Red Bull get it wrong

If you go to a cinema in Greater London this fortnight you have a good chance of being subjected to "the world's first 3D cinema advert", advertising some event being run by a well-known brand of fizzy pop. I'm not sure if this was gimmickry for the sake of it, or if Red Bull want to be part of the current wave of 3D cinema, but I'm sorry to say that I wasn't impressed.

First of all, to avoid the need for digital projection equipment or dual-projector rigs for a 30 second advert, Red Bull chose to use the anaglyph method of generating a stereoscopic image, and corresponding red- and cyan-lensed "3D glasses" were handed out before the show. This technique is decidedly non-ideal for cinematic presentation - the fact that the colour information is split between the two eyes produces a highly unrealistic effect.

The inherent problems of the anaglyph were compounded by a botched process in the mastering and printing of the film - the red and blue/green light that was projected was a poor match for the filters in the 3D glasses, with the effect that there was considerable cross-talk between the two eyes, making it virtually impossible to converge the two images and experience a sensation of 3D viewing. To make things worse, the (mostly computer-generated) material made use of considerable parallax for effect, and consisted of a series of short, fast-moving scenes - a typical advert in that respect, but absolutely the wrong way to go about giving the audience a good experience.

If I was in the business of trying to promote three-dimensional cinema, I'd be quite annoyed, I suspect...
  • Posted: 15/07/07 12:13AM
  • Category: General


You got glasses? We didn't even get glasses handed to us, making it a completely pointless exercise. I actually quite like Red Bull as a company and am tempted by the air race, but that was a complete disaster!
I would have put it the other way - the glasses weren't well matched to the film - as I've never yet seen two pairs of 3d glasses with the same colour lenses and never worn a pair that seem to work properly. I am still rather impressed by how effectively the polarised (I assume) glasses that you get in the IMAX work - natural colour and good 3d effect. Much better than the "one eye slightly darker than the other" motion based stuff the bbc tried about 10 years ago (which I liked as you could use easily generate the effect on a computer screen and make pseudo 3d animations). I might have to look into that again...

Still, I'm of to see Harry Potter in a bit, so I'll make sure not to fill up on greasy breakfast beforehand to spare the person sitting in front of my the dubious joy of picking sausages out of their hair.
Yeah, polarisation is the natural choice for stereoscopic 3D cinema. To my disappointment, the last time I went to an IMAX they were using linear polarisation, with the consequence that you couldn't tip your head without destroying the 3D effect. Circular polarisation works much better, and luckily it's what they use for the "Real D" system that's starting to appear in multiplexes worldwide.

Write reply

This item is closed, it's not possible to add new comments to it or to vote on it

Comments must be approved before being published. Thank you!