Memphis, TN –
3D has come a long way. This Super Bowl Sunday viewers wearing a new patented 3D lens will finally get that WOW experience they're looking for.
This Super Bowl Sunday viewers will have the chance to see their first 3D commercial--a minute and a half trailer of Monsters vs Aliens. But what's the big deal? 3D has been around since the 50's, made a short comeback in the 80's and is again supposed to be all the rage. Jim Mainard heads production development at DreamWorks animation and says things in 3D are a lot better than back in the day.
"The basic trick of 3D is to show a different image in your left eye and your right eye, and in those days there were two projectors aligned, they had to be aligned perfectly, and they would be showing what you should see in your left eye and your right eye. The problem is film has a lot of motion in it-- especially in the 50's, and so there was a lot of cases where people would get nauseas or eye fatigue."
Mainard says the core reason 3D has had such an up tick is because of the digital projector. Rather than having to align two images together exactly, now theaters using the single digital projector can align images in the left and right eye perfectly every time thus, no sickness. Despite the projection upgrades, the real magic happens through those goofy looking glasses.
This is where more than 130 million of the new Danish patented 3D glasses are made that will be used for viewing the Super bowl commercial. John Jerit, president of American Paper Optics in Memphis, says these glasses use a new technology called color code.
"The difference between color code and the traditional anaglyph, which is the traditional red and blue glasses, is that with color code you get a much fuller or broader range of the color spectrum, with traditional red and blue glasses you get a more monochromatic black and white. The other advantage of color code over traditional anaglyph is that for those members of the audience that don't have those glasses will see an almost normal looking image."
The only difference between the two views in a color-coded image is represented by minute variations in colors. A viewer without glasses should see a slightly higher contrast image with faint golden and bluish halos around sharp-edged objects. Whether or not you are watching a High Definition television or not shouldn't matter either, as long as the color is set to normal. John Jerit says this project is truly a "monstrous event." To give you an idea, if the 130 million glasses made for the project were laid side by side, together, they would reach around the world one and half times. Jerit says the 3D business is just getting started. Since last year he has increased his manufacturing capacity by 50 percent. Jerit has made glasses for the Hanna Montana movie, books, sidewalk chalk, educational packets, light shows and even shoes. But film remains the number one industry for 3D. So will 3D have a regular presence in film in the future? Jim Mainard with DreamWorks says their films are already expensive to make, the 3D effect adds about a 10 percent incremental cost.
"We've committed to making all of our films going forward in 3D, so Monsters vs Aliens will be our first 3D entry. We will also release a monoscopic, or 2D version of the movie, but by 2010 we think the preponderance of our films will be released in 3D.
The 3D promotional Super Bowl glasses will be distributed free to some 28,000 locations across the U.S. at Pepsi and SobeLife water displays. But don't throw them away, NBC will be airing a 3D episode of Chuck on February 2nd.