5 Biggest Misconceptions About 3D

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 17th, 2013 at 7:51 am,

3D Movie Questions Answered 5 Biggest Misconceptions About 3D

“Should I see it in 2D or pay the extra cost for 3D?”

It’s a question that’s being asked with increased frequency these days, as audiences are becoming more savvy about the 3D moviegoing experience. We’ve all been burned (one time or another) by a subpar post-conversion, distracting pop-out gimmicks, or underwhelming return on a pricey 3D investment. For this reason, it’s easy to understand why so many film fans (and now, TV viewers) actively dismiss 3D as a shameful fad that handcuffs filmmakers – and subsequently, ruins most moviegoing experiences.

Yet, over the last five years we’ve also seen a number of captivating and memorable implementations of the format, including Avatar, Hugo, and Life of Pi, among others. Quality 3D wasn’t limited to sci-fi or adventure films either – as Final Destination 5 and Dredd both delivered memorable (albeit tongue-in-cheek) use of 3D.

Of course, for every movie that is celebrated for its use of 3D, there’s a vocal group of dissenters who disagree – for entirely valid reasons: uncomfortable eyewear, strained or disorienting visuals, and questions of creative control, among countless others. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of misinformation still out there about the format. 3D technology is evolving rapidly – and while we entirely support a viewer’s right to boycott 3D (and sympathize with the estimated 10 percent of our population that can’t even see 3D films), it’s time to set the record straight by addressing what we believe are the 5 biggest misconceptions about 3D.


Jaws 3D Back to the Future 5 Biggest Misconceptions About 3D

1. 3D Is Just A “Fad”

For years, 3D has been referred to as a “fad,” but year after year we’ve seen an increasing number of 3D films in production – and behind-the-scenes technology is the biggest indicator that 3D filmmaking is here to stay. Gone are the days of Anaglyph 3D – when filmmakers rarely fine-tuned stereoscopic images before sending them off to blue-and-red glasses-wearing viewers.

These days 3D is an enormous industry – with countless companies dedicated to the format at every stage of development. Engineers push innovation in a number of areas: increasingly smaller and more user-friendly 3D cameras for filming; upcoming laser projectors capable of a brighter image and longer bulb-life in theaters; 4K TV sets that do away with battery-powered “active” shutter glasses and only require inexpensive “passive” 3D eyewear for home use.

Many of these technologies were extremely expensive one year ago and are significantly less expensive today – meaning that two years from now they’ll be relatively inexpensive (a blink of the eye for hundred-year-old movie studios). Not to mention, non-entertainment-related 3D is a rapidly growing business – especially in the medical field where, for example, three-dimensional displays are already being used to save lives in operating rooms around the world.

As movie fans, we bounce around week-to-week from one film to the next – debating the quality of 3D. Yet, even when 3D has a bad week or month in theaters, the industry is designed for longterm viability. If cinephiles intend to boycott studios and wait for the “fad” to pass, they may never get off the sidelines.


NEXT: Do Filmmakers Hate 3D?

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  1. I’m not a 3D hater, and not a 3D fanboy either. I don’t think every movie needs to be in 3D, but some definitely benefit from it. I have two main complaints about 3D. One is that it seems to enhance the strobing/stutter of 24fps so it’s worse than 2D films in that regard (HFR 3D doesn’t have this limitation though – darn you Peter Jackson for spoiling me like that).

    The second is that studios force 3D on us, and it can be hard to find 2D versions of a movie because theatres like to be able to charge extra too and will often only show the 3D version. One example was GI Joe Retaliation. It was delayed 8 months or so to be post-converted, so I did not want to support studio greed and refused to see it in 3D (I generally don’t want to support post conversions anyway). However, I had to really try hard to find a theatre that was showing it in 2D, and I live in a big city. I can only imagine what it’s like for people who can’t see 3D or get headaches from it.

    It would be nice if there was a way to show 2D and 3D in the same theatre (e.g. glasses=3D, no glasses=2D), so people could have the best of both worlds, and wouldn’t have to complain any more. You could technically do it now by just putting 2 left frames in a set of glasses, but people would still complain about dimmed colours or having to wear them over prescription glasses.

  2. I get mild headaches from 3D, but don;t have anything against the technology per se. My only issue is that not EVERY movie should be in 3D (Street Dance in 3D? come on). As for post-conversion – Avengers was converted and I didn’t find it distracting or poorly rendered. I think as long as the use is well thought out and used appropriately then it can become an amazing cinema experience. However, if the movie itself is bad, no amount of 3D, CGI or other technology can make the viewing experience better.

  3. A while back there were some movies i wanted to see in theaters, but most of the ones i wanted to see where only in 3d. without seeing ones i wanted to see in 2d, only had in 3d, i felt left out. i told my mom that i wish they put out 3d and 2d as options for people who didn’t want to see in 3d. i guess i wasn’t the only one who said this and probably the industry listened to the general public. so happy they went with this option. i think i remember when toy story 3 was to only shown in just 3d at first before the trailers came out. then they decided to show in 2d and 3d. i could be wrong about this information. anyway, by looking through history of 3d, this is not the only time 3d became a big thing, to a headache, to a fad and to be forgotten. as early to the 1950s when 3d was really introduce. history repeats. the 1950s 3d is exactly the same feelings and problems of what in the 1980s, some in the 2000s and now. the reason why many people won’t know the early 3d movies, is because they’re forgotten. which is exactly the same line this generation of people are seeing. 3d is not something new to people. the older generations had experience this and now a new generation is experiencing this. i think 3d can be an experience, but the technology is not there yet. even though technology is really advancing now, people are not fully to accept 3d as a trade mark. There are too many technical problems with 3d, i’ve heard from so many people and my friends. maybe in about 50 to 100 years, 3d might work again. why this long? because of the possibility of more and heavily advance technology to support 3d as a real experience. So far, i’ve been to Walt Disney World, saw a couple of 3d shows at the parks and thought they were 10s better than the couple of ones i saw in theater. the ones at Walt Disney World were just cool, an experience, and i don’t know why this 3d is working for them but not in to the general public, around the world. anyway, these are just my thoughts about 3d.