Wednesday, December 1, 2010

3D or not 3D?

3D or not 3D. This is the question we have faced when going to the movies.

For nearly a year almost every movie, especially children's films have been released with the 3D option.

Now 3D isn't for everyone. Personally I am not a fan of the recent fad. It gives me a headache and the glasses are uncomfortable! However, I can see the appeal to the masses, especially to younger movie goers who are enchanted by the images that seem to pop off the screens right before their eyes!

What many of todays newborn 3D enthusiasts may not realize is that filmmakers have been experimenting with 3D technology for over 100 years!

Now as we all know, 3D is a sophisticated optical illusion in which the images on the screen specially prepared to be used with special specs trick us into thinking we see images coming off the screen. However, as long as photography has existed the urge to perfect this trick of the eye has been close behind.

By the end of the 1840's a British gentleman by the name of Sir David Brewster perfected a technique called, "stereoscopy" which had been coined by a British physicist Sir Charles Wheatstone. This technique allowed photographs to appear three dimensional to the naked eye.
Let it be known that Sir David Brewster also invented the kaleidoscope.

The 3D glasses appeared on the movie scene in 1915 with the invention of something called, "anaglyph technology". In 1922, "The Power of Love" was the very first 3D film to be shown to a public audience.

The 1950's and were also a very popular time for 3D movies, however the majority of the films shown during this time period, however most of these films were scary movies or monster movies! Who would want to see a big scary monster coming at them? Unless of course this was a monster from Pixar's Monster's Inc.

The popularity of 3D seemed to fade in the 1960's when a new technology called, "Space Vision 3D" was released. Although many audiences flocked to the theaters to experience Space Vision, it did not live up to its name with the critics who gave it a big thumbs down. Still, Space Vision prevailed with a few movies here and there throughout the 70's and 80's, once again, these were mainly scary movies.

The 1990's brought about the IMAX 3D films that are similar to what we see today. Until the mid 2000's though, the majority of these movies were nature documentaries only shown in special theaters equipped to play them. Nowadays this is no longer necesary and 3D films can be seen at any theater.

Looking ahead, it appears that 3D will be available even closer than your local movie theater. 3D televisions are already available in stores. While I doubt everyone will be interested in this form of entertainment (you would still have to wear the glasses at home) it appears that the long history of 3D has quite a few chapters left before we close the book.

-Posted by Miss Jessikah

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