150,000 of their 3D glasses circulate in the world and are used for each session of the new Avatar in 3D. James Cameron relied on the technology of the small company Eyes3Shut, near Brest. A budding success story.
The Festival of Lights 2022 in Lyon
“With the revival of advanced 3D, our company has regained its colors” smiled Jean-Louis de Bougrenet. This specialist in the world of optics is the scientific director of the company that created the 3D glasses used in Avatar 2.
“After years of being in the dark, 3D is coming back strong. Big movies and big theaters want advanced 3D. We are the only ones in this cutting-edge market” he explains.
The company run by Jean-Louis de Bougrenet and Renaud van Lith specializes in so-called active 3D glasses. Unlike the glasses used in 2009 during the big 3D boom. “At the time, a cinema giant had imposed an economic model with glasses for 1 euro. All the multiplexes were equipped with this product, which did not offer particularly immersive 3D”.
The 3D glasses company based in the tip of Finistère was already positioned on the concept of so-called “active” glasses, because it is the liquid crystals in the glasses that enable the eye to see 3D.
“With our glasses, the sense of immersion is much stronger. Liquid crystals make it possible to offer a high fluidity in the visualization of 3D”. The scientific director of the company Eye Triple Shut realizes the correct alignment of the stars, which benefits his company.
“Around 2012, 3D experienced a very significant decline. A real crossing of the desert. The movies had abandoned this technology and so had the cinemas.” breathes the Breton scientist.
Many companies in this market are disappearing. The Breton company has to get rid of a large part of its staff, but it manages to survive thanks to its pioneering know-how.
“Our contracts with places like Futuroscope, Océanopolis or Disney have allowed us to hold on and now we are the last on the high-end 3D market” witnesses Jean-Louis de Bougrenet. The Market Act is clear. After a period when businesses close, whoever stands up wins if the market picks up.
And the lucky star for the Breton company in 3D glasses is called James Cameron. “We are lucky that the director of Avatar is technically savvy and very demanding in terms of the quality of immersion”. Their advanced solution catches the eye of the director of two of the three biggest box office hits, Avatar and Titanic.
James Cameron was able to impose his choice of active 3D glasses imagined and assembled in Brittany. And this choice of one of the most influential directors in the world launched a new dynamic.
The large multiplexes are equipped with our glasses. They choose to rent our products from us for their rooms. They are even equipping themselves with new screens suitable for high-resolution 3D projection.
“The future of 3D will be active glasses, that’s obvious” breathes Jean-Louis de Bougrenet, “especially with the arrival of the latest cinematic format, HFR, High Frame Rate”. A technology that requires a high frame rate, and which Breton 3D glasses handle perfectly. “Our solution is stabilized” concluded the optical researcher who received the Academy of Sciences’ main prize in 2022.
More than 150,000 Breton 3D glasses are used worldwide, the small company has become a leader in Europe.and at this rate we will be the world leader” laughs Jean-Louis de Bougrenet.
To see the sea monsters and the hyper-realistic scenes of Avatar “the way of the water” in 3D, we have to thank a small group of enthusiasts located in Plouzané. “I would never have set up my company in Paris, I’m Breton and we can do everything here”.