Flat. Out. Better. - renovai

Flat. Out. Better.

The worst 3D ideas and how they lost the battle against 2D

Amit Chich | December 9th, 2020

They said 2020 was a time to settle down and appreciate what we have, so we gave it an honest shot. As an AI company, we tend to get carried away with hope and praise for every novel technology, but this time we allowed ourselves to get a little bit nostalgic and root against progress. As a homage to Complete the look – 2D mood board, our personalized 2D product display, we looked at other things that are still better, way better, in 2 dimensions.

Movies

For more than a century the art of cinema evolved around making images and light pop out from the flat screen and into viewers’ hearts. Film theorists might say there is an unwritten contract between the movie and the audience, where the latter suspends its disbelief and immerses in the flat screen emotionally, intellectually, and viscerally. The 3D film experience, to an extent, undermines this contract in trying too hard, reaching too far and robbing viewers of active participation with overpowering visuals. OR, it’s just that 3D films are expensive to make, 3D glasses are annoying (and do not work for the colorblind), and they make you nauseous. You can expect this gimmick to keep coming back now and then, at times to box office success, but it will never possess the magic of pure, good-old 2D movies.

Crosswalks

Pedestrian crossing, crosswalk, or zebra stripes- whatever you want to call it, slow down when you see it. This is not a complicated instruction. However, there was a point in time when towns in Iceland, France, India, and other countries, figured it’s a good idea to paint crosswalks as optical illusions and scare drivers into slowing down. Yes, we’ve come to a point of such little trust in those behind the wheel, where messing with their perception while they’re driving makes sense. If you have not seen a 3D crosswalk near you, it’s probably because this experiment finally failed.

Books

Kids LOVE pop-up books. They also love sugar, jumping into puddles, and not taking bathes. This one actually gets somewhat of a discount on our list because really, 3D books have no beef with real books, nor do they claim to replace them. There is something to be said though, about them being extremely difficult to close once you’ve opened them and then hard to open without ripping something apart… Cool as an elaborate work of origami- not the book of choice for your children.

Chess

Guess how many types of chess exist. Exactly, about 2,000- From upside-down chess to globe, hexagonal, cylinder, cross, doublewide, apocalypse, transcendental, and yes, infinite chess. So if you ever get bored playing the classic 2D version, you could probably go on exploring other variants, forever. The best known version is of course 3D chess, made famous on ‘Star Trek’. It started out as an impressive looking game on film but was actually rule-less and had only later been formalized by experts. Today the game has a modest community of players, who still argue about the rules, mainly comprising of ‘Star Trek’ fans and mediocre 2D chess players. It could be argued that the term ‘3D chess’ actually serves a more important role in society than the game itself, using to describe next-level mind games and political trickery. In the words of the game’s developer himself, chess master Dr. Leroy Dubeck, “I have never had passion, then or now, for 3D chess… If you’re really smart, you’re too smart to play 3D chess. You see it’s a waste”.

Microsoft Paint

In 2017 the software giant started to alert Windows 10 users it was terminating the beloved “paint” program that had served for everything from doodles to light photo editing, to fine art, replacing it with a flashy 3D version to be used for everything- plus a dimension. Little did the company know, this was a step, forward no one wanted to take. The simplicity and nostalgic value of the original paint were enough reason to keep it alive, but paint 3D was also getting slammed left and right for an un-intuitive UI, a lack of tools and basically, for falling short of most dedicated 3D modeling applications. In May 2019 the saga ended: to a collective sigh of relief from PC users, Microsoft released an update that had no indication Paint 2D was at risk, anymore.

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