Guest Post from Sensio, originally published here.
Whether you know it or not, there is a war going on right now. It’s a war between two factions that are ferociously opposed on a simple and very mundane subject: 3D. It’s a war being waged in the media, in electronic stores and even amongst film makers. It’s a war of words, each side proclaiming at one moment or another that “3D is dead” or that “3D is here to stay”. Those who hate 3D claim that it is distracting, annoying, painful, and irrelevant. Those who love 3D say that it is exhilarating, immersive, stimulating, and even more touching emotionally. Conflicting scientific research, market data and customer surveys are used as weapons by opponents to try to win this war. I’ve rarely seen such a polarizing subject with factions firmly entrenched in their respective positions, trying to make their voice heard over the other. 3D vs 2D has become the new Mac vs PC. Maybe this has gone too far. Maybe it’s time to tone it down a little and call for a ceasefire in this war of words.
I Love 3D
Now I’ll admit it, I love 3D. I’ve loved 3D since I was a young boy watching View Masters reels of places we’d been visiting with my family (remember those?). I could spend hours looking at these 3D pictures which had this unique ability to connect me with a place I had been to. I’ve always been fascinated with the 3D experience which gave extra realism to whatever I was looking at and brought me closer to the action. Seeing the IMAX 3D movie Space Station brought me as close as possible to what it is to be weightless in orbit around the earth. I love 3D movies, 3D pictures, 3D displays, 3D technologies. I’ve even started a 3D company! I’m one of those who believe 3D is a natural thing and that if you can reproduce this natural experience to the screen, it works. In real life, I am not closing one eye to enjoy a play at a theatre or a football game in a stadium in 2D! 3D is not distracting to me; it’s the normal way of seeing.
HOWEVER, I can understand that not everybody shares this passion for 3D. I can see how bad 3D can give headaches or be distracting. I can also get that some people even dislike a very well made 3D movie or a great 3D picture presented on a nice 3D display. I’ve accepted that 3D may not be for everyone and I am not going to launch a crusade to make people believe otherwise. I’m not here to convince skeptics or 3D bashers that 3D is better than 2D. I’m not here to judge or to convince people that my point of view is better than theirs. In this case, live and let live truly applies. Everyone is entitled to its own preference and there is no reason to try and impose their own personal taste to others. Some love 3D, some hate it, so be it!
Call for a Truce
To all of you that dislike 3D, I’m saying stop the bashing, the negativity, the harsh language. I you don’t like 3D, don’t do it! Nobody forces you to see the 3D version of a movie or to buy a 3DTV. You may not get why we love 3D, why 3D is so cool to us and why some of us feel it enhances the story as well as the experience. You don’t need to get it to let us enjoy it. We are millions of 3D lovers around the world that deserve to be heard and serviced. I’ve co-founded SENSIO almost 15 years ago with a mission to bring 3D to all who believe like we do that when done right, 3D is a fantastic experience. We’ll relentlessly work to bring technologies and content to the home so that 3D lovers around the world can enjoy this experience. We’re not asking you to like it or encourage us, just to let us enjoy 3D… quietly.
The future of 3D
Some say that 3D never caught on. We like to say that 3D refuses to die! Historically, 3D has demonstrated incredible resilience. People keep bringing back the fact that in the 1950’s, 3D did not work and it will suffer the same fate this time around. However, few people realize that the 1950’s so called golden age of 3D did not even last two years! Until recently, doing good 3D was extremely challenging and costly. In this digital age where 3D can be created, delivered and displayed reliably and economically, 3D movies are enjoying their first true golden age in history. It’s been over 10 years since the first digitally filmed 3D movie was shown in theatres and eight since “Chicken Little” became the first 3D movie to be presented in digital 3D in theatres. Each year, millions flock to see 3D movies in a globally expanding network of theatres. This 3D golden age is still going strong.
Does that mean that everything is perfect? Absolutely not! For example, there are still bad 2D to 3D conversions today (although there has been incredible progress on that front in the last few years), some 3D projections are far too dark, the premium for 3D tickets is too high in some regions, the 3D quality remains inconsistent and 3D is still sometimes used as a gimmick by some film makers to try to compensate for a poor story. But things are changing and technologies are getting better. I truly believe that we have not seen anything yet, that great filmmakers who are just starting to play with this new tool have yet to show us the true potential of 3D for storytelling and that the best is yet to come.
Maybe 3D is not perfect yet and probably not everyone will become a 3D fan in the future but who cares? Let us all relax and accept that one version of the experience does not have to die for the other to exist. Just as long as we respect each other and accept the fact that 2D and 3D are legitimate experiences that can co-exist, everyone will be able to watch what they want, the way they want it.
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About SENSIO Technologies Inc. (SENSIO):
SENSIO Technologies Inc. (www.sensio.tv) has been leading the floor in bringing 3D video to the consumer since 1999. Its vision, expertise and state-of-the-art solutions, based on diversified stereoscopic image-processing technologies, have been trusted by some of the biggest names in the media and entertainment industries to power numerous industry firsts, initiate new business models and generate immediate revenue with a distinctive 3D offering.
SENSIO enables its clients to deliver the best possible 3D experience for the end-user through a broad portfolio of products, including its flagship, award-winning technology, SENSIO® Hi-Fi 3D. Through SENSIO solutions, consumers can access – with effortless interaction and complete peace of mind – 3D content of superior quality to common frame-compatible formats distributed over existing infrastructure (cable, satellite or over IP) and displayed using any existing digital equipment (cinema, home cinema, TV, game consoles or PC). SENSIO’s common shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.
SENSIO® is a registered trademark of SENSIO Technologies Inc.