Difference Between IMAX 3D and Real 3D

IMAX 3D vs Real 3D

It is a fact that 3D technology for viewing films and TV programs is finally here to stay. Many technologies have been developed for this purpose; such as, IMAX 3D, real 3D, Dolby 3D etc., and, with so many options in front of the audiences, it poses a dilemma of sorts as to which one of these technologies is better. This article attempts to highlight the features of both IMAX 3D and Real 3D so as to find out the differences between them.

IMAX 3D technique of screening 3d films appeared first and most of the cinema halls around the country having 3D capabilities boast of such screens. Till recently these cinema halls could screen only movies made in 70mm to provide quality entertainment to the viewers but with the introduction of digital versions of 35 mm films, these halls are now screening these films also though they still prefer 70mm films because of better resolution on the screens.


The glasses used for viewing IMAX 3D films are passive polarized plastic glasses that are big and linear. Some viewers complain of poor picture quality but this may be due to the fact that IMAX 3D is optimized more for pop out effect than providing real depth. This is more of a fun as viewer’s feel as if objects are coming out of the screen so close that they can actually touch them. This is very exciting for the kids, and they love it, but it is draining sort of experience for adults. With movies of long duration, as was the case with Avatar (3 hours duration), it becomes problematical. There are other downsides to, but they get ignored as many do not catch them while watching the movie. One such drawback is lower contrast in scenes where there is extra darkness, other being problem in refocusing one’s eyes to adapt to the quickly moving objects on screen. However, IMAX is really good for those watching their first 3D film.

Real 3D

Real 3D arrived on the scene later, and it is digital right from the start. Not only are movies digital, the projectors used for screening them are also digital. The glasses used for Real 3D are circular polarized plastic glasses that provide a better stereoscopic effect than linear ones used for IMAX 3D. Moving heads around wearing circular glasses does not mean any loss of content which is common in IMAX 3D. In linear glasses one often has to find the best position of his head to get the best view while in circular glasses one gets decent view from all angles of the head. Circular glasses are inexpensive but the silver screen that is required for projection of the film is very costly. Despite it being costly to implement, Real 3D has caught the fancy of the viewers in all parts of the country and more cinema halls are implementing this technology today. In Real 3D, there is no popping out effect as in IMAX 3D, but the effect is more in depth. Some people who have earlier enjoyed IMAX 3D find Real 3D to be a bit stain but within the first hour of the film they start to feel as if they are in the thick of the action. Many are of the view that Real 3D is easier on the brain and those who complained of a slight headache with IMAX find Real 3D pleasing experience.

Difference Between IMAX 3D and Real 3D

• IMAX uses linear glasses whereas Real 3D uses circular glasses

• There is more of pop out effect in IMAX while Real is known for more depth perception

• Some people find IMAX 3D stressful while Real 3D is easier on the brain

• The glasses in Real 3D are cheaper than IMAX 3D

• The silver screen used in Real 3D is more expensive than the screen used in IMAX

• One has to find the best viewing angle in IMAX while this is not the case in Real 3D.