Tag Archives: 2D

[Update] Scathing 2D/3D Light Boston.com Article…True?

There are many problems with 3D presentations, especially those with the supposedly high-gain, polarizing-friendly ‘silver screens.

23 degrees…half the light. 3D What? 
Scotopic Issues with 3D,  
Silver ScreensRealD and Polaroid — Possible Promise PR). 

But at first glance through the breathy-for-scandle article, it seems like there is un-required hyperbole that makes one want to wait for Sony’s and RealD’s response.

This also amplifies the need for professional projectionists constantly in the projection booth, and a method for maintaining consistent quality control. If it takes a grass roots effort because of articles like this, perhaps it is OK.

But the real solution is probably to have the same “Constant Vigilance” policy for post-installation quality control as there is for security – an effort that has to come from studios, distributors, and exhibition management. In a sense, those exhibitors who signed VPF deals with studios have signed that they will make their exhibitions according to the SMPTE specification. Perhaps if the grass root effort wore t-shirts that said “48 Candelas or not at all”. 

Here are a couple of shots of the lens and the projector, one with the RealD polarizers over the lenses. One suspects that this is sometimes the problem that is being talked about. 

Sony Projector with Dual lens  removed

RealD Polarizers over Sony dual lens system

There are other shorter articles with a little more data at the links below. Sometimes the comments are the most interesting part, though a lot of them are just steam…though steam that the industry should be aware of.

Are 3D-capable theaters delivering dim 2D movies? – Digital Trends

Report: 3-D Lenses and Lazy Theaters Dim 2-D Projection by Up to 85 Percent | Movieline

Cinema chains dimming movies “up to 85%” on digital projectors – Boing Boing

Movie theaters could screw up your 2D movies by leaving the digital projector set up for 3D — Engadget

Finally, the graphic from the article: Just looking at the curve of the bulb life and the description of the Polarizing is enough to make me wonder about the truthiness of the entire article.

Sony 3D and RealD Light Problem according to Boston globe article

Asserted to be a Sony Press Release – 1 June 2011

The projectionist that Boston.com spoke with clearly has little to no understanding of how the systems work and is likely a manager that also works in the booth to start shows, the projectionists of yore are long gone in most cases. While the 3D lenses in the Sony are polarized, the images do not alternate, they are projected at the same time and split through a prism system in the lens, but really that’s besides the point. All of the 3D systems we have installed have been selected based on a number of variables such as screen size and auditorium length. Based on that information we can determine if the Sony projector will be able to light the screen to SMPTE spec. The SMPTE specifications on light are very clear and the DCI specification for digital equipment follows in line with that. Basically 2D digital projection should have 14 footlamberts (a measurement of reflected light) at the center of the screen, in comparison 35mm spec is 16fl of light through an open gate (meaning no film and no shutter movement) if a projector is installed to meet that spec the light output of the digital will be seen to exceed that of film. in any house where we cannot make the required light we use a bigger system, most recently these have been made by Barco.

In addition to the light levels the digital projectors are color corrected to within ±.005 of the DCI color spec. This means that when we correct with the polarizers in place on the Sony system for 2D movies that the color will be virtually identical to that seen on a DLP projector without a polarizer in the light path.

They also fail to mention some of the advantages of the way the Sony system works, such as reduced eye fatigue. DLP systems alternate images as implied in the article, they do so by electronically shifting the polarizer state for the left and right eye 3 times per frame per second. This ultimately results in the same situation you find with shutter glasses in that there is flicker that causes headaches and sometimes motion sickness, the difference is that the glasses do not actively perform this task, but close on eye while watching a 3D film ad you may see it (you may not, the system is projecting 144fps or 72 per eye, though make no mistake the content is still 24fps). The Sony system does not have this issue as it splits the 2K image across the top and bottom of the chip and then overlays them on the screen, the dual polarizers on the Sony are completely passive with not electronics involved.

To give a brief background of my knowledge base, I have been a technician for going on a decade, I have been installing digitals since the first “wide” roullout of 100 screens that Disney purchased for Chicken Little 3D. I have industry certifications through Sony, Barco and Dolby on D-Cinema equipment as well as my department’s highest level of internal certification and I am Net+ and A+ certified.

As far as why the film and digitally projected showing had such a difference, I think it’s likely one of two things, the 35mm could have been way above spec, which can happen easily due to the way the lamps are adjusted in many cases or the lamp in the digital was not adjusted properly. The biggest issue I run into is a lack of training within the theaters. I do my best to train when the systems are installed or when I am onsite for service calls, but these days so many people get rotated through the booth that should a lamp go out Friday night they just slap one in without making any of the necessary adjustments.

I’d like to know what was wrong with the management of that theater though, how do you host a premiere without making sure everything is perfect first? I myself haven’t done any due to my location within the country, but I have talked to a number of my coworkers about them and they are on site days before they happen making sure every detail is perfect. In fact many directors want to specify special color corrections for their premieres in digital or ask that sound be tweaked out of spec and so on.

I think the biggest problem digital cinema faces is that the operations departments of most chains think we can take a hands off approach to this equipment, and that is not currently the case. Proper lamp maintenance is crucial in any theater, but even more so in digital. 5-10 years from now when the laser light sources are in the field no-one will ever have need to go in the booth outside of cleaning the port glass and the maintenance calls myself and my cohorts perform.


In-Three Finds Digital Domain

Perhaps larger than the movies that In-Three has been a part of (Alice but importantly, not Clash), was the major news of a year ago that In-Three was working with the Indian firm Reliance Media to form a partnership to establish a 1.000 person group in Mumbai: Reliance of India in 3-D Movie Partnership With In-Three Inc. of U.S. – WSJ.com

The formula press release explains the details known thus far:

Digital Domain Holdings Acquires In-Three

–Florida based media group expands digital services and technology portfolio–

Port St. Lucie, Fla. — November 18, 2010 — Digital Domain Holdings, parent company of Academy Award®-winning digital studio Digital Domain, announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire 3D stereo studio In-Three, Inc., developer of the Dimensionalization® process that converts 2D films into high quality, 3D stereo imagery.

Digital Domain Holdings CEO John Textor said, “In-Three has been a pioneer in the research and development of stereoscopic technology. This partnership adds large scale production to In-Three’s world class technology, while creating new jobs in the state of Florida.”

Digital Domain studios in California and Vancouver recently completed production on Walt Disney Studios’ TRON: Legacy, which was generated and produced in stereoscopic 3D. In-Three completed 3D stereo work on Tim Burton’s visionary blockbuster Alice in Wonderland, which grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office.

“For over 10 years we have been intensely focused on bringing rich and immersive 3D images to the screen,” said Neil Feldman, In-Three CEO. “We are excited to work with Digital Domain to deliver quality 3D stereo entertainment experiences for today’s audiences.”

“3D stereo movies exploded on the market this year,” added Digital Domain CEO Cliff Plumer. “Alice in Wonderland was a visually amazing 3D immersive experience, and TRON: Legacy will end the year with another dazzling 3D entertainment event. I have known Neil and the talented artists and technologists at In-Three for a long time. We will collaborate to provide the highest quality 3D stereo solutions to filmmakers.”

The In-Three team will be based out of Digital Domain Holdings’ headquarters in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

About Digital Domain Holdings

Digital Domain Holdings is the parent company of California-based Digital Domain, the Academy Award®-winning digital production studio. In 2009 Digital Domain Holdings began developing a large- scale digital production studio in the city of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Due to the growth and success of Digital Domain in California and Vancouver, Digital Domain Holdings has accelerated its hiring plans in Florida to provide additional capacity for both traditional and stereoscopic 3D visual effects. The company has also recently announced plans to build the Digital Domain Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, a four-year program in advanced digital media supported by the College of Motion Picture Arts at Florida State University.

Founded in 1993 by film industry icons, Digital Domain is an Academy Award®-winning digital production studio focused on visual effects for feature film and advertising production. Among its 80+ film credits are three features that were awarded the Oscar for visual effects, including Titanic, What Dreams May Come and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. A creative giant in advertising, Digital Domain has earned scores of Clio, AICP and Cannes Lion awards for some of the world’s most memorable spots. The studio works with top directors and has become renowned for its technical innovation, claiming four Scientific &Technical Achievement Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Digital Domain is charging forward with its pioneering work in photo-real digital characters as well as projects that cross traditional media boundaries. The company is based in Venice, California and recently opened a studio in Vancouver, British Columbia. www.digitaldomain.com

About In-Three, Inc.

Organized in 1999 to pioneer research and development in stereoscopic reconstruction of two dimensional images, In-Three, Inc. developed and patented a process called Dimensionalization® that makes it practical to convert 2D films into high quality, artifact-free 3D films.

In-Three is unique in offering a director the ability to select the dramatic impact appropriate to each scene. It does this by providing a range of style and degree choices. This capacity to incorporate artistic intent in 2D to 3D reconstruction is an inherent and distinguishing feature of Dimensionalization.

In addition to developing and continuing to refine Dimensionalization, In-Three has created the staff and systems that make “Dimensionalization by In-Three” an appropriate choice for directors and studios.


Stan Szymanski Digital Domain Holdings | 772.345.8000