In 2D, No One Can Hear Me Scream

“Dolby are coming down to New Zealand to give us a demonstration,” Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter. “Our particular postproduction schedule is reasonably tight (but) three dimensional sound would be fantastic. If we can do it I would be pretty keen.”

(Emphasis mine)

via Peter Jackson Considering Dolby Atmos for ‘The Hobbit’ – The Hollywood Reporter.

Dear Mr. Jackson, Dolby, et al.: Sound is intrinsically three dimensional. While an image may consist of reflected light from a two dimensional surface, creating the illusion of a two dimensional plane, a sound wave propagates through all dimensions as it travels to the observer.

really want someone to explain what 2D sound might possibly be.

Of course, I’m being nitpicky. What they’re really talking about is the ability to control the reflections of a sound, which is what gives animals the sense of space and distance. This is what 5.1 is actually all about, and it’s what Atmos is really about too.

In fact, Dolby Atmos seems pretty cool, albeit incredibly expensive (on both distribution and production ends) and, frankly, overkill for most uses. (Also, the human ear is much less sensitive to changes in sound on the vertical axis, which makes me wonder how much benefit we gather from overhead speakers, but I’m willing to give it a go.)


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