Post-converted 3D can be better than true 3D, reckons Marvel director

Post converted 3D can be better than true 3D, reckons Marvel director
3D is here to stay

Despite its lackluster performance in the home, 3D is alive and kicking on the big screen and this isn't set to change soon.

Not if James Gunn, director of Guardian's of the Galaxy, has his way - he believes that even post-converted 3D movies have started to prove that no matter where in the filmmaking process 3D is added, the effect can still be awesome.

In a Facebook blog post explaining his thoughts on IMAX 3D, director James Gunn revealed that even though Marvel's latest blockbuster Guardian's of the Galaxy wasn't shot in 3D, it was always going to be a 3D movie.

"Guardians of the Galaxy has been planned as a 3D film from its very inception. Yes, if you see the film in 2D, you'll get a full experience. But the 3D experience promises a little something extra," said Gunn.

"Unlike many directors, I've been actively involved with converting every shot to 3D, making sure it works perfectly for the story and the film, making sure it's spectacular and immersive without being silly, distracting, or overly showy."

Gunn also goes on to note that 3D-converted movies may have gotten bad press in the past, but thanks to newer post-production techniques this simply isn't the case anymore.

"3D conversion was once far inferior to shooting in 3D, but over the past couple years new technology has allowed us incredible control over the 3D effects, making it equal to or in some cases greater than shooting in 3D."

Past the post

Greater than real 3D? That's a big statement but it is one that other directors hold true as well.

When TechRadar caught up with Alexis Wajsbrot, CG effects supervisor on Gravity, he said something similar - explaining that when it comes to effects-driven movies it is becoming less of an issue shooting a 3D movie with a 3D camera.

"In my opinion Gravity is not a post-converted 3D movie because 95% of the frame is CG," said Wajsbrot.

"It was rendered in stereo, then we post-converted the faces with a very accurate track. It was a very precise rendition. That's why the stereo works so well because it was thought about a long time before the movie was made."

Gunn hasn't revealed how much of Galaxy is CGI but this is a Marvel movie set in space, so it can be assumed that many of the sequences shot will go through a similar 3D post-production process.

He did reveal that if you watch the movie on IMAX then you can look forward to changing aspect ratios.
"I've personally chosen all the places where the changes occur and, again, I love how it's coming along," said Gunn. "The changing aspect ratios in this case are actually a part of the storytelling."

Whatever your thoughts on 3D in post, it's great to hear a director explain their reasoning for why something is being done. Let's just hope that it's not just marketing speak and Groot and co will look their best on the big screen when the movie arrives in August.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.