Almost everyone on earth fancies going to the movies. Ever since cinema was invented, people from all walks of life have been captivated by moving pictures, which were eventually equipped with sound, colour, and nowadays, all sorts of effects. Motion pictures have also dabbled into the world of both 2D and 3D formats, depending on how moviegoers like their dish to be served. But let’s face it: whenever we go and watch a movie, we always wished that we were in it, as if it’s becoming real.
This growing need has opened doors for cinema designers to come up with the next best thing that draws the line between life and movies: the 4D format. 4D cinema is a big leap from decades-old 3D style, since it not only makes movies look real-it also plays on the moviegoer’s senses, such as the smell and touch. With these features now present in the cinema, spectators get more action than they expected, as the environmental aspects of the movie they are watching are present in an actual scale.
But how is 4D cinema seen now that it is currently being introduced to the mainstream?
So far, only a few establishments have started putting 4D effects into the movies, mainly because most of the features under this format still tend to be costly. The most popular 4D cinemas so far are based in South Korea, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and these establishments are likewise looking for ways to make 4D viewing more cost effective.
One of the biggest hurdles so far of 4D cinema is that it proves to be more suited to a select genre of movies as of the moment-these include action, science fiction, and adventure or disaster flicks. This can be due to the setting of these types of films: they are play on the moviegoers’ emotions all at the same time. Who doesn’t want to feel the energy of falling off a skyscraper and still stand alive, right?
Hence, the expectations towards 4D cinema are still high, and those who are investing on this type of movie experience are working on approaches to meet them. As of this writing however, most, if not all 4D cinemas, currently offer the following features for moviegoers to enjoy:
- 3D projection: As far as the eye candy is concerned, 3D effects are still in place when it comes to 4D cinemas. The 3D effect remains to be the pinnacle when it comes to the sightseeing feature of today’s movie formats, even if one is watching it on a 4D theatre. There’s nothing bland about 3D projection, though; so long as it is properly synced with the other aspects of the 4D cinema, moviegoers still get to experience the right vibe while watching the film.
- Weather effects: One of the standout features of 4D cinema is the weather effects. These effects are different from the special visual effects and CGI technologies applied on digital filmmaking; rather, they are presented right on the cinema itself. Weather effects are specially synchronized to help the moviegoer feel like he is part of the movie, and these include changing room temperatures, smoke and fog releases, synchronized external sounds (not just the sound effects embedded on the movie’s musical score), and lighting alterations, depending on the scene. Weather effects can be tricky, as once they go out of sync, they may break the beauty of the film being shown.
- Synchronized motions: Aside from synchronized weather effects, 4D cinema also incorporates external movements while a movie is being played. In a 4D theatre, a moviegoer may experience his own seat moving in accordance to a scene-such as a fast-moving vehicle, the lead actor jumping off a cliff, or when the characters are fighting each other in combat. Every move made elicits a response on the cinema’s external features, making the experience of watching the movie seem so real.
- Virtual reality: Similar to other common simulations, 4D cinema puts its spectators into a virtual reality wherein they can explore their surroundings, albeit in a controlled manner. While they are not allowed to walk around yet, spectators are able to feel like they’re in the movie set since their responses have already been calculated and synchronized with the movements of their seats, and the external surrounding special effects.
- In India, some companies are already starting to pave the way for 4D cinemas using the features mentioned above. This only goes to show that the future of 4D movie viewing is bright, and with just a few tweaks, it will be the next big name in the movie industry, a staple no moviegoer would want to let go of.