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Coming At You...In Tru 3D
As the television industry continues to catch up to movies with technological innovation (larger flat screens, HD, Blu-Ray), it's now time for movies to take a larger step forward. And according to Jeffrey Katzenberg, 3D is the way to do just that.

"Monsters vs. Aliens” represents a first for the studio…the first film totally authored in the 3D format—and not just any 3D format. InTru™ 3D combines DreamWorks Animation's state-of-the-art, proprietary authoring tools with the latest Intel technology, allowing artists to tell a more compelling story and give filmgoers a more exciting, immersive 3D movie experience. The ongoing use of InTru™ 3D (from "Monsters vs. Aliens” forward) is not just something employed by DreamWorks, but rather a mature, enhanced medium that enables filmmakers a better way to tell their stories—in an entirely new and innovative manner.

Katzenberg reflects, "I think that the innovation of the new generation of 3D has the opportunity to change the movie experience in a way that literally has not happened since we went from black-and-white to color. When you say, ‘3D,' I know that people think of those cheesy old glasses and rinky-dink special effects of reaching out into the audience. That kind of moviemaking is a theme park attraction more than it is movies or storytelling. But, I think that what has happened now—and it's only in these last 18 months or two years—is a convergence of the tools that enable us to make and exhibit 3D films in such an innovative way that the resulting breathtaking experience will change the way people think of movies.”

The CEO of DreamWorks Animation reasons that the current, next-gen InTru™ 3D offers such clarity, beauty and precision that the old imperfections of the format— ghosting, motion blur, eye strain—all vanish. Through the use of digital equipment, these separate left- and right-eye images (which the brain marries into a three dimensional image) can be made to sync perfectly. And the result, as Katzenberg puts it, is "that the storyteller can actually bring the audience into the movie, making it a completely immersive experience. We have made audiences believe that what they were looking at—a classic, 2D experience—is, in fact, three-dimensional. It's not. Now, we can actually deliver that third dimension. And it just creates a spectacular opportunity to make the emotions of storytelling even better. So now, ‘Monsters vs. Aliens' will stand as the premiere feature conceived and authored in 3D, using these new state-of-the-art digital tools.”

Now, moviegoers' eyes are free to look anywhere within the scene—focusing behind the main character into a background, say, on a piece of wallpaper that fascinates. As a result, filmmakers have to be ever cognizant of drawing the eye where they want it directed within the scene, using such things as lighting, sound or composition to focus attention where they wish.

Conversely, there are 2D techniques to which viewers have become accustomed—such as quick, MTV-style cuts—that can't be utilized within the 3D format. The brain is unable to process that much information that quickly. So, to convey pacing (such as during Susan's San Francisco battle with the robot) the makers of "Monsters vs. Aliens” had to find other tools to get the same emotional responses that these 2D techniques would elicit.

To make sure that these and other tools were used to their greatest advantage, the production brought aboard Phil Captain 3D McNally (that is his legal name—ask him, and he'll show you his driver's license), to serve as stereoscopic supervisor.

McNally began by educating filmmakers through visual example—he would display an early onscreen image of a tree in 2D, which was not the most compelling, visually speaking. Then, the same image was projected in digita

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