"The payoff to working through the various challenges of production is that IMAX 3D presentations are exciting to see," notes Giddings. "Very often, in the 3D experience, people reach up and feel as if they can actually touch the subject or look around it. To a great degree, it stimulates what we actually see with our eyes and then some, because we have the ability to change the lenses slightly and to change the point at which the focus converges between the two images."
"The IMAX 3D system is unique in that you have two different rolls of large-format film travelling through the camera system simultaneously," explains Giddings. "There are two lenses that are about the same distance apart as your eyes [approximately 2.85 inches, or 7.23 centimeters], and those lenses make two images in sync at the same time. When the two strips of film are projected simultaneously, it gives you the extra dimension."
Explaining more about the differences between traditional feature film technology and cameras and the IMAX technology, stereographer William Reeves explains, "The size of the frame of the film negative for large-format film is 10 times as large as that of the 35mm frame for traditional feature films. So, with IMAX films you have 10 times the visual information. With the 3D technology, you double the information again which is what makes the finished image even sharper and clearer."
"For the IMAX 3D format, the film is moving at about 330 feet [92 meters] per minute, and in three minutes it uses about $3,000 worth of film," adds Reeves. "It's a bit nerve-wracking when you hear the film going through the camera and you're waiting for a reaction from an animal you are filming. It's very daring to shoot natural history in this format."