2D Light Levels Achieved For 3D at IBC 2012 ‘Big Screen’ Event
Hugo 3D feature and clips from Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Puss N’ Boots will be shown at 14 ft-L, addressing the problem of insufficient light levels on screen for 3D content
Christie® will light up the ‘IBC Big Screen’ cinema at RAI Amsterdam on Monday, delivering unprecedented 2D light levels for 3D content and, in the process, addressing one of the cinema industry’s most pressing problems – the unsatisfactory showing of 3D content at low light levels, typically less than 3 foot lamberts (ft-L), when 14 ft-L is the standard for 2D films. The event will also be the public premiere of Christie’s first prototype laser projector.
“Christie firmly believes that the best 3D is the brightest 3D and we need to help exhibitors with solutions that can project compelling, immersive 3D experiences to their screens,” said Dr. Don Shaw, senior director, Product Management, Christie Entertainment Solutions. “Audiences deserve to see the brightest 3D with 14 ft-L on cinema screens. Our demonstration today will show just how truly spectacular a movie maker’s vision can be when shown at the highest light levels, making the shared experience more immersive, and, ultimately, driving more cinema ticket sales.”
Continuing, Dr. Shaw noted that “as well, some attendees leave 3D movies complaining of headaches, fatigue, and sore eyes. Just like reading a book in low light levels, low brightness on the movie screen is one of the reasons for these complaints. Delivering more lumens to the screen will help address these effects, as will the advent of ‘eye-easy’ high frame rate (HFR) movies.”
(Current, non-laser methods for delivering more light to screens include dual, Xenon-lamp based Christie DLP® projection systems, known as Christie Duo™, which are filling specific needs for 3D delivery in theatres across the globe, including, for example, at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood and other ArcLight Cinemas.)
A Short, Expert Tutorial…And then the Movie
Dr. Shaw will address the low brightness problem in detail in a short address, and noted stereographers Demetri Portelli (‘Hugo’) and Corey Turner (‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’) will introduce 3 ft-L clips from their films and speak to the challenges inherent in making a 3D movie, knowing full well that it will be shown to audiences at inferior light levels.
“For me, crafting 3D images as a stereographer has been both the most challenging and the most rewarding experience of my career as a cameraman. I have suffered alongside many 3D film makers whose work has been compromised due to the inevitable low-brightness cinematic presentation,” said Demetri Portelli. “So this showing of Hugo 3D at 14 ft-L is an important milestone in 3D cinema projection, as it will deliver spectacular details and show how light conveys additional information in 3D space. I’m really excited and optimistic about Christie finding solutions and setting new standards for exceptional movie exhibition.”
As VP, Post Production for Paramount, Corey Turner oversees all stereoscopic 3D productions, and recalls that “When Paramount released Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which I also worked on as stereographer, some of the prints were special digital masters, aimed at systems that could deliver almost twice the brightness of standard 3D projection. But even that ‘limited edition’ only targeted 6 ft-L; of course that being much better than the current standard for 3D at 4.5ft-L, but a far cry from 2D light levels. I’m extremely pleased that the technology for brighter cinema exhibition is advancing and Christie is to be applauded for their advancements and advantages in this initiative.”
Corey added that “Technologies like this will only help filmmakers fall even more in love with 3D. It will also finally give audiences a way to see all of the wonderful detail that the director and many members of their crew put into each and every shot. People will no longer cautiously question, “…is this really in 3D?” because they will be able to see and detect all of the subtle depth cues intended for the presentation.”
Laser-projection Begins New Era with Full-Length Film Showing
Following the presentation by Dr. Shaw and Mr. Portelli and Mr. Turner, Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo 3D” – the first laser projection screening of a feature-length 3D movie at 2D brightness levels – will be shown, courtesy of Paramount Pictures International, Christie and XPAND 3D.
Commenting on the laser projector and that route specifically, Dr. Shaw said that “There’s half-a-dozen different ‘forks in the road’ decisions that have to be made when designing a laser-projection system and most manufacturers will take different paths.” He noted that Christie customers have come to expect the best in technology and service from the world’s largest supplier of DLP cinema projectors, operating for more than 80 years, and “…our final laser projector family, when announced, will continue this trend of innovative, high performance products that will address the specific needs of our customers in the cinema, pro AV and advanced visualization and simulation arenas.”