With the release of Shrek Forever After in 3D on May 21 in the US, Dreamworks Animation is preparing to convert the first three installments of Shrek into a 3D Blu-ray Disc release, the film studio's CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg announced at this week's NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Convention in Las Vegas.
"Our movies exist in digital files to begin with. To go back and rebuild to a quality 3D experience is not inexpensive, but we are about to achieve a pretty high quality result," he said. The price could cost $20 million per film and take 18 months.
The company is investing in technological innovations with post 2D-to-3D conversion to improve the stereo process, predicting that within one to two years, films could be available in 3D for home entertainment.
He noted that George Lucas plans to convert Star Wars and James Cameron is testing the conversion of Titanic in 3D, he said. "They are not going to do anything to diminish the importance of those films. Jim is a perfectionist."
Katzenberg also predicted that glasses-free 3D viewing in theaters and billboards is 10 to 15 years away, though handheld devices with 3D capability and medium-size auto-stereo monitors will happen sooner.