Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Using 3D for dual channel storytelling

This article about an ad campaign for Axe body spray (R/C anaglyph glasses recommended) reminded me of using 3D to tell two related but different stories.  In conventional stereoscopic 3D both channels (left and right) are used in concert to display stereoscopic 3D information from the same point of view and point in time, thus granting greater perception of depth and the use of depth as a storytelling language in a single frame of reference (spatially and temporally).

The Axe commercial uses the two channels of stereoscopic 3D as a true dual stream display and bifurcates the story accordingly: in the left eye (red channel) the protagonist decides to court the older woman he meets when moving into a new apartment building - the right eye (cyan channel) shows the protagonist deciding to court the younger woman he also sees when moving into the new apartment building.  The story then forks from there, though it develops along a similar path and timeline, just with a different secondary character.

This type of presentation could also be used to tell a story from different viewpoints, perhaps a hero-cam and anti-hero-cam in an action movie.  These examples generally follow the same temporal storyline and, if the audio remains consistent between scene A and scene B, then the viewer can change their viewing experience with the blink of an eye.

This public service announcement deals with a similar story where the scenario is similar between the two different views, though the difference is critical.  The PSA looks at domestic violence and shows a scene at home where, in one eye, the husband is committing domestic abuse, while the other eye shows a normal evening.

Games, led in the consumer area by Sony have an option for dual view that allows for the PS3 to show different views to two players via 3D technology.  This is an update to the time-tested split screen method of multiplayer gaming on a single display device.  There are two major benefits with "dual view": first, each player gets the full screen to themselves (as perceived when viewed through 3D glasses set to dual view), and, the players are unable to see the screen of their opponent.

All in all, dual stream viewing could be pretty interesting.  Imagine an entire movie filmed in a dual stream point of view style, Hero-Cam and Villain-Cam; when you arrive at the cinema, you can choose (or randomly receive) glasses that are filtered for double left or double right so you see the entire movie from one of two points of view.  Interesting....

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