Last week I attended the 3D masters seminar at BAFTA in London, which focused on the future of 3DTV. It was a packed day of keynote speeches from industry professionals giving their opinion on the state of play of 3DTV.
The 3D industry is fairly mature now in Hollywood and the feature film industry but not without its issues, and 3DTV is still at the early stages of its development. As one speaker put it; the baby is born and is now a young child so let’s see what it grows into.
So, one year on from the big hype of 3D TVs and broadcasters starting to beam into our homes, what is the future of 3DTV or does it even have a future?
The short answer is yes, it does have a future and a place in our homes but it isn’t going to replace 2D television. It will be an option for a niche market that want to watch an event or special one-off program/film in 3D. I don’t think anyone sees us all sitting down to watch our daily soaps or the news in 3D. What added value would we get from that?
A lot of the major broadcasters throughout the world are actively investigating or trialing 3d at the moment as they see the potential in these event driven programs.
The biggest flag from all the speakers is that what is put out there must be a quality product. Putting bad 3D out to the market will only damage the industry and turn people away from the technology. We can see this happening in the film industry now as big blockbuster movies are nearly all released as 3D with no real thought as to why, and very little love in the end product. This has caused a backlash from the viewing public that are questioning all 3D movies and blaming the technology.
Chris Johns from Sky gave a presentation of where they are one year on from going live with their 3D channel. They see enough interest from the viewers to continue to invest in the technology and rollout. It is still a very new technology so they are still a lot of improvements needed in the TV sets and glasses. Unfortunately the holy grail of glassless sets is still 5-10 years away, as recently announced by all the major manufactures. Sky see that the content will be event driven; so films, sports, one-off documentaries (wildlife and natural history in particular ) and concerts are the main focus for the channel.
Regarding the technology and hardware, some very interesting facts were presented. Most large format TVs from 2012 onwards will be 3D capable much in the same way that all large TV sets now are HD capable, so as people replace their sets they will actually be getting 3D built in as standard. Then it will be just a matter of chose whether to watch 2D or 3D. On average in the UK people replace their TV every 2.5 years so you can see how quickly the technology will get out there.
So how do we generate good content? At the moment the technical standards are still being worked on by various bodies like SMPTE and EBU but they are still a year or 2 away. Creatively good 3D content will come from film makers that have become comfortable working in 3D and understand it as a medium. The important factor here is that it is used creatively and has a purpose, and that it is not just driven by a technical requirement. So people in the industry need training and practice to get to grips with something that is not the same as 2D and should be treated differently.
To sum up the day and what I got from it; 3D for the home market is here to stay but will always be a niche market. It’s an exciting medium that has lots of potential to produce great, creative and engaging programming but only if it is used in the right way and for the right reasons. Not everything needs to be produced in 3D and there is no need to panic if we haven’t got onto the 3D bandwagon yet as its still very early days. But it is starting to mature and settle down into a proper medium now that all the hype has died away.
Luckily for us in the animation industry we don’t have alot of the technical issues that live action people need to address, but the same rules applies about the content. There has to be a reason to produce it in 3D and use it creatively with care and attention.
Nice post Brian!
So are you saying that entire animated series dont need to be 3D but maybe half hour specials could be?
I cant wait for more 3d content to be available. More so in the line of films released on 3d blu ray. I thought that when a film was released in 3d in the cinema that it would be released in 3d on blu ray.
I agree with it only being used for certain areas at least up until they get more 3d tvs that dont need glasses to view 3d. I know there are prototypes at the moment but the viewing angles arent meant to be great on them but its a start.
I only got my 3d tv and I cant wait to see something in 3d on it, hopefully someday something that I animated myself. Its great to see people taking 3d a bit more seriously now. I was going to do my dissertation on it in bcfe but wasnt allowed as they considered in too technical. I would have love to have done some tests for my end of year film in 3d.24 June 2011 by Alan Carruthers
Brian, we greatly enjoyed having Brown Bag’s John Paul Giancarlo as our keynote speaker at 3Dcamp 2011 a few weeks ago. I hope you’ll consider coming to 3Dcamp 2012 to expand upon this excellent blog post.
I don’t own a 3D tv, nor do I desire one. I like the novelty of going to a 3D movie, wearing the goofy goggles and feeling like it is a special event. I certainly do not need to watch everything in 3D.4 July 2011 by Erik L.
Looking forward to buying a 3D TV…15 October 2011 by alice
hey there brown bag films! (gosh what should i say, think! think! gosh i’m nervous)
well, my name is anthony cooley. i live up north in co.derry and i absolutely love animation and anything visual for that matter. it is my absolute dream to work in an animation studio concepting, storyboarding, animating, doing tea runs, whatever! currently i am working on my 3rd children’s picture book which has gathered quite a bit of interest from local publishing houses so thats keeping me busy!
i’m not sure exactly what position i would be looking to fill (thats if there are any still open…)
anyways, i’ ll keep this brief, i’m a 1st class honours student who works damn hard, is really ambitious and really enthusiastic about what i do! if you follow this link you can see the type of stuff i get up to an illustrator. also i have provided a link to my fan-page on facebook if you would like to see more!
i hope this reaches you safely! thanks again for your time and interest!!!3 January 2012 by anthony cooley