3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences by Miriam Ross

By Miriam Ross

3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile studies questions the typical frameworks used for discussing 3D cinema, realism and spectacle, in an effort to totally comprehend the embodied and sensory dimensions of 3D cinema's special visuality.

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Extra info for 3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences

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The dual images used in stereoviews were available to the viewer to hold in their hands and could be examined one by one before they were brought together in the stereoscope. In this way, there was a heightened sense of the extra and added depth that the stereoscope gave to an otherwise ‘flat’ image. There were often attempts by photographers to highlight these extra perceptual processes that they were selling, and thus ‘professional periodicals carried lively debates on the “ideal” angle and the ability to exaggerate the illusion of depth (“hyperspace”)’ (Darrah, 1977: 3).

Similarly, there is a tendency for objects appearing in negative parallax space to appear to flatten out when they reach the edge of the horizontal screen space and thus remind us of the borders of the frame. While I would argue that scratches and dirt marks rarely appear to reside on the traditional screen plane, but instead often appear in various configurations of negative and positive parallax space, so that they destabilise an awareness of a hard-bodied screen, they do draw attention to the material quality Hyper-Haptic Visuality 41 of the screen space that is distinct from the empty space that seems to surround objects in our visual world.

Editing within this scene, and throughout Hyper-Haptic Visuality 29 the film, means that this placement is constantly shifting and changing but, rather than unhinging our bodily experience, this experience facilitates a commitment from the viewer to reground the body and remain attuned to how spatial placement can be felt and experienced in relation to the film’s action. When, later in the film, subtitles are used to translate the Na’vi characters’ dialogue, there is a startling variation on these spatial relations.

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