The Three D’s

I remember how novel it used to be to watch 3D movies and, as you can see, how silly we all looked wearing 3D glasses in the theater. Seems that this venerable technology hasn’t gone the way of the pet rock. Last week, Henry Selick‘s animated feature, Coraline, opened with what A.O. Scott in the New York Times called “unusually subtle” 3D: “Now and then stuff is flung off the screen into your face, but the
point is not to make you duck or shriek. Instead Mr. Selick uses the
technology to make his world deeper and more intriguing. And of course,
the stop-motion technique he uses, based on sculptured figures rather
than drawn images, is already a kind of three-dimensional animation.
The glasses you put on are thus not a gimmick but an aid to seeing
what’s already there.”

3D is back in style, thanks in large part to IMAX projections, with various new horror films on the screen today. If you want to check out the legacy of 3D classics and unknowns go here. My fave was Popeye: Ace of Space (1953)–boy dem muskles wus big–but who can forget The Stewardesses (1969). Do you have any favorite 3Ds?

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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