Why AD agencies need to understand Stereoscopic 3D

By: Clyde DeSouza

Adverts in 3D: proceed with caution

Adverts in 3D: proceed with caution

Are Ad Agencies 3D enabled?

When I’m speaking at seminars, I usually start off with topics that are of generic interest to everyone, when it comes to the “3D Revolution Revival”. One favorite topic goes like this… “Don’t AD Agency execs go to the movies? …if the do they must surely have noticed 200 pairs of ‘captive eyeballs’ sitting in their seats, 3D glasses on the ready… and the ADs all play in… Glorious 2D!”

What a waste of the 3rd dimension! The Ad world seems to have missed this boat. While they were busy getting fascinated and abusing” Augmented Reality, they seem to be missing out on the next great revolution in visual communication: Stereoscopic 3D!

There is now a desperate scramble to create 3D ads, after all there are captive eyeballs just begging to be entertained and immersed in all the 3D around. Unfortunately the execs in AD agencies have not taken a 101 on stereoscopic 3D yet, so do not know if an AD will do harm, or be counterproductive or hit the right spot everytime.

Extreme Parallax shifts make for uneasy 3D viewing

Extreme Parallax shifts make for uneasy 3D viewing

A Quick 101 for AD agencies on Stereoscopic 3D:

In a recent Advert that I came across on Youtube here (in 3D) there were some issues worth mentioning. The two screen grabs above show one such issue, A depth “jump cut” from the first scene, which actually looks like a 2D shot offset into the background with a 3D looking table and vase in front. The next shot jumps right at you to the image above. If an ad such as this plays in a cinema or indeed even on 3D enabled flat screen TVs, the audiences will be assaulted with eye-strain trying to fuse such imagery. By itself a 3D Advert would just be a minute long, but damage can start at anytime for different people and certainly after a few Ads play back to back…

Ad Agencies owe it to the future of 3D advertising, to know how to vet adverts in 3D. While this is actually the job of a Stereographer, it is never a waste of knowledge for the creative dept of an AD agency to know the basics. With that in mind lets look at some general knowledge and build awareness for creating good Stereoscopic 3D advertising.

  • The biggest taboo that stereographers will tell you in 3D is “excessive parallax” Excessive parallax in simple language is how much separation there is between left and right images. The whole balancing act between art and science of getting this right is what stereographers do in 3D movies.
  • The second issue to watch out for is Stereoscopic window violations: The first image above shows a table and vase in the lower right corner. It is way in “front” of what is called the stereo-window; the stereo window being the physical screen plane of the projected movie or the surface of the TV screen and the border. It ruins the sense of immersion or the suspension of disbelief that stereo 3D allows us to create, if objects or people are in front of the stereo window and are “cut-off” . A person would look like a dismembered body floating at the waist, while his/her legs and hands are behind the “window” . In the image above the tables legs are chopped off while the rest of it seems to cross over into the audiences space. More severe window-violations occur if the left or right edges of the stereo-window are disturbed.

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