I’ve received a lot of emails on my post about Why 3D Does Not Work. Many agree, but some others seem to have problems with it.

For those left scratching their heads, here are five simple points:

  1. The 3D object exists on a 2D plane. There is no weight to this 3D object. It’s paper-thin.
  2. 3D effects draw attention to themselves and take us out of the film experience, distracting us from the narrative.
  3. 3D can cause a loss of sharpness to the image. Particularly in fast-paced sequences images can become blurred, losing clarity and resolution.
  4. Our eyes adjust quickly to 3D. We most likely will notice 3D effects at the start of a film but not at the end. If we’re not actually noticing it, it might as well be 2D, because:
  5. The ‘2D’ image already has an incredible depth that is totally convincing. It’s part of the reason why both photography and film have remained so powerful to this very day.

In 3D individual, isolated spectacles are most effective, for example a bubble leaving the screen and heading towards you, a fish swimming out from the ocean or a secret passageway extending deep into the screen.

3D is most effective as a novelty, not as a sustained visual system throughout a feature film. And there has not yet been a film to prove otherwise.

Photograph (US, J. R. Eyerman, 1952) of an audience at Bwana Devil. Originally published in Life Magazine, hosted by and co. of Google.

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