See 'Avatar,' Diagnose Your Vision Problems

Not only is "Avatar" the top movie for yet another weekend, it apparently can also help diagnose vision problems.

Anyone who has yet to see the movie has probably heard five or six (thousand) times that it's best seen in IMAX or 3-D. Problem is, once they get to the theater, they might not understand what all the fuss is about, because they find they can't see 3-D but never knew.

Basically, the 3-D used in movies projects two images onto the screen, one seen by each eye (which is why the 1950s glasses had different-colored lenses, one red, one blue). That's why if you look at the screen without the glasses, it looks kind of blurry. The glasses help viewers see them properly so the images can be merged into one by their brain. But not everyone's eyes perceive the images correctly, and then their brain can't merge them into one image in 3-D, explains the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

This can cause a degree of discomfort, such as headaches, because the version of the film being seen was meant to be viewed in 3-D. And the vision problems are more widespread than one might think: 56 percent of people aged 18 to 38 have problems that could make it difficult to view 3-D properly. Another 5 percent of the population have problems that make it impossible to view in 3-D.

Apparently, however, there are therapeutic exercises that can be prescribed that enable some people to gain the ability to see in 3-D. It won't work for everyone, but perhaps the most famous instance of such exercises working is that of neuroscientist Sue Barry, who wrote Fixing My Gaze about her experiences of going from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional world.

Others go to see Avatar and can see just fine in three dimensions, but get dizzy and feel as if they need to vomit. They're likely the same people who felt that way while watching movies such as "The Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield." That's called visual motion hypersensitivity and for some can be resolved through other therapeutic means.
Via:  PR Newswire
Tags:  3D, VISION, Avatar
gibbersome 4 years ago

So is this because of the prescription difference between your eyes?

Soupstyle 4 years ago

I think it is more that people might be color blind or have a problem viewing certain polarized light or that they lose some depth perception and vision worsens as us humans age.

Manduh 4 years ago

Another reason for me to go see it. Almost like going to the eye doctor, except more enjoyable lol

Soupstyle 4 years ago

I'd suggest the 3D IMAX, that's the one I went to. It was pretty impressive. The plot wasn't very good, but I didn't go in thinking it would be. It was like a 3 hour long next gen 3D cinema tech demo to me. :P

gibbersome 4 years ago

There are no IMAX theatres around here, so I had to settle for simple 3D. I've heard the same, that IMAX 3D offers the best experience.

Don't forget to use your Fandango VISA signature discount if you go.

3vi1 4 years ago

(Doctor holds up a picture of Neytiri)


(Doctor replaces picture with Smurfette)

"Better? ... or worse?"

These 3D movies always give me headaches, and I can't see the effect very well anyway - bad left eye.

gibbersome 4 years ago

There's a facebook group devoted to that, a group of like-minded collegians have concluded that

"Neytiri PWNS Smurfette" <--

Said one user: "neytiri is the hottest smurf on the block. Smurfette is probly ganna screw her up. but WHAM! neytiti will shoot an arrow into that bitty [thing]..."

I'm sorry Smurfette fans, but there's just no arguing that rock solid logic.


Der Meister 4 years ago

I think its quite funny....

3vi1 4 years ago


Soupstyle 4 years ago

By the way, it is obviously making a ton of money, but I wonder if it was compared to older films like star wars and stuff if they would take into account inflation, the strength of the dollar and the ticket prices of the times. That would probably give a more accurate number of the people going to see it (aka its popularity). But having big numbers always impresses everyone I guess.

rapid1 4 years ago

This film also won a Golden globe last night, and I imagine it will win an academy award. From what I am hearing it will also beat Titanic in money maid at the end of things as it is not very far off now and has already passed StarWars.

gibbersome 4 years ago

Avatar is currently at $505 million domestic and $1.62 billion worldwide. This ranks it second in worldwide and third in domestic all-time (Dark night is second).

Titanic made $600 million domestic and $1.84 billion worldwide.

However you have to adjust for inflation. And if you do, Avatar is currently ranked 34th.

Gonzobot 4 years ago

I just couldn't believe when I sat down to watch the movie, that the throwaway 'thingamabob' that the corporations wanted to get, was ACTUALLY CALLED UNOBTAINIUM. I had heard that it was, on the internet, before seeing the movie...but I figured that was the internet doing its thing.

Always a treat when the filmmakers even know how unimportant the driving force behind the plotline is ;)

And yes, 3D is the way to go. But how many of you went to see it in IMAX3D, and were watching a flat screen? That happened to me. Isn't IMAX supposed to be inside a sphere with full surround sound?

gibbersome 4 years ago

Unobtainium is scientific mumbo jumbo for missing sock. Lol, I never caught that when I was watching the movie. The plot has been slammed as unoriginal, but the visual effects and other great quality of the movie has won people over. Either way, it's making a crapload of money.

I've been to both kinds of IMAX, one with flat screens and inside a sphere. I prefer the flat screen.

Soupstyle 4 years ago

The main thing I just stopped paying attention to the plot and turned my brain off is when they called it "unobtainium" in the first 5 minutes.

I've been to multiple IMAX theaters and none have ever been flat, wierd.

gibbersome 4 years ago

@Soupstyle Yeah, I looked it up and IMAX is suppose to be dome shaped, according to wikipedia anyway. Very curious, maybe my memory fails me but I could swear I've seen both!

Very good point about the inflation. Avatar is only #34 on the all time adjusted gross.

Here's the top movies listed on there:

Soupstyle 4 years ago

I can't imagine how many people had to have gone to see those top 5 to make that much money. Tickets were way less expensive then, especially in 1939 which was in the middle of WWII, where people were rationing food and other life necessities.

richardtallent 4 years ago

This article is total bull.

Avatar 3D projection uses polarized light -- horizontally-polarized for one eye, and vertically for the other, with matching polarized lenses in the glasses (similar to the sunglasses that let you see deeper in water, but with one lens turned 90 degrees).

There's no use of red or blue light filters for this movie (or any other very recent 3D movies I've seen, including "Up" last year), so someone's undiagnosed color-blindness is not going to be an issue for seeing the 3D effect.

Now, if someone is just plain blind in one eye, or has poor depth perception, sure, the movie will be in 2D like any other, but most people figure that sort of diagnosis out much earlier in life.

ClemSnide 4 years ago

"Unobtainium" has been a science fiction fan joke since the days when the Internet was called the ARPAnet. For some reason I associate Larry Niven with it, but it could also have been earlier writers like Isaac Asimov or Robert Heinlein who came up with it.

The big advantage of polarized lenses rather than tinged stock is that it allows color. There were a lot of B&W 3D movies using the tinged process; one seen occasionally is a Three Stooges short in which Moe throws knives at the viewer, etc. Yes, color blindness makes those unviewable, at least in 3D.

But there are other eye problems that come into view (sorry!) with either the tinged or the polarized process. A lot of depth perception is trained-- that's hopw I do it, lacking vision in one eye; I use environmental cues (like the parallax effect) and muscular feedback (like lens focus adjustment) unconsciously to construct a 3D world from a flat picture. Even people with better vision do that, a little. But with a movie of this sort, those are unavailable... and if you had been relying on them instead of, say, convergence (how "crossed" your eyes become when looking at something near or far), watching a 3D film can bring those out and make them more noticable.

Which really bodes ill for the recent focus by graphics card and TV manufacturers on 3D. If even a significant minority of people can't use the expensive new features, it's doomed.

By the way, seeing Avatar to diagnose vision problems is like flagpole-sitting to diagnose prostate problems. There are better ways.

Soupstyle 4 years ago

[quote user="ClemSnide"]

By the way, seeing Avatar to diagnose vision problems is like flagpole-sitting to diagnose prostate problems. There are better ways.



I always say: if you think you have a problem, see a doctor/professional, not some half-assed trick!

Gonzobot 4 years ago

See, I sort of picture Leonard Nimoy saying it in my head.

"Captain, we have found a new source of the Unobtainium we need, beneath those sexy blue alien's tree house. Logic dictates we learn their ways and ask for their help in retrieving the Unobtainium crystals."

But as to Avatar as an eye test...I think its a valid thing to know, especially as you can go to the customer service desk and get put into a 2D showing instead, so at least you're not all pained in the head from it. If I didn't know, I'd probably assume that I was doing it wrong (that's how I started with magic eye pictures...till I sat down and LEARNED how to move my eyes to get the picture) and suffer through it.

rapid1 4 years ago

Yeah tickets during WW2 were probably between 25 and 45 cents at the most so for a movie like gone with the wind to make that much everyone in the US saw it at least once if not more times thats some attendance.

rapid1 4 years ago

Think about this "3D" regarding TV's of a 3D variety. I personally see some companies loosing so much money on 3D TV's that it definitely may end some of there existence. Oh well the market is to flooded anyway.

Joel H 4 years ago

I tried to see the 2D version last night and had to leave after about an hour and 20 minutes. Movie was fine, but the jarring CGI spinning, jumping, crazy cat-action had me feeling sea sick.

gibbersome 4 years ago

Really? It was probably better you didn't see the 3D version then, it would have affected you a lot more.

I had no such nausea though and I'm generally pretty prone to motion sickness. Maybe the size of the screen at your theatre and the location of your seat had something to do with it.

rapid1 4 years ago

I have not even seen Avatar yet. I don't think it's leaving the theaters yet though probably soon though. I think Titanic played active in Theaters longer than anything ever had except maybe Starwars.

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