Lucasfilm, in their unquestionable wisdom, has decided we need more stereoscopic theater:
The Star Wars saga is about to get a lot more dimensional. Lucasfilm announced Tuesday that all six Star Wars movies will return to theaters in 3-D
The movies’ 3-D conversion is being handled by outside vendors and will be overseen by Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisor John Knoll. “It’s not going to look like [conversions] we’ve seen in the past,” Knoll told Variety. Stereoscopic conversion has been a sticky subject of late, especially after the much-criticized last-minute conversions of movies like Clash of the Titans and The Last Airbender.
I had the immense pleasure of working with Aristomenis Tsirbas on the stereoscopic render of his movie, Battle for Terra. Meni took great pains to set up a pipeline and testing environment for purpose of exploring stereoscopic viewing. He and the artists involved spent a lot of time testing the stereoscopic limits and going scene by scene to determine what the correct stereo presentation should be. It really gave me some perspective on this type of movie watching.
I've decided, I'm not a fan. Now, I *do* enjoy the addition of the extra dimension and being able to be immersed in the scenes. However, from what I've been able to find, few directors take the time and effort that Meni did in those months. One of my biggest criticisms of Avatar, was the feeble use of the stereoscopic "third dimension" considering the technology that was created to make it that way.
What I really find even more difficult to watch are the 2D to 3D conversion films. The process involved is horrendously time consuming and expensive. The resulting products are remarkably darker and the extra dimension is generally from the screen back to infinity. Meaning, the resulting picture is more like a diorama than a 3D experience with very little of the picture breaking the convergence plane.
While I am sure that the Star Wars movies in 3D will bring more money back to The Ranch, I'll continue to hope that someone starts to get adventurous and break the plane a bit more frequently and boldly. I'll risk a little eye-strain to justify the extra money I spent to see the film.