Monday, January 23, 2012

Can We Make A 3-D Movie From A 2-D Movie?

It’s not quite easy and it can cost a bit of money and yet an upstart post-production company managed to gain press attention for doing the seemingly impossible back in July, 2011 – will making 3-D movies from 2-D movies be the wave of the future?

By: Ringo Bones

Whether you love them or not, 3-D movies released by big-wig Hollywood movie studios are still a rarity despite of the runaway success of James Cameron’s epic 3-D science fiction extravaganza called Avatar back in 2009. And yet a rather upstart post-production company based in Los Angeles with branches in London and India managed to do the seemingly impossible of converting 2-D movies originally shot with a 2-D camera into a full-fledged 3-D movie. And even managed to gain mainstream press attention as far back as July, 2011.

A post-production company called Prime Focus managed to gain fame after it has successfully done the “impossible” of turning a 2-D movie originally shot with 2-D cameras into a bona-fide 3-D movie as good as one shot with dedicated 3-D movie cameras. But for all intents and purposes, the proprietary process – which has been kept a closely-guarded secret by Prime Focus – of converting 2-D movies into 3-D is no easy feat. It takes on average hundreds of CGI technicians eight months to convert a feature length 2-D movie – which average length of 90-minutes to 2-hours – into a full-fledged 3-D cinematographic masterpiece.

According to Matthew Bristowe of Prime Focus, their proprietary method of converting 2-D to 3-D had first been successfully tried on James Cameron’s 1998 epic remake of Titanic. On converting Titanic to 3-D, “negative reframing” was done to prevent visual artifacts that cause eyestrain to viewers when converting 2-D movies originally shot with 2-D cameras into 3-D. If it becomes commonplace, Prime Focus’ proprietary post-production techniques of converting 2-D movies to 3-D could increase the number of the still limited catalogue of 3-D movies already out on the market today.