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Polarized Theater Effects

Give audience polarized glasses for special effects
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
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In movie theaters, 3d movies are achieved by projecting two different images, with differently polarized light, while the audience wears polarizing lenses so that each eye sees only one image.

I propose bringing this technology to live theater.

The simplest application would be to give audience members glasses with vertically polarized lenses. The whole stage would be dimly lit with horizontally polarized light, while spotlights on the actors (and active scene components) would use vertically polarized light. The actors and stagehands could see each other, and the entire stage, relatively clearly, but to the audience, everything not lit with vertically polarized light would appear dead black. Scenery could be moved about quickly and safely, with little risk of accidents due to working in the dark.

A second possibility would be to combine live actors with 3D projections. For this application, the audience would wear conventional 3D polarized lenses, with the two lenses having polarizations 90 degrees from each other. The 3D projections might be filmed (or computer generated) beforehand, or they might be created in real time, with digital puppetry.

goldbb, May 12 2009


       I can't really imagine how this could be pulled off but it's a cool idea. [+]
calculust, May 12 2009

       Does the polarized light trick work for illuminating 3D environments? I would think the angle of incidence would mess up the effect.   

       What about the other 3D cinema technology (not sure what it's called)? I believe it uses several bands from the spectrum for one eye and complimentary bands for the other. So like red-blue glasses but with smaller granularity. But then you're stuck with all your actors having to wear all white.
calculust, May 13 2009

       Appropriate lighting and glasses that obscure one eye could give the impression of watching a movie - 2D glasses!   

       I guess theatre-going audiences would resent wearing special glasses, but for the non-3D-projections first part of your idea, it would be sufficient to have a huge pol-filter in front of the stage.
loonquawl, May 13 2009


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