other depth cues. But today, the technology has advanced to the point that stereoscopic 3D films are more practical. Just look at a side-by-side comparison of the same scene in 2D and 3D. I’ll bet most viewers prefer the 3D. The writer is on to something important – we need a new visual language that guides attention in 3D space. Theater playwrights and directors have done this for centuries – their productions are always in 3D. Maybe some of their techniques can be applied to our craft.

  • We have two ears, so stereo 3D sound is normal. We have two eyes, so stereoscopic 3D movies should be normal. Because of the technical difficulties, most cinematography has been in 2D. To create a feeling of depth, cinematographers used perspective, selective focus, variations in scene brightness, and other depth cues. But today, the technology has advanced to the point that stereoscopic 3D films are more practical. Just look at a side-by-side comparison of the same scene in 2D and 3D. I'll bet most viewers prefer the 3D. The writer is on to something important – we need a new visual language that guides attention in 3D space. Theater playwrights and directors have done this for centuries – their productions are always in 3D. Maybe some of their techniques can be applied to our craft.

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