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Old 01-23-2012, 06:03 PM   #1
Underworld54 Underworld54 is offline
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Default IMAX 3D v.s. Real 3D

Besides the larger screen and better sound, does an IMAX 3D showing have much better 3D than a Real 3D showing? I'm seeing Underworld Awakening tomorrow and would like to know if I can get away with a Real 3D showing and still experience the same quality level of 3D? It will save me about $5 too.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:13 PM   #2
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Well there are multiple differences. The IMAX lenses aren't as dark, and the projectors are usually more powerful and/or better set and maintained, which is good for darker movies like Underworld. But they're linear-polarized. That means if you tilt your head, the 3D breaks up and ghosting comes in until it's just a double image. IMAX screens are also placed closer to the audience, and as you probably know, being farther from the screen makes 3D seem deeper.

I saw it in IMAX 3D and enjoyed myself. The size of the screen, even back far enough so that the 3D looked good, almost entirely filled my vision and added to the experience. The sound especially was much better than in the normal theatres.

As for 3D, it's a tradeoff. I'm almost certain it doesn't make the 3D itself "better", just brighter - it might even be a little worse because of the issues I mentioned above. If you're not interested in the IMAX experience of image size and powerful sound, I'd say you should save your money and just go to a RealD screening, UNLESS you know your multiplex has brightness problems in 3D. Then the brighter IMAX showing would be preferable.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
Underworld54 Underworld54 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFAlien View Post
Well there are multiple differences. The IMAX lenses aren't as dark, and the projectors are usually more powerful and/or better set and maintained, which is good for darker movies like Underworld. But they're linear-polarized. That means if you tilt your head, the 3D breaks up and ghosting comes in until it's just a double image. IMAX screens are also placed closer to the audience, and as you probably know, being farther from the screen makes 3D seem deeper.

I saw it in IMAX 3D and enjoyed myself. The size of the screen, even back far enough so that the 3D looked good, almost entirely filled my vision and added to the experience. The sound especially was much better than in the normal theatres.

As for 3D, it's a tradeoff. I'm almost certain it doesn't make the 3D itself "better", just brighter - it might even be a little worse because of the issues I mentioned above. If you're not interested in the IMAX experience of image size and powerful sound, I'd say you should save your money and just go to a RealD screening, UNLESS you know your multiplex has brightness problems in 3D. Then the brighter IMAX showing would be preferable.
Wow, how informative...thanks! Since you mentioned darker 3D movies will look better in IMAX I'm just going to bite the bullet and stick with that. I already saw in IMAX so I think Real 3D would be downgrading.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:33 PM   #4
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All right. Yes, IMAX uses two projectors at once, one for each eye, and overlays them. RealD is just one projector switching between images at a rate of about 144 per second. Since it's just one image through a filter, that also leads to less brightness.

Hope you enjoy the movie!
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:41 PM   #5
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I've always had better experiences at IMAX, though RealD is not without merit.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underworld54 View Post
Besides the larger screen and better sound, does an IMAX 3D showing have much better 3D than a Real 3D showing? I'm seeing Underworld Awakening tomorrow and would like to know if I can get away with a Real 3D showing and still experience the same quality level of 3D? It will save me about $5 too.
Without question go see it in IMAX. I went and seen it this past weekend in IMAX and it was worth it. I tend to usually prefer the IMAX just because the screen is bigger and I feel you get enjoy the 3D experience more IMO.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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IMAX 3D uses rectangular polarization which results in noticable ghosting when you tilt your head

Real 3D uses circular polarization which shows zero ghosting regardless of your head position

Although I prefer Real 3D just for this reason alone, watching Hubble 3D on a giant IMAX was out of the world experience !
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
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Underworld: Awakening was shot in 3D and 5K resolution with the Red Epic cameras, so it's one should be worth the extra ticket price if you are interested in the series. The only downside is its 2.39:1 aspect ratio that can't take full advantage of IMAX's 16:9 screens.

I'm going to the IMAX showing Thursday before 6 PM because tickets cost less then, and I want my socks blown off by the best 3D experience possible.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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I much prefer Imax myself. Unfortunately the Imax where I live only does educational movies. But the last time I did see an Imax movie, it was an underseas movie. I LITERALLY found myself brushing the seaweed aside as it floated by so that it wouldn't hit my head. I've NEVER been that drawn in by 3D effects in Real 3D... not even close.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BleedOrange11 View Post
Underworld: Awakening was shot in 3D and 5K resolution with the Red Epic cameras, so it's one should be worth the extra ticket price if you are interested in the series. The only downside is its 2.39:1 aspect ratio that can't take full advantage of IMAX's 16:9 screens.

I'm going to the IMAX showing Thursday before 6 PM because tickets cost less then, and I want my socks blown off by the best 3D experience possible.
that always bugs the crap out of me, it's too bad filmmakers don't know if their film is going to get the IMAX treatment and be able to shoot their film in 1.78 (so the film takes up the entire screen)
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:34 PM   #11
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When I saw Underworld in IMAX Digital, there's no way it was 2.40:1 - looked 1.78:1 or 1.85:1, filled the screen vertically. Since Red is natively 1.90:1 and I saw nothing wrong with the composition, I'm guessing it's open-matte or a tradeoff. Hell, maybe it was shot at 4K 16:9.

James Cameron did something similar for Avatar - it was 2.40:1 in constant image-width 2D theatres, and 1.85:1 in 3D or constant image-height venues.

Last edited by UFAlien; 01-23-2012 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFAlien View Post
When I saw Underworld in IMAX Digital, there's no way it was 2.40:1 - looked 1.78:1 or 1.85:1, filled the screen vertically. Since Red is natively 1.90:1 and I saw nothing wrong with the composition, I'm guessing it's open-matte or a tradeoff. Hell, maybe it was shot at 4K 16:9.

James Cameron did something similar for Avatar - it was 2.40:1 in constant image-width 2D theatres, and 1.85:1 in 3D or constant image-height venues.
so how did 'The Muppets' AR be 1.85? which is a smidgen less than Red's 1.90 open matte.

there wasn't black borders above and below the image? I know for the opening of any and all IMAX features, digital or 15/70, the logo is full screen, but once the movie begins, and if it's 2.35, the black borders appear.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
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so how did 'The Muppets' AR be 1.85? which is a smidgen less than Red's 1.90 open matte.
Cropping is a thing, dude.

Super 35 films aren't shot natively at that ratio either. The native ratio is not even what the director has in mind.

Quote:
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there wasn't black borders above and below the image? I know for the opening of any and all IMAX features, digital or 15/70, the logo is full screen, but once the movie begins, and if it's 2.35, the black borders appear.
No, it was 1.78:1 or similar. Full floor-to-ceiling, for the whole movie. There was actually slight pillarboxing on the approx. 2:1 screen.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
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that always bugs the crap out of me, it's too bad filmmakers don't know if their film is going to get the IMAX treatment and be able to shoot their film in 1.78 (so the film takes up the entire screen)
Me too! I really wish RE: Afterlife was in 1.78:1 for blu-ray 3D. It makes a huge difference on my 42" Vizio.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UFAlien View Post
When I saw Underworld in IMAX Digital, there's no way it was 2.40:1 - looked 1.78:1 or 1.85:1, filled the screen vertically. Since Red is natively 1.90:1 and I saw nothing wrong with the composition, I'm guessing it's open-matte or a tradeoff. Hell, maybe it was shot at 4K 16:9.

James Cameron did something similar for Avatar - it was 2.40:1 in constant image-width 2D theatres, and 1.85:1 in 3D or constant image-height venues.
That's good news! I hope you are right. I just assumed 2.39:1 because that's what all the trailers use, and that's what IMDB says.

I fear that Avatar getting a special IMAX/blu-ray 3D cut was kind of an exception because it had an enormous budget and everyone knew it was going to be a smash hit. I hope Underworld (and RE: Retribution) can do that too though.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:47 PM   #15
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Well even back when Cameron was shooting Titanic, the film was shot soft matted in super 35 (so basically fullscreen) and then cropped for the cinema (expect for the effects shots), so the fullscreen VHS actually sometimes used the uncropped shots to fill the frame (so in effect you saw more of the image on the fullscreen version). Cameron even said you see more shoes and hats in that version

So he sorta did the same thing on Avatar. Makes me wonder if for the 3D version of Titanic he could have opened it back up to 1.78:1, though he'd have to redo the effects shots most likely, still, an intriguing possibility.

I'm def a big proponent of shooting in both ratios when working with 3D, since 1.78/1.85:1 is the sweet spot IMO.

*Update* just read that Titanic 3D will indeed be in 1.78:1 in IMAX, so you'll see more of the picture than before, most awesome, exactly the same as with Avatar.
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Last edited by Captain Jack; 01-23-2012 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:32 PM   #16
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Okay, found this article about Underworld.
Quote:
Underworld Awakening: An IMAX 3D Experience has been digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX ExperienceŽ through proprietary IMAX DMRŽ technology. With crystal clear images, laser-aligned digital sound and theatre geometry that maximizes field of view, IMAX provides the world’s most immersive movie experience.
http://blog.bigmoviezone.com/?p=12960

Sounds like an IMAX aspect ratio to me although it could just be fluff. Hopefully it is 1.78:1 as reports have indicated, and it translates to the BD3D release.


EDIT - Also found some movie stills on the same site that are clearly 1.78:1.

http://blog.bigmoviezone.com/?p=12864

Last edited by BleedOrange11; 01-24-2012 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:53 AM   #17
WJWS Channel 13:Amity WJWS Channel 13:Amity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFAlien View Post
All right. Yes, IMAX uses two projectors at once, one for each eye, and overlays them. RealD is just one projector switching between images at a rate of about 144 per second. Since it's just one image through a filter, that also leads to less brightness.

Hope you enjoy the movie!
Some Real D equiped theatres use two projectors as well, alot of it depends on screen size, the distance of the projections throw,and the brightness of the bulb.

And some Real D equiped theatres also use the chrisite cp2230 digital projector which has a very bright 10 k lummens bulb.

So in reality it really depends on what kind of equipment your local cinema uses and also how good their projectionist is in following the lighting specifications sent by the studio along with the hard drive.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:01 AM   #18
WJWS Channel 13:Amity WJWS Channel 13:Amity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFAlien View Post
When I saw Underworld in IMAX Digital, there's no way it was 2.40:1 - looked 1.78:1 or 1.85:1, filled the screen vertically. Since Red is natively 1.90:1 and I saw nothing wrong with the composition, I'm guessing it's open-matte or a tradeoff. Hell, maybe it was shot at 4K 16:9.

James Cameron did something similar for Avatar - it was 2.40:1 in constant image-width 2D theatres, and 1.85:1 in 3D or constant image-height venues.
Avatar 3D was 2.40:1 for constant Height masking, and 1.85:1 for constant width. We screened in 3D both Aspect ratios for the U.S. premiere.
The big house which has constant height masking was the scope version while theatre 1 in the complex next door which has a constant width masking set up was 1.85:1 (which durring his intro for the 1.85:1 screening he stated that was his perfered version for the movie)
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:57 PM   #19
UFAlien UFAlien is offline
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Right, sorry! I mixed up the words. Was tired when I posted that.

If I recall correctly, the IMAX projectors are about 20,000 lumens each... but I could be completely misremembering that.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFAlien View Post
Right, sorry! I mixed up the words. Was tired when I posted that.

If I recall correctly, the IMAX projectors are about 20,000 lumens each... but I could be completely misremembering that.
ehh it happens lol, there have been plenty of times where ive mixed up what i was going to type as well lol
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