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Avatar in IMAX 3D - a second viewing

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David Roth Weiss
Avatar in IMAX 3D - a second viewing
on Feb 1, 2010 at 7:50:49 pm

About seeing Avatar twice

In the old days, I would often see many movies at the theater more than once so I could study them and dissect the writing, editing, and cinematography. However, due to any number of factors, including high ticket prices, I have pretty much curtailed that in recent years, and I hardly ever see movies twice in the theater anymore. However, after seeing Avatar 3D the first time, which was projected using the Real D technology (arguably the best of the three existing 3D formats), I was determined to see it again in IMAX 3D, so that I could compare the quality of two formats.

First, let me say that I actually enjoyed Avatar more the second time around. Surprisingly, the story actually holds up much better than I would have imagined. I think the immersive experience of the first viewing is so overwhelming that it makes it difficult, if not impossible, for any viewer to appreciate all of the elaborate visual and auditory details that the filmmakers clearly must have labored over. And, the script actually seemed much deeper this time than I remembered from my first viewing as well.

So, what about the IMAX 3D projection vs. Read D?

Surprisingly, I was a bit disappointed in the IMAX 3D projection. First off, the high-quality, real glass lenses of the Read D glasses are truly superior in every way to the tiny plastic things they hand out at the IMAX theater. In addition, the Read D glasses easily fit over my own glasses and were quite comfortable, while the puny IMAX glasses were annoying visible in my periphery at all times.

Most annoying of all however with regard to the IMAX projection were very noticeable motion blur artifacts on certain fast moving elements near the screen edges. If you've ever seen bad LDC screens that can't refresh quickly enough to display smooth action without smearing or trails, that what I saw in some parts of the IMAX projection. It's a real distraction that was definitely not there in the Real D version, at least not that I can remember.

Never the less, once I stopped staring at it, I quickly got over the smearing in IMAX and it ceased being a distraction. I have no idea if motion artifacts are inherent to IMAX or just an issue with the projector at that particular theater I was at, but from now on, until I find some new information to the contrary, IMAX won't get my vote or my dollars, and it's going to be Real D for me. The price is lower, the glasses better, and the projection of Real D is flawless.

BTW, I can't wait to see Alice in Wonderland, from Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp. The trailer looked really great, and it's a story that obviously lends itself to 3D as much as any that comes to mind.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

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Stephen Smith
Re: Avatar in IMAX 3D - a second viewing
on Feb 1, 2010 at 8:24:28 pm

My brother and I went to see Avatar at our local IMAX theater. My brother saw the film at the same theater but in a regular 3D theater the week before. (As of today you still need to get your IMAX tickets two weeks in advance if you want the best seats in the theater) He said that the sound was better in the IMAX theater. But the image was much sharper in the regular 3D theater.

I spent most of the movie just thinking about how cool the 3D was.

PS. I rented Ghostbusters over the weekend. That would have been really cool in 3D.



Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

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Scott Roberts
Re: Avatar in IMAX 3D - a second viewing
on Feb 4, 2010 at 4:29:18 pm

I completely agree about the difference in 3D in both venues. I saw it a regular theater first, and thought the image looked much better than when I saw it a second time in IMAX. And the IMAX 3D glasses were WAY worse as well (I think I had the same problem with them not fitting comfortably over my regular glasses)

And Stephen, you might be getting your wish granted with Ghostbusters in 3D. (and many more films):

http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/02/04/district-9-and-ghostbusters-in-3d-sony-...


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Stephen Smith
Re: Avatar in IMAX 3D - a second viewing
on Feb 5, 2010 at 7:29:48 pm

Wow, thanks for the link to the article. I wonder if Avatar's 3D looked so good because it was shot that way. I wonder how good it will look when you take an old movie and make it 3D. I wonder how good digital 3D Blu-ray technology is, I guess we will find out.

Any way of having Slimmer fly at me in 3D and then have the TV shot out slim as well? :-)




Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Pratul gaikwad
Re: Avatar in IMAX 3D - a second viewing
on Feb 17, 2010 at 2:54:22 pm

I totally agree with you guys ... i am a great admirer of AVATAR ... saw almost 5 times in different projection systems ....
i have one observation about the direction of the film ...
as compared to other 3d movies , in this movie. there are very less shots which comes out on your face, objects coming from behind your head... what i mean is as compared to other 3d movies ..e.g Polar express .. i feel that shots are not designed to make best use of 3d projection system ...each time i saw the film i wonder why the things are not coming out of the screen ...
AVATAR was meant to be a 3d product from the beginning itself .. i even heard that Cameron postponed his production so that there would be more IMAX screen across the world...considering this i feel that AVATAR has not utilized benefits of 3D projection ....

what say ? is ther anyone who observed this ? .. maybe i am wrong


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derek toyne
Re: Avatar in IMAX 3D - a second viewing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 4:07:06 pm

ive just come back from seeing gravity in 3d imax in digital projection
and was not impressed with it at all, the motion blur was horrendous.especially as this film has lots of spinning scenes in it,


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