Tuesday, March 13, 2007

3D Wars

The Real D process works, and works well.

In just a couple of weeks, Meet the Robinsons will bow in both flat ol' 2D and, at upwards of 600 locations, gorgeous new 3D; Beowulf is to come in both 2 and 3 dimensions this Autumn; next year, Brendan Fraser will go on Journey 3D; James Cameron's Avatar is to be released only in 3D, using the Real D process for every screening outside of Imax; Dreamworks animation have now announced that they will be entirely Real D compliant from 2009 onwards.

The first Dreamworks film to launch exclusively in this format will be Monsters vs Aliens - pre-production art from which you can see up top. The Dreamworks trumping geniuses at Pixar are bound to begin releasing in Real D sooner rather than later, I feel - though they've expressed some doubt about how suitable the format is for the films they already have in development.

If you ask me, it's looking pretty rosy for Real D - which makes Dolby's new system announcement seem perhaps too much like too little, too late.

Dolby 3D Digital Cinema has one asset over Real D, which is that it should be a touch cheaper to install. For the Dolby process a simple white screen will suffice, whereas Real D requires a very shiny, silvered surface. Of course, without looking at the new system in action, I won't know myself for sure, but this does also indicate a likelihood of lower picture quality for the Dolby set-up.

If it comes to a fight, I'm pretty sure Real D will come out on top. They have a very long lead, and commitments stretching some years into the future.

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