Can they convert older movies to 3D? - AVS Forum
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3D Tech Talk > Can they convert older movies to 3D?
Something_Soft's Avatar Something_Soft 02:47 PM 01-08-2010
I really want to watch the Departed, Lord of the Rings, the Matrix, the Dark Knight, Batman Begins and a bunch of other movies in 3D.

That would be so cool!

Can they do it?

dlplover's Avatar dlplover 02:58 PM 01-08-2010
Probably one day with insane processing to extrapolate depth from the image and split it accordingly, but I doubt we'll see anything like that within the next 10-15 years.
Something_Soft's Avatar Something_Soft 02:59 PM 01-08-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlplover View Post

Probably one day with insane processing to extrapolate depth from the image and split it accordingly, but I doubt we'll see anything like that within the next 10-15 years.

10-15 years? Really? That is a long time away.
audiopanik's Avatar audiopanik 03:06 PM 01-08-2010
The new Toshiba sets and I believe either LG's or Samsung's new sets claim to be able to take non 3D content and convert to 3D on the fly.

I can't imagine that would work to well, but I suppose we'll see.
dlplover's Avatar dlplover 04:37 PM 01-08-2010
Yeah, a quick correction. There are already methods they use to do this, but most of them are supposed to be pretty mediocre. 10-15 years for processing that can handle 2-D and make it look the same as natively filmed 3-D is what I meant (which seemed to be what OP was asking).
bobbyhollywood's Avatar bobbyhollywood 04:48 PM 01-08-2010
Absolutely it can be done today and work has already been started on select titles. It is done entirely in the digital domain with no film prints possible but digital 3D has become the dominant 3D format in theatres anyway.

At least 3 years ago I saw a demo of this at the ShoWest film industry convention. Among the sequences shown were the first ten minutes of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 3D. Lucas has plans to reissue the entire Star Wars saga in 3D when the number of available 3D screens increases.

The films demoed with conversion showed excellent depth within the picture but did not offer much in the way of effects coming out of the screen, but most 3D films today are being designed with fewer in-your-face gimmicks anyway.
10th St.'s Avatar 10th St. 04:56 PM 01-08-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyhollywood View Post

Lucas has plans to reissue the entire Star Wars saga in 3D when the number of available 3D screens increases.

Great, I'm sure he can find new ways to f*ck up this film.
rockytt's Avatar rockytt 05:04 PM 01-08-2010
Absolutely yes - any of the live-action movies you've seen (or at least pieces of films) in the last 3 or 4 years was done in post-production. Superman (the new one), and Harry Potter are a couple that come to mind that were done this way. Word has it that Peter Jackson (along with the aforementioned Lucas) are working on their films as we speak. (Or at least, their people are working on it )
Steve S's Avatar Steve S 10:55 PM 01-08-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Something_Soft View Post

I really want to watch the Departed, Lord of the Rings, the Matrix, the Dark Knight, Batman Begins and a bunch of other movies in 3D.

That would be so cool!

Can they do it?

Sure they can, just like they can convert classic BW films to color. Some might argue that, like colorization, converting 2D movies to 3D would be blasphemy but if it were done under the supervision of the original filmmakers I don't see much problem with it. What I don't want to see is indiscriminate conversion of anything and everything without any participation from the original makers of the film.
dlplover's Avatar dlplover 11:19 PM 01-08-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S View Post

Sure they can, just like they can convert classic BW films to color. Some might argue that, like colorization, converting 2D movies to 3D would be blasphemy but if it were done under the supervision of the original filmmakers I don't see much problem with it. What I don't want to see is indiscriminate conversion of anything and everything without any participation from the original makers of the film.

To bring this back to Star Wars, if it's done by skilled professionals who are making an effort to keep it as close to the original as possible, it may actually be better than the original "director's vision", which usually means finding more ways to milk people off the same movie instead of just releasing a clean copy without unnecessary"enhancements".
xb1032's Avatar xb1032 12:12 AM 01-09-2010
I don't fully understand the process (haven't researched it yet) but if older movies will be in 3D then the 2nd image has to come directly form the original. I could be completely off on this but for non-3D filmed material a 2nd image will have to be generated from what is already there so at some point I would bet software will be available to generate the 2nd image. Obviously one would think 2D movies won't look as good as films filmed for 3D but it seems possible.
voyager6's Avatar voyager6 10:00 AM 01-09-2010
[SARCASM]
I just can't wait for Lawrence of Arabia in 3D! just think of that scene where Peter O'Toole comes out of the desert, having rescued someone (the long distance shot, where he is a single spec of black that grows to full screen). Why that would just fly off the screen in 3D!

Or How about the Shark in JAWS in 3D? He could be right in front of you when he bites Quint in half.

[/SARCASM]

The classics don't need to be played with!
greenland's Avatar greenland 10:14 AM 01-09-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by voyager6 View Post

[SARCASM]
I just can't wait for Lawrence of Arabia in 3D! just think of that scene where Peter O'Toole comes out of the desert, having rescued someone (the long distance shot, where he is a single spec of black that grows to full screen). Why that would just fly off the screen in 3D!


Or How about the Shark in JAWS in 3D? He could be right in front of you when he bites Quint in half.

[/SARCASM]

The classics don't need to be played with!


Yes it would, but it will require people to move to homes with much deeper viewing rooms, in order to keep the keep the 3D images from crashing into the back walls.
Steve S's Avatar Steve S 11:57 AM 01-09-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by voyager6 View Post

[SARCASM]
I just can't wait for Lawrence of Arabia in 3D! just think of that scene where Peter O'Toole comes out of the desert, having rescued someone (the long distance shot, where he is a single spec of black that grows to full screen). Why that would just fly off the screen in 3D!

Or How about the Shark in JAWS in 3D? He could be right in front of you when he bites Quint in half.

[/SARCASM]

The classics don't need to be played with!

Couldn't agree more.
voyager6's Avatar voyager6 06:50 PM 01-09-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S View Post

Couldn't agree more.

Converting old movies to 3D is equivalent of colorizing Black and White movies. Just because the technology may be available to convert old movies to 3D, doesn't mean that they should be converted to 3D.

But I am sure that over time, some Ted Turner wannabe will do so anyway.
Dathon's Avatar Dathon 08:26 PM 01-09-2010
There is physically no way to bring a true 3D look to older content. The movie was shot 2D, and there is no depth information. The only movies they could possibly convert, are the computer animated ones that were rendered. If they have the original 3D frames before they were rendered out, they can use this, since there is 3D info(Poser, After Effects, etc). (Movies like Toy Story, Ice Age, etc.) But I don't think studios keep this once it is rendered out to 2D for film/tv viewing. That's a lot of digital storage to keep around. For example, a movie like The Matrix...If they had the special effects renderings still available, they could go back and make that 3D. But the rest of the film with the actors would only be 2D.
Nicktx27's Avatar Nicktx27 08:46 PM 01-09-2010
Pixar does. In fact they said it was easy converting their movies into 3D becasue they were rendered so you are right on that.
Steve S's Avatar Steve S 10:36 PM 01-09-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dathon View Post

There is physically no way to bring a true 3D look to older content. The movie was shot 2D, and there is no depth information. The only movies they could possibly convert, are the computer animated ones that were rendered. If they have the original 3D frames before they were rendered out, they can use this, since there is 3D info(Poser, After Effects, etc). (Movies like Toy Story, Ice Age, etc.) But I don't think studios keep this once it is rendered out to 2D for film/tv viewing. That's a lot of digital storage to keep around. For example, a movie like The Matrix...If they had the special effects renderings still available, they could go back and make that 3D. But the rest of the film with the actors would only be 2D.

If a movie's had digital interpositive color correction (hope that's the right terminology) would the files for that be usable for 3d processing? My guess is no?
rockytt's Avatar rockytt 12:09 AM 01-10-2010
Quote:


There is physically no way to bring a true 3D look to older content

Actually not completely true(ish)
Part of the process is digitizing the entire film (not hard, as we all know) and then separating the various elements to be able create separate left/right views-for each of the elements. (yes, this a greatly oversimplified). This is hard...
This is how all the recent live-action films (w/a couple of exceptions) w/3D sections were done. It looks pretty good, but a little fake. Definitely not the immersive experience that Avatar is.
pucksprite's Avatar pucksprite 01:58 AM 01-21-2010
They can do this now, and in fact Warner Bros is discussing converting the upcoming Clash of the Titans from 2D to 3D, even though it was filmed originally in 2D.

I'm guessing the software they use to convert 2D films into 3D is a little like telecine/digital color correction software. A technician goes through the film shot by shot in the computer and highlights which elements of the image will be background, middleground, and foreground elements, and the computer renders the necessary stereo image.

If you've ever taken off your glasses during a 3D film, you will notice that the foreground elements (usually the characters) look relatively normal in appearance. Contrary to the background elements which are severely doubled and blurry in appearance and the distance between the doubled image becomes more exaggerated as the element recedes into the background.

I'm sure the software doesn't render a physically accurate stereo image, but rather duplicates the existing image elements for the other eye, creating the effect of flat layers that look to be separated by different focal lengths but lack the parallax effect required to appear like realistically rounded 3D objects. It is probably much like the way they used to film hand drawn animation, in which they would stack several 2D animation cels upon each other to give the illusion of depth to the image.
TrickMcKaha's Avatar TrickMcKaha 10:37 AM 02-26-2010
I expect 2D shows converted to 3D will always have foreground objects looking a bit like cardboard cutouts. I imagine it analogous to colorizing B&W movies. Soon enough, though, there will be 3D cameras for everything new.
Steve P.'s Avatar Steve P. 11:59 AM 02-26-2010
Where have you all been? They've been doing this for several years now! The following 2-D to 3-D conversions have already been widely released to theaters:

SUPERMAN RETURNS (sequences for IMAX)
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (last 20 mins in IMAX)
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE (first 10 mins in IMAX)

G-FORCE
ALICE IN WONDERLAND (opens March 5)
CLASH OF THE TITANS (opens April 2)
PIRANHA 3-D (open August 2010)

There are also several other movies undergoing 2-D to 3-D conversions now for both theatrical and Blu-ray release.

I'm not saying I agree with the idea of going back and converting movies to 3-D (as some said, it's like colorization) but it's happening nevertheless. However, there are now movies being shot flat, but with 3-D conversion I mind from the beginning, such as ALICE IN WONDERLAND and PIRANHA, so I'm not sure that's the same thing. However, I wish they'd just shoot in 3-D natively, but some directors are apparently hesitant to jump in.

Oh yeah, they recently debuted a "dimensionalized" version of the already colorized NIGHT OF THE LIVNG DEAD at an outdoor screening in Hollywood also; so I guess that's the first movie to be altered twice over!

How does it look? Depends on the folks doing it. I've seen examples ranging from crap to pretty convincing. No matter how you feel about it, the conversions are getting better all the time.
tlbauerle's Avatar tlbauerle 01:11 PM 02-26-2010
I saw a recent video of Cameron and Jackson talking at ComicCon about the 3D conversion process. Cameron is working on Titanic in 3D. I seriously doubt he would be working on that if the 3D process currently used in post wasn't great.

True...I'm not going to argue the benefit stereoscopic filming holds over conversion...but I think the conversion can hold up pretty well.

The biggest thing is cost. It just seems too expensive for studios to participate.
Steve P.'s Avatar Steve P. 02:02 PM 02-26-2010
Cost isn't an issue really; it's at the $5 million range currently for a feature conversion. A drop in the bucket when a movie has a budget in the hundreds of millions. This is why it was a no-brainer for Warner to convert CLASH; they'll easily recoup the extra money in theatrical release and they'll have another title in the wings for 3D Blu-ray later.
Rebound's Avatar Rebound 04:49 PM 02-26-2010
TV sets today have frame rate converter chips, which basically encode the video, analyze the motion vectors, and then generate new frames of "in-between" video.

Someone could design a chip that encodes the video, analyzes the motion vectors, and then generates new Left and Right vectors for objects that are moving in front of others, and they could put that chip inside a TV set.

This would give you the "cardboard cutout" effect, but I would be surprised if we DON'T see such a feature in some TV's one day.
NetworkTV's Avatar NetworkTV 09:09 AM 02-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by pucksprite View Post

If you've ever taken off your glasses during a 3D film, you will notice that the foreground elements (usually the characters) look relatively normal in appearance. Contrary to the background elements which are severely doubled and blurry in appearance and the distance between the doubled image becomes more exaggerated as the element recedes into the background.

You've got that backwards...

The closer the object is, the more separated it should look without the glasses. As an object recedes toward the background, you see less of a left/right difference. If a background image appears blurry, it's because it actually is out of focus and the stereo view is amplifying it.

When shooting a 3D image, they actually toe the lenses in (closer) or out (further away) to simulate how your eyes move to see an object. To get a real idea of the effect, take your finger and hold it up between both eyes, but close. Your eyes should be essentially starting to cross to focus on it - and at a certain distance, you'll start to see two of them. As you move it further away, you see less of each side and your eyes settle in to a normal parallel state.
SoundChex's Avatar SoundChex 07:50 PM 02-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebound View Post

TV sets today have frame rate converter chips, which basically encode the video, analyze the motion vectors, and then generate new frames of "in-between" video.

Someone could design a chip that encodes the video, analyzes the motion vectors, and then generates new Left and Right vectors for objects that are moving in front of others, and they could put that chip inside a TV set.

This would give you the "cardboard cutout" effect, but I would be surprised if we DON'T see such a feature in some TV's one day.

Surely it makes more sense for a movie studio to convert a 2D movie to 3D, correctly, once, than to have every tv set in the world do it badly, in real time, every time the original (2D) movie is reshown...?
Lee Stewart's Avatar Lee Stewart 07:52 PM 02-28-2010
TSHA222's Avatar TSHA222 12:31 PM 03-02-2010
Back in '93 or '94, I was on my first home theater. I had an early Sharp LCD projector and I read an article in a home theater magazine (I would bet I can still find the magazine if I look for it). The company offered a "slip-on" lens that was compatible with any single lens projector. I ordered one which came with a few pairs of polarized glasses. The slip on lens had different polarizing filters - basically one type right down the middle and another type on either side. I had to use a silver screen (actually purchased a Stewart Silver 400) for the effect. In that room my screen was only 10 feet wide and I didn't know any better to understand about hot spotting and such. But back on point, if I slipped the lens in place, I got a "doubled" image. When I put on the glasses the image was 3D. Nothing jumped out of the screen whatsoever, but it did provide a realistic effect of the screen being a window with true depth. It really, really worked and there was zero ghosting.

Well that projector went by the wayside and I moved my entire room. I have long since misplaced my "slip over" lens and can't find any info on the company, mainly because I can't remember the name. I also don't have a silver screen in the new room so it's no use to me anyway. But in effect, that was a completely passive 2D to "almost" 3D on-the-fly conversion and regardless of how low tech and inconceivable it may sound, it worked. So long answer to a short question, I say absolutely it can be done. My only sources when I had the other room were laserdisc and DVD. I would love to see something like this with HD. I do remember watching some NFL from my old C-Band setup with the psuedo 3D and it was pretty cool.

If anyone has any idea what I am talking about, I would love to find the name of the company.
GregK's Avatar GregK 12:53 PM 03-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by tlbauerle View Post

I saw a recent video of Cameron and Jackson talking at ComicCon about the 3D conversion process. Cameron is working on Titanic in 3D. I seriously doubt he would be working on that if the 3D process currently used in post wasn't great.

Jim Cameron, however, understands 2D to 3D conversions must be done *very* carefully:
http://www.starpulse.com/news/index....ng_to_convert_

We're going to do it right. We're not going to try to do it in eight weeks. It's not going to be some rush job. We're going to get the stereo space perfect, the contours, the geometry and everything so it looks pretty indistinguishable from having been shot for real.
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