Originally Posted by pucksprite
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.