Exhibiting 3D (stereoscopic) Film

by Rogers Jayzee

There is an important question that you have to answer before you shoot a single frame of video:

"What is the target screen size and how close will the audience be to it?"

OK, actually that's 2 questions.

The point is that if you don't know this answer, you could produce 3D images that are unacceptable for the venue at which they are going to be shown.


You produce 3D that uses as a standard- maximum divergence of 1 inch when viewed at 8 feet- OK, that's your standard. You have a relationship between the viewing distance and the maximum divergence that the eyes can reconcile (converge). That's great but what size is the screen?

Is it a 19 inch monitor or a 30 foot screen? If it's a 19 inch monitor and you blow the image up to 30 feet then the audience can not be 8 feet away from it simply because as you enlarged the screen, the divergence also increased.

The 2 inch divergence in the example is now over 15 times greater. This means that the closest audience viewing is no longer 8 feet but well over 100 feet.

On the other hand, if you planned in advance, you could have the audience 8 feet away from the 30 foot screen and everything would be fine as long as you maintained the maximum divergence for that distance.

As you can see, it is important to know your target screen size and how far away the nearest audience will be to it. How do you figure this out? Math!

A fair question would be "if I create 3D video with maximum divergence for a 30 foot screen viewed at 20 feet away, will it work on a 19 inch monitor viewed at 2 feet away?

The answer is "Yes"...

What about video with maximum divergence for a 10 foot screen viewed at 10 feet away? Will it work if I blow up the image to fill a 20 foot screen but keep the minimum viewing distance at 10 feet?

The answer is "NO" because as the screen size increases, so does the divergence. You would have to move the minimum viewing distance back.

This is something to consider.