This segment shows how IMAX 3D experience is created.

Two independent key components featured in this video:
IMAX = huge projection screen, large film format, powerful multi-channel sound system.
3D = stereoscopic effects.

Note that most IMAX theaters popping up in recent years use IMAX digital projectors. No film is involved, hence portions of this video do not apply to those new theaters. Digital IMAX movies are transported by multi-giga byte computer hard disks. Many new IMAX screens are about 40 feet tall which are only half the height of the 80 feet tall screen depicted in this video. Traditional IMAX theatre is usually a 8 story tall building you can spot from blocks away. For example, in San Francisco Bay Area, the only tall IMAX screens are in the SONY Metreon building in San Francisco and Hacienda crossing 21 theater in Dublin, CA. The few dozens new IMAX theaters are all small screen substitutes.

IMAX 3D uses linear polarization. Tilt your head and the 3D effect is screwed up. Newer Real-D 3D solved that problem. Compare them by watching
The other advantage of the Real-D system is that 3D contact lens is compatible. See IMAX 3D cannot do that with linear polarization.

There is a very informative article from CNET Asia which compare IMAX Digital 3D vs. RealD 3D at Read it if you want to know more. Note that this video you are watching is about the old film based IMAX analog 3D projection, not IMAX digital 3D.

In the 2010 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, 3D TVs became one of the attractions. 3D TV has been demo’ed for years before, but looks like it is ready this year because some broadcaster has announced plans for 3D channels. Search the news for more info. An update, in 2011, 3D TVs are available from every major TV makers. There are 3 main types of 3D TVs, active electronic shutter glasses, passive polarized lens glasses, and without need of glasses. Each has their pros and cons. See for more details.

Interesting statistics on this video. When Harry Potter IMAX 3D experience came out in July 2007, the daily views on this video peaked at 4600 views on one day and the increased views lasted for about 2 weeks. When Avatar came out in Dec 2009, the daily views only peaked at 1200 views, but the increased views lasted for a month and are still coming in as of this writing.

For those who are interested in 3D computing, the following videos may interest you.

13 Replies to “IMAX 3D”

  1. luckily i live near 2 ACTUAL IMAX at my AMC Theatres. AMC 16 Burbank IMAX screen is 70' wide x 50' high & AMC Citywalk is 79' x 58.2'. Only difference between both IMAX Rooms is that AMC Citywalk only has the Standard GTR IMAX with IMAX Digital Equipment & AMC 16 Burbank has the GTR3D with IMAX Digital Equipment meaning Citywalk only plays movies in IMAX 2D while Burbank plays both in IMAX 2D & IMAX 3D. theres an Edwards Cinema in Valencia & a Regal Theatre in Simi Valley but those are not ACTUAL IMAX, instead those are IMAX Multiplex or as wat u stupid millennials call it "LIEMAX"

  2. Imax is moving to 4K digital laser 3D and 2D projection technology , in this case they use 2 — 4K laser projectors , projecting the left and right eye images ,, and  one uses short and the other projector uses long wavelength laser light , the system does not experience the light loss of the polarized system and the unique glasses only let the wavelength of light through that's intended for the proper eye,, either left or right .. now the question is what frame rate are they using as 3D with a lot of motion really needs a higher frame rate the original standard.

  3. I disagree. The movie is all distorted when projected on the IMAX dome. A flat image on a dome surface is just not compatible. I have watched movies in both types of IMAX screens. I still prefer the flat screen for flat projection. The dome shape is good only for projecting the night sky like in a planetarium.

  4. we have a massive cineworld dome screen in sheffield England and its awesome

  5. That used to be what we called IMAX theaters. For some reasons, they started calling small screens IMAX since a few years ago. That is all about branding and if IMAX wants to change what defines their brand. What can consumers say besides stop buying tickets.

  6. Watched the trailer for it last night at the Prometheus premiere and I wouldn't bother with Spiderman in 3D, if he's moving he almost disappears from the picture, it was very hard to watch.

  7. Today, I was at IMAX 3D cinema for the first time of my life. It's amazing! From now I'm watching movies only in 3D or if I'll get lucky in IMAX 3D. 😀

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