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The Magic Behind 3D Movies

Updated on January 6, 2017
Free 3D Filmstrips PSD
Free 3D Filmstrips PSD | Source

Why Home Viewing 3D Movies is Gaining in Popularity

Although the technology behind 3D movie viewing has been around since the 1920's and reached some semblance of popularity during the '50's and again in the '80's, it never really became the mainstream medium of entertainment that it has the potential for.

However, 3D is making a big comeback with this same technology now available for home viewers. Another bright spot on the horizon is equipment that will allow you to enjoy watch 3D technology without having to put on those cool looking but sometimes awkward feeling 3D glasses.

This article will explore how both of these dreams are fast becoming a reality, fulfilling the wishes of both techno-consumers and lovers of the 3D movie experience everywhere.

Enjoying a 3D Movie at Home
Enjoying a 3D Movie at Home | Source

The Technology of 3D Movies

The prevalent technology being used to make 3D images for movies and DVDs is called stereoscopy.

Stereoscopy involves using two different views of the same image with the right eye seeing a slightly different view of the object compared to the one being seen by the left eye.

The brain creates a single image of the object by combining the two views, resulting in 2D images that appear to have the depth of 3D images.

The four stereoscopic techniques currently used for creating 3d images are:

Alternate-frame Sequencing. This strategy uses shutter glasses that are synchronized with the TV or cinema. The shutters open and close on each lens, producing views of different movie frames. Most of the new home entertainment systems use this technology, although they do need special glasses which can be a bit more costly than standard 3d glasses.

Polarization. Some 3D televisions make use of polarization 3D technology, using the same type of passive polarized glasses being utilized in modern movie theaters. These polarized glasses produce a different image in each eye, resulting in the 3D experience we all are looking for. Mass production has resulted in the price of polarized glasses being mere pennies for a cheap pair, making it a favorite of modern cinemas today.

Anaglyphic. This is the most prevalent type of technology used with 3D movies that are on DVDs. The anaglyphic method uses passive glasses having lenses of 2 different colors. The colors used are usually red and blue or cyan.

Autostereoscopic. A promising new technology in development is autostereoscopic 3D. This is the 3D experience we have all been waiting for in that special glasses are no longer required. Instead of simulating different image versions using glasses, this is done at the TV or cinema screen level and then sent out for viewing. Major TV manufacturers are working on bringing their versions of this technology to the masses at an affordable price.

Dolby 3D Glasses
Dolby 3D Glasses | Source

Equipment Needed to Enjoy 3D Movies at Home

To watch 3D movies at home you will need 4 pieces of equipment:

Source - whether a DVD or another source like a video game or broadcast signal, they need to be produced using 3D technology.

Means of Transmission - this can be a DVD player, video game console or cable box. Again, this equipment must be able to decode 3D signals.

Receiver - this can be a TV or a video game or computer monitor that is made for 3D signals.

3D Glasses - the glasses will depend on the type of 3D technology being used. Most manufacturers of 3D televisions will provide the correct pair when you purchase the TV, and there are also tons of after-market choices available.

Recommended 3D Movies on DVD

Avatar (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray/ DVD Combo Pack)
Avatar (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray/ DVD Combo Pack)

Perhaps the ultimate 3D movie, Avatar was shot using state of the art technology resulting in a beautiful visual experience that is a must see.

With a story that features scenes of the native population flying on the backs of great winged beasts, along with graphic shoot-em-up scenes with gun-toting robots, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this classic movie.


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© 2013 Hal Gall

Visitor Comments

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    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 4 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @anonymous: 3D technology is moving forward so fast these days. Can't wait for the prices to come down even more!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      3D movies are more fun to see. It amazes me that someone figured out how to make them. :)

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 4 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @TreasuresBrenda: I believe it will only get better!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 4 years ago from Canada

      Many more movies available now in 3D than there were a year or two ago. I'm wondering if that will last.