Fort Lauderdale, Florida (PressExposure) December 22, 2009 -- All told the film is expected to break the $400 million mark in theaters. Much of the hype surrounding âAvatarâ comes from its heavy use of CGI and screening in 3-D. Those looking for a captivating fantasy-land with eye-catching effects will surely not be disappointed.
3-D technology is rather old, dating back to at least 1890. The technology and results have progressed greatly since then, but many of the principles remain the same. 3-D films use creative lighting to provide the illusion of depth perception on a flat picture. A special motion picture camera, projection hardware, and usually stylish 3-D glasses are used to accomplish this. Anaglyph images were the earliest theatrical 3-D technique. Two images are superimposed in an additive or subtractive setting. While lower quality than stereogram, anaglyphs are very easy to view.
The eclipse method uses a mechanical shutter to block light to each eye when the image is projected on the screen. This was the backbone of the Teleview system, which was used briefly in 1922. A new application to this technique involves LCD shutter glasses. These âsmartâ glasses are synchronized with the image, using alternative-frame sequencing, to give both depth and motion effects. Yet another new application for energy efficient LEDs. Other systems include lenticular screens, which do not require glasses, use of the Pulfrich effect, and polarization systems.
Interference filter technology is a current method for blockbusters. Dolby 3D uses specific wavelengths of red, green, and blue for each eye, and then the glasses are responsible for filtering, allowing the user to see the image in 3-D without the use of the expensive polarized silver screen. RealD, the most common current method, does require a silver screen, a projector filter, and expensive glasses, but is widely used, and the technology behind âAvatar.â
3-D films are a great example of what a dose of creativity can bring to lighting. Energy efficient CFLs are the most widely used replacement for old incandescent bulbs, but look to creative LED lights such as iCOLOR tubes [http://www.superiorlighting.com/iColor_Cove_NXT_p/101-000015-00.htm] and LED color tiles to make headway in entertainment applications.