Superman Returns: An IMAX 3D Experience will be the world's first live action feature to have selected segments converted from 2D into IMAX 3D. Using IMAX's revolutionary live action 2D to 3D conversion technology, approximately 20 minutes of the motion picture will be converted into 3D. The entire film will be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience through the proprietary IMAX DMR (digital re-mastering) technology.
The 3-dimensional scenes will make Superman Returns' already extraordinarily vivid images virtually leap off the screen for a truly unique moviegoing experience. The IMAX 3D version of the film will offer the sensation of being not just inside the theater but inside the movie itself.
"The test scenes that have been converted into IMAX 3D look, sound and feel absolutely amazing," added Bryan Singer, Director of Superman Returns. "The magic of IMAX 3D will envelop audiences in this story, enabling them to feel the emotion, drama and suspense in a completely new and unique way."
Superman Returns: An IMAX 3D Experience will play in IMAX® theaters worldwide beginning June 30, 2006. The tenth feature presented in IMAX theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures since 2003, this film follows the successful IMAX DMR releases of the second and third installments of The Matrix trilogy, The Polar Express, which was converted into IMAX 3D, Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the third and fourth installments of the Harry Potter series, V For Vendetta, and Poseidon. The studio has also released two original IMAX 3D films, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience (2004) and Deep Sea 3D (2006).
IMAX's live action 2D to 3D conversion process is based upon the basic principals of how the eyes and brain work together to naturally create the three dimensional world we live in. Most people see through two eyes and although both eyes automatically focus on a single center point, they see it from two slightly different perspectives. This creates two distinct images, which the brain then fuses to produce the three-dimensional depth in which we see things.
IMAX 3D takes advantage of this natural process. An IMAX 3D film actually consists of two separate strips of film projected onto the screen at the same time, one with images captured from the viewpoint of the right eye, and the other from the viewpoint of the left eye. Special IMAX 3D glasses separate these images so that the viewer's left eye sees only the left-projected image and the right eye sees only the right-projected image. This allows the brain to fuse the two images to create a three-dimensional visual that appears to come off/out of the screen and into the theatre.
There is no 3D technology in the world that is comparable to IMAX 3D. IMAX's theatre geometry, screen, image quality, sound and the other components of The IMAX Experience bring the movie-goer inside the IMAX 3D film - something that cannot be replicated in any other 3D presentation, whether on a laptop computer or in a conventional theatre auditorium. Consumers understand that IMAX 3D doesn't just add depth to a film, it completely changes the relationship between the viewer and the movie.
Superman Returns was originally shot in 2D, meaning it only existed as a single view-point. To convert the film into IMAX 3D, a second view-point, or "second eye" had to be created. The creation of the second eye is acheived using IMAX Corporation's proprietary 2D to 3D technology, which includes technology licensed from Three-Dimensional Media Group, Ltd. and invented by David M. Geshwind. This render-based technology relies on real world calculations to accurately map and recreate three-dimensional space.
The left-eye and right-eye images are digitally re-mastered into IMAX's format using IMAX DMR technology and recorded onto two separate prints of 15/70 film for projection in IMAX 3D for the world's most realistic and immersive movie experience. With crystal clear, larger than life, 3D images complemented by exhilarating state-of-the-art digital surround sound, audiences feel as though they are part of/in the movie.
The IMAX 3D projector simultaneously projects two strips of 15/70 film, one for each eye, onto a special silver IMAX 3D screen. Polarized IMAX 3D glasses channel the right-eye image to the right eye and the left-eye image to the left eye.
The 15/70 film format used by IMAX is ten times larger than conventional 35mm film and three times larger than standard 70mm. The sheer size of a 15/70 film frame, combined with the unique IMAX projection technology, is the key to the extraordinary sharpness and clarity of films exhibited in IMAX theaters.
IMAX theaters' specialized design and unobstructed views place audiences right in the on-screen action. Specially designed IMAX 3D screens eliminate the discomfort and decapitated edges of smaller-format 3D systems. The IMAX screen is coated with a specialty high-performance metallic paint and has a slight curvature that extends beyond the peripheral field of view. This enhances the audience's feelings of being in the film. The visuals are complemented by crisp uncompressed sound from a proprietary multi-channel digital surround sound system.