Cameron Working Towards No Sick 3D Viewers & Better Framerates
How many got sick watching Avatar in 3D? Too much going on in too many dimensions? Well, in addition to working on the story, James Cameron is confronting that issue by focusing on the technology at movie theaters in order to improve your viewing experience. Wall Street Journal has new quotes from a Cameron interview last weekend talking about improvements. "For Avatar 2, what I'm most interested in is getting theaters to up their light level," Cameron explains. "And we want to shoot the movie at 48 or maybe even 60 frames a second, and display it at that speed, which will eliminate a lot of the motion artifacts." Read on!
If you're seeing Sanctum this weekend, which Cameron produced, they used the same 3D camera rig from Avatar, but outfitted for, "all of these different environments, water and all of that, where specific problems have to be solved that are external to the camera." But what makes people sick with 3D? Do you remember that fun graphical memo we posted after Avatar talking about how "not to get a headache" watching Avatar in 3D? Well, Cameron thinks he knows exactly why most folks aren't enjoying the 3D experience. He states:
"People talk about feeling sick or something like that, and I think it’s because the image is strobing." Cameron observed. "That's a function of the 24 frame frame rate, which has actually got nothing to do with 3D. It's just made more apparent because the 3D is otherwise such an enhanced, realistic image, that all of a sudden you're aware of this funky strobing which you weren't aware of."
That's kind of an odd way to explain it, but I think he's referring to the odd strobing effect that occurs with the alternating frames - since projectors are now spitting out a left and right frame in rapid succession that your eyes individually receive thanks to the oversized 3D glasses you're wearing. But he does make a good point, if we had double or triple framerates, everything would smooth out a lot more, it would just look like perfectly slick 3D - which would be gorgeous to see. And I trust that Cameron knows a heck of a lot about 3D, he is the modern master of the technology. I didn't get sick watching Avatar, but that doesn't mean I'm not happy to see him push for improvements. Plus I love the pressure that Cameron puts on all the theaters.
In related news, Cameron recently made a statement that I completely agree with, that Christopher Nolan should've received a Best Director Oscar nomination for Inception. Read his comments here. Additionally, it was confirmed by Cameron a week ago that Avatar 2 and 3 will shoot back-to-back and arrive in theaters in December 2014 and 2015. Cameron has a lot on his plate, but at the same time, we've got a long ways to go until we're back on Pandora for more Na'vi adventures. In the meantime, you can gape at how much money Cameron made last year, mostly thanks to tons of Avatar revenue. As always, stay tuned for more updates.