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THE TECHNOLOGY BEHIND THE IMAX EXPERIENCE®
The obvious difference in an IMAX cinema is the larger screen – it literally spans from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. The screen isn’t simply bigger, it’s also shaped differently – not only wider but higher and curved, as well – which makes the image true no matter where you’re sitting. The very material of the screen is also different – more reflective and brighter.
IMAX PROJECTION SYSTEMS
Because you’re much closer to the screen, the picture has to be that much sharper – even while it’s also larger. The enhanced content IMAX develops plays through IMAX’s proprietary, state-of-the-art projection systems that deliver lifelike, crystal-clear images (60% brighter and 30% more contrast than standard) to create a visual experience so real it will take your breath away whether 2D or 3D.
IMAX has been revolutionizing the 3D moviegoing experience for more than two decades. IMAX takes 3D further with projection systems that deliver 3D images of unsurpassed brightness and clarity. IMAX 3D takes advantage of the fact that the world is seen through two eyes. An IMAX 3D movie actually consists of two separate images simultaneously projected onto a special silver-coated IMAX screen. One image is captured from the viewpoint of the right eye, and the other shows the viewpoint of the left eye. IMAX 3D glasses separate the images, so the left and right eyes each see a different view. Your brain blends the views together to create an in-your-face 3D experience.
A surprisingly large part of the IMAX experience is the sound - you don’t just see an IMAX film; you feel it in your bones. One reason is the sheer power of the custom patented speaker system in an IMAX cinema. Another is the wider frequency response – which means higher highs and lows so low they’re as much vibrations as sounds.
The theatre architecture has been customized with more effective placement of the speakers. IMAX’s six laser-aligned speakers distribute equal volume throughout the cinema for a larger sweet spot. This allows IMAX to create an optimum listening environment and deliver a result so precise that you can hear a pin drop from across the room – and know exactly where it fell.
Increasingly, leading filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan, Michael Bay, Brad Bird and J.J. Abrams are using proprietary IMAX cameras to shoot portions of their movies. IMAX cameras, which are the highest resolution cameras in the world, use 70mm film – which projects an image that features 10x more resolution than 35mm film. Exclusively in IMAX, sequences shot with the IMAX camera will expand to fill the entire screen, allowing moviegoers to see up to approximately 40 percent more of the image with unprecedented crispness, clarity and colour saturation for a truly immersive experience.
IMAX DMR® ENHANCEMENT PROCESS
The content being shown in an IMAX cinema hasn’t just been enlarged to fit the IMAX screen, it’s been completely transformed. IMAX spends hours, weeks and months on location and in the editing room with the director and technical teams of each film– planning the shots, re-mixing the sound, endlessly adjusting the saturation, contrast, brightness and hundreds of details in virtually every frame in a proprietary enhancement process called Digital Re-Mastering, or IMAX DMR®.