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JediTricks
05-29-2006, 05:23 PM
The Details on Star Wars 3-D Movies

Here's the lowdown on the Star Wars saga's conversion to 3-D, including which SW movie gets it first and when.

The June '06 issue of Popular Science has an article on the emergence of new 3-D movie technologies from 2 different companies, "Real D" and "In-Three", the latter of which is now hard at work converting the Star Wars saga from 2-D to 3-D. Here's how the article opens...


In March 2004, staffers at Industrial Light & Magic in San Rafael, California, filed in and out of a screening room, drawn by news of a technology demonstration. Tech breakthroughs on the ILM campus are nothing unusual, of course -- this is, after all, the special-effects shop that George Lucas founded back in 1975 to create the never-before-scene visuals of Star Wars. But this was different. This time, outsiders had arrived to show ILM's own work in a whole new, trippy light.

The staffers put on pairs of thick glasses and watched as clips from Star Wars were played. Suddenly the screen itself seemed to dissolve away, as scenes stretched out toward the audience. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi's faces grew closer to viewers as the characters prepared to chase a would-be assassin. Pod cars buzzing in the background really appeared to be hundreds of feet away. It wasn't like watching a big screen on a wall; it was like looking through a massive picture window. Soon, the Jedi Master himself came in. George Lucas sat down, put on the glasses and, within a few minutes, passed judgement: "I'm sold! I'm sold! I'm sold!"

What Lucas witnessed that day was better than any 3-D he had ever seen. No shaky pictures. No color loss. No distortions that disconnect your eyes from your stomach. He was among the first to see the next generation of 3-D movies, marked not only by their clarity but by their range.
The article goes on to explain that In-Three's technology will work in regular movie theaters rather than only IMAX and other specialty theaters.

In-Three's system will use special electronic LCD glasses that turn the left and right frames on and off within 300 microseconds so that instead of polarizing image angles or color shifts, it simply shows different images to the left and right eyes. The system projects via a single digital projector that is shooting alternating frames for the left and then right eye while sychronizing with the LCD glasses turning those frames on and off over and over, the left-right-left-right frames come by so fast that the eye and mind aren't able to perceive them as on/off but rather as a natural, constant, stereoscopic view with full color and brightness.

Converting a traditional 2-D live-action movie to 3-D can take as long as a year. After a patent war with another 3-D company, In-Three is, for the time being, very tight-lipped about their conversion process. What is known about the process is that within each frame, each object must be trimmed out, moved around, and altered with a sense of depth.

Most importantly for us Star Wars fans, the article mentions that one of the first public viewings of this new 3-D will be in theaters Spring of '07 with the 3-D release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace; the other 5 movies in the Star Wars saga will follow.

2-1B
05-29-2006, 05:33 PM
Interesting that it won't require specialty theaters as had been speculated earlier.

JediTricks
05-29-2006, 05:43 PM
That's what makes In-Three's system so special, the other current prevailing system that only uses a single digital projector requires a higher-reflection silver screen such as those in IMAX theaters which can cost $25k, that's part of why there aren't many theaters using them; meanwhile the In-Three system works on regular matte screens, and the glasses are expected to cost theater owners $20 a piece plus a sterilization machine cost, cheaper than buying new screens. Putting them in regular theaters is going to be HUGE if it works out right, the article suggests that moviemakers like Lucas, Peter Jackson, and Spielberg are eyeing this 3-D technology as the next significant cinematic upgrade, like what sound or color was to cinema of the early 20th century.

My personal concern is that because the glasses are doing some of the work, they are more prone to fault than polarized glasses used in IMAX 3-D and Disneyland's 3-D movies like Captain EO and Honey I Shrunk the Audience.

I was a little surprised that they were starting with Ep 1, not that it doesn't make sense of course, but I kinda thought starting with Ep 4 would show off what they could really do by taking a 30-year-old movie and turning it into flawless 3-D.

Spring 2007 is great news, just in time for the 30th anniversary. I wonder how long it's gonna take to crank out each additional ep in the saga though.

Slicker
05-29-2006, 05:52 PM
This is indeed great news. Especially for those of us in markets that don't have but one IMAX theater! I think it's logical (from Georgie's point of view) to start with TPM to kinda hammer the idea that you should start from Episode I and make the natural progression. I'm assuming that's what he's trying to do.

El Chuxter
05-29-2006, 06:08 PM
Changes to the films, anyone? :)

starwarsfan1
05-29-2006, 06:19 PM
Maybe they will do what they did with the special editions back in 1997 and release each one a month after the other. Makes sense to me if they can do it in the time frame between now and then. It would be great for the 30th anniversary.

2-1B
05-29-2006, 06:28 PM
I was thinking it would be 1 per year for 6 years.

El Chuxter
05-29-2006, 06:34 PM
That would make sense, given that further changes to the OT are pretty much confirmed. There's not much to do to the prequels, aside from replacing the Yoda puppet in TPM and possibly dropping Jimmy Smitts into a Senate scene.

JediTricks
05-29-2006, 06:36 PM
This is indeed great news. Especially for those of us in markets that don't have but one IMAX theater! I think it's logical (from Georgie's point of view) to start with TPM to kinda hammer the idea that you should start from Episode I and make the natural progression. I'm assuming that's what he's trying to do. It could be simply "first episode in the saga", but the article mentioned that CGI-animated movies are easier to convert to 3-D by the new processes because they're already separate elements that the conversion techs can go back to and work with, while live-action has to be cut out. With TPM, more elements are already CGI so it's possible they can go to the source files part of the time, which is why I thought doing ANH first would be the most impressive since there's no source NOTHING left with which to work with so they'd have to be pretty skilled to get it right.


Chux, I doubt there will be changes to the films this time around, I bet we'll get the DVD versions of the movies. I say that because those are Lucas' "most recent" versions, and ILM isn't doing the 3-D conversion, In-Three is and they're not too likely to make artistic changes to someone else's movie if they wish to continue doing business. :p


A month apart would be awesome, but the article did say it takes a year per movie to create these. Then again, they could have been working on the conversions since late '04, the digital natures of the PT could make those conversions go quicker, or they could simply have multiple teams converting multiple movies at once. My totally-out-of-the-blue guess is they'll be 6 months apart each film though.

El Chuxter
05-29-2006, 06:40 PM
So this means that we're definitely getting 3D versions soon, and 99% certain to get the long-rumored "Archival Editions" afterward.

There will soon be more versions of the OT than there are versions of Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus."

starwarsfan1
05-29-2006, 06:42 PM
Or they could be working on them all at once like what they did for LOTR. But then again thats wishful thinking. We'll just have to watch and see how this progresess.


So this means that we're definitely getting 3D versions soon, and 99% certain to get the long-rumored "Archival Editions" afterward.

There will soon be more versions of the OT than there are versions of Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus." Archival editions? Never heard of this one.

JediTricks
05-29-2006, 06:52 PM
Or they could be working on them all at once like what they did for LOTR. But then again thats wishful thinking. We'll just have to watch and see how this progresess.While they shot LOTR all at once, the post-filming production was done 1 movie at a time, since these 3-D companies aren't all that large, I get the feeling they don't really have enough employees familiar enough to cut all 6 movies at once. They may be doing it that way, I dunno, but I don't really feel like it's the case.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
05-29-2006, 06:53 PM
That would make sense, given that further changes to the OT are pretty much confirmed. There's not much to do to the prequels, aside from replacing the Yoda puppet in TPM and possibly dropping Jimmy Smitts into a Senate scene.
I don't see why they'd but Bail Organa into TPM; Bail Antilles was the Alderaan representative at that time (he's even mentioned by Panaka as a candidate to become chancellor).

It's nice to know that this kind of 3D won't mess with you too much. Hopefully they can have special screenings at CIV, if it's out by then. I wonder, will they put these on DVD and attempt to do 3D in the home, or just leave it for theaters?

Slicker
05-29-2006, 06:55 PM
This is thinkin' waaaaay ahead but would the box office totals go towards the respective film or would they for some reason put them in a new category? I know that the SE gross was added in so I guess I don't see why these shouldn't be either.

I'm just hopin' that ANH makes enough to overtake Titanic.

JediTricks
05-29-2006, 07:12 PM
It's nice to know that this kind of 3D won't mess with you too much.The article said that the 3-D processes used by In-Three and Real D (the other company using a single digital projector rather than 2 simultaneous projectors) are so much faster and synched, that there's no overlap ghosting and thus the mind doesn't get disoriented by the orientation confusion (that's what led to the nausea the old red/blue 3-D of the '50s caused).


Hopefully they can have special screenings at CIV, if it's out by then.That'd be tremendous! They said Spring of '07 so it'd be the right timing.


I wonder, will they put these on DVD and attempt to do 3D in the home, or just leave it for theaters?Although it didn't mention it in the article, I am pretty sure DVD and TV technologies aren't fast enough displays to reproduce the 3-D process used here, not even HD.


Slick, I am pretty sure the Box Office totals would indeed count towards the original takes. Unfortunately, the article did mention that James Cameron never wants to work in 2-D again, and they also mentioned that Titanic may get a 3-D treatment down the road, so if they do that it'll add to Titanic's box office gross too. Then again, I suspect the interest to see Leo in 3-D won't be as big a draw as Star Wars. :D

El Chuxter
05-29-2006, 07:13 PM
Then again, I suspect the interest to see Leo in 3-D won't be as big a draw as Star Wars. :D

True, but Kate Winslet in 3D may be a different story. :beard:

Slicker
05-29-2006, 07:19 PM
True, but Kate Winslet in 3D may be a different story. :beard:It's not even so much her but the twins...


Actually, the scene where they're on the bow of the ship may look amazing in 3-D. It'd jump right out of the screen. And since Leo is such a dreamboat :love: that'd make it all that much better.

JediTricks
05-29-2006, 07:21 PM
True, but Kate Winslet in 3D may be a different story. :beard:
Yeah, I'm sure the massive teenage girl audience that made Titanic the box office smash it was will really care about three dimensional naked chubby british actresses. :p

El Chuxter
05-29-2006, 07:38 PM
So Natalie Portman's too skinny, and now Kate Winslet is "chubby"? You really are picky, aren't you, Mr Tricks?

2-1B
05-29-2006, 07:47 PM
No kidding ! :cry:

I have figured it out, JT looks exactly like James Cameron because HE IS JAMES CAMERON. :eek: :eek: :eek:

Slicker
05-29-2006, 08:36 PM
I could post up a picture in response to that chubby chick post JT but I'd get in trouble. Instead I'll just direct everyone to my Myspace account. You'll know which picture it is...



http://www.myspace.com/thedefectisbleach

Rocketboy
05-29-2006, 10:47 PM
I don't see why they'd but Bail Organa into TPM; Bail Antilles was the Alderaan representative at that time (he's even mentioned by Panaka as a candidate to become chancellor).They did film a very small part with Bail Organa for TPM. It was cut and they used a different actor.

JediTricks
05-30-2006, 01:36 AM
So Natalie Portman's too skinny, and now Kate Winslet is "chubby"? You really are picky, aren't you, Mr Tricks?I don't think she's especially chubby actually, but supposedly the general American public does.


BTW, great job using IMG code to link us to your harddrive Slicker. :p I can't tell which is funnier, that it's a local-drive link or that you're trying to use IMG code at all. :D

mabudonicus
05-30-2006, 06:59 AM
He got you good slick, buuuuuurn :beard:

And thinking about TPM in 3-d is damn spooky, , dunno why but it freaks me out- at least I'll have a couple of years before I have to start seeing these "new" films..

And as for changes- I would be shocked if there weren't at least some changes to the OT, as JT mentioned there is NO "source" but the finished prints, and some stuff may have to be completely re-created, with GL's direction no doubt- thinking about having to isolate every element of the "initial assault" on the imperial fleet in ROTJ, it might be easier to re-assemble, if you get my meaning, I am excited about the OT at least in this form, now we just gotta see how much them goggles will set a theatre back and how many want on board, cos from the sound of it I imagine they wouldn't be dirt cheap
:beard:

Kidhuman
05-30-2006, 08:53 AM
Just a quick question, why is this in Gen Disc and not in SW movies?


This is good news. I cant wait to see these in 3-D. I understand why he is doing it 1-6, but would much rather see it 4-6 and 1-3.

Exhaust Port
05-30-2006, 11:07 AM
Why would they need a 300 millisecond shift in the glasses, is the frame rate of the projector going to be increased that the glasses would have to be that fast?

Slicker
05-30-2006, 11:59 AM
BTW, great job using IMG code to link us to your harddrive Slicker. :p I can't tell which is funnier, that it's a local-drive link or that you're trying to use IMG code at all. :DI have no clue how the hell that happened. Quite perplexing though especially since I literally have nothing saved on my hard drive that I could even try to link to. I only started using this computer a week or so ago and don't wanna save anything on it since I've just gotta slick it again when I get my new OS.







I fail at technology obviously.

2-1B
05-30-2006, 01:03 PM
Jar Jar's eyestalks should look pretty cool in 3D.

Jargo
05-30-2006, 04:13 PM
so if the glasses cost twenty dollars each and then you have to sterilise between uses, that's gonna push ticket prices up. Also, will it matter about screen size or auditorium size as in will those at the back of an auditorium have the same clarity as those at the front.

and if it's LCD glasses then isn't it just a short step to home use? on a high def tv it should be possible to achieve something similar by tweaking the way the glasses refresh images.

I like this idea more than the holographic imagery that we discussed before the great shutout of SSG.... *shudder*

This has infinitely more scope for practical usage. Gameplaying alone could move on to new levels. interactive TV. learning channels. Stuff like CSI and sci-fi would be fab on tv with the sort of CGI effects they shove in these days. Especially if HD cameras continue to filter through to mainstream TV.

Holographic imagery is a nice idea but frankly in reality, looking at anything you can only see the side you stand on to observe so 3D should be all you need.

Now all we need is smell-o-vision too and the fake reality is complete

mabudonicus
05-30-2006, 05:34 PM
I bet after 3 hours you eyes will be POOCHED using this new technology, thinking Virtual Boy here sorta, or maybe epileptic seizures or some such- hopefully there's never a Pokemon films made with this 3-d system :beard:

Jargo
05-30-2006, 07:58 PM
LOL. dry eyes from not blinking and a mad staring tunnel vision gaze. :)

JediTricks
05-30-2006, 10:51 PM
Just a quick question, why is this in Gen Disc and not in SW movies? Because I couldn't decide between OT and PT forums for the thread, it covers both.

Mabs, I think they're taking the currently-available prints or digital source versions and cutting each element out in each frame, then adding depth to round out the elements. They're talking about 3-D-ing movies like Gone With the Wind, there's no way they'd risk remaking scenes there, it'd be time-consuming, more expensive, and people would have a fit.


Why would they need a 300 millisecond shift in the glasses, is the frame rate of the projector going to be increased that the glasses would have to be that fast?Actually, it's a 300 MICROsecond on/off shift, and no I don't think the projector will be displaying that fast, it's a reference to the glasses' reaction time which is important to avoiding the nausea that older 3-D systems have caused in audiences.


Jar Jar's eyestalks should look pretty cool in 3D.
You just made me throw up in my mouth a little.


so if the glasses cost twenty dollars each and then you have to sterilise between uses, that's gonna push ticket prices up.
Theaters are expecting to charge a little more for tix than 2-D movies to offset the various costs, and make them some money since theater revenues have been down thanks studios taking a big percentage of the box office and cranking out awful movies.


Also, will it matter about screen size or auditorium size as in will those at the back of an auditorium have the same clarity as those at the front.No more so than any regular theater experience, apparently. And since it's still projected at 2-D, you won't have to worry about that guy in front of you getting in the way of your 3-D images unless his head is in the way of the screen.


and if it's LCD glasses then isn't it just a short step to home use? on a high def tv it should be possible to achieve something similar by tweaking the way the glasses refresh images.I don't think so, I believe the slower frame rates of televisions, even HD, won't be fast enough to create a clear, realistic 3-D (the Real D brand shoots like 144 frames per second, TVs are relegated to 30 I believe and HDs I think are only 60), so the end result would look like an old flickering silent film from the 1900s.


I like this idea more than the holographic imagery that we discussed before the great shutout of SSG.... *shudder* Holographic imagery is a nice idea but frankly in reality, looking at anything you can only see the side you stand on to observe so 3D should be all you need.The thing about that tech is that you can walk around the object and actually see it from an entirely different angle, you'd have to dream up an entirely new way of filming and projecting it because people on the sides of the theater WILL see something different from those in the back, but it's a totally different experience from the movies we have now.


I bet after 3 hours you eyes will be POOCHED using this new technology, thinking Virtual Boy here sorta, or maybe epileptic seizures or some such- hopefully there's never a Pokemon films made with this 3-d system :beard:Oh, this is WAY beyond that stereoscopic tech, I don't think it'll be anything like that. The seizures are something I wonder about too, but I suspect it'll be the same issue as a regular movie or an IMAX movie (they have a faster frame rate).

Rocketboy
05-30-2006, 11:49 PM
Last we heard, these 3-D versions wouldn't be in theaters for another couple of years and now all of a sudden they'll be out next year?
With Star Wars being re-released in such a short time, I'm getting the feeling that the movies won't be 100% 3-D. I think it may be like what is being done with the IMAX 3-D of Superman Returns, where only certain parts of it are in 3-D and a something is flashed onscreen to let the audience know when to put and remove the glasses.
They may highlight certain scenes with 3-D like the Podrace and space battles.

JediTricks
05-31-2006, 12:25 AM
The very reason that Superman Returns only has 20 minutes of 3-D footage is because of how long they got to do the conversion. The article mentions that for Supes Returns in order to get the IMAX 3-D version out the same day as the regular movie, they had to really hustle, they haven't had the year it takes to convert it, only a short time between the decision and the release date. Plus, it's being done by a different company than the folks working on the Star Wars 3-D, the article made it clear that the entire movie will be in 3-D.

By the way, the reason that In-Three's system works in theaters while Real D's and others do not is because the other companies use polarized light which corresponds to the glasses, the right frame blocks out the image meant for the left one and vice-versa; In-Three's uses LCDs that turn the corresponding frames on and off in time to the regular projected frames.

plasticfetish
05-31-2006, 02:00 AM
Last we heard, these 3-D versions wouldn't be in theaters for another couple of years and now all of a sudden they'll be out next year?I was sort of thinking that also. Not too long ago they'd told us that there weren't enough digital projectors out there to support the process. I'm wondering what's going on to change their mind.

Rocketboy
05-31-2006, 09:56 AM
The very reason that Superman Returns only has 20 minutes of 3-D footage is because of how long they got to do the conversion. The article mentions that for Supes Returns in order to get the IMAX 3-D version out the same day as the regular movie, they had to really hustle, they haven't had the year it takes to convert it, only a short time between the decision and the release date. Plus, it's being done by a different company than the folks working on the Star Wars 3-D, the article made it clear that the entire movie will be in 3-D.That is my point. How did they have enough time to convert all six movies in such a short time? I may be proven wrongo, but I'm not so sure they did.
If it takes a year to convert each movie, they would've had to start these back in 2000/2001 (unless they had multiple teams working on them). And if they started that long ago, you'd think some word would have leaked about them before it did.

Exhaust Port
05-31-2006, 11:21 AM
Actually, it's a 300 MICROsecond on/off shift, and no I don't think the projector will be displaying that fast, it's a reference to the glasses' reaction time which is important to avoiding the nausea that older 3-D systems have caused in audiences.

When I was reading the original post I thought that your explaination could be the answer to my question, it's a reaction time not the frequency that the 2 sides change. Thanks.


I don't think so, I believe the slower frame rates of televisions, even HD, won't be fast enough to create a clear, realistic 3-D (the Real D brand shoots like 144 frames per second, TVs are relegated to 30 I believe and HDs I think are only 60), so the end result would look like an old flickering silent film from the 1900s.

So the projectors in the theater will be zipping the film past at a greater rate than the standard 24 frames a second? Obviously I'm a bid clueless regarding this tech. but I figured even if they doubled the frame rate needed (24 frames per second for each eye, 48 total) that a modern HD TV could handle the process. I guess not?

2-1B
05-31-2006, 01:10 PM
You just made me throw up in my mouth a little.

Now THAT, I suspect, would not look very good in 3D.

Jargo
05-31-2006, 02:52 PM
I guess this answers the question about why hasbro took that eighteen year license extension on star wars. not bound by the constraints of a story arc like the movies star wars TV has the scope to keep churning out season after season like stargate. or star trek. and with 3D movies, archival editions super duper hyper delux luxury cuts of the movies being churned out every so often it's a virtual money tree.

as for 3D tv, yeah THIS tech won't work with tv, but it can't be too long before someone figures out how to make it work. And who cares about nausea or seizure inducing imagery refresh rates? Modern editing and erratic camera work do that anyway on regular tv. I had to switch off some cop show the other week because the camera was swinging around and the editing was so fast it made me feel billious.

I'm curious about this new tech, curious to see it working for myself, always been interested in 3D tech or eye/brain fooling imagery. Just not sure i want to go to a movie to have it though.

JediTricks
05-31-2006, 06:31 PM
I was sort of thinking that also. Not too long ago they'd told us that there weren't enough digital projectors out there to support the process. I'm wondering what's going on to change their mind.
A lot more theaters have digital projectors than 2 or 3 years ago.



That is my point. How did they have enough time to convert all six movies in such a short time? I may be proven wrongo, but I'm not so sure they did.
If it takes a year to convert each movie, they would've had to start these back in 2000/2001 (unless they had multiple teams working on them). And if they started that long ago, you'd think some word would have leaked about them before it did.I didn't say they converted all 6 movies already, and I posted my theory of how it was plausible that they could be ready by next year.



So the projectors in the theater will be zipping the film past at a greater rate than the standard 24 frames a second? Obviously I'm a bid clueless regarding this tech. but I figured even if they doubled the frame rate needed (24 frames per second for each eye, 48 total) that a modern HD TV could handle the process. I guess not?You have the right idea, but it's not film, it's digital so it displays more more exactingly which is what makes it possible to perfectly synchronize it's timing. Cinema film is generally shown at 24 frames per second, but digital can be shown much faster than that. These lenses have to turn on and off so fast that your eye doesn't even consciously notice that the lens is opaque, otherwise the image is obscured momentarily and that can lead to confusion and even nausea.

Exhaust Port
06-01-2006, 12:26 AM
A progressively scanned HD image can't pull that off or is it something else I'm missing.

JediTricks
06-01-2006, 02:54 PM
The image quality isn't the question, it's the speed at which an HDTV can show images, the frame rate. From what I've seen, most HDTVs can't shoot more than 60 progressive frames per second - less than half the required speed for this.