Years after 3D has become mainstream in the movie theaters, I finally saw my first one with the family. It was Madagascar 3 in 3D and we all liked it.
The 3D wasn’t overdone and I think that’s what made it work. I put the Real D 3D glasses over mine and enjoyed the show. Once I stopped attempting to focus on the intentionally out of focus parts, the effect was mostly ignored.
Not ignored exactly. It just wasn’t obtrusive. That’s what I think will make this a long lasting fad.
There was a bit of humor afterwards. See the two glasses above? I hadn’t realized that they came in kids size and I wore the small set. My 8 year old girl wore the grown up version. The ones I wore sure were snug alright.
One of the nice things about shopping at Costco (aside from the discounted prices) is that they sometimes have product demos. Sony had set up a pair of LCD shutter glasses for a 3D demo with a good big screen and a supported Sony Blu-ray player. You can read about a similar setup at one of Sony’s blogs.
I just don’t get the appeal.
The image was sharp and there were some “ooh, aaah” moments. But the glasses were unwieldy and that ruined the whole experience. They have to be that way; one size has to fit all. My 9-year-old son lost interest in less than a minute (maybe that’s a family thing…?) and if the PlayStaion 3 demos didn’t excite him then what’s the attraction?
Now I am assuming that the demo video shows off the best that they have. That has to be the case since they want people to buy the product. I did admire the sharpness of the display but disliked the 3D’ness.
The product demo was flawless and I am a fan Sony products. But I must be old because when I watch a movie I either want the action or the plot (both would be nice) to keep me in my seat. 3D just doesn’t do anything for me.
Okay, that’s over the top but for less that $4.00 I get to try out NVIDIA 3D video game effects. I have a GTX-260 in my Windows 7 game machine Home Workstation and wanted to play around with the 3D capabilities. NVIDIA does sell a nice LCD shutter kit for around $200 but I had a couple of issues with that.
First off it’s $200. For just trying it that seemed a little steep. Second, it seems like the shutter kit needs a video display monitor that can do 120 Hz refresh rate. My Dell 2407WFP display can do some resolutions at 75Hz but not at resolutions I like to play at. And last time I looked 75Hz was not 120. So after quick search on eBay and I found a seller and made a purchase. With postal shipping it came out to less than $4.00 and my glasses arrived a couple of days later.
It’s too bad that not all my gadget purchases were like that! In the NVIDIA desktop control panel, I enabled 3D, did some quick setup, and it’s off to the races. The glasses are what you would expect. They are cardboard with a left red plastic and a blue right plastic. By default I leave 3D off but pressing CTRL-T (it’s definable) I turn on 3D.
Borderlands in 3D is bizarre. Aiming takes some more effort; it’s not that the target has moved or the coordinates are different. It’s that the addition of perspective makes aiming more challenging. Left 4 Dead 2 was just plain nuts. It looks like any DirectX that has a 3D perspective can work. I tried playing Max Payne 2 in 3D and that was also pretty wild. Even Torchlight does the 3D shuffle!
The colors are of course off. You are looking through two different colored panes of plastic and that changes the look somewhat. But your brain does an interesting thing. When you are dodging for your life in Borderlands or Left 4 Dead 2, you skip the odd colors and just play the game.
It’s not perfect but for what I paid I am very satisfied with the 3D effect. And when I get tired of it, it’s just CTRL-T and take off the glasses.
Last night I sat through Alice in Wonderland with my daughter and got to see Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and company in a Tim Burton epic. We watched it on DVD.
I had low expectations but was surprised when I really liked it. The story starts off in usual visual Tim Burton fashion and grows from there on. Alice ends up in the Rabbit Hole and by the end of the movie it’s all connected and works out.
What I can’t get is how would this, or most movies, benefit from being in 3D? When I saw Pocahontas Avatar on Blu-Ray, I liked it. I could easily see how the movie was shot and generated for 3D, but the predictable story line played out well.
I’m not criticizing Avatar; who doesn’t like it when the hero beats the bad guy and gets the girl? James Cameron really knew what he was doing. He had a vision to show and kept with it. Everyone I know who saw it in 3D says that it doesn’t distract from his movie. With the right application, 3D can complement the experience. But the same movie in 2D will still work if the story line is any good.
Now 3D is a gimmick for getting people in the theater *cough* Last Airbender *cough*. But it can’t make a bad movie better. Alice in Wonderland was a good movie and I think that the 3D gimmick would distract from that.