5. “Post-Converted” 3D Is A Cash Grab
Moviegoers have valid reasons to be skeptical of 3D post-conversion. During the initial resurgence of 3D in theaters, film fans were subjected to a number of rushed 3D post-conversions with distracting visual problems and overly-obvious “ghosting” (double-images). Further compromising stereo conversion integrity, studios forced cheap post-production 3D onto several subpar films in the hopes that premium ticket revenue would be enough to help earn back lost profits.
However, that doesn’t mean that quality post-conversion doesn’t exist or that it can’t come very close to native-shot 3D experiences. In fact, many films now utilize a combination of native and post-converted 3D before appearing on the big screen. The Avengers, John Carter, and portions of Transformers: Dark of the Moon were all post-converted into 3D. Unlike the notoriously bad eight-week process of converting Clash of the Titans, quality 3D post-conversion companies spend between four to six months converting a film – and over a year for older films getting a 3D re-release (Jurassic Park 3D for example).
Quality post-conversion is an extremely complicated process where large teams of 3D artists pour over each individual frame of a film – determining where to enhance the effect and where to back off, as well as adjusting the overall footage to make 3D viewing crisp and comfortable. In most cases, the companies meet with directors before and during post-conversion to ensure that their artists stay true to a filmmaker’s original vision.
There are obvious benefits to shooting in 3D, but many upcoming films have scheduled post-conversions prior to even shooting in 2D. This means that directors and cinematographers can plan three-dimensional shots ahead of time, mindful of how their film will appear in 3D, even though they’re using traditional 2D cameras. Upcoming films that were shot in 2D and will undergo post-conversion into 3D include: G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, and Thor: The Dark World.
Still unsure of how the post-conversion process works? Check out this clip of Attack of The Show visiting Stereo D.