When we invite our friends to our home to watch 3D movies on our state of the art 3D TV coupled with a brand new 3D Blu-Ray, we like to pretend that the concept of 3D in movies is brand new and cutting edge. But actually it's not. 3D in movies had been around sine 1915 and has taken several different formats. To learn more about the 3D we have today and how it compares to older 3D, read on.

3D movies are a fad that comes and goes. The last resurgence of the fad wad in the 1970s and 1980s, when 3D films that features separate images for the right eye and left eye identified by blue and red caused images to seem to pop out of the screen toward you. Using this method, the background of the image became the TV and the images seemed to be swimming around your home with you, but only if you were wearing your special red and blue eyeglasses. Otherwise you would just see a mess.

Today's 3D is a little different. While it still makes use of separate images for each eye, the glasses are a smoke color and make use of polarization to translate the images for our eyes. The difference is that with modern 3D, the screen level is the furthest that images are projected, meaning that the background appears to be sunk below screen level and that things don't seem to swim out as much as they did with the red and blue 3D effect.

Many popular movies, such as Avatar or Resident Evil 4, are filmed in 3D using special cameras that gives everything in the film a three dimensional look. Other movies are filmed in 2D and then have selective 3D added in post production. The result is a diorama looking image with certain key things appearing on different planes from others. As with the old 3D movies, the image is a blurry mess without special glasses. These same movies can be played in your own home if you buy a 3D TV and 3D glasses for everyone watching the film.

Going to a 3D movie is a special treat for many people but for some it is simply an expensive waste of time. Some people get headaches and dizzy spells from the 3D effect while others cannot see it at all, including people who only have vision in one eye. With only a single eye, depth perception on everything is affected, whether it's a Claude Monet painting or a 3D movie. Additionally, many theaters are not able to show 3D movies because special 3D projectors (which are much more expensive than regular projectors) are needed.

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