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Let me ask this simple question. Whats the hub-bub about 3D IMAX vs the good ol 70mm? Is it the full 4:3 screen??


I watched Avatar (what else) in 3D IMAX and before I saw it, I was excited since its been ages since I seen anything in 3D. So the crew goes in, picks up some funky Elton John like plastics and proceed in the theater.


First shock - uhh it looks ordinary. Whats this? a huge 4:3 screen.


Suddenly I was not impressed. I'm watching the movie in a regular screen. OK, whatever, lets go on. I put on my glasses and watched some previews. OK so far, they look great but none to be remembered.


Second shock - its dark.I can't see the details.


Perhaps it was the theater? Nothing comes close to detail after seeing a movie in a 3 LCD theater. I guess Im spoiled. I rather have detail over 3D. The glasses made things a dark blur. I was thinking this isn't looking any better than a bootleg.


Third shock - after a while, the 3D goes away. Its just not that dramatic and probably not filmed with 3D in mind (am I wrong?). The scene with the red dragon popped out on a previously viewed 2D version but not here.


I don't know how the movie got so many awards. I didnt think the plot was great, Titanic was a better story. The details actually got drowned with the 3D. Thought the movie would be best in 2D 3 LCD theaters to show off it's colors and forests. In summary, IMAX 3D kinda sucks, unless its the half dome version at Disneyland.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyHTPC /forum/post/18311340


Its just not that dramatic and probably not filmed with 3D in mind (am I wrong?).

Yes. Unlike other films (ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CLASH OF THE TITANS), AVATAR was filmed in 3D

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyHTPC /forum/post/18311340


I don't know how the movie got so many awards. I didnt think the plot was great, Titanic was a better story. The details actually got drowned with the 3D. Thought the movie would be best in 2D 3 LCD theaters to show off it's colors and forests. In summary, IMAX 3D kinda sucks, unless its the half dome version at Disneyland.

Agree regarding the story (as do many others), although I thought TITANIC sucked too. (In the theater, I actually started to applaud when Leo slipped into the depths, but a sharp jab stopped me). At any rate, the IMAX theater I saw AVATAR at looked fine.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyHTPC /forum/post/18311340


Let me ask this simple question. Whats the hub-bub about 3D IMAX vs the good ol 70mm? Is it the full 4:3 screen??


Quote:
I watched Avatar (what else) in 3D IMAX and before I saw it, I was excited since its been ages since I seen anything in 3D. So the crew goes in, picks up some funky Elton John like plastics and proceed in the theater.


First shock - uhh it looks ordinary. Whats this? a huge 4:3 screen.


Suddenly I was not impressed. I'm watching the movie in a regular screen. OK, whatever, lets go on. I put on my glasses and watched some previews. OK so far, they look great but none to be remembered.

Only a movie shot in IMAX 15/70 will fill the entire IMAX screen which is 1.44 AR. They transfer the 2.35 AR movie onto 15/70 IMAX film stock so above and below the image there are bars/unused screen. You are watching Letterboxed IMAX.


Quote:
Second shock - its dark.I can't see the details.


Perhaps it was the theater? Nothing comes close to detail after seeing a movie in a 3 LCD theater. I guess Im spoiled. I rather have detail over 3D. The glasses made things a dark blur. I was thinking this isn't looking any better than a bootleg.

What is a "3 LCD" theater?



As far as the brightness, you may have gone to an IMAX theater that still uses active shutter glasses versus Linear Polarization. The image will not appear as bright with the ASGs.

Quote:
Third shock - after a while, the 3D goes away. Its just not that dramatic and probably not filmed with 3D in mind (am I wrong?). The scene with the red dragon popped out on a previously viewed 2D version but not here.


I don't know how the movie got so many awards. I didnt think the plot was great, Titanic was a better story. The details actually got drowned with the 3D. Thought the movie would be best in 2D 3 LCD theaters to show off it's colors and forests. In summary, IMAX 3D kinda sucks, unless its the half dome version at Disneyland.

Avatar WAS filmed in 3D but not in IMAX 3D. They used Pace Fusion 3D cameras which have a resolution of about 2K versus IMAX's 12K


You like Dome IMAX with it's fish-eye point of view?
 

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@SpeedyHTPC:


All I have to say is that the quality of presentation varies by theater. Avatar in IMAX 3D is best seen in a Digital IMAX (aka LIeMAX) than in a DMR'ed letterbox presentation on a traditional 15/70 IMAX screen. The LIeMAX 3D presentation was arguably darker than a RealD 3D presentation using Sony 4K projection, but the DMR'ed IMAX 3D was by far the worst presentation with a still darker picture and very little 3D pop. Did you by chance see it on a classic IMAX theater?

@Lee Stewart:


Does Digital IMAX 3D use ASGs? The glasses were certainly not powered ASGs in both Digital IMAX 3D viewings of Avatar I went to - so, were the PROJECTORS themselves using ASGs?
Doesn't compute !!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj /forum/post/18312075

@Lee Stewart:


Does Digital IMAX 3D use ASGs? The glasses were certainly not powered ASGs in both Digital IMAX 3D viewings of Avatar I went to - so, were the PROJECTORS themselves using ASGs?
Doesn't compute !!

Here is an Email IMAX sent me on 2 questions I had asked about LieMAX:

Dear Lee,


Thank you for your email to [email protected] . IMAX uses linear polarization, as it presently offers better extinction than circular. RealD uses a higher frame rate for 3D out of necessity given they use a single projector and in order to alternate between left and right eye images without undue flicker, a higher frame rate is required. This method also introduces motion artifacts given left and right eye images do not arrive at the same time.


IMAX uses dual projectors that remain calibrated to the sub pixel level to guarantee image alignment. Left and right eye images are displayed at 24fps at the same time thereby avoiding motion artifacts.


Best regards,


IMAX Corporation



---------------------------------------------------------------------------


They still use ASGs in some of the IMAX 3D theaters.


LOL . . . remember these?

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Stewart /forum/post/18312171



...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------


They still use ASGs in some of the IMAX 3D theaters.


LOL . . . remember these?


FWIW, I haven't been subjected to the torture of wearing one of those monstrosities yet. All of my IMAX 3D viewings have been using the cheap, throwaway plastic glasses. Does Digital IMAX have an option (nay, excuse) to use ASGs?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj /forum/post/18312200


FWIW, I haven't been subjected to the torture of wearing one of those monstrosities yet. All of my IMAX 3D viewings have been using the cheap, throwaway plastic glasses. Does Digital IMAX have an option (nay, excuse) to use ASGs?

They no longer use those. But when you went to see an IMAX 3D movie years ago, that is what they handed out. The ones they use today look like the shutter glasses that 3DTVs use.


No - LieMAX is strictly Linear Polarization.


From my Email:

Quote:
Left and right eye images are displayed at 24fps at the same time thereby avoiding motion artifacts

To use ASGs you have to project alternating frames. For the IMAX 3D theaters that use them, the frames go through the projectors like this:


LL, RR, LL, RR (24FPS doubled to 48 FPS - standard method for film based projectors, alternating frames - 2 projectors)


LieMAX would be LR, LR, LR, LR - both projectors running at 24 FPS


XpanD Cinemas - a competitor to RealD, etc. uses ASG's

http://www.xpandcinema.com/
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by film113 /forum/post/18311463


Yes. Unlike other films (ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CLASH OF THE TITANS), AVATAR was filmed in 3D


Agree regarding the story (as do many others), although I thought TITANIC sucked too. (In the theater, I actually started to applaud when Leo slipped into the depths, but a sharp jab stopped me). At any rate, the IMAX theater I saw AVATAR at looked fine.

I saw Avatar in a brand new IMAX theater here in OKC and thought it was a stunning technical achievement. Although it was decent dramatically, too, the story was not in a class with the cinematography and special effects. The glasses used in that IMAX theater have plastic frames and lenses that appeared to me to have been gray.


I have not yet seen Alice in Wonderland. It is playing in 3D IMAX at the same theater in which I saw Avatar, so I might see it, too. You have indicated that Alice was not filmed in 3D. How, then, are the 3D images produced?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat /forum/post/18312329


I saw Avatar in a brand new IMAX theater here in OKC and thought it was a stunning technical achievement. Although it was decent dramatically, too, the story was not in a class with the cinematography and special effects. The glasses used in that IMAX theater have plastic frames and lenses that appeared to me to have been gray.


I have not yet seen Alice in Wonderland. It is playing in 3D IMAX at the same theater in which I saw Avatar, so I might see it, too. You have indicated that Alice was not filmed in 3D. How, then, are the 3D images produced?

Here is the company that did the 3D work on AIW

http://www.in-three.com/


Editing for 3D on Alice in Wonderland

http://www.studiodaily.com/filmandvi...and_11957.html
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat /forum/post/18312329


I saw Avatar in a brand new IMAX theater here in OKC and thought it was a stunning technical achievement. Although it was decent dramatically, too, the story was not in a class with the cinematography and special effects. The glasses used in that IMAX theater have plastic frames and lenses that appeared to me to have been gray.


I have not yet seen Alice in Wonderland. It is playing in 3D IMAX at the same theater in which I saw Avatar, so I might see it, too. You have indicated that Alice was not filmed in 3D. How, then, are the 3D images produced?

2D films are converted to pseudo-3D in post-production by manipulating the film assets in digital domain. This method is arguably cheaper, and sometimes quicker than filming natively in 3D. As the movies that get this kind of 2D-3D bump are most often FX-extravaganzas using CGI, mo-cap and green screens, these films can be more easily moved to the 3D domain. There are videos on Youtube showing such a process, as shown below:
 

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Lee, raaj -- Thanks for the explanation concerning the rendering of 2D films into "pseudo-3D."
 

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The new Toshiba CELL TVs supposedly are able to adapt 2D material into 3D. I seem to remember that CES reports indicated that it worked very well. Have to wait and see, I guess.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj /forum/post/18312200


FWIW, I haven't been subjected to the torture of wearing one of those monstrosities yet. All of my IMAX 3D viewings have been using the cheap, throwaway plastic glasses. Does Digital IMAX have an option (nay, excuse) to use ASGs?

Although the green-tinted lenses my real IMAX theater might be considered "cheap" they definitely do not throw them away, as I often receive them wet upon entering the theater. They are clearly disinfected between viewings.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi /forum/post/18317696


Although the green-tinted lenses my real IMAX theater might be considered "cheap" they definitely do not throw them away, as I often receive them wet upon entering the theater. They are clearly disinfected between viewings.

RealD theaters use the cheap giveaway/throwaway 3D glasses
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by raaj /forum/post/18312075

@SpeedyHTPC:


All I have to say is that the quality of presentation varies by theater. Avatar in IMAX 3D is best seen in a Digital IMAX (aka LIeMAX) than in a DMR'ed letterbox presentation on a traditional 15/70 IMAX screen. The LIeMAX 3D presentation was arguably darker than a RealD 3D presentation using Sony 4K projection, but the DMR'ed IMAX 3D was by far the worst presentation with a still darker picture and very little 3D pop. Did you by chance see it on a classic IMAX theater?

@Lee Stewart:


Does Digital IMAX 3D use ASGs? The glasses were certainly not powered ASGs in both Digital IMAX 3D viewings of Avatar I went to - so, were the PROJECTORS themselves using ASGs?
Doesn't compute !!

i guess it depends where you go, i actually likeds the 15/70 presentation the best! Liemax3D i saw had very, very bright, as bright as I've seen, but even on one of the larger liemax screens it was still a little bit smaller than the 15/70 projection and it had a trace of a cartoony feel compared to the 15/70


did the 15/70 projection you saw fill the screen across the width? where i saw it they gave up a good 4' of screen on each side (and obviously a lot on top and bottom, i thought it was supposed to be 1.78:1 for this movie, it was at liemax, but it almost looked more like 1.6:1 or something at the 15/70 theater, weird). maybe to make it brighter without needing to switch bulbs all the time??


the dolby3D was by far the worst presentation, liemax, 15/70 were all better, at least at the places i viewed, dolby was darkest/muddiest despite being on the smallest screen, it also used 2.34:1 which was less than ideal for this movie in 3D and sometimes it seemed like you could see parts of the image sort of separating especially with oranges and reds and if you looked near the edge it looked a little bit like double vision
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibum5000 /forum/post/18319409


i guess it depends where you go, i actually likeds the 15/70 presentation the best! Liemax3D i saw had very, very bright, as bright as I've seen, but even on one of the larger liemax screens it was still a little bit smaller than the 15/70 projection and it had a trace of a cartoony feel compared to the 15/70


did the 15/70 projection you saw fill the screen across the width? where i saw it they gave up a good 4' of screen on each side (and obviously a lot on top and bottom, i thought it was supposed to be 1.78:1 for this movie, it was at liemax, but it almost looked more like 1.6:1 or something at the 15/70 theater, weird). maybe to make it brighter without needing to switch bulbs all the time??


the dolby3D was by far the worst presentation, liemax, 15/70 were all better, at least at the places i viewed, dolby was darkest/muddiest despite being on the smallest screen, it also used 2.34:1 which was less than ideal for this movie in 3D and sometimes it seemed like you could see parts of the image sort of separating especially with oranges and reds and if you looked near the edge it looked a little bit like double vision

Dolby 3D does not use a high gain silver screen. It is shown on a normal 1.0 gain white screen.
 

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The enjoyment of 3D absolutely hinges on a theater's ability to display it properly.


When I went to see Avatar, I initially thought IMAX 3D was the way to go. However, upon sitting down in the theater, I found the screen to be flickering and severely blurred. It was huge, but impossible to watch. There was no way I was going to see the movie like that.


I immediately got up and switched to a Real-D theater where the 3D looked stunning - crisp, clear, and lifelike.


However, I've seen dim, desaturated Real-D projections in the past at other theaters.


It's very difficult to judge a particular technology when so many theaters are using that technology so differently.
 

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I agree, it all depends upon the theater, and how well they are setup for 3D. I have seen Avatar on white matte screens where clearly a high gain silver screen material would have been better. But there are a few conclusions I drew:

Best image focus clearly was in the Dolby 3D theater. Since Dolby places the color filter used between the projector light source and the DLP chip, this is not unexpected - all of the other technologies project a focussed image through a polarizer film, which degrades clarity. The IMAX 15/70 was an analog copy of the digital master, and heavily filtered to remove visible pixels - overall a softer image lacking crisp lines, but it had better brightness than the RealD 3D theater that took last place.

Best screen brightness was found at the IMAX digital (two projector) and RealD 3D 4K (powerfull single projector) presentations. But screen illumination values depend upon at least five factors, so YMMV:


1) Projector(s) lumen rating.

2) Screen size.

3) Screen gain.

4) Light lost in polarizer films.

5) Light lost in 3D glasses.

Best sound is again theater-dependant. I awarded best sound to an older independant theater with a THX-certified sound system, and the local IMAX digital was a close second. Both of these theaters were classic auditorium shapes with seating arranged in semi-circles. I happen to appreciate the acoustics in rooms shaped like this. The typical smaller digital theater in a rectangular-shaped room with vertical walls and flat ceilings. I never did care for the sound of those.
 

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Since my Real IMAX theater is not in a multiplex but the only theater in the building they maintain impeccable standards- from the showing down to the cleanliness of the theater.


I don't really think it matters where you see it, what it comes down to is the care that goes into the showing.
 
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