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Sir David Attenborough Brings 3D To Life

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Since 3D launched on Sky back in October, it has been a bit of a non event. Sure, looking at Richard Keys in in all three dimensions in your living room is great but we always felt it was lacking something. And last night we found out what. Sir David Attenborough.

At a preview of Sky’s Flying Monsters 3D, we saw Sir David in all his 3D glory – and not just because we managed to talk to the legend in person. Speaking after the film, which will be premiered on Sky in 3D on Christmas Day, the octogenarian detailed how he had been in television since 1952 and had seen it go from live-only broadcasts to recorded broadcasts, from black and white to colour and now from 2D to a new age of 3D. While admitting that he was a BBC man “through and through” he said when approached by Sky to film this in 3D, he couldn’t refuse.

The film itself looks at Pterasours – the first creatures that ever took to the sky. Using Sir David’s unique talents, Flying Monsters details how the scientific world discovered the existence of these animals, who flew over 200 million years ago, and charts their progress through the next 130 million years before a meteor wiped them from the face of the earth. The 3D effect is used sparingly on this production – because they didn’t want to bombard viewers Sir David noted.

It was also revealed last night that the famed natural history broadcaster was going to be working again with Sky on a 3D project to do with penguins. We got the opportunity to ask Sir David whether he felt 3D would work as well with real animals as it had done with CGI-based animals. He said that the logistics of filming in 3D were a lot more difficult that normal 2D filming. “You have to have four people carrying the camera. There were 12 or more people in the crew filming Flying Monsters whereas before you would at most have four on a shoot.”

While Flying with Monsters 3D was impressive and very fascinating as a natural history documentary, you get the feeling that some of the effects are still not fully evolved and will be a few years before Sir David will be able to fully take advantage of this emerging technology.

Flying Monsters 3D will air on Sky 3D on Christmas Day at 6pm.

Update: We have just had official word from Sky that the penguin thing spoken of above will be called Penguin Island 3D which will be "a dramatic look into the world of King penguins promising romance, in-fighting and high drama, all set on the spectacular and uninhabited island of South Georgia." They even sent over a nice Penguin picture for us to look at.

Speaking about his latest project Sir David said: "South Georgia is one of the most extraordinary and least appreciated places for wildlife in the world. King penguins are particularly interesting because they are so big that the chicks can’t grow to adult dimensions and strength to go to sea within a year. The landscape and wildlife of South Georgia is very dramatic, and I think it will look absolutely mind-blowing in 3D.”

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