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The History of 3D Movies and Television and Its Future

The History and Future of 3D Movies and Television

couple watching 3d movie

Watching a two-dimensional screen in 3D still seems like a gimmick of the future, but technology has far exceeded expectations.

The first presentation of a 3D film occurred almost one hundred years ago. The three-dimensional effect was achieved using paper glasses with one green lens and one red lens. Over the years, that standard developed into the use of blue and green paper glasses. Now, RealD, founded in 2003, has taken the lead of 3D technology with its modern digital 3D experience.

The Birth of a 3D Technology

It took many years for a real innovation of 3D technology, but now that it has occurred, 3D is slowly becoming a standard for film. When RealD first took the helm at presenting 3D movies, you’d be lucky to expect more than one 3D movie a year. But each new year has brought with it more 3D movies than the last.

Monster House was one of the first movies to implement digital 3D technology, using it to create a more gripping atmosphere. While most future movies followed the pattern of a 3D release to complement the content of the film (i.e. Coraline), there became an increasingly large number using 3D as a marketing tool rather than a supplement to the actual film.

The Spread of 3D Movies

In 2010, there was a record number of three-dimensional films, a dramatic increase that can be attributed to the commercial success of Avatar, the movie that redefined the world of 3D for the coming decade. A movie roughly ten years in the making, it was the pinnacle of potential for a 3D movie. When companies saw this success, they quickly followed suit to create their own 3D movies. Some movies (Alice in Wonderland and The Last Airbender) were enhanced by the 3D experience. Unfortunately, most of the others (Resident Evil: Afterlife) simply used 3D as a marketing gimmick. This was seen most prominently in movies filmed originally in 2D and converted to 3D later, the infamous example here being Clash of the Titans.

The Future of 3D Film

Despite many major theatrical letdowns, the popularity of 3D film is still on the rise. The standardization of 3D television will be upon us in the near future. Imagine watching the Super Bowl with plays that leap into your living room. The revolution of 3D spurred on by Avatar has made the technology a highly sought after endeavor for commercialization. Within the next ten years, we can probably expect average households to come home to 3D television sets.

3D Revolutionizes Film and TV

example of a 3d cartoon character

If three-dimensional broadcasting becomes a norm, we can likely say goodbye to poorly converted theatrical flops like Clash of the Titans and hello to 3D cartoons (which I imagine will be one of the easiest and most appreciated use of 3D movies in the future). While it might not be the best choice for filming a reality TV series, the standardization of three-dimensional media will bring about a new age in entertainment.