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3 Ways to Improve Your 3D Movie Experience

3D movies were once a drive-in novelty act, but the success of Avatar at the box office (it became the highest-grossing film of all time: drove the development of 3D for many other films. Many directors now account for the technology, and modern CG-heavy movies are made with 3D in mind. But how do you optimize your experience? There are three key ways, each of which requires a good understanding of the technology at play.

1. Keep Your Head Level
The vast majority of 3D projection systems use polarized light to separate two distinct images, one for each eye. The difference in these images is very slight, but it is calibrated with the assumption that one’s eyes are perfectly level. Failing to keep one’s eyes level led to many people getting sick in early showings of Avatar.┬áIf you have trouble keeping your head level for the duration of the movie, it might be a good idea to bring a neck pillow that can help you stay in place. Many theaters offer seats which recline, and this can also help you to stay still.

2. Sit Near The Center
While theaters try to calibrate the projector to display the same image for everyone in the theater, it’s impossible to make the picture perfect for people around the edges of the viewing area. The polarization needs to be properly aligned to work, and the image will get fuzzy for people sitting too far out of where the projector is calibrated to show. Therefore it’s a good idea to arrive early, or book specific seats when possible, to avoid getting a seat that it’s hard for the projector to account for. The best seats are in the exact middle, so try to book them or ones near to them.

3. Avoid Fidgeting
As previously stated, the big problem with using polarized images to create the illusion of 3D is that it’s intended to be seen in a specific way, so that your brain interprets what it sees as a three-dimensional object instead of two separate images. Moving rapidly breaks the illusion, and can cause nausea or confusion. Therefore, it’s best to spend your time getting comfortable before the movie starts, and if you must move, do so slowly. If you need to take a break, take your glasses off before turning your head or getting up. Removing the glasses will break the illusion, and instead of multiple headache-inducing images, you’ll only see one blurry one.

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