For our exclusive What Next for 3D? series, leading 3D experts reveal their hopes for 2012. In part one, Can Communicate Creative Director Duncan Humphreys expresses the importance of embracing other genres outside of live/'as live' shows such as 3D chat shows, gameshows and TV dramas.
Most observers would probably agree that 2011 was not the 'Year of 3D' many forecast it to be in 2010. It even looked like the boom had gone bust by mid 2011 as 3D TVs failed to excite the public's imagination, gamers showed luke warm interest in 3D gaming and audiences increasingly opted to watch the 2D versions of 3D films.
However, by the end of 2011, the 3D industry had begun to address the issues of poor user experiences in the home, rushed conversions, lack of imagination in content, incompatible formats and excessive prices. This translated to an improved picture by the end of 2011 and as reported by 3D Focus, the 3D entertainment industry had reason to be optimistic about the future of 3D in the cinema and home.
With a string of major 3D film releases due for release in 2012 and 3D television coverage of the London Olympics, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and Wimbledon Tennis Championships events, the 2.1 million 3D TV sets expected to be installed in UK homes by the end of 2012* will have access to free premium 3D content. So will 2012 be the real 'Year of 3D'? We asked several top 3D experts to reflect on what 2011 meant for 3D entertainment and what they expect and hope 2012 will bring to the format’s value, popularity and ubiquity.
In the first part of this exclusive What Next for 3D? series, Duncan Humphreys; Creative Director of Can Communicate – the production company behind the live 3D coverage of the 2011 Wimbledon Tennis Championships, comments of how 3D production has changed over the year, what producers are missing and reveals the production of a landmark 3D medical series for 2012.
3D Focus: Are you more optimistic or less optimistic about the future of 3D entertainment compared to this time last year?
Duncan Humphreys: We are most definitely at a tipping point for 3D where programming is judged upon editorial content and not ‘3Dness’. It is crucial that programmes/movies are produced that people want to watch and where the 3D element adds to the whole feel.
Right now there is scepticism in certain broadcast circles with regards to 3D but if you look at Wimbledon 3D, Strictly 3D and numerous other productions, they looked better in 3D than 2D!
Having seen some of the early glassless 3D TV sets, I do tend to think these will be crucial to the evolution of 3D broadcasting.
3D Focus: Did anything surprise/impress you about the 3D industry during 2011?
Duncan Humphreys: Unquestionably the ease at which you can produce 3D; the equipment exists to a high standard and the technicians are available. The difference between producing the FIFA World Cup in 3D and producing Wimbledon in 3D was night and day!
3D Focus: What do you know now about 3D entertainment that you did not know this time last year?
Duncan Humphreys: Observational documentaries in 3D are possible. You need a talented and dedicated crew but it can be done!
3D Focus: Where there any times during 2011 that you were concerned about the future of 3D entertainment?
Duncan Humphreys: There are only so many live/’as live’ sports or music events that people want to watch. Producers/broadcasters are missing the "low hanging fruit" of game shows, chat shows and TV dramas. These would be pretty simple to do in 3D at not a huge uplift in costs.
3D Focus: What 3D projects will Can Communicate be involved with in 2012?
Duncan Humphreys: CAN will deliver 10x1hrs of 3D observational documentary production, produce a landmark 3D medical programme and will deliver expanded 3D coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for the AELTC…so we will be fairly happy!
3D Focus: What were the pivotal moments for 3D during 2011?
Duncan Humphreys: Wimbledon 3D was fairly pivotal as there were doubts. I also think the Strictly Come Dancing Final in 3D will have won over quite a few sceptics.
3D Focus: Do you believe 2D to 3D conversion will become affordable at a high enough quality in 2012 to boost 3D television rather than just movie content?
Duncan Humphreys: CAN have looked at every 2D – 3D conversion technology available and we are still not impressed. The movie style conversions are expensive and okay but everything else is average!
3D Focus: What expectations do you have for the 3D entertainment industry for 2012 and do you think 2012 is a particularly important year for shaping the direction the 3D industry takes moving forward?
Duncan Humphreys: We are only just beginning to see programmes that were actually commissioned appearing on 3D screens, 2012 will continue that trend and see more and a wider variety of 3D programming available.
3D Focus: Is there anything you will be especially looking out for in 2012?
Duncan Humphreys: The integration of the new generation of 3D camcorders into productions. They won't be the primary recording device just yet but they will offer huge benefits to numerous productions.
(*from IHS Screen Digest/iSuppli which also expects 12.78 million 3D TV sets in the US by the end of 2012)
For more information about Can Communicate visit www.cancommunicate.com
TOMORROW ON WHAT NEXT FOR 3D? – BARRY SANDREW FROM LEGEND 3D
Subscribe to the FREE 3D Focus newsletter by submitting your email address in the box on the right. You will receive the week's stories to your email address every morning and you can unsubscribe with just a click.
FREE WEEKLY 3D NEWS BULLETIN – SUBSCRIBEFollow @3dfocuslive