Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A history of 3D cinema

1826  French inventor Nicéphore Niépce made the first permanent photograph from nature with a camera obscura

1838 Charles Wheatstone invented the stereogram. He found an explanation of binocular vision which led him to construct a stereoscope based on a combination of prisms and mirrors to allow a person to see 3D images from two 2D pictures.

1855 James Clerk Maxwell  developed color theory and the perception of color,

1861 The first color photograph made by the three-color method suggested by James Clerk Maxwell in 1855, taken by Thomas Sutton.

1861 Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. invented an improved form of stereoscope which had no mirrors and was inexpensive to produce. These stereoscopes were immensely popular for decades.

1888 Thomas Edison invents the Kinetoscope also known as a peep-hole viewer.

1894 William Friese-Greene files a patent application for a 3D viewing process using two screens side by side, united in the viewer's eye by a cumbersome stereoscope headset.

From Wikipedia:
"In the early 1890's he experimented with cameras to create stereoscopic moving images but met with limited success. Friese-Greene’s experiments in the field of motion pictures were at the expense of his other business interests and in 1891 he was declared bankrupt. To cover his debts he sold the rights to the 'chronophotographic' camera patent no. 10131 for £500. The renewal fee was never paid and the patent eventually lapsed."

1894 Herman Casler invents the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutoscope a peep-hole viewer
like Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope

1894-6, Thomas Armat's Vitascope, manufactured by the Edison factory and marketed in Edison's name, was used to project motion pictures in public screenings in New York City.

1903 Frederic Eugene Ives patented the parallax stereogram, the first "no glasses" autostereoscopic 3-D display technology. A compound image consisting of fine interlaced vertical slivers of a stereoscopic pair of images was seen in 3-D when viewed through a slightly separated fine grid of correctly spaced alternating opaque and transparent vertical lines, now known as a parallax barrier.

1905 Auto-Stereoscope by Rosenfield Manufacturing Company, New York, NY, coin-operated, drop card machine

1914 "Niagara Falls" (short) , Porter-Waddell Stereoscopic Process

1915 "Jim the Penman",  the first anaglyph movie Edwin S Porter,  and William E. Waddell  red-green anaglyph test shorts in New York, but his process is never developed further. The film used was simple footage of rural landscapes and short excerpts of previous films that had been converted in to the format.

1921 Rêve d'opium France Stereo Parolini

1922 "The Power of Love", using a system developed by cinematographer Robert F Elder, is the first 3D movie screened for a paying audience, in Los Angeles.  Fairhall-Elder 3-D

1922 "The Man From MARS" aka Radio-Mania  An inventor succeeds in making contact with Mars via television. Teleview (dual-strip 3-D) (single-strip/frame sequential release print)  Using two projectors synchronised with stereo headsets, Laurens Hammond and William Cassidy present a series of shorts plus one feature, The Man From MARS, but it played only at the sole cinema equipped to project it.

"Plastigrams" This film was released on 17 December 1922 in the Ives-Leventhal stereoscopic

"Movies of The Future"

1923 Frederick Eugene Ives and Joseph Levanthal present several 3D shorts for Pathe Films.

1925 Zowie, Luna-cy!, Ouch!, A Runaway Taxi( all 3D Shorts)

1929  Edwin H. Land invented and patented a polarizing sheet. He gave the first demonstration of Polaroid filters in conjunction with 3-D photography at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in January 1936

1935 MGM's Audioscopics, developed by Joseph Leventhal and John Norling, wins the Best Short Subject (Novelty) Academy Award. 

1936  "Nozze vagabonde" (Italian: Beggers Wedding) using Systeme Gualtiero Gualtierotti single-strip 3-D system. It was the first 3-D talkie film (with a synchronized soundtrack) to encourage the use of 3D polarizing glasses by its viewing audience. 
"Zum Greifen nah" (German: Within reach or  You Can Nearly Touch It).

NAZI's present Raumbild 3D Film technology at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

1939 The first commercial Polaroid 3-D film in the U.S.; commissioned by Chrysler for showing at the Chrysler Motor Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair, under the title "In Tune With Tomorrow", the 15-minute short depicted a full 1939 Chrysler Plymouth being magically put together (in stop-motion), set to music. It was so popular that Chrysler commissioned a color remake for the second year of the fair, under the title "New Dimensions"; the color version was released theatrically by R.K.O. in 1953 as "Motor Rhythm"

1952-55 The first boom period in 3D cinema, led by Bwana Devil, Andre de Toth's House of Wax (the first of four 3D movies to star the determinedly one-dimensional Vincent Price, the Olivier of the form), and Dial M for Murder (filmed 3D, released "flat"). As TV menaces the studios (lately forced by the US Supreme Court to sell their cinemas), they push all kinds of new formats such as Cinerama, CinemaScope, Technicolor and VistaVision.

1953 It Came from Outer Space
If you have Red/blue glasses this image is worth viewing. Click for full size.

1973 Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey revive the now seemingly obsolete format for Flesh For Frankenstein, in the short-lived Stereovision format. The skewering of one character, whose extruded heart dangles horribly close to the 3D viewer's eye, is a particular highlight of the film.

1982  Lenny Lipton's book Foundations of the Stereoscopic Cinema, is published. 
Friday the 13th Part III in 3D
1983 Jaws 3D , Amityville 3D

1985  We Are Born of Stars (IMAX 3D)

1986 The world's first IMAX 3D system premieres at the Canada Pavilion, EXPO '86 in Vancouver, Canada.   Transitions (IMAX 3D)

1990 Echoes of the Sun  (First IMAX DOME 3D film.)

1995 Wings of Courage, Across the Sea of Time,  (IMAX 3D)

1996 L5: First City in Space  (IMAX 3D)

1999 Encounter in the Third Dimension (IMAX 3D) tries to show the history of 3-D film,
Alien Adventure  (IMAX 3D), Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box (IMAX 3D)

2003 James Cameron's "Ghosts of the Abyss", a 3D documentary tour of the Titanic wreckage

2004 "The Polar Express" makes cinematic history as the world's first full- length IMAX 3D Hollywood feature. Make $121M on 3500 2-D screens and $49M on only 68 3-D screens. The IMAX 3D version shatters box office records worldwide and becomes the highest grossing digitally re-mastered IMAX release at over $60 million on under 100 screens.

Insane Clown Posse's short film "Bowling Balls" is the first high-definition 3D short.

2006 – "Superman Returns: An IMAX 3D Experience" becomes the world's first live-action Hollywood title to be released with select scenes converted into IMAX 3D using IMAX's proprietary live-action 2D to 3D digital conversion technology. 

2007 - IMAX signs a four picture deal with DreamWorks Animation. The agreement marks IMAX's first multiple 3D picture deal with a Hollywood studio. 

2008 Journey to the Center of the Earth

2009 Avatar break box office records.   Coraline, My Bloody Valentine 3D,
The IMAX 3D camera returns to space on board the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis to chronicle the final mission of The Hubble Telescope for the Warner Bros. and IMAX co-production: ‘Hubble 3D’.

2013 Titanic and Starwars are re-released in 3D, I assume some 2D to 3D conversion was applied.

2016  Avatar 2 is expected.


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