3D tv's and captioning/subtitles - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:45 PM
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Default 3D tv's and captioning/subtitles

I've always used captioning when it was available (cuz i'm deaf) but lately I've noticed something strange with my 3D tv. I was watching Avatar 3D on my 50" 3D tv with captioning like I always do but this morning I decided to watch a clip of it without the captioning and 3D was so much more intense. It seems, IMO, that when subtitles are present, the 3D technology focuses on the captioning and brings it "out" in your face instead of the actual movie. When I turn off the captioning the movie has so much more depth. This is just what I THINK i see and was wondering if anyone with a 3D tv and Avatar can confirm my theory.

So if anyone has some time to experiment with this, please let me know if I'm right or I'm just seeing things...lol.


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Old 09-26-2011, 03:47 PM
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Captioning in 3D is tricky because though the captions are always rendered on top of the video, there is a possibility that they don't appear "in front of" the "background" video if the 3D elements protrude to far from the screen in the "Z" axis.

Ideally captions would be at Z-0, the plane of the screen, but then any 3D elements coming out form the screen would intersect the text. The result is a visual paradox that can be disorientating.

Captions generated specifically (manually) for the content can be adjusted to be aware of this issue. But even in Avatar (when we first meet Tsu-Tey) at about "Mawey ma Na'viya, maway!" (or was it the next line), Neytiri steps almost "around" the caption on the screen as she is more in the foreground than the text. She never crosses the text, but if she did, you would expect her to cover the text as she walks in front of it, but she wouldn't which would cause an issue.

One solution is to manually adjust the Z axis, or the positioning, or the timing, of even the shot content; to avoid caption intersections on a shot by shot basis.

Theoretically this could also be done automatically with image analysis, but I don't know how good the result would be.

Last option is to simply place the caption text so far "forward" from the scene that nothing will protrude that far and cause an intersection.


I don't know what method your Player/TV uses. But if the text is too far forward, it could make the rest of the depth of the scene seem less.


Or it could just be the lack of text making the experience more immersive. I think subconsciously I drop out of the film a little to read the subtitles when they come up. (Even watching in 2D.)
I really wish there was a way to turn of the Na'vi-to-English subtitles on the BluRay. They aren't 'burned' onto the video, as when you swap languages, the subtitles swap instead of being covered. The played just has no way of accessing that clean track.

- Mikko
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Last edited by mikkowilson; 09-26-2011 at 03:49 PM.
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