3D has been around for many years but 3D television is a recent development, right? Actually 3D television and 3D technology go back quite a bit farther than you might think. 3D actually began with the invention of photography in 1838 and the invention of stereoscope; the very first device that could photograph in 3D. From there, 3D photography grew to be employed in film. The first 3D camera for motion capture came in the invention of the Kinematoscope in 1855 and the first film was released in 1922 and was called The Power of Love. The first color 3D film was produced in 1935.
3D movies continued to be made and as time passed, in 1947 the Soviet Union released Robinson Crusoe. The films Bwana Devil in 1952 and House of Wax in 1953 were some of the first of more than sixty 3D films made during the 50s and 60s, a period during which there were also several advances in the way 3D filming was done. Many of these innovations helped in reducing the amount of equipment taken to make a 3D image and speeding up the process on many levels. As a result of these films, 3D serials started being aired on television during the fifties. Yes, that’s right 3D TV has been with us nearly as long as the television itself! Unfortunately the medium grew to be too tedious because of the inferior viewing conditions in most movie theaters and the complex and often expensive equipment needed to make the films.
As you may already know, the 3D format began to be used again during the 70s and 80s in such films as Friday the 13th Part 3 and Jaws 3D. These films led to some success but soon interest flagged and the medium was dropped until the IMAX premiered at Expo ’86 in Vancouver. Until 2001 the format saw only sparing use due to the prohibitive costs and limited interest in the mainstream film industry. Since 2001 computer animation, digital cameras and now 3D home theater systems have begun the process of making 3D a fully realized and accessible medium for everyone. With these advances, we are now seeing the return of 3D television in a far richer and more fully realized format.
Starting in 2010, we will have access to 3D televisions, blue ray players, films, and 3D television stations. Films like Alice in Wonderland and Avatar have opened the eye of the imagination and helped the 3D format to regain enough popularity to bring about renewed interest. Improved image tools, filming equipment and a wide array of advances in film making and production have allowed a very old idea to finally be brought to its true potential. With the new televisions and soon the regularly running 3D television channels there’s a very real possibility that 3D can not only remain a useful medium but also become a major component of future innovations as color and HD were before it.