I just got back from seeing Avatar 3D at the local cinema. Wow. What a stunning experience. Before going I was hesitant about the politically correct pretext of the film, but wanted to see it for the 3D experience, and I wasn’t disappointed!
The 3D picture engrossed me from the first minute. The cinema used RealD 3D plastic disposable polarised glasses which I hardly knew I was wearing. The 3D effects were not limited to “gee whizz” moments, but seamlessly enriched the atmosphere of the film, which was laden with stunning visuals. Of course, once in a while there were “stronger” 3D effects such as the plants in the forest and various action sequences, but James Cameron did a great job in blending those moments into the overall storyline.
Ahh, the storyline. I was initially concerned that it was going to be very formulaic and PC, but it was deeper than I expected and threw in some clever twists and turns. Let’s just say I expected little but was pleasantly surprised.
Avatar On 3D Blu Ray?
So, what does this mean for 3D TV? Well, at the moment, all we have is a confirmation that Avatar will be released on Blu Ray in 3D, although it will be after an initial 2D version which will probably have a release date in summer 2010. My guess is that the 3D release date could be around the Christmas buying season.
Technicially, viewing the movie at home in 3D will be a different experience to watching it in RealD 3D at the cinema because the RealD version of 3D uses two projectors and circularly polarised light along with the 3D glasses which let each eye see the image from only one projector. The images are combined by your brain into a 3D perspective. While that works well in the cinema, televisions can’t reproduce the two different polarised light images, so they’ll use the active shutter glasses and a fast refresh rate, enabling images for different eyes to be shown in rapid succession, and the glasses synched to the output of the screen so that each eye sees only the left or right images respectively. So, you’ll need a high-refresh-rate TV (either lcd, plasma or dlp) or projector, along with the active shutter glasses and your 3d Blu Ray playing on a Blu Ray player that can handle 3D.
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(poster credit: wikimedia, copyright 20th Century Fox)