A Copy Of A Recent Post To CML-3D News Group

For non-subscribers to the CML-3D newsgroup, you might find this post I made interesting:


If people are of the mindset that 3D is a visual effect, then it is easy to accept that conversion is a viable process just as any other visual effect can be “created” with software and processing hardware.  It is absolutely true that content can be processed and made viewable with the perception of depth and that within the context of a visual effect – results can even be quite impressive and evoke ahhs and wows.  3D as a visual effect or add-on seems to be the primary interpretation as it is being used and implemented. It is viewed as a value-add and something which enhances the viewing experience. Marketing even fosters this idea about 3D and attempts have been made to jack it up even more with 4D and 5D. Pretty soon you might see D-Max and Awesome-D. Maybe Beyond-D and infinity-D.In my opinion, motion pictures, and still photographs are interpreted referentially. Since the beginning, I am not aware of anyone looking at a photograph or motion picture that has gotten confused as to whether or not what they are looking at is real. We all understand that the images we are looking at are references to reality. They occupy a different space than we do and require interpretation. Storytelling, by definition, refers to something in the past. A story is something to interpret and relate to based upon life’s experiences. The more we relate to a story or image, typically, the better we like it. Perhaps it embodies our fantasies or teaches us something that we value. Sometimes there are surprises as the story unfolds and certainly we enjoy humor.

My point is that, given the status quo, 3D is something that producers are trying to fit into the existing paradigm as an enhancement. But stereovision is something that most of us use every day to perceive reality. To experience life as it happens and to be in the moment and occupy the same space as the things that we are looking at. This physicality or realness has a much tighter relationship with our emotional self because real things can affect us directly.  The potential of 3D imagery to be transcendent and blur the boundary between referential and experiential is something that I find intriguing. As long as we have a one-size-fits-all approach to 3D, I think it will be very difficult to make this transition. I don’t think artificial stereoscopic constructs can do this effectively because there are too many perception conflicts and specular errors. Binocular rivalry is something that gives our brain information it needs to construct texture information, among other things. And make no mistake, it is our brain that creates an image with the depiction of depth and space based upon our human experience up to that point. Creating dimensional space from flat imagery is not the same as capturing two unique perspectives and the way the light enters each lens and imaging sensor through separate and distinct pathways. In many cases, the creation can be quite good – but in many cases it can be quite bad. Take snow on a sunny day, for example or a waterfall with its infinitely complex optical distortions.  How about heat rising from a fire? You can create imagery with the perception of depth for a single perspective image, but it will not be an exact match to capturing two distinct perspectives. Having the attitude that it is “good enough” doesn’t resonate with me in the same way ophthalmologists saying “amblyopia is no big deal” is absolutely ridiculous. It is a very big deal.

As we continue to monkey around with how we depict depth and space, it is appropriate to think beyond the limits of referential storytelling. Depicting space and depth can take us to new places and experiences that engage emotionally in completely new ways. How we perceive the world and our place in it can change. As content producers, we can do better and, in doing better, make a profound difference. Take a peek outside the box of referential imagery and you’ll see a whole new world open up.

-Almont Green

G. Almont Green
Multi-Perspective Artist
Almont Studios
5 Grapevine Way
Medway, MA 02053
t. 508-533-0333 / c. 978-853-0084AlmontGreen.com


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