November 23, 2015

The Way Forward (3)

In his insightful book, Think in 3D, DeSouza points the way to the future for 3D. DeSouza emphasizes three main ideas, in his efforts to provide  a way forward for 3D. Here is the third.

Selective Focus. DeSouza describes a film-making technique he calls the “circle of isolation," which is also called selective focus. “The trick,” he says, “is to completely blur out any background imagery in the scene beyond recognition and so help audiences slowly evolve their senses to reject parts of the scene that are not in focus.”  The main rationale behind “selective focus” is to make 3D viewing easy on the eyes, easy on the viewer’s comfort.
What DeSouza is describing here is sorely needed in educational content, not just in films. The key learning of any visual experience should come clearly into focus, while other visual aspects must take a back seat. These other aspects often become mere ‘noise,’ confusing and misdirecting young learners. Effective educational 3D is not only about eliminating discomfort—it is also about elevating the learning target at hand, while simultaneously reducing cognitive ‘noise.’ You see, educational 3D cannot and should not be all about stimulating the senses and visual overload.

 “Thinking in 3D” is more a journey than a destination. It’s an ongoing process, a way of thinking about a new and promising medium. We should take DeSouza’s profound words and ideas to heart in education, whether students are designing 3D or learning with the help of 3D. And if you get a chance, pick up a copy of Think in 3D and join the closing ranks of the dimensionally attuned. 

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