Author Topic: 3D Technology Going the Way of the VHS Player and I'm Having a Breakdown  (Read 518 times)

Offline SGOS (OP)

I love 3D, or the idea of 3D.  I always have since I first saw 3D in the 1950s when I put on the magic glasses to watch Vincent Price, the misshaped monster in The House of Wax.  Every time I see one of those antiques into which you could insert a sepia toned post card sized double image, I want to look through the eye pieces and be amazed by the 3D image, and I'm never disappointed.  Some people have them around as a curiosity.  Mostly, you see them in museums.  3D is at least as old as the invention of the photographic image, but somehow seems to exist mostly on storage shelves for old technology that includes VHS and stereo turntables.

10 years ago, I was looking forward to the revival of 3D with new improved modern technology.  How could it not take over our viewing habits at home or at the theater?  Well, it didn't.  People just aren't that interested, especially at home where you have to invest in more gadgets adding to the spaghetti ball of disorganized wires behind your computer equipment.  Really, it requires a lot more shit to put on your shelves.

I'm still wanting it badly, however.  I've been considering sinking in a couple thousand dollars into my media center, because there are I movies I desperately want to see again in 3D.  But the rub is that of all the movies that have come out in 3D in the last 10 years, there are only two that stand out for which I need the additional equipment, Avatar and Dr. Strange.  If I try to justify my purchase by adding more movies to the list, I can come up with a total of maybe 4 or even 6 in the "must have" category, but in truth, I'm reclassifying 4 of them for no reason other than to justify the purchase.

Last night, I was set to drive to Best Buy 40 miles away to buy the stuff I needed.  I had put it on todays "do list".  But when I woke up this morning, I'm thinking this whole thing is just crazy.  Do I want the stuff?  Absolutely and with all my heart!  Can I rationally justify it?  Nope, not in any way.  If I get in the car and take the journey to Best Buy, it will be with the full understanding that I'm doing something I can't rationally justify in a way that makes sense.  I'm buying it because I WANT IT.  I NEED IT.  But then I think, "So what do I do with $2000 worth of shit after I've watched two movies six times?  I only have a limited number of friends I could invite one at a time to come watch a 3D movie with me, and most of them probably wouldn't be interested, certainly not to watch the same movie twice.

Thanks for reading this.  I feel like it's helping me get a grip on reality.  I feel like I'm waking up from a mental disorder of some kind.  But the scary thing is that I could suddenly go nuts again at any moment and dash out the door to drive to Best Buy.

I have mixed feelings about 3D movies.

I'm just old enough to remember both the cheap paper 3D glasses and more modern plastic 3D glasses.  I got in on the early days of the 3D resurgence in the 80s.  The latest and greatest.

Except it wasn't great, at least not to me.  It never quite worked as intended.  Most of the time, my glasses simply didn't work.  When the glasses did work, the 3D effects were mildly nauseating - uncomfortable rather than thrilling - and the movie was often too dark.  It was a lot of hassle for a dubious payoff.

After several more unsuccessful attempts to adapt myself to 3D movies in the early 2000s, I simply gave up.  I wrote it up as a novelty that didn't quite pan out.  Then Avatar hit theaters and 3D movies were everywhere.  It got to the point that trying to get tickets for a 2D movie was pretty difficult, which really frustrated me because the 2D version was often substantially cheaper.  IIRC, it was like $7 versus $12.  Not a good deal at all for someone like me.  If I couldn't see it in 2D, I simply wouldn't see it.

In 2012 or so, there was a wave of public displeasure with 3D movies.  I'd see lots of articles claiming 3D was dying.  Has it actually died?  I see articles claiming that it has declined to about 20% of ticket sales.  I've noticed that 3D movies are far less common than during the early 2010s bonanza, but they're not gone completely.

And since virtual reality headsets are the next big thing, the public seems to have an unquenchable thirst for the sensation of 3D.  Who knows, maybe 3D movies might make a comeback with a new, more effective and less uncomfortable technique.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 11:47:01 AM by Hydra009 »

Online Sal1981

I've tried watching various kinds of 3D movies, never work for me. I always never see the 3d effect or I get a headache.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline SGOS (OP)

I have mixed feelings about 3D movies.

I'm just old enough to remember both the cheap paper 3D glasses and more modern plastic 3D glasses.  I got in on the early days of the 3D resurgence in the 80s.  The latest and greatest.

Except it wasn't great, at least not to me.  It never quite worked as intended.  Most of the time, my glasses simply didn't work.  When the glasses did work, the 3D effects were mildly nauseating - uncomfortable rather than thrilling - and the movie was often too dark.  It was a lot of hassle for a dubious payoff.
Headaches and physical discomfort seem like the most common complaint.  While I can't personally identify with that, I will accept that it is real for the large number of people who experience it.  And the discomfort may be a result of seeing something that (I've been told) is not at all like we see things in real life.  At best, it's an approximation done with technological trickery that fools our brain.  I've never been sure that's true.  The biological mechanisms seem quite the same to my layman's understanding. Once the 2D image is presented to each eye slightly differently, it seems like the body should work through it the way it does without special glasses.  It would seem I'm probably wrong, however.

In response to "the latest and greatest of the 80's," I'm not sure why we should assume there was anything better about 3D in the 80's.  The concept is pretty much the same as it was in the 50's, at least when it incorporated polarized lenses, the same thing used in the theaters today.  Home 3D sometimes uses the same passive polarized lens technology, although mostly at home it's done with active shutter glasses, but both are just methods of allowing each eye to see a slightly different image.

I also remember the old 3D comic books, which were great fun, but primitive compared to films, but the concept was the same by shutting off differing qualities to each eye, while allowing in other qualities.

I studied those comics with the naked eye, and realized that depth was created by the amount of separation between superimposed images, one in blue, and the other in red (This was the 50's.  I don't know if the 80's comics did the same thing).  I was actually able to draw crude superimposed images in red and blue, look at them with red/green paper glasses and see differences in depth.

In the Forest Service we used to look at aerial photographs.  We had special tools that looked at two photos that overlapped as the plane would make repeated passes, shifting it's flight pattern to the side.  We could actually see the terrain in 3d (God knows why we did this.  I could see no reason to look at the photos in 3D, but I guess somebody thought it was helpful, although I didn't know any foresters that bothered with the extra photos either). 

One guy showed me how you could hold two photos close together and look at them with the naked eye and see the 3D.  It was incredibly hard, like looking at those posters that were the fad in the 70s and 80s.  But I could get it to work after wasting a lot of time.

In 2012 or so, there was a wave of public displeasure with 3D movies.  I'd see lots of articles claiming 3D was dying.  Has it actually died?  I see articles claiming that it has declined to about 20% of ticket sales.  I've noticed that 3D movies are far less common than during the early 2010s bonanza, but they're not gone completely.
I don't know what to make of those articles.  They do attempt to explain the drop off in interest.  Whether they correctly know why, I'm not sure.  The light issues can be corrected with brighter projectors.  The headaches not so much.  And if people aren't going to pay the premium admission, that's not going to change.

My personal opinion is that one of the failures is that Hollywood expects people to want to see a regular movie presented in 3D.  My two favorites, Avatar and Dr. Strange were willing to go the extra mile and build the imagery to the technology, rather than just shoot a movie in 3D.  This is what makes all the difference in the world to me.  You have a good technology, but you have to build TO it.. the way a programmer writes programs for the computer, rather than just expect the computer to present something special with the "garbage in" side of the equation.

And since virtual reality headsets are the next big thing, the public seems to have an unquenchable thirst for the sensation of 3D.  Who knows, maybe 3D movies might make a comeback with a new, more effective and less uncomfortable technique.

I'm interested in VR too, although it's even more problematic than 3D glasses.  It's a rush to view things through the headset, but it's very awkward.  And the guys that demonstrated it to me warned that some people suffer physically, like getting falling down dizzy.  That seems like a bigger problem than nausea and a headache, so I'm not in a rush to go that route until I see what the next generation of the technology is like. 

Online Munch

I know its harsh to say and a real buzz killer, but 3D has always been a gimmick in the longevity of film and television, and its revival is just for that reason once more.
Its unfortunate when something we love goes that way, its like people who have played an online game for years only for the servers to finally close for good, or your favorite sports team disbanding.

That said, whos to say 3D won't make a revival in the future, they might end up inventing virtual glasses that everyone owns to watch the action or, or even contact lenses.

Offline SGOS (OP)

I know its harsh to say and a real buzz killer, but 3D has always been a gimmick in the longevity of film and television, and its revival is just for that reason once more.
Its unfortunate when something we love goes that way, its like people who have played an online game for years only for the servers to finally close for good, or your favorite sports team disbanding.

That said, whos to say 3D won't make a revival in the future, they might end up inventing virtual glasses that everyone owns to watch the action or, or even contact lenses.
First of all, no problem with your buzz kill.  It's what I need at this time, and I've decided to drop any purchases for now.  If my current projector were to need replacement, I would just buy a new one with 3D capability.  Better projectors keep coming and cheaper than ever, and all I'd have to buy extra is a 3d player.  Right now I play everything through my computer and audio receiver and a 2D projector.  Not going to replace that stuff.

Actually, there has been some effort to refine a 3D technology that requires nothing more than the naked eye.  The last I heard is that one reason it's not workable right now is that it has to be viewed from directly in front of the screen.  If you are not close to dead center, it doesn't work.  I think there are some other problems with it too, but I didn't understand them.  It was explained as similar to those covers on CDs that create a crude 3D image depending on the angle you look at them.  I was never impressed by those, however.  They get my attention, but that's all.  The image is horrible.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 02:16:24 PM by SGOS »

Offline SGOS (OP)

I've tried watching various kinds of 3D movies, never work for me. I always never see the 3d effect or I get a headache.
You are not alone.

And the discomfort may be a result of seeing something that (I've been told) is not at all like we see things in real life.  At best, it's an approximation done with technological trickery that fools our brain.
But that's movies in general.  Rapidly flipping through static images, like flipbook art.  Sweet, sweet lies.  The main problem with 3D seems to be that the deception isn't quite convincing enough to fool the audience.

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In response to "the latest and greatest of the 80's," I'm not sure why we should assume there was anything better about 3D in the 80's.
I meant that during the 3D resurgence in the 80s, it was billed the latest and greatest thing.  I'm aware that it existed long before that.  The "latest and greatest" part is kinda tongue-in-cheek since it was expected to take over as the dominant format but it didn't.

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I don't know what to make of those articles.  They do attempt to explain the drop off in interest.  Whether they correctly know why, I'm not sure.  The light issues can be corrected with brighter projectors.  The headaches not so much.  And if people aren't going to pay the premium admission, that's not going to change.
Yeah, I'm not sure, either.  I think a lot of it was that the 3D was kinda shoved down audience's throats for a while.  Combined with the price difference, it likely irritated a lot of moviegoers and they gave 3D a bum rap.

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My personal opinion is that one of the failures is that Hollywood expects people to want to see a regular movie presented in 3D.  My two favorites, Avatar and Dr. Strange were willing to go the extra mile and build the imagery to the technology, rather than just shoot a movie in 3D.  This is what makes all the difference in the world to me.  You have a good technology, but you have to build TO it.. the way a programmer writes programs for the computer, rather than just expect the computer to present something special with the "garbage in" side of the equation.
Yeah, the technology has to fit the product.  I doubt To Kill A Mockingbird would be very good in 3D, but Hardcore Henry would probably be very good in 3D.

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I'm interested in VR too, although it's even more problematic than 3D glasses.  It's a rush to view things through the headset, but it's very awkward.  And the guys that demonstrated it to me warned that some people suffer physically, like getting falling down dizzy.  That seems like a bigger problem than nausea and a headache, so I'm not in a rush to go that route until I see what the next generation of the technology is like.
Yeah, it has its complaints as well.  It could die off after a few years of popularity, too.  Or it might stick around.  Who knows.

Personally, I'm more excited about this technology because of all the fantastic space sims porn and rollercoaster experiences filthier porn you can watch on it.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 04:29:24 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline SGOS (OP)

Personally, I'm more excited about this technology because of all the fantastic space sims porn and rollercoaster experiences filthier porn you can watch on it.
I had speculated about VRs use in something like Microsoft's Flight Simulator a few months back, and didn't know it at the time, but it turns out there was an adaptation for VR in Flight Simulator, and now apparently another.  One is put out by some (I think) real life aeronautical company and marketed under a name called Prepare 3D.  The reviews go from good to very good.  But there are still some problems last I heard.

While the video for something called "Fly Inside", which I just found and might be the same product now under a different name, shows a very nice view of both the terrain and the inside of the cock pit, the gauges turn out to be not that readable, and it rendered a lower resolution, which are critical issues.  I'll have to look into this again, because it might be getting resolved.  Also, I currently use extra monitors dedicated to the control panel, and another monitor for the windshield.  I'd like to continue with that setup, because the controls are always in view, even when I look to the side, which is something like a real cockpit, and the controls are always readable, which is obviously necessary.
Also, it required more computer power than I have at this time.  My computer is just a year old and is the first one I've owned powerful enough to run the last edition of Flight Simulator at full resolution and highest settings for the rest of the program, but it still doesn't meet the minimum specs for Prepare 3D and the required head set.

I haven't watched this latest video yet, but you can see the plus side of the arrangement.


Fly Inside



Current Setup
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 05:14:30 PM by SGOS »

Offline Shiranu

Always seemed like a shitty gimmick with no practical effect other than to make you nauseous. Nothing of value was lost...
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..." - Nelson Mandela

"Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be." - Miguel de Cervantes

Do NOT sink your money into this. 3D was a fad that has largely died out. Most new televisions don't even support it.
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Always seemed like a shitty gimmick with no practical effect other than to make you nauseous. Nothing of value was lost...
Man, you guys are brutal.  I'm over here trying to be diplomatic about it, you know, cushion the blow a little bit.  Meanwhile, you guys are going all Gordon Ramsay on it.  I don't disagree, but jeez...

Also, a lot of people report positive viewing experiences with 3D, so it's not like everyone gets nauseous like me.  I maintain that it's a good technology in theory, but the actual implementation isn't quite there yet.  It's come back into popularity several times over the past 100 years or so.  Who knows, maybe it'll come back and stick sometime in the future.

Online Munch

Everyone has their interests in things that matter to them, and everyone has the right to feel blue about those things disappearing. People today still love cassette tapes or records, but they aren't produced anymore, making them a novelty, hell part of me messes the feel of having a cassette collection of audio stories from classical authors, sure you can download stuff like that, but the feel of it being your thing is just lost.


Offline Baruch

You already have a built in 3-D system.  Your visual cortex.  You think, with binocular vision, with gestalt preprocessing, and the whole magic of not only creating a semi-fake 3-D image in your head, but inverting it (it is upside down on your retina), that would be enough.  But no!  Technology to the rescue.  Everything you think is real in the 3-D world, is just something in your own head.  You never experience raw reality, except maybe as an infant.  Once the infant develops, then you are part of the Matrix.
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Offline SGOS (OP)

Man, you guys are brutal.  I'm over here trying to be diplomatic about it, you know, cushion the blow a little bit.  Meanwhile, you guys are going all Gordon Ramsay on it.  I don't disagree, but jeez...

Also, a lot of people report positive viewing experiences with 3D, so it's not like everyone gets nauseous like me.  I maintain that it's a good technology in theory, but the actual implementation isn't quite there yet.  It's come back into popularity several times over the past 100 years or so.  Who knows, maybe it'll come back and stick sometime in the future.

I appreciate the diplomacy, and I think that's great, but no one here is ruining anything for me.  I'm not worried about what happens to 3D.  If it ended tomorrow, my dilemma would be solved.  The "should I or shouldn't I' was the thing that bothered me most, and it's resolved for the moment.  I could end up going either way.  Nothing is in stone.

I'd actually never thought about the possibility of Hollywood throwing in the 3D towel and me sitting on a bunch of worthless technology, but that wouldn't be so bad, and it certainly shouldn't be surprising.  I watched 8mm film go, and I'm sitting on a bunch of reels shot years ago, with nothing to play them on, although they could still be transcribed to DVD, and  I've got a bag full of useless 35mm film cameras. I've watched 45rm records become part of history, as well as 33rmp long play albums, 8 track stereo, cassettes, and VHS all turn into useless relics, and I don't miss any of it, even though I enjoyed them immensely.  And many of my old computer games won't even work on my current computer. Something better always comes along, and it's happening so fast I might still be around to experience the next better thing.  So I don't plan on getting bored or gipped out of anything. 

When I bought my boat, I sold my house, furniture, camping equipment, and just kept a couple drawers full of personal items that I stored at a friends house, I tried to give my Apple IIGS to a poor local Christian school, and they wouldn't even take it because it was too old.  Everything eventually becomes trash, and I experienced an odd satisfaction in selling everything I owned to buy a boat.  Three years later, I sold the boat.

So no one here has hurt my feelings or given me a rude awakening.  I'm good, but I still appreciate diplomacy.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 08:31:45 AM by SGOS »