Vince Pace, director of photography on the Los Angeles unit of 'Avatar', told Cinematical that Michael Bay's upcoming 'Transformers 3', now titled 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon', is being both shot and post-converted in 3D. "We're doing Transformers with Michael Bay, and that's a big challenge because he's not the kind of director that's going to give you a break," Pace said to reporters Tuesday. "But he met it halfway and he said, look, it complements my product, and I want to incorporate this into my shooting style.I can't decide if this is good news or bad news. To my knowledge this will be the first film to merge the two processes. On one hand any robotic Transformers and other CGI effects for the movie will essentially be post-converted anyway since those objects are created in 3D anyway as part of the work required in creating them. It is why all computer animated movies go ahead and get released in 3D since the data is already there anyway. The main issue is post-conversion doesn't work real well on real-world objects where the computer has to extrapolate the 3D look from a 2D image. I guess we will all find out when the film is released on July 1st, 2011.
Pace spoke to reporters at the Los Angeles press day for the new 'Avatar' 3-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray. He confirmed that both processes were being used on the 'Transformers' sequel, and observed that filmmakers can make good use of either of them as long as the circumstances are right. "They're doing both," he revealed. "[But] once we win that – once they know you're putting a better product on the screen, then you're working as a team. I think the dimensionalization quotient, if you will, can work if you have enough time, if you have the right talent behind it, and some money to back it, you're in a good place to work in it. Because it's part art, part time, and it's part technology."
Update: Nelson, admin of MichaelBay.com, posted "Obviously some—very little—footage will be done in 3D post as the team only had a limited numbers of cameras as there sometimes were 6 to 10 different cameras rolling on certain sequences." It sounds like post-production conversion will be used in the few circumstances where a 3D camera couldn't be used (like say any shots filmed by the skydivers in Chicago). Thanks to rumah for the link.