Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Transformers 3 in Real and Post-Converted 3D (Updated)

Cinematical is reporting that Transformers 3 will be in Real 3D (filmed with 3D cameras) and post-converted 3D (CGI does the 3D adaptation). The information comes from a highly placed source, in this case Vince Pace who is the primary expert on 3D technology and started the company that develops most of the 3D camera rigs being used today, including for Transformers 3.
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.

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."
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.

Update: Nelson, admin of, 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.


  1. Post-3D can work for live-action elements just as well. The trick is for the director to take the time, even if it's each frame they just can't rush it. James Cameron who is pioneering this era of 3D is post-converting films like Titanic which goes to show that live-action can be done that way if it's done right, through plenty of time and precision. It's a longer process but it can be done.

  2. I think post-conversion has looked bad thus far because the companies doing it are rushed. I read that Clash of the Titans only had like 3 weeks for them to do it because it was a last minute decision. I agree....if time is taken and it's done right, it won't look so bad. I wasn't aware Cameron was going to convert Titanic, but I do know Lucas is going to do all the Star Wars films starting with Episode 1 and they will be released one year after another starting in 2012.

  3. Avatar was not full 3D either, they post converted many scenes of it. One of the Transformers producers declared that a few months ago.

  4. Yeah, I also read that some of Avatar was converted to 3D in post-production. They likely couldn't mount the 3D cameras on the helicopter used for aerial filming and Bay loves to use those disposable "IMO" cameras to capture up close veiws of things blowing up or crashing so I'm not suprised that some of the footage will be converted in 3D in post-production. I think this film is going to look amazing.

  5. Everything that was filmed live action will be Real 3D, obviously they have to do the CGI elements later

  6. Martinus Prime10/21/2010 7:12 PM

    Goddamn, I can't believe people are still buying the 3D??? 3D is a fucking hoax, it doesn't do anything for film, it barely creates depth!! Mostly it's watching 2D through glasses. And we all have to sit with those stupid-ass glasses on and pay more for a ticket and get nothing worth for in return!!

    I hope the theatre I always go to, will show a normal version as well!!!

    Like anon 3:34Am and Ray above said, also Avatar has converted scenes, what a disgrace for a film that hyped it was all shot in 3D.

    Last week I saw Dispicable Me 3D, there were a lot, and I mean a lot, of shots/scenes where you just could take off your glasses and watch it normal!!

  7. When there will be 3D TV in every family.


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