Quality Content Drives 3D Home

The next wave in the stereoscopic 3D revolution isn't coming from cinemas, but in the home -- provided the industry is diligent about keeping quality high for its S3D content.

That was the message of Rob Engle's opening keynote address Tuesday to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers' Tech Conference and Expo. Engle, the senior stereographer and 3D visual effects supervisor for Sony Pictures Imageworks, predicted gaming and sports would drive early adopters of home S3D TV, and consumers will follow. "Imagine the Super Bowl in 3D," he said.

Engle noted that this generation of S3D has thrived due to the convergence of digital production techniques, including cameras and post, plus digital projection.

"It really is a new medium," he said. "If the technologists and consumer electronics makers come together to produce good content and present it in a good format, we really have the power to change how entertainment is perceived."

He predicted the upcoming Avatar would win over "a lot of converts" among consumers, many of whom still attach a stigma to S3D due to the failed efforts of the 1950s, '70s and '80s.

Engle warned that keeping quality is a must, starting with storytelling. "Don't make 'a 3D film,'" he said. "Nobody says, 'I'm going to make a great color film.' They talk about making a film. You go make a good movie."

And he also warned, "Don't try to do 3D on the cheap. It's a good bet you'll either end up with a lousy product or pay to fix your mistakes later on."

By David S. Cohen, Variety