REVIEW: Journey to the Center of BAD 3D

By | 3D, Movies, Reviews, Stereoscopic, Tech | One Comment

I was going to do a full review of this film.  Now, I can’t get myself to do that. This film was so monumentally bad, so devoid of anything redeemable, that it would be just unfair to all the good people who worked so hard on this movie.  Nobody sets out to make a bad film.  Everyone has great intentions and many compromises are made along the way.  Studios, directors, producers, all are fighting for creative control. I did not like the film and I cannot recommend it.  However the 3D fan boys are saying, “this is just a feel good fun ride, check your brain at the door.”

Not good enough. For years, comic book movies have been regulated to this thought process. Now in 2008 we have films like Iron Man, Hulk, Hellboy 2, and Dark Knight.  These films all show comic book films can be great films. There is no reason, that a film based on a great classic novel with a journey to the core of our planet, can’t be a great film that thrills, entertains, has great performances with solid acting and compelling characters. None at all, and shame on the people who think they had to re-invent a classic and didn’t trust this fantastic story. To Embrace this film just because its in 3D, is a disservice to the 3D movement. That’s a fan-boy mentality and it will not work here. This film fails as a story, fails at 3D, and fails to win me over. I love 3D, but I cannot accept this. Sure its making money at the box office, but imagine how much better it could do, if it was a better film.

Now we get to the 3D. This film was as I feared. The 3D in this film was GIMMICKY. No one wants to have their eyes poked at in real life. Its uncomfortable. No one wants this in there movies, its unbearable. Journey 3D does this no less than 22 times. Characters spit on you, jab you with a yo-yo, tape measures, pointy antennae, birds, and more spit. Ugh! The 3D also violates the frame in almost every single shot, and there is shallow depth of field that just do not work in 3D.


The use of the Cameron Pace Fusion cameras leaves me with little hope for Avatar. Both of Cameron’s 3D IMAX documentaries and now this have used The PACE cameras and the way they do 3D is headache inducing and un-natural. I experienced this first hand on Spy-Kids 3D which used the same camera. I fought hard in each composite to recompose the 3D space to feel natural on our shots. Now back to Journey 3D. I had to see this film at a Real D cinema and I love the fact that Real D seems to be catalyst for major changes in digital cinema. They are getting theaters to install Digital systems with 3D capabilities En Masse. Bravo! BUT can I ask Real D a favor? Can you fix your projectors brightness issues? When you have a film like Journey 3D in which half the film takes place in a dark cave, projection on one digital projector, polarizing the light, reflecting off the screen and going through another polarized filter (glasses on your head) You loose almost 80% of the light you started out with. In IMAX 3D, this isn’t an issue as you have TWO IMAX projectors and you get allot of light. In Real-D you get a very murky image. Double whammy if your film is dark to begin with.

The only way this film could get worse, is if they decide to release it in 3D anaglyph like the Hannah Montana disc. Oh my god, I feel an aneurysm coming on.


For a second opinion read this review here and here.

Watch this video about the director Eric Brevig, where he talks about how Journey wasn’t using 3D as a gimmick.

In this video, we see more information about the 3D process. Its disappointing to see Jim Cameron being involved here. It seems like they are getting allot of advice on how to do this right, they must have just ignored all of it.

Hannah Montana in 3D: Never Again

By | 3D, Movies, Reviews | 5 Comments

Well I finally got around to watching this Disney concert film opus in 3D. Now, I will not debate the quality of the music, nor the show. I will not even begin to dissect the influence this girl seems to have on the tween population of girls in our country. That is not what this blog is about. This discussion is about the terrible idea that it was to put this out on DVD, in anaglyph format, and on VOD systems.

Now I know this concert film made a shit load of cash during its two week showings in 3D (Real D) theaters. I personally think that it would had made a ton of money being in 2D. I’m sure the Real D version does not have the problems I saw, but mark my words, Hannah Montana would had made allot of dough even if it was in 2D. In fact if it was in 2D it could had played in more theaters and made more. Fans of Mylee love her, and didn’t see it because it was in 3D, but flocked to it because it was a very limited engagement.

Now here is my big problem, anaglyph, red/blue glasses are terrible when used improperly. In order to have great anaglyphic 3D, you need to do a few things. For one, you need subject matter that lends itself to the process. A concert film with lots or RED and BLUE lights is a very poor choice. No attempt to desaturate the color levels were made. This caused severe ghosting, and made almost the entire film unwatchable. Also a poor bit rate will cause the colors to encode in the wrong color space. The Starz on demand VOD version of this was completely useless. I could vomit a more coherent version of this film. Who thought this was a good idea? You have to have a good encode of the data, and you have to compensate the colors to properly encode an anaglyphic movie. They should had encoded a dual stream that could had been viewed cross-eyed or free view. Then you had a mini tutorial on Starz showing people how to make their own 3D glasses out of plastic wrap and magic markers. You have got to be kidding me. Make your own glasses? I used a pair of high quality Anachrome glasses which are the very best optics and color for anaglyph, and this film was a total wash. I also watched the Blu Ray version which had better encoding, but still has blue and red stage lighting fighting with the anaglyph process.

Releasing this in 3D was nothing more than a gimmick. It was totally useless, and the only true way to watch it is in 2D. Trying to watch this in 3D will only make you swear off 3D as a gimmick, and a headache inducing nauseating experience. Bleaeeeeeach! I’m so disappointed. Not that I’m a fan of Hannah Montana, but a fan of 3D. This does not promote 3D in a positive light. This is old 3D. Not the new digital 3D everyone is talking about. They should had released this in Dual stream format or at least in the HQFS format that you can find for SpyKIds 3D, at least then you could watch it properly. 3D at home has a very long way to go.

Journey to the Cinema

By | 3D, Events, Movies | No Comments

Well tonight I am going to be taking my wife and son to see “Journey to the Center of the Earth” in Real D 3D cinema. I’ve always been a fan of the Jules Verne classic. I loved to watch the 1959 classic Henry Levin version when I was a kid. I also loved listening to Rick Wakeman’s musical version. So I am well versed on this classic, and hope that they din’t destroy what was a great story that didn’t need to be screwed with. I am also worried about the 3D. When I saw the trailer in 3D before Nightmare Before Christmas 3D last October, I had very little hope. It was ripe full of bad 3D. I hope they fixed it. I hope they adjusted for frame violations, chessy coming at ya routines, and the horrid use of the Cameron Pace camera system.

I pray. I hope.

I want this film to be good, not just in the box office, but the quality of the 3D is paramount to making 3D an enjoyable experience and not just a gimmick. Gimmicks don’t last. Great 3D will last.

Stereoscopic Films Jumping At Box Office

By | 3D, Events, Movies | One Comment

Movie theaters showing films in 3-D are likely to see ticket sales jump an average of 65 percent over similar theaters showing the same movie in 2-d, according to a study by Nielsen PreView, unveiled at an exhibitors’ conference in Amsterdam today (Monday). The study compared theaters with a strong track record in attracting audiences for action/adventure movies. This “like-to-like comparison,” Nielsen said, demonstrated that “consumers when given a choice, will choose 3-D.” Moreover, the study found that when theatres simultaneously exhibit two movies in 3-D their ticket sales double, “indicating that one 3-D screen per theater may not be enough to satisfy consumer demand.” It also discovered that 48 percent of consumers are generally unaware that a movie may be playing in both 3-D and 2-d at separate theaters in their area.

Click here for the full report

Avatar 3D Game

By | 3D, Tech | No Comments

Not that this is a new thing, but this is the first time that a high profile game is being designed from the ground up with the idea of playing it in stereoscopic 3D. Any 3D (geometric 3D engine) game can be made to be stereoscopic 3D using Nvidia’s stereoscopic drivers and shutter glasses. Back in the early 90’s there were a few games that could be played in anaglyphic mode and paper glasses like Bullfrog’s Magic Carpet.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has said that Ubisoft will be making old-fashioned 3D games which require stereoscopic glasses, as well as well as moving on to create CGI films, books and a new TV series.

Speaking to at Ubidays 2008, Guillemot said that the Movie tie-in game of Avatar will be the companies first attempt at creating some stereoscopic gameplay, but that the game will require specific monitors in order to work.

“The deal is to build a 3D experience on top of the normal experience. Avatar will have both. It’s with glasses on a specific TV. I’ve seen it, it’s amazing,” Guillemot said.

“No. It doesn’t work on normal TVs. It means we will see an evolution on the TV. They are already in Best Buy in the US. You can already buy these TVs.”

The Ubisoft boss also said that he wanted the company to move towards making computer generated movies too and that although the first films would be produced externally, he would hope to change that in the future.

Guillemot then confirmed that this isn’t all he has planned for the French publisher either – the company is already working on a line of books and a small television series, though he wouldn’t go into further details.

The Uncanny Valley

By | 3D, Animation, Uncategorized, VFX | 3 Comments

This clip from 30 Rock is great. It simply describes the phenomenon of the Uncanny Valley. This is why going for realism in CG is very difficult. The closer you are to real, the more you plummet in to the valley of repulsion. Even if you nail something as looking 100% perfect human reality. There is a lack of emotion and a connection to the real that the effect lacks, and thus we feel as there’s something not there. Even in the best moments of photo real CG like in Beowulf or Final Fantasy, it was still uncomfortable and unnerving.

TD Vision update

By | 3D, Tech | No Comments

TD Vision has some interesting tech. I’m really interested in where they are going with their 2D/3D codec and how this can bring about mass media production of 3D stereoscopic films for HD home video.

Link on Engadget Clicky

WanderLust 3D

By | 3D, Animation | One Comment

bjorkBjork is at it again. Wanderlust, the Icelandic’s singer’s newest photoplay is avaialble from Wired. They have the full video on its website in a whopping 188 mb file. It has to be that large to allow for the best color fidelity for anaglyph presentation. This video evokes Miyazaki influences and odd organic textures. Truly the only way to view this is in 3D. I wish they opted for a side by side version. 🙁

So click on the pic and go check it out! You will have to have your trusty red/cyan glasses.

Danimation Updates

By | 3D, Site News | No Comments

The front page of has been updated to reflect my consultation and 3D stereography business. I have selected some projects I’ve supervised to highlight, and I will be building pages describing each project a bit more in detail in the future. I will be adding details like techniques used, format, and some 3D anaglyphic stills from each project.  Be sure to check it out, click on the pic to go there.

Upgrade & Update

By | 3D, Site News | No Comments

Well I just upgraded to the latest word press 2.5 The updates on the site have been a bit slow lately. I’m working on a big article that I hope to publish next week about creating your own home 1080p 3D system for under $2500. Yes this can be done, and I will show you how step by step. Also I have been working on the companion site,, developing content for my tutorial series. Busy busy busy. The world of 3D stereoscopic is exploding. There are so many new films being put into production.

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