Watch 3D Movies In 2D By Tweaking Glasses

If you can’t stand 3D movies, you can usually see the film at a 2D showing and save yourself the surcharge. But occasionally, social and temporal mandates may force you into the theater for a 3D show. To prepare for such an occasion, you can tinker with a pair of 3D glasses so you can watch the movie in 2D.

3D Film Tutorials takes you through the process. Starting with two pairs of glasses, you pop the left lens out of one pair and the right lens out of the other. Then you swap the lenses, giving you two pairs of glasses which will give both eyes the same image, just as things would be if you were watching the movie in 2D.

So there you have it. Now your 3D movie-loving pals have to come up with another excuse to ditch you on movie night.

3D to 2D glasses (reverse conversion) [3D Film Tutorials]


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  1. Grogey says:

    To me 3D movies are pointless…. If I wanted 3D I would go outside and have my own adventures.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Color in movies is pointless. If I wanted color, I’d go to a museum

      Sound in movies is pointless. If I wanted sound, I’d have a conversation with someone.

      • Rachacha says:

        The difference is, at least with movies that are being released, the studios are using all sorts of 3D gimics (shooting an arrow, pointing, having a vicious animal jump out of the screen. While an interesting effect, they usually tend to remove you from the story that you are watching. 3D in real life is usually not that startling. While I know that many sound effects are added later on a sound stage, if they are done properly, you don’t notice them unless they are part of the story (the creaking door, the footstep at the end of the hall, etc), and the sound engineer mixes in teh sound effects so they sound just like they do in real life, something you hear in the background.

        3D might eventually become the same way, but the studios will need to rethink how they shoot the film to stop the gimmics in my opinion.

        • caradrake says:

          This is a very good point and sums up exactly why I don’t really care for 3D movies. I wouldn’t mind so much if the entire movie was done in it, but the fact that it is a tool to allow certain scenes to be in 3D, while the rest are static, just detracts from the movie. I was at a “Haunted Lighthouse” (I think?) showing at Busch Gardens about 10 years ago, and they used 3D and water/air affects from the chair. It was a cute gimmick but not something I would want in all of my movies.

          I also get migraines insanely easy, so I’d rather not deal with them just to watch a movie.

          How would you acquire two pairs of glasses? Around here, you pay $2 extra to watch the movie, an employee at the theater door gives you your glasses, and then takes them back as you are leaving afterwards.

        • kc2idf says:

          I saw Stargate in 3D some time ago. The neat thing about that is this: this was a movie that was in 3D, as opposed to a 3D movie. The difference between the two is that the story was fine and stood on its own without any 3D gimmickry. Seeing it in 3D just added something visual to the film, but no bullshit.

          By comparison, Journey to the Centre of the Earth (the recent one with Brendan Fraser) was a 3D movie. The movie very much sucked. It was, however, a great proof-of-concept for the Real-D 3D process.

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      My own adventures are significantly less exciting than the por– er, movies I watch.

  2. thomwithanh says:

    3D makes me motion sick

    • vorpalette says:

      Me, too. I’ve had a few friends get upset because I didn’t want to go see a 3D movie with them. Um, sorry? Also, I don’t want to pay $20.

      • SmokeyBacon says:

        Just say “ok, as long as I get to barf on you from the motion sickness” – I am the same way and that gets them to shut up pretty quickly about it. Lucky for me most of my friends know how bad it can get me so they don’t even bother to ask when it is a 3D trip.

  3. QuantumCat says:

    I have an astigmatism in my left eye and it makes it really hard to focus properly on poorly-done 3D. I get headaches after a while.

    I wouldn’t even mind so much if it added something to the experience, but so many times it’s just an excuse to fire bullets (in slow motion) into the screen.

    I recognize sometimes it’s done well, it just seems to be the exception rather than the rule in my limited experience.

  4. Cat says:

    Or just wait till it comes out on DVD / BR and watch it in 2d for a buck.

  5. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    This is pretty common-sense, at least for me. But then, I remember high school physics.

    I’ve made this suggestion to my sister; one of her eyes is damaged, so she has virtually zero depth perception, but she’s social enough to go to the movies with friends frequently.

  6. teke367 says:

    “Let’s not invite Jim, he’s going to ask one of use to pop out a lens and swap with him so he can watch the movie in 2D”

    New excuse already available.

  7. Power Imbalance says:

    3D is soo last semester…

  8. nicoleintrovert says:

    And still pay a significant amount more for sitting in the 3D theater as opposed to the one showing the same film in 2D? No thanks.

    • QuantumCat says:

      For me, the theater for 2D, 3D, or IMAX is all horridly overpriced. I’ll only go if my friends make it into a social thing, which often means I’m dragged into a 3D film because I don’t get to dictate terms to my entire group of friends. (Unfortunate as that is :) ) Otherwise I wait for things to come out on DVD/Blu-ray and rent them for less than $2 via Redbox.

      • nicoleintrovert says:

        See: Introvert.

        I don’t have many friends and would never put up with ones who insisted I simply must go to a movie with them or “iwontbeyourfriendanymore!”

        • QuantumCat says:

          I understand. They certainly don’t force it upon me, but I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like, so I’m not going to throw a tantrum to get my way if everyone else wants to see it 3D, you know? :)

    • notovny says:

      I’d guess that of you are using these glasses, you are going to the movie with person or persons who insist on seeing the 3D version and are unwilling or unable to watch the movie in a separate screening room.

    • derivativemandan says:

      Yeah, I have poor vision in one eye and can’t do 3D movies either. If my friends insist on my going to one of these and paying extra money, I’ll be finding new friends.

  9. Rachacha says:

    Unfortunaetly, it does not fix a lot of the problems with 3D…wearing the glasses (especially if you wear perscription glasses), the darkened screen and the cost.

    The only movie I have seen so far where the 3D was elegant (although still not necessary) was Avatar. They only did as I recall, one gimic of shooting something at the audience which allowed me to stay immersed in the story..

    • QuantumCat says:

      Yeah I saw Avatar in 2D (rented it) and it was the only movie I thought would have been a real treat in 3D. There were *so many* slow panning shots obviously meant to show off the gorgeous 3D… which lacks the same impact in 2D.

      • phonebem says:

        You actually pointed-out what was (for me) the most impressive thing about the 3D in Avatar. I really liked the way the 3D worked to give the screen depth, almost like looking into a window instead of the typical 3D gimmic of stuff coming out of the screen.

  10. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    3D – D = 30

    What? I can do math in Hexidecimal too, y’know!

  11. dosdelon says:

    I have been to a few 3D movies, some were done better than others, but I had the same problem at all of them. As a person with glasses none of the 3D glasses fit well over my glasses, even the ones that are supposedly designed to fit over glasses. I have to constantly push them back and it makes the movies far less enjoyable. I don’t think I’ll go to anymore 3d movies until they are able to produce a 3d image without the need for wearing 3D glasses.

  12. j2.718ff says:
  13. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    I don’t mind viewing the 3D movies but I tend to forget that I’m even watching it in 3D after a few minutes so why even bother paying more money? Unfortunately the theaters around us have such limited viewing times for 2D movies, especially the animated ones, that we end up going to the 3D version because it’s our only choice.

  14. Hi_Hello says:

    make sure you pop them back to normal before returning them.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      Why do I think it would be hilarious if someone switched the lenses in a bunch of these 3D glasses and handed them out to unsuspecting patrons as if they were regular 3D glasses…

  15. some.nerd says:

    Nice tip!

  16. majortom1981 says:

    I just wish the movie industry would switch over to the 3d that the new star wars attraction at disney uses. It is the dolby digital 3d. It is much better then the rest and did not darken the screen and gave full 3d even sitting at the sides. I just wish more movie theaters would use it.

  17. axolotl says:

    I really want to watch a movie in MagicEye. I feel like that movie-technology step was sort of skipped.

  18. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I’ve paid extra for 3D for some movies, like Avatar and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Mostly I don’t bother. The Burton Alice movie had it, but it really wasn’t worth a damn. It was muddy and unnecessary.

    HP: DH2 however was incredible. It looked really, really good. It was clear and lasted through the whole film. Instead of a dragon flying in your face and then nothing, you could see it when they peeked around corners, walked around, etc.

    I should have gone to the opening show and gotten the 3D Harry Potter round glasses, but I had to work the next morning. I’m so mad I didn’t get those. Grrrr…

  19. amuro98 says:

    One of my biggest problems with 3D is the glasses don’t fit over my regular glasses.

    Another problem is that around my house, 3D movies cost $5-7 more than the boring old 2D version.

    So…what’s the use of this when I can go to the non-3D version and “only” pay $11/ticket?

  20. shthar says:


    Now there just needs to be a 3d movie worth watching. And paying for.

  21. Difdi says: