Last night, after taking my children to see Toy Story 3 in 3-D, I left the theater with two happy kids (see one pictured at right), a couple pairs of disposable glasses and a killer migraine.
I have always had difficulty understanding the appeal of 3-D movies – from Captain Eo at Epcot to Chuck in 3-D on NBC – the 3-D effect didn't seem very impressive. And, more often than not, left me with a significant pain in the noggin.
It wasn't until recently that I discovered why I was having a problem – I suffer from poor stereoscopic vision. To quote the web site WiseGeek.com:
Stereoscopic vision refers to the ability that humans have to see the same scene with both eyes in slightly different ways. . . In humans and in animals with stereoscopic vision, each eye captures a slightly different image. This difference is known as binocular disparity, or retinal disparity. The brain processes these two images in a way that lets us see slightly around solid objects without needing to move our heads. It does this by essentially pairing up the similarities in the two images and then factoring the differences into our perception of a scene. These differences are usually small, but can translate into a significantly different final result.
It is assumed that my vision issue (which doesn't affect my otherwise 20/20 eyesight) is a result of the crossed-eyes I was born with – which was corrected surgically when I was a toddler, but still manifests as a sometimes lazy eye. It's why I can't see 3-D, or magic pictures in the newspaper.
It's also why I'm a little nervous about the recent trend to 3-D televisions.
It turns out that I'm not alone. According to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, "Research has shown that up to 56 percent of those 18 to 38 years of age have one or more problems with binocular vision and therefore could have difficulty seeing 3D."
So I'm guessing that while the world will be going high def, they may not be going 3-D anytime soon.
Do you have any trouble watching 3-D?