Wednesday, April 16, 2008

U2D3 - first step?

Yesterday, me and a couple of friends went to see the threedimensional U2 concert movie U2D3. Neither of us are really big U2 fans, but we were curiuos as to how a 3D concert movie might look like, how the experience would be. And, I must say, it was fine, but not overwhelming.

In some parts, the third dimension really adds to it. The crowd movements are amazing when seen in 3D, especially seen from above when they are all jumping and dancing to classics like 'Sunday bloody Sunday', 'Where the Streets have no name' and songs like that. At such moments, the crowd looks like a natural phenomenon; a moving animal, waves in the sea, a forest struck by heavy winds. When seen in closeup, you feel you can almost touch the face of the exalted fans singing along with 'One'. At times, a guitar or a microphone seems to jump off the screen, and when Bono, singing 'wipe the tears from your eyes', reaches out to the camera, his hand seems to be just centimeters away from your face.

One thing that disrupts the 3D experience, is the camera or projection screen edge. It feels like you're watching through a hole in the wall, or looking glasses. The threedimensional images get cut off by the camera, they vanish off the screen's edge, which interferes with the visual illusions projected in your brain. While sitting there I wondered, will we live to see the day when we'll be able to view a 3D recording of a concert in an immersive 3D environment, where no visible screen or camera edge could be noticed?

Doing a movie like this in IMAX theather would be a step forward, but I imagine logging on to an immersive virtual environment that takes over your input sensory - something like the Matrix, but less all compassing. Watching a concert recording in such an environment, you would really feel like you're present at the concert. It would probably feel like your chair sits on top of the camera. After a while, your chair becomes the camera; eventually you become the camera yourselves. That's probably what our eyes and brain would tell us. Now that would be a 3D concert recording I'd like to go see; it could even be "Better than the real thing".

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