I am such a fan because you understand storytelling. You understand that details are important and that quality is more than a phrase or slogan. But you don’t fully understand 3D. Indeed, NOBODY understands 3D.
My point is that there needs to be a strong, thoughtful, purposeful effort devoted to understanding how the depiction of space fundamentally changes things. 3D is not just a visual effect. 3D is a perception created in the brain that gives people with normal vision a way to perceive things emotionally. There is a tangible quality to 3D. A sense of sharing the space with what we are seeing that needs greater understanding.
It is ironic that the best 3D motion pictures are being created in artificial reality. They look real in an unreal way. I haven’t been yet, but I am sure that the Anaheim Disney Pixar attraction, in all its realness, is different than the artificially raytraced computer imagery that we enjoy at the theater. But unlike some, I am of the opinion that this is a good thing. 3D makes it possible to expand our perceptions beyond personal experience. We could benefit from the “freeing” of our minds to see things in new ways.
Let me be more specific. When I think about Pixar’s “bugs” it is a terrific opportunity to experience space in the same way a bug might experience space – the world and the cosmos. For example, a head and eyes the size of a pinhead provides a perspective that can free the mind to see nanotechnology in incredible ways. What about a head the size of our solar system? What do we see then? In other words, when we escape the limitations of our physical size do we escape the limitations of how we perceive our world and the space we occupy within it?
This is significant. Spatial imagery is not a trivial visual effect – the possibilities of how it can be used and the technical boundaries pushed are limitless. We are on the cusp of devices coming available like the oculus rift http://oculusvr.com that can broaden our perspectives in unimagined ways. Ways that can be good and bad. We are now entering a transition from a referential “thinking” experience where we refer to our experiences to imagine a story in the context of our reality to something much different. We are transitioning to an experiential storytelling capability where we experience new perspectives and new ways to look at things that we never could have imagined.
I submit that this transition is perhaps one of the biggest things to happen to mankind’s ability to understand things – period. It could free us from the limitations of our belief systems to think about things from completely new perspectives and gain knowledge that we otherwise could never achieve.
So, why pick on Pixar?
Because of all the companies out there – Pixar has the capability to understand and see possibilities in a way most other companies can’t. John Lasseter is uniquely qualified to see beyond limitations – a very inspirational man that compels me to push the envelope and never be satisfied or complacent. I’ve never met him, but I understand and appreciate what he is doing. I asked myself: “why not post this blog and give Pixar a tweak?” I know they have read some of my articles, who knows? Maybe they might have me out for a meeting to share some of the things I have learned regarding this amazing thing called stereovision. (Which by the way is a misnomer). It is really the image that our brain cooks up inside our head that enables us to perceive the space that surrounds us as something that we occupy. Two flat images turn into something quite magical in the brain. Our brains fill in a great deal of information that goes far beyond those two flat images.
How about it Pixar?
I see the future the way it could be and ask: why not? You guys can make a difference – but you need to expand the way you think about multi perspective imagery. I am compelled to take what I’ve learned and try to do something useful with that knowledge. I owe it to my kids and their future. I don’t have any IP to sell – only to provide to those that will listen and do something with it.
So, Pixar… want to listen? Join me outside the box ;^) I’ll tell you a story with a beginning where you can finish the middle and the end. You guys are amazing!
Me? I have realized I have a ridiculous amount to learn as I’ve only scratched the air above the surface. I’d like to find out more and inspire change in the way people look at things. I give this blog entry almost a zero chance of having any effect. But you have to start somewhere. 3D is a lot more than rendering two camera ports. Experiential storytelling is something completely new I’d like you to consider.
With great respect,