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Does 3D Make Your Head Happy Or Ache? 281

MojoKid writes "Nintendo has quasi-acknowledged that its 3DS can cause headaches and should not be used by children under 7. The glasses-free 3D handheld gaming device launched this week. Meanwhile, new research commissioned by the Blu-ray Disc Association is trying to improve the health image of 3D. Its research shows that the brain is more attentive when watching a 3D movie than when watching HD or SDTV, making the movie a more pleasurable experience. The issue, doctors say, is that 3D works by tricking the brain into making you think you are physically moving in relation to your surroundings. But you aren't. So your inner ear is not experiencing the movement that corresponds to what the eyes are seeing. This doesn't normally happen in real life. No one would deny that 3D is more immersive; that's why people like it, particularly for gaming. But the question is ... does the brain love 3D or not? Answer: not really."
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Does 3D Make Your Head Happy Or Ache?

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  • by DWMorse ( 1816016 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:14AM (#35663474) Homepage

    I can enjoy about 15 minutes of 3D stuff, before it starts making my head hurt. Always has, across the various different technology types.

    But the worst part about 3D is the movies that have only (poorly) implemented it as a gimmick or afterthought to try to wow in more sales.

    • I don't get headaches, but i get disoriented, i never really got the whole '3D' thing really, i find it quite distracting in a movie. As for games, never tried a game with 3D/Steriovision.
    • The only 3D movies that didn't made me sick were Avatar and some russian ones I've seen some 25 years ago. Exagerated commercial shit got so bad these days that I refuse to see 3D movies anymore.
      • Most of the 3D live action movies in the US have been 3D conversions. Look for "filmed in 3D" as an advertising tagline to know that it's actually a 3D movie and not a half-assed conversion (hint, there's not many... Tron, Avatar, and some of the stuff not yet out). All 3D animation is fine in 3D. Alice, Clash of the Titans, Green Hornet, Last Airbender, etc: all trash conversions.
    • 3D is perfectly fine, fake 3D is not. Let's wait for advances in holography, there's no way for stereoscopy to overcome these problems.

      • You can't show content in a hologram that is deeper than the projector... It's physically impossible to do this. Now if you could show a different image to each eye, you could potentially trick the eye into focusing as if the content was really X-Y feet away. Stereoscopy has a hope of trying to solve this eventually. Holograms are never going to solve their depth problem.
    • by N1ck0 ( 803359 )
      Waay back when I was in school I used to work with VR, and CAVE systems quite a bit. And in giving tons of open house tours I've noticed that the amount of disorientation varies quite a bit from person to person.

      Most common are:

      - Motion Sickness

      - Vertical Motion Sickness (players of FPSs tended to be better as handling the strain X/Y/Z motions but not pitching and rolling)

      - Eyestrain (lots of people tend not to blink when using shutter glasses for some reason, I never bothered to research why)

      - Focus strai
  • No one? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:15AM (#35663480)

    No one would deny that 3D is more immersive

    Oh, really?

    • Re:No one? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Your.Master ( 1088569 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:27AM (#35663540)

      If 3D were perfect, then I think no one would deny that 3D had >= the immersiveness of traditional 2D.

      As it is, I certainly think it's less immersive to me in every incarnation I've encountered. It's kind of cool -- but that's not the same thing. The technical limitations and the sheer sense of "unreality" constantly remind me that this is a game, in a way looking at a 2D surface does not. Maybe it's because I've looked at 2D surfaces for many years? Or maybe it's simply because when I close one eye I see 2D everywhere in real life. Or the "sweet spot" issue.

      That said, all of this motion sickness fluff sounds exactly like things people say about truly 2D media. Is 3D just moreso, or is there actually a qualitative difference in the inner-ear confusion between 2D and 3D?

      • Re:No one? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Totenglocke ( 1291680 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @03:01AM (#35663668)
        There are two reasons IMO for why you find 3D less immersive. The first is the current need for 3D glasses, which you're not used to and thus reminds you that you're watching something fake that's not really in 3D. The other is that most (though it's getting better) 3D has been the lame "Oooh, it's coming out of the screen to get you!" type as opposed to the newer ones that simply use 3D to add depth perception and a realistic sense of scale. There was an interview with the head of the 3DS dev team where he talked about this very thing - that the 3DS isn't about making games pop out of the screen, but about allowing a realistic sense of distance and size.
        • use 3D to add depth perception and a realistic sense of scale.

          Scale relative to what? The scale of a movie screen is continually changing, and cinematographers continually play with depth of field and focal length effects. To shoot non-disorienting 3D cinematographers would have to continually think about where, plausibly, the viewer could be standing, and match the focal length of their eyeballs.

          Meanwhile, there are all sorts of other, less problematic, visual cues that give a sense of scale - parallax motion, camera motion, depth of field, lighting, distance haze

        • by vlm ( 69642 )

          Another reason is you can mentally partition areas of the theater. So, "the movie" is way over there and the annoying kids texting on their cellphones in aisle 3 kind of get filtered out... until the 3-d effect merges with the annoying kids in aisle 3 and now you can't ignore the annoying kids anymore.

          In an empty theater, or at home, it would probably work much better.

        • Re:No one? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @07:51AM (#35664962) Homepage Journal

          There is more to how humans see in 3D than just stereoscopic images which is where the problems lie. For example in the real world your eyes need to re-focus to look at things different distances from you, but on a 3D screen they are all at the same focal point. It gets worse if something is filmed out of focus because your eyes will assume it is because they are not focused on it and strain to do so, which gives you a headache. That was the biggest problem with early 3D stuff. Newer films have reduced it quite a bit.

          3D would be brilliant if it was like the Star Trek view screen where it is just like looking out of a window. It isn't though so while it is an interesting effect at the very least it is more of a strain to watch than 2D. Some people feel the effects less than others but I don't think 3D will replace casual 2D viewing until we get to Star Trek levels.

          • Re:No one? (Score:4, Informative)

            by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @05:41PM (#35671562)
            Indeed. Humans infer distances and thus reconstruct three-dimensional scenes from their two-dimensional retinas using at least five levels of measurement/processing:

            1. Focal depth: based on how much the eye has to focus
            2. Convergence: based on the slight differences in pointing of the two eyes
            3. Stereoscopy: based on the slight differences between the left and right image
            4. Parallax: the different displacements/motions of objects at different distances
            5. Visual inference: reconstructing using cues like occlusion, lighting, etc.

            When you watch a normal 2D movie, 1, 2, 3, and 4 don't work. So your brain relies entirely on #5. This turns out to work remarkably well, because our brains are quite good at inferring and guessing what the real 3D scene looks like. (For instance, whenever looking at faraway objects, this is pretty much all you have to work with.) Move-makers have also learned how to best frame shots to make things look 'right'. And at least 1, 2, and 3 agree with each other, so your eyes can simply focus on the theater's screen (it also helps that the screen is far away).

            The various versions of "3D" try to trick you, but unfortunately they don't hit all 5 of the above and so this confuses your brain. A typical 'glasses' setup tricks you using #3, but now the position of objects as determined by #3 doesn't match 1 or 2, so your brain gets confused (tiredness and headaches ensue). And try as it might, it can't compensate (e.g. no matter how hard it tries, it can't bring out-of-focus things into focus). Really bad 3D (where things 'jump out' at you and whatnot) can even violate #5. Ultimately your brain isn't happy because half the signals are saying one thing (distance to the theater screen) and the other half are saying something else (object really close to you!).

            Nintendo's 3DS apparently tries to use parallax to fool your brain, but again the effect won't be perfect, so your brain will be unhappy.

            To be truly 3D, you would need to record, and then reproduce/project, the entire waveform (e.g. collect light from every angle impinging on your camera 'screen'). In principle holography can do this, but in practice we don't have good technology. Besides, this causes many other problems (e.g. every person in a theater sees a slightly different angle, that's not necessarily desirable). True 3D isn't going to be technologically feasible anytime soon. In the meantime, we will have only approximate 3D solutions... which it seems are actually worse than just allowing the person's brain to fill in the blanks.
      • by binkzz ( 779594 )

        If 3D were perfect, then I think no one would deny that 3D had >= the immersiveness of traditional 2D.

        Not to disagree for the sake of disagreeing (although this is /., of course) but I disagree :-p. I find good books more immersive than any 2D films I've seen, and because of that I don't believe (well implemented) 3D will automatically be more immersive than 2D.

      • I don't get motion sick on the ocean, or on a boat or plane.

        I do however get sick watching 3D movies. Not only do I not see any 3D effect at all, it cheapens my expereince considerably.

        I didn't see one effect in tron that I haven't seen a billion times in any FPS game since doom.

        Okay maybe the graphics were slightly better but I didn't see any effects and I couldn't drive home for 10 minutes because my stomach was trying to spit acid on my brain.

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      It's only immersive if you don't even notice it's there.

    • The 3d cues convey the size of the objects seen in the screen. So, if the people in the movie would be of a right size, you would hardly see them. It would be suitable for the artitsic expression provided by a traditional theatre, i. e. dance, exaggerated faces, but likely not suitable for the expression used in movies. For the latter, you would need people 5 meters tall in a typical large cinema, hardly immersive, unless you can somehow get used to it.
      A 3d on a small scene, with the viewers being only a
  • YES! (Score:5, Funny)

    by neonux ( 1000992 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:16AM (#35663484) Homepage

    This 3D world makes me sick! 3D trees, 3D people, 3D buildings...
    That's why I just prefer to spend my whole time staring at my 2D computer screen in my parents basement.

  • 3D is a Gimmick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBAslug ( 184293 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:24AM (#35663522)

    3D movies and such have been around for a very long time. It was a marketing gimmick then and it still is. There is little additional value to the entertainment experience and in general, we are willing to sacrifice quality for volume. MP3, JPG, and cellphone audio quality are perfect examples of consumer willingness for lower quality but higher convenience. 3D adds a lot of cost and complexity, but little additional benefit. And mostly, I am not going to buy my teenagers $120 glasses just so they can watch more TV.

    • by c0lo ( 1497653 )

      And mostly, I am not going to buy my teenagers $120 glasses just so they can watch more TV.

      But... but... this is bad for the movies and game industries, won't you think of them?

    • No, bad films use it as a gimmick. Good implementations of it (such as Tron: Legacy) use it to provide depth perception. How is making something MORE realistic a gimmick? That's like saying that improving the graphics in a horror game from NES to PS3 levels is a "gimmick".
      • Better graphics aren't a guarantee for a better game.I find most current day games to be quite horrible, sure they look great, but they lack something we used to have loads of in the 8 bit & 16 bit era, playability. It all started to go downhill with the advent of Wolfenstein 3D.
        • *WOOSH*

          I specifically mentioned a horror game, which is going to be more focused on visuals than other elements (not saying other elements don't look good). I'm the first person to say that gameplay is more important than graphics - which is why I still routinely games that are 20 years old. However, all else held equal, better graphics DO make a game better.

          • which is why I still routinely games that are 20 years old

            I still accidentally games that are 20 years old

          • That's a fine argument when the prices are roughly in line. If you're going to watch the typical poorly scripted, badly acted Hollywood movie then I can see how watching it in 3D for the same price gives slightly better value than watching it in 2D (discounting all the people who gets headaches from 3D and would probably prefer the convenience of 2D). The other big issue of course is that this generally isn't the case, it's often much more expensive to experience 3D (3DS is way more expensive than DS, 3D gl
          • However, all else held equal, better graphics DO make a game better.

            "all else" is generally never equal though. I recently started playing through StarCraft II since my wife bought it for me when I told her I liked the original StarCraft. While the graphics are MUCH better, I find them distracting and it isn't as easy to "very very quickly" distinguish the enemies on the battlefield as it is in the original. I'm still playing through it since the storyline really interests me, but once I'm done, I'll probably go back to original StarCraft.

            Additionally, I'm a big Nethack

    • Don't buy your teenagers anything. I worked, earned money, and bought the things *I* wanted when I was a teenager.

      If you like 3D, go buy it, for yourself. If you don't like it, then shush up. Nobody's making you buy anything. Thats how capitalism works.

      I know I love the added perspective, and think everybody is complaining over nothing. IMO, 3D is a big move, like going from B&W to Color. Once the technology is good enough, we're going to move almost all displays to 3D. Maybe parallax barrier / le
  • How does this work in the first place? Is it one of those lenticular lens dealies?
  • by pizzach ( 1011925 ) <> on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:28AM (#35663544) Homepage

    Not much else is new. It's happened before the advent of 3D screens. More interesting is the eyestrain issue. It seems less severe when the 3DS is used in the dark, but I wonder if people will adjust to it eventually? Much like how someone has to adjust to their first pair of glasses? I haven't used a 3DS personally yet, but it sounds like a similar sensation people are experiencing..

    *disclaimer: The important part of my post has been marked bold

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      Unless I'm mistaken, I think the same thing happened with the very first movies; people got motion sick at first, then they got used to the effect.
      p.s. I always need a few days to adjust to a new pair of prescription glasses; not so much a headache as a mild "uneasyness".

      • >>Unless I'm mistaken, I think the same thing happened with the very first movies; people got motion sick at first, then they got used to the effect.

        I used to write VR arcade games (with the motion tracking headsets and everything).

        If you screwed up the filtering on the motion trackers, even a little bit, you'd get sick. The kicker was that you'd actually have to predict where the next frame should be drawn, due to lag from the trackers, and so people developed a lot of slick tricks to try to avoid pe

    • by zalas ( 682627 )

      If I remember correctly, one of the issues with current three-dimensional displays is that there's a disparity between vergence and accomodation in the eye. That is, normally, you point your eyes inwards to look at something closer, and you focus your lens closer as well. With 3D displays, what happens is that you have to focus at a different distance (i.e. where the actual display is) than what your eyes are verging on (i.e. the apparent depth of the image)... I guess you'll get used to it when you lose

      • by JanneM ( 7445 )

        Accommodation and vergence is handled by separate subcortical subsystems. If the mismatch causes eye strain - and I've only seen anecdotal speculation - then the brain will most likely readily adapt over time. It'll simply learn that the inputs can vary independently from each other at times.

        After all, you have a similar kind of mismatch when you use stereoscopic close-up lenses (for fine mechanical work, say) and people adapt to them as well.

    • ... but I wonder if people will adjust to it eventually?

      I doubt it. I think it is a misunderstanding to think that what people want is total immersion in a story - personally, I prefer books to movies, exactly because they seem less real; a book allows you to concentrate your attention at the level that suits you, and you can read it at your own pace. Watching a movie is, in a sense, more stressful, and deeper immersion will only make it worse.

      Compare this to pictures: a photo can be brilliant, rich in beautiful detail and stunning colour, but somehow the crud

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Dunno. I don't get motion sickness, but I do get violently ill with migraines from anything related to 3d. The old style vr helmets in the 90's same deal. My first pair of glasses went swimmingly well, no problems with that either. Probably doesn't help that I've had a serious head injury since I was a kid and there's scaring in my occipital lobe, but unless there's some type of neural implant I doubt they'll ever get 3d to the point where I can use it without having uncontrollable fits of nausea in und

  • It gives me a photo-epileptic seizure, so no thanks.
  • by pgn674 ( 995941 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:41AM (#35663582) Homepage

    The article implies that part of the reason for headaches is the 3D video causing your brain to believe you're moving about, while your inner ear does not agree. However, the source [] the article cites says that this causes nausea, not headaches. I would think this is similar to getting car sick.

    Knowing what I know through common sense, I think that headaches from 3D video are caused by your eyes crossing in order to line up the disparate images, as they do in a true 3D world, yet not changing their focus, since all objects on the screen are at the same distance and therefore same focus.

  • 3d is less real (Score:3, Insightful)

    by johncandale ( 1430587 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:44AM (#35663602)
    3d in current tech is less real looking then 2d images. Sense the offset can only project images in a cone that pinpoints at your face, and the widest point at the screen distance, you become aware of the 'sides' of the world. Where a well shot 2d film sucks you in nicely. Furthermore, while not the case with 3ds, but for sure the case with blu-ray, a part of the film is always out of focus. This is not how your eyes perceive the real world! 2d films are more realistic , sorry. Not till they have real holographics will it be better. Also the films are darker due to the glasses and the overlay. The 3ds has less frames per second. In 2d mode, you get 60fps, at full 3d setting, 30fps, half for each image.
  • by ktappe ( 747125 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:45AM (#35663606)

    your inner ear is not experiencing the movement that corresponds to what the eyes are seeing

    It's possible for something pretty close to this to occur in real life. The two that come to mind from personal experience are bicycling on a very flat/smooth road and skiing in deep fresh powder. Both give your inner ear very little movement to detect and so you have lots of visual stimulation with very little corresponding motion feel. And that's what I equate my 3D movie watching experiences to--a "floating" feeling. I wonder if those who get sick have fewer real-life experiences to equate it to and their brains haven't been "trained" in the disconnected feelings? Just conjecture....

    • t's possible for something pretty close to this to occur in real life. The two that come to mind from personal experience are bicycling on a very flat/smooth road and skiing in deep fresh powder. Both give your inner ear very little movement to detect and so you have lots of visual stimulation with very little corresponding motion feel.

      The opposite is reading a book while driving as a passenger in a car, bus or train. Makes some people sick. Your inner ear notices lots of motion, while your eyes see no motion at all staring at the book pages.

  • by ethicalcannibal ( 1632871 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:55AM (#35663644)
    I have Graves Disease. I get nausea a lot. I have meds that suppress the disease, and the side effects are more nausea. Surprise!

    On a good day, with little amounts of 3D, I'm fine. One a bad day, I can't even watch my Netflix queue on my xbox queue scroll sideways. I hate it when the only version of a movie that is available is in 3D. These days I'll wait until I can find a regular version, or not watch it.

    I won't even attempt the Nintendo 3DS.
    • by macshit ( 157376 ) <.snogglethorpe. .at.> on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @03:16AM (#35663736) Homepage

      I won't even attempt the Nintendo 3DS.

      Luckily Nintendo did things right, and provide a very convenient way to adjust the amount of 3D effect, or turn it off completely.

      [That's what sucks about the current 3D-movie craze: often the only version of a movie playing in a given location will be the 3D version, meaning those who don't enjoy the 3D effect must suffer an inferior viewing experience (dimmer image, awkward and uncomfortable glasses), and end up paying extra for the privilege!]

      • I guess if that continues to be the case I'll have to invest in an eyepatch.

        Actually, would that help?

        • Yes, that would actually work perfectly, though then you could only see out of one eye, obviously.

          An even better solution, the way 3D movie glasses work is each lens is polarized perpendicular to the other lens. That way, light can be directed to only be seen by one eye, and completely filtered out by the other. If you had a pair of movie glasses where both lenses were of the same orientation of polarizing filter, then you would only see the left or the right image in both of your eyes, effectively getti
          • Or, I don't know why I didn't think of this, you could just get a pair of 3D movie glasses, remove one lens, rotate it 90 degrees, and then put it / tape it back into the glasses. Whala!
            • by daid303 ( 843777 )

              Better, take 2 glasses, remove left eye from one, insert into right eye from other. You can make two 2D classes which look perfectly normal!

          • by Trogre ( 513942 )

            Hey, a geek code - I haven't seen one of those in nearly ten years!

      • maybe the fact that you can just turn of the "3D effect" means its not really 3D! When you cant convert 3D display to 2D, thats when 3D is here. Also I agree that its stupid that you cant see a 2D version of a movie if you dont like 3D or if you get sick from it.
      • One possible, though not perfect, solution would be to provide a choice between 3D and non-3D glasses at the theatre. The non-3D version would be the same glasses but with the blanking/polarisation the same on both eyes instead of opposite. You still have to wear the glasses, but at least those who don't want 3D wouldn't have to have it.

    • Actually, Nintendo thought of you, and many other people, already. There is a built in slider that turns down or off the 3D effect. You can turn it off, and never have to worry about seeing 3D, and still enjoy EVERY SINGLE game or app on the 3DS. You don't even have to worry about which developers support you; the hardware already allows you to play all games in 2D. Nintendo is already advising that all young children should only play in 2D in case of eye strain. Its very unlikely that some developer is goi
  • Bogus neuroscience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SiMac ( 409541 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @03:17AM (#35663746) Homepage

    Even if you watch a movie without 3D, you are "tricking the brain into making you think you are physically moving in relation to your surroundings." There is a large overlap in the neural circuitry that processes motion parallax (the 3D effect that you get when you have a moving camera) and stereopsis (the 3D effect that you get when you have two different images projected onto your two retinas). This is the mechanism behind 3D animated GIFs [], and one of the major depth cues in a 2D movie. Motion parallax is even more intricately linked to the vestibular system, since you need to know whether the image on your retina is changing because your head is moving or because the object you are looking at is in motion. (This is probably part of the reason that an ordinary movie is not an immersive 3D experience.) In contrast, stereopsis does not require motion to work as a depth cue, although all of these depth cues are ultimately integrated.

    The potential for motion parallax without vestibular signals to alter the development of visual areas dedicated to depth perception seems at least as great as the potential for moving stereoscopic images without vestibular signals to alter the development of these areas. No one knew about this when the motion picture was invented, and kids who grew up with a TV are still perfectly capable of making use of vestibular signals.

    Overall, that 3D is somehow "bad for the brain" is highly speculative. You don't get a headache or nausea when viewing 3D movies from very close up because you are damaging your brain. The malaise doesn't even necessarily have to do with the lack of a vestibular signal, and quite possibly doesn't, since you don't get nausea from simulated camera movement without associated head movement even though you have conflicting cues there as well. It can come from the visual system alone. If you are close enough to the screen, you are viewing 3D images with such high disparity that you can't fuse them. The brain interprets this as a sign that there is a problem with your visual system. You might even feel sick to your stomach, since in the environment in which we evolved, this kind of problem with your visual system would most likely have been caused by ingesting some kind of harmful psychotropic substance. There is absolutely no evidence that there is any permanent damage to or alteration of the brain itself.

    If someone can show that there is any change in cortical thickness in the visual areas of children exposed to 3D movies from a very young age, or that these children exhibit significantly different performance in some set of psychophysical paradigms, I might reconsider, but the "evidence" presented in this article is complete bullshit.

    • Motion sickness (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AlexiaDeath ( 1616055 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @03:39AM (#35663850)
      I personally cant play any 3D FPS games displayed even on regular 2D screen. I get motion sickness... I cant even imagine how fast I would get sick playing something like this 3DS...
      • Probably equally fast. If you get sick playing a 3D first person shooter even on a 2D display, then you've got a deeper problem, something about how your brain handles animation or perspective. Its possible your eyes just need to adjust. But what the parent was getting at, was that these are actually entirely different parts of the brain; they're not related necessarily. You might be fine with stereoscopic perspective, although the 3DS is still going to be using an LCD screen to display images in perspectiv
    • Thanks so much for posting this, I cannot agree enough. People are complaining about 3D left and right, and it sounds like so much "TV will rot your brain". Its the same old fear-mongering about something new. People just aren't comfortable with change.

      It is *possible* that something could be bad for your brain / eyes with 3D movies, but I seriously doubt it, and TFA certainly doesn't give me reasons to think so. You already explained why very succinctly.
  • by aaaurgh ( 455697 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @03:19AM (#35663760)
    My wife cannot watch 3D, old tech. or new, it always gives her a headache and/or makes her nauseous so we won't be getting a 3D tv. When faced with a 3D movie or nothing option at the cinema (usually when taking the kids), she either doesn't wear the glasses or blanks out one len with a piece of paper or card.

    We did manage to get a couple of pairs of glasses for our regular cinema and "adapted" them to have two right-hand lenses (doesn't look great but so what) so she can use both eyes but only gets one perspective which means a clear image but no headache. However, as different cinemas use different technologies, we can't use these at all outlets.

    We consider 3D to be a gimmick and nothing more - if the movie can't hold its own without having to resort to cheap (or not so cheap) 3D special effects then we're not interested. Case in point - Avatar, nothing more than Dances With Wolves In Space and, just like Dances With Wolves, a thin story line dragged out about an hour too long but with an overdose of animation instead of long wilderness panoramas.
  • In this article [] researchers claim that "3D makes the brain 12% more attentive" .... Depending on agenda this could be easily respun as "3D makes the brain work 12% harder".
  • If it's a good implementation, I don't have a problem.

    I once tried Quake 3 in anaglyph mode and that was painful. But anaglyph always was a bad way of doing it. Now well done 3D with good hardware? No problem at all. I've watched about 5 hours worth of 3D movies without a problem, and played fast paced games for about that long in 3D on a Zalman monitor.

  • I can't believe how bad it makes my eyes hurt then in turn, my head hurt as well, I mean it's like being hit in the head with a sledgehammer or something. Jere [].
  • The issue, doctors say, is that 3D works by tricking the brain into making you think you are physically moving in relation to your surroundings. But you aren't. So your inner ear is not experiencing the movement that corresponds to what the eyes are seeing.

    Seems like learning to handle confusion between what your eyes see and your inner ear experiences would be good training for space travel and free fall...maybe even for boating on the rollickin' ocean waves.

    Or for traveling via lysergic acid diethylamide.

    • Seems like learning to handle confusion between what your eyes see and your inner ear experiences would be good training for space travel and free fall...maybe even for boating on the rollickin' ocean waves.

      Or for traveling via lysergic acid diethylamide.

      Space travel, free fall, maybe boating... sure. LSD - nope. While I do sometimes feel slightly disoriented when tripping very hard (upwards of 4 moderate to strong tabs at once), it's nowhere near the level of bad I feel when I'm sea-sick, or watching something in fake-3D (which for me are sadly similar experiences). The thing with LSD is that while yes, your brain will be getting conflicting signals from your inner ear and what you see, the "what you see" part isn't coming from your eyes, but from your

      • While I do sometimes feel slightly disoriented when tripping very hard (upwards of 4 moderate to strong tabs at once), it's nowhere near the level of bad I feel when I'm sea-sick, or watching something in fake-3D (which for me are sadly similar experiences).

        Which begs the question: Did you really write that, or are you currently having a conversation with the potted palm in the corner?

      • On a more serious note, I figured that since acid can result in mental activity - visual and auditory perception - that is unsupported by sensory input....
  • by Plammox ( 717738 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @03:59AM (#35663926)
    Billions of $ are spent to upgrade entertainment technology in the hunt for corporate profit. Cinema 3D films with odd colors and flickering 3D glasses are being hyped.
    Whatever happened to the immersive story line? The acting?

    (Where is that darn Kurosawa DVD collection...? I had it here somewhere...)
  • boo hoo. some stimuli that are normally coupled are uncoupled.

    i'm sure people said the same with every stage in cinema:

    - the lack of colour where colour normally exists
    - the presence of focused and unfocused objects on the same plane
    - the lack of high and low frequencies in early cinema sound


    let's not confuse the 3d systems currently in theatres.

    the single-lens system (the one with LCD specs) is far inferiour to the twin-lens (polarized) system.

    with a 48Hz refresh,on the single-lens system, camera pa

  • People used to think 15 mph in a car was too fricken fast.

    You have to get used to it. It really helps to practice with stereograms

    And the problem isn't the 3d movies, its the 3d tech in the movie theaters and the ignorant morons who run them. (At least) one of the regal theaters where I live plays their 3d movies with left-eye right-eye synchronously instead of simultaneously. It also had an IMAX where I watched avatar with the first reel 1 frame out of sync between the eyes

    • by DaPhil ( 811162 )
      Funny you should mention IMAX. They recently installed projectors in a cinema in Berlin, where apparently the system can't even be activated without being calibrated EVERY day. On the other hand, calibration depends on user input as well... :)
  • tricking the brain into making you think you are physically moving

    I think you'll find it's the people in the little rectangle a few feet in front of me who are doing all the moving o_O

    Also, the 3DS has the most immersive 3D I've seen so far, to the point that I was instinctively dodging when things came out of the screen towards me (something that 3D movie makers seem to advertise, but I've never remotely felt); the 5 minute demo did make my eyes feel weird for about 15 minutes after though :-(

  • by Rakarra ( 112805 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @04:51AM (#35664174)

    The issue, doctors say, is that 3D works by tricking the brain into making you think you are physically moving in relation to your surroundings

    No, that's not the worst issue. Walter Murch describes in an entry on Roger Ebert's blog, [] the convergence/focus issue, where the eye is expected to work in a way that millions of years of evolution never designed it to, where your eyes are asked to focus on an image very close, yet converge very far away. A quote from the article:

    "But the deeper problem is that the audience must focus their eyes at the plane of the screen -- say it is 80 feet away. This is constant no matter what.

    But their eyes must converge at perhaps 10 feet away, then 60 feet, then 120 feet, and so on, depending on what the illusion is. So 3D films require us to focus at one distance and converge at another. And 600 million years of evolution has never presented this problem before. All living things with eyes have always focussed and converged at the same point. ...
    Consequently, the editing of 3D films cannot be as rapid as for 2D films, because of this shifting of convergence: it takes a number of milliseconds for the brain/eye to "get" what the space of each shot is and adjust."

    The latter part being bad news now that quick cuts are all the rage.

    • Only a terrible, terrible movie maker would think that making something pop-out 87% of the distance from the screen to your face would be a good idea. It's not 3D's fault that movies are made by wealthy, but risk averse people with checklists and the opinion that if something is possible, it must be a good idea to stick it in the movie.

      The point of 3D is not to allow the director to stick pointy thing in his audiences' faces. It's just a shame that many directors, for whatever reason, have decided to do j

  • So the problem with stereoscopic 3D is essentially that it's too realistic? I don't really find that much of a problem.

  • I can easily become completely immersed in a black-and-white movie, IF the plot and characters are believable; my mind can fill in or ignore everything else. Even old-fashioned cartoons can be immersive if the story and characters are good enough. 3-D can distract from characters and plot, even aside from being a headache.

    It seems to me that Big Cinema has been evolving for decades in ways that have little to do with story and characters, and more to do with gimmicks to distract from those things: from si

    • by macraig ( 621737 )

      What I was trying to say is that immersiveness is driven by character development and plot, not the color accuracy, numbers of pixels, or subjective dimensions. The human mind is easily able to compensate for the latter, but not for one-dimensional characters and a vapid, insipid plot.

  • by Zoxed ( 676559 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @06:33AM (#35664592) Homepage

    Peter Pedant says it is not 3D: it is pseudo-3D, but I guess that does not sound good on the box !

  • Let's remember that the Blue Ray Disk Association exists for one purpose: to further the commercial success of its members. Period.

  • should not be used by children under 7


    I'm not interested in meaningless answers like deference to authority "because they said so" or simplified to moron-ness like "it hurts them" or pointless fearmongering like "think of the children".

    I'm looking for a medical condition I can google for. Or at least a semi-technical explanation so I can behave appropriately.

    For example, if my 5 yr old relative glances over my shoulder at a DS, will he turn to stone like medusa? Or is it indirect like it won't hurt them but the odds of projectile vomiting

  • The German magazine c't (from Heise) has recently compared three 3D display techniques (with glasses) with 45 test subjects (original source [] - full text is not available online for free). Granted, the number is not statistically relevant, but I found it interesting nonetheless. They compared LCD screens with shutter glasses, LCDs with polarized glasses, and plasma screens with shutter glasses.

    The result: The best technique is using polarized glasses, as those are the lightest and thus best to wear (i.e. a

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @07:59AM (#35665008) Homepage

    WEll done 3d? I am very tolerant of. The real3d stuff that is actually shot in 3d for imax is FANTASTIC... Medicore 3d like Avatar, and utter crap 3d like Tron3d.. less tolerant.

    I always have the same feeling though and my mind knows it's all fake because when I look at something my eyes want to focus on it and then return to the focus plane of the screen, this instantly gives my brain a "it's fake" signal. Some people, like my wife, are highly bothered by that "it's a fake" signal although the best imax 3d films she can tolerate... Probably because they are so tack sharp and completely fill her field of view compared to the out of focus tiny slit crap in regular theaters.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?