whale rain 3D

ACT TWO begins with a live 3D demonstration. Although most people only think that 3D is possible in a movie or maybe a book, it was first presented as a live theater effect back when electricity was first introduced.

3D in Paris at turn of century
Illustration of a French 3D show

In the plot of the show, Moby Dick! The Musical is a show being presented by a school theater troupe to delight their parents and friends. The ACT ONE begins in the school setting. ACT TWO begins and ends there as well. This reminds the audience of the reason why the Moby Dick actors sometimes go out of character.

At any rate, the kids are all excited to demonstrate their "living shadows" effect to the audience. The audience puts on their 3D glasses upon the instruction of the science teacher character. They see objects which appear to come directly at them.

Live 3D

3d.gif (4004 bytes)3D in movies is made by generating a picture with red and green or blue colors separated by a very small distance. Without 3D glasses, these movies appear fuzzy and discolored.

In theater a scrim or thin drop of material not unlike a bed sheet is dropped to create the plane of the movie screen. The objects which appear to fly towards the audience are not discernable except as shadows, like a hand rabbit shadow on the wall. Here, the rabbit become three dimensional by separating the red and the green slightly as in the movies.

To accomplish this, a pair of lamps are mounted on the floor about a foot apart. Halogen work lamps are fine. One is gelled in red, the other in green (or blue if the 3D glasses are red on one lens and blue on the other). The gels should match the 3D glass  gels exactly in color. The actors stand off center with their backs against the scrim and throw objects towards the lamps.

One theatre used plastic balls from your standard ball pit that many fast food restaurants have, but anything could be used, including flying airplanes, Frisbees® and paper darts. One good technique has been to throw the objects to very close over the top of the lamps or just in front of the lamps.

Also, with a bit of experimentation, people's actions can be quite exciting as they might rock towards and away from the light source pretending to be throwing or churning.

3D glasses are available from your novelty retailer. Web site links will be added when found on this page. Most of the 3D glasses get left behind for reuse by the next enthusiastic audience.

Website for 3D glasses: http://st7.yahoo.com/rainbowsymphony/