September 28, 2015

Lackluster 3D

In a previous post , I took time to translate many of the powerful creative thoughts of Clyde DeSouza into the context of the educational stereo 3D (eS3D). In this post, I am going to take a look at DeSouza's theories from his book, Think in 3Dand attempt to answer the question: “Why is some eS3D content so darn lackluster?”

Why some 3D content is lackluster
It’s too flat. In  DeSouza proposes that [when viewing 3D] “the screen really is a stage for all purposes. It is no longer a flat wall.” DeSouza accurately understands that, whenever 3D educational content is so close in appearance to flat movies, it loses its appeal. Think about what he is saying. Why would schools pay for the extra costs of 3D if they are only a little bit better than a 2D classroom video? It’s so obvious! So, too, in classroom 3D. In education, depth ‘rules’ and flat ‘drools’. (Please excuse my use of middle school vernacular).

It’s too subtle. DeSouza believes that is a mistake to assume that "subtle 3D is good 3D." He warns that “subtle 3D at all times  creates safe – [and] boring 3D." I agree. Anyone who knows educations is well aware that ‘boring’ ushers in an“irreversible kiss of death."

It moves too fast. DeSouza postulates a new “golden rule for 3D”: cause no harm to audiences. One of the main ways 3D can upset younger children is fast or swirling action. According to DeSouza, “the familiar montage like style , made up of rapid cuts, frequently changing camera angles, or fast camera motion that is normally used to convey anticipation, excitement, or other emotions into 2D movies” just doesn’t work in 3D film. I can say the same for the classroom. Perhaps that’s part of the reason I am so worried about vanilla conversions of existing 2D educational content into 3D content. How are they going to deal with these issues? The classroom is different than the movie theater or entertainment ride.

3D content development still has a long way to go. Some companies—like zSpace, CubeWiz3D, and Sensavis—are leading the way. Hardware and software companies alike would be wise to pick up DeSouza's book, connect with his ideas, and start to really think in 3D.

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