Is it Real 3D or Fake 3D

While film studios are cashing in on 3D films, many are "faking it" by converting 2D films into 3D post-production. Worse, they're not being upfront in their advertising, and many people feel ripped-off after paying extra fees for the "3D Experience." It's been claimed that conversions are now just as good as the real thing, but there's a limit to what can be done post-production. If you only have one-eye's worth of content, you can't just make up the content for the second eye.

And so here is a list for separating the real 3D films that were shot or rendered natively in 3D from the fake ones that weren't. Happy watching!

- Philip Dhingra

Update: "Why Real 3D Still Matters" in response to Gravity.

@RealOrFake3D

About This Site

Updated March 30, 2015.

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This site has been cited by Slate, The Independent, and countless movie critics.

If you want more in-depth understanding of 3D, I recommend checking out CinemaBlend's To 3D or Not to 3D features.

Real 3D
2015 - Real
B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldy Operations
Every Thing Will Be Fine
Home
Inside Out
The Martian
Poltergeist
San Andreas
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Fake 3D
2015 - Fake
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Fantastic Four Reboot
Furious 7
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
Jupiter Ascending
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
Seventh Son
Star Wars: Episode VII
2009 - Fake
Besouro
Dawn of the Dead
Gamer 3D
G-Force
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
2008 - Real
Bolt
Dolphins and Whales
Fly Me To the Moon
Hannah Montana
Kung Fu Panda
Scar
Wild Ocean
2008 - Fake
Day of the Dead 3D
InAlienable
Jumper
2007 - Real
Battle for Terra
Beowulf
Meet the Robinsons 3
U2 3D
2007 - Fake
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Shrek the Third
2006 - Real
The Ant Bully
Deep Sea 3-D
Monster House
Night of the Living Dead 3D
Open Season
2006 - Fake
Flirting with Flamenco
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Superman Returns
2004 - Real
The Polar Express
2004 - Fake
Shrek 2
2001 - Fake
Shrek
1999 - Real
Toy Story 2
1997 - Fake
Titanic 4
1996 - Fake
Independence Day
1995 - Real
Toy Story
1993 - Fake
Lion King
1993 - Fake
Jurassic Park
1991 - Fake
Beauty and the Beast 2
1989 - Fake
The Little Mermaid
1986 - Real
Captain EO
1983 - Real
Amityville 3-D
Jaws 3-D
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
1982 - Real
Friday the 13th Part III
1977 - Fake
Star Wars: Episode I
1973 - Real
Andy Warhol's Frankenstein
1952 - Real
Bwana Devil
1939 - Fake
The Wizard of Oz

^ †. Based on rumors plus other reasoning. View page source for details.

^ 1. "The IMAX 3D camera contained a mile of film, though this allowed for only 8 minutes 30 seconds of footage to be recorded." (wikipedia)

^ 2. Since new 3D models are being created to extrude the original 2D objects, this counts to me as new content, and so Beauty and the Beast will technically be "Fake 3D." However, Disney has all the original artwork saved in separate levels, so there may not be much "filling in the blanks" done by the new animators. Instead, the conversion may be more like the process used in Meet the Robinsons (see note 3) which I categorized as "Real 3D." Plus, unlike the other "Fake" films, Beast is neither live action nor 3D animation, and so moviegoers are not being sold an inauthentic experience.

^ 3. According to this YouTube they appear to have original 3D models. I also talked to a friend of some of the crewmembers, and apparently they projected the original 2D image onto the 3D models because it was faster than re-rendering with a second camera. This is why it appears like a longer conversion process in this article. If you have the original 3D geometry, that's real enough.

^ 4. James Cameron said, "It's never going to look as good as if you shot it in 3D. But think of it as a sort of 2.8D."

^ 5. The stereoscopic supervisor mentioned to me that the CGI effects were done with real 3D (about a third of the film).

^ 6. Transformers should really be classified "Hybrid," given how much people are raving about the 3D in the film. However, between one-third to one-half of is converted, with 78 minutes converted from Legend3D. All of the CGI was converted, which may not be a problem in most movies, but considering the transformers are the stars of the film, if they're not rendered natively in 3D (which should be the case with all 3D CGI), then viewers are kind of not getting the real deal.

^ 7. Disney gave Chicken Little to a 3rd-party to convert the film into 3D. However, they provided original 3D models, so it's nearly a native rendering. This is similar to Meet the Robinsons. Ideally, they would've re-rendered with a second virtual camera.

^ 8. While the concert footage that is supposed to be in 3D was filmed with real 3D cameras, it's such a miniscule part of the entire film, that it's a lie to say that this is 3D.

^ 9. "We shot half of it in real 3D and they other half was post converted."

^ 10. The CGI will use the native 3D models.

^ 11. Many have emailed about how it's mostly real 3D. Here's a behind-the-scenes of the conversion process. My gripe is that the main characters, the people, were shot in 2D. However, this is a unique movie. Most of it takes place in space, where the suits were rendered in real 3D, with the faces super-imposed within the actual suit. So it's not inaccurate to say that 90% of it is real.

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