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  #1  
Old 12-20-2009, 06:23 PM
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Default What is the difference between IMAX 3D and RealD 3D anyway?

The TRS review mentions they saw it in RealD 3D I saw it in IMAX 3D, what is the difference anyway? I noticed the 3D glasses were very different, the RealD ones looked nicer and newer and were packages and the IMAX ones looked like they came from the 80s and got beat up throughout the decades.
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Old 12-21-2009, 12:09 AM
sleepybat
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Hi Falen, there are a few different types of 3D systems used in cinemas.

RealD uses disposable static polarized glasses. Its the cheapest system for cinemas because the glasses are so inexpensive. Its the most widely used type of 3D technology.

[Correction]
I believe IMAX used to use LCD glasses. The glasses switch from black to clear very quickly between each eye. However I think in the last couple of years they have changed to a similar technology to RealD using polarized glasses.
[Corection]

XpanD uses LCD glasses, its quite expensive to run because the glasses are very pricey. However I've read very good things about the quality of this system.

There is another type of system called Dolby 3D which is similar to RealD but uses a slightly different method of projecting the image.

I researched the technologies after seeing Avatar in a RealD cinema a couple of days ago. It was my first 3D film so I was expecting to be blown away by it. Unfortunately my 3D experience was really bad. I spent three hours watching shimmering, ghosting 3D. After I got home I did a little research into the technologies.

Of the main technologies the LCD glasses, specifically XpanD, seems to have the least problems with ghosting. However all of the systems seem to work well. I think you probably saw the film in the best possible way, on a massive IMAX screen.

I'm going to see Avatar at the Barbican in London which uses XpanD (an LCD system). I hope to get on better with XpanD, I'd love to see Avatar the way everyone else seems to be seeing it.

Last edited by sleepybat : 12-21-2009 at 01:12 AM. Reason: To correct info on IMAX 3D
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2009, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepybat View Post
Hi Falen

RealD uses disposable static polarized glasses. Its the cheapest system for cinemas because the glasses are so inexpensive. Its the most widely used type of 3D technology.

I'm not 100% sure but I believe IMAX uses LCD glasses. The glasses switch from black to clear very quickly between each eye.

There is another type of system called Dolby 3D which is similar to RealD but uses a slightly different method of projecting the image.

I researched the technologies after seeing Avatar in a RealD cinema a couple of days ago. It was my first 3D film so I was expecting to be blown away by it. Unfortunately my 3D experience was really bad. I spent three hours watching shimmering, ghosting 3D. After I got home I did a little research into the technologies.

Of the three main technologies the IMAX LCD systems seems to have the least problems with ghosting, I think you probably saw the film in the best possible way.

I'm going to see Avatar at the Barbican in London which uses XpanD (an LCD system). I hope to get on better with XpanD, I'd love to see Avatar the way everyone else seems to be seeing it.
Thanks for the leg work, I didn't know that there was different technologies being used. Post back what you think about the imax vs standard size screen. I'm going to see it in IMAX when the crowd dies down.
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:00 AM
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Correction on the IMAX 3D. I found this posted under a video about 3D systems.

Quote:
One small correction, IMAX did use shutter glasses in the past for their 3D installations, however my understanding is that over the last few years they have almost completely transitioned to using only linear polarised 3D in their theatres. This applies to both the film based IMAX 15/70 theatres and also the newer IMAX digital systems.
So, looks like IMAX is using polarised glasses now, much like RealD.

I'm still pinning my hopes on XpanD which is only available in about two places in the UK, one being the Barbacon in London. I'll let you know what its like.

If you want to learn more about the technology (this is really geeky stuff) visit:

http://www.cinetechgeek.com/category/3d/

Its where I got most of my info and the videos explain the differences.

Last edited by sleepybat : 12-21-2009 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:26 PM
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Cool thanks for the info! I plan to see it again in RealD 3D to compare the differences.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:33 PM
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Hi everyone!

I thought I'd update you on my latest 3d experience.

I originally posted because I had had problems with RealD at my local cinema. The polarised glasses just didn't work for me, which is why I searched online for a different 3d system to try. I went to see Avatar at the Barbican in London yesterday, which uses XpanD 3d, an LCD glasses system.

My personal experience is that XpanD was substantially better, it was clearer and had less blurring when the 3d was moving, although reasonably fast movements still don't motion blur properly, something all 3d systems have trouble with.

If you have problems with the polarised 3d glasses systems then I would recommend you try this system. However if you have seen 3d using RealD, Dolby or IMAX and didn't have any problems, I don't think you will notice much improvement.

Even with my improved 3d experience I personally didn't think the 3d enhanced the movie enough to justify its limitations. I'm not saying there weren't nice 3d moments, but overall it was a hindrance to the overall visuals and storytelling experience. I found myself being distracted by floating ash and bits of grass, when I should have been concentrating on the scene as a whole. In my opinion its a major problem with 3d as a story telling medium, one I think people will come to realise once the novelty wears off.

On a side note: Although the Barbican is a cool and friendly venue, I was not impressed with Cinema 2. It was quite small and the seats are not placed far enough apart to prevent the people in front obscuring the view. The seats are quite uncomfortable and for a three hour film that made a real difference to my enjoyment. I also believe the projector is not quite powerful enough, as the picture was a fair bit darker than on the RealD system. (This is all about the quality of the projector, not the 3d system used).
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:37 PM
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Default Aspect Ratio

I'm surprised no one has brought up the aspect ratio, as this is the real reason to see it in IMAX 3d. I have seen the movie both in IMAX3d which is 1.78 : 1 (16x9) and in a regular RealD theatre 2.35 : 1 (21x9)

99.9% of movies are shot in anamorphic widescreen or 2.35 : 1. Thus movie theater screens are 21x9 so that the picture fills the whole screen.

Avatar was shot in 16x9. IMAX is a 16x9 projection system. When you see the movie in an IMAX theatre you are seeing the complete picture.

When you go to a realD/dolby3d/other 3d, the picture will fill the entire screen, because people would bitch if they put black bars on the left/right of the screen (or brought the curtains in ). To fill the screen, they blow up the 16x9 image until it hits the left and right boundaries, then cut off the top and bottom. NO JOKE. You lose 30% to 40% of the picture.

In IMAX, avatar gives a sense of vertigo during the flying scenes, because the picture is literally taller, and you feel a sense of height. When i saw it in reald, i lost that feeling.

Most movies are shot in 2.35: 1, pop a blu ray in your 16x9 tv, and see the black bars on the top and bottom. They bring the sides in (shrink the picture) then fill the white space with the black bars; no loss of picture because they are not blowing up the picture, they are shrinking it. If you want the pic to fill the whole screen you need a 21x9 tv http://www.digitalnewsroom.philips.com/products/21x9/ , but they are pretty pricey, and not so popular because broadcast tv is 16x9 and people would again bitch if the pic didn't fill the screen (would need black bars left and right).

Long story short, the only way you are going to see the whole image is on a 16x9 screen. But unless you got a 3d tv, waiting for the blu ray is not really an option as this film demands 3d, or it ends up being just another cg film. Do yourself a favor, see it in IMAX 3d, not the best 3d tech, but makes up for it in the ahhhhh factor. Peace.

One more thing. If you guys are not already aware, AMC has what the web likes to call LIEmax screens. Stay away from IMAX digital 3d as it is a scam. just google liemax. Heres a google map that tells you which screens are real IMAX and which are Liemax: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=11362199035654039322 1.000469b6c5915161c3667

Last edited by Iodine_Snake : 12-30-2009 at 03:52 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2009, 05:00 PM
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If all goes well I should be seeing the IMAX 3D version today with a couple of friends.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2009, 05:50 AM
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I just saw Avatar today in IMAX 3D and was blown away. It was a true IMAX size screen (Lincoln Square in NYC) and I was pleasantly surprised to see the screen filling aspect ratio. I had come in expecting it to be letterboxed. The immersive feeling from the screen filling almost my entire field of view really sold it for me, especially during scenes showing heights and the flying sequences. I also didn't feel like sharpness was sacrificed at all from the size. Everything looked very crisp to me

The only possible trade off is that the projection seemed a bit dark, at least at the beginning, but I got used to it and it didn't bother me to much. I haven't seen the movie in a normal theater for comparison about the brightness or color vibrance, but I've heard some other people who've seen it in IMAX complain a little about it.
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Old 12-31-2009, 06:15 AM
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Turns out my IMAX 3D is sold out for several days in advance.
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