Yeah, we know. Some people can’t stand 3D and never want to watch movies that way. Regardless, 3D is still big business in theaters, and some films genuinely benefit from the third dimension. Right now, a few different 3D formats vie for your dollars. If you’ve checked them out, which do you think gives the best experience?
The two biggest players in theatrical 3D are RealD and IMAX. RealD requires that viewers wear passive glasses with circularly-polarized lenses, whereas IMAX glasses are linearly polarized. In practical terms, what this means is that IMAX requires that you hold your head upright and level, or else the picture will suffer “crosstalk” artifacts. RealD is more flexible if you tilt your head, for example if you like to rest it on your Significant Other’s shoulder (as my wife does mine). On the other hand, IMAX tends to have larger screens and brighter projectors.
Dolby 3D uses color filtering to create its 3D effect. Some viewers (including myself) may be sensitive to color separation artifacts during motion with this process, but other viewers may not be able to see this at all.
Viewers in XpanD theaters wear active shutter glasses, similar to those used with 3D TVs. (In fact, XpanD manufactures glasses for many 3D TVs.)
As far as which produces a better 3D effect with more depth and “pop-out,” that can vary from theater to theater or movie to movie.
I tend to favor RealD, but I know people who swear by IMAX 3D as the only type they will tolerate.
Do you have a preference on this?