Digital 3D powered by DLP Cinema technology
New dimensions in movies with Digital 3D
The stereoscopic era of motion pictures began in the late 1890s when a British film
pioneer filed a patent for a 3D movie, The Power of Love, process using two
projectors. Although many experiments were conducted over the next two decades,
it wasn't until September 27, 1922 that the first confirmed 3D movie, The Power
of Love, was shown to a paying audience at the Ambassador Theatre in Los Angeles;
however, the experience was disappointing due to glare.
Refining the 3D Movie Process
The first commercial full-color 3D film, using Polaroid filters to reduce glare,
took place at the 1940s New York World's Fair. This short film, produced and shot
by John A. Norling, showed the assembly of a Chrysler automobile. To view the 35
mm film, shown on two interlocked projectors, audience members wore eyewear that
allowed the left eye image to be seen only by the left eye and vice versa; this
technique reduced glare but did not eliminate it.
Although 3D presentations have improved over the last 60 years, today many theme
parks and large-format theatres use the same dual-projector setup to show movies shot on
film. As a result of using two film projectors, cross-talk or ghosting (caused by
small amounts of stray light) may result in headaches in audience members who tip
their heads from side-to-side.
DLP Cinema systems have been deployed and tested commercially in theatres since
1999, providing more than 13 years of in-field usage. And with the November 2005
release of Chicken Little – Disney’s first fully computer animated movie distributed
in 3D format – the digital revolution arrived to stay.
100% digital DLP Cinema chip for an amazing 3D picture
DLP Cinema technology was the world's first digital 3D single projector solution
for movie theatres and commercial use. By using just one projector to produce a
3D image, technical problems of yesteryear like cross-talk and ghosting, are virtually
eliminated. What movie goers experience is precise, lifelike images in vibrant colors
delivered through the millions of microscopic mirrors on the DLP Cinema chip. The
chip acts as a light modulator or reflector, and not as a generator of light, resulting
in an amazing 3D picture.
Experience 3D Movie Vision
There are two ways to view digital 3D movies: through active or passive glasses.
Passive glasses are the most common type of eyewear used in today's digital 3D movie
experience. These lightweight glasses are based on a polarization modulator and
can be thrown away after watching the movie. The most widely used passive glasses
for cinemas are provided by RealD; however, DLP Cinema 3D technology is compatible with MasterImage's
and Dolby’s 3D passive glasses.
Transforming movie experiences across the country
Today there are more than 45,000 theatres in the world that offer the digital 3D
experience powered by DLP Cinema technology. There are more theatres opening every
day and more movies being made with the digital 3D experience in mind.
3D Eyewear: Close up
Active eyewear devices are wireless battery-powered glasses with liquid crystal
shutters that are run in synchrony with the video field rate. Synchronization information
is communicated to the glasses by means of an infrared (IR) emitter. When the emitter
recognizes the vertical blanking synchronization pulse through the computer’s video
signal, it broadcasts coded IR pulses to signify when the left eye and right eye
images are being displayed. The glasses incorporate an IR detection diode that detects
the emitter’s signal and tells the shutters when to close and transmit. Although
viewing a 3D movie with active glasses virtually eliminates ghosting, the glasses
are expensive and need to be cleaned after every use.
An alternative to active glasses is the passive polarized filter approach, which
is a special kind of liquid crystal polarization modulator and requires theatres
to install a silver screen. The polarized filter is placed in front of the DLP Cinema
projector lens(es) like a sheet-polarizing filter. The device changes the characteristic
of polarized light and switches between left- and right-handed circularly polarized
light at field rate. The advantage of circular polarized light is that audience
members may move their heads a lot more before the stereoscopic effect is lost.
Passive glasses are made of either cardboard or plastic that cannot be sanitized
and therefore are for one time use.