Pop Culture

Smart Fellows Debunk 3D

Sorry for the lame tiny post, my dad just dropped by unannounced and I totally borked hitting the deadline with a real piece.  So! Let’s turn to Roger Ebert and multiple Oscar winner for cinematography Walter Murch for an interesting take on why we’re not really designed to process 3D cinema images.

Why 3D Doesn’t Work and Never Will

…the deeper problem is that the audience must focus their eyes at the plane of the screen — say it is 80 feet away. This is constant no matter what.

But their eyes must converge at perhaps 10 feet away, then 60 feet, then 120 feet, and so on, depending on what the illusion is. So 3D films require us to focus at one distance and converge at another. And 600 million years of evolution has never presented this problem before. All living things with eyes have always focussed and converged at the same point.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

3 replies on “Smart Fellows Debunk 3D”

Interesting. I won’t pay for regular movies, much less 3D. Not missing anything significant because I’m too old (not the target audience) for these type of films.

I understand what Murch is saying. I have great respect for this man and his work. But I wonder if he’s mistaken. Young people are growing up with video games and can handle the high tech effects that my old brain can’t. I get dizzy watching my son’s games–lightning speed action, multiple points of action that require spreading one’s attention on different foci simultaneously. At the same time my teen son can handle watching films on tiny screens like his notebook laptop.

3D will be here for a while. Those who want it will see it, especially the video gamers.

BTW Walter Murch is living treasure. Check out his film credits:

3D doesn’t give me full-on headaches, but it makes my eyes feel strained. Plus, as Ebert/Murch point out, it’s just ludicrous to expect people to pay several dollars more than normal for the lame “privilege” of watching weird leaping-off-the-screen effects. What you get doesn’t match up with what you have to pay.

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