The newly upgraded 3D version of Star Tours officially opens tomorrow in Florida (with non-Cast Member previews beginning in California as well), and people will finally be able to experience Star Wars in 3D. What’s cool about the new Star Tours is that it uses a 3D technology, and glasses, that hasn’t yet been seen in many theaters. This isn’t the ancient two-projector film-based tech that’s used in 3D theme park movies like Captain EO. It’s also not the expensive 3D technology that most movie theaters use. Disney chose to go with Dolby’s new 3D technology that uses just one projector and unique 3D glasses.
Where current theater 3D tech requires the use of an expensive reflective silver screen and usually requires dual projectors; Dolby’s tech can be used on a normal white screen and a single digital projector that can display both 2D and 3D playback. The 3D playback uses an alternate red/blue/green color wheel in addition to the normal red/blue/green color wheel; which is why some people claim that the new Star Tours uses the old 1950’s red/blue style of 3D. It doesn’t but due to a second color wheel in the projector you may see additional colors when you view the screen without 3D glasses on. Basically the color information for each eye is projected at different wavelengths, which the glasses then are able to decode.
The glasses are also new. They aren’t the flimsy cheap polarized lenses that you normally get at a theme park or even a movie theater. Word is that they actually cost about $12 a pair, and they use a curved lens. This can cause some blurring on the edges for people who wear glasses, but they do fit over prescription glasses just fine. The 3D effect with these new glasses is actually clearer and smoother than what you got with traditional flat polarized lenses.
We’ll be riding Star Tours tomorrow, so expect more later in the evening.