2D Glasses: Watch 3D Movies Without the 3D

     April 19, 2011


I remain a 3D agnostic, but I sympathize to the plight of those who suffer headaches at their local cinemas.  Vlogger and renowned nerdfighter Hank Green has the solution: 2D glasses!  The glasses take advantage of a minor technological alteration to enable the wearer to view a 3D projection in two dimensions, resulting in “an elimination of eyeball strain.”

Hit the jump for more on how the glasses work, plus details on how to obtain a pair.

The technology behind 2D glasses is not new, but to my knowledge, this is the first mass production.  Given the constant refrains of the “Post-Converted Blues” we hear around these parts, Lord knows there’s a market!  Green is selling the glasses for $7.99 at 2D-Glasses.com.

Here’s the official description of “How It Works”:

When you watch a 3D movie, there are actually two images being projected onto the screen. That’s why the screen is blurry when you look at it without glasses. In 3D glasses one of the lenses blocks one image and the other lens blocks the other image.

Thus, when you watch a 3D movie each of your eyes are seeing a slightly different image. Your brain combines those images together, creating the illusion of a 3D image.

2D Glasses block the same image with both lenses, so each eye gets the same picture resulting in a 2D image and an elimination of eyeball strain.

Green explains how his wife motivated the entrepreneurial streak in a recent vlog:


Best wishes to the endeavor!


  • Alex H

    Haha WOW I watch these guys (vlogbrothers) almost everyday!!! I couldn’t believe it when I saw this article!!!


  • Liam

    So you pay $8 for a pair of glasses so you can pay $5 more per ticket so you can see it in 2D?

    Yeeeeah. 3D isn’t a money grabbing gimmick at all…

    • pj_campbell

      Some peoples theaters don’t play movies in 2D, so this is a great option for them if they don’t like 3D or it hurts their eyes. I’m all for it. Hell, I may get a pair because I’m not really into the 3D thing…

    • shortygurl0815

      Sometimes, my friends all want to see the 3D version of a film, but I just can’t handle the strain. I’m willing to pay the extra $3 just so that I can still go out and enjoy the film with them as opposed to having to pass up the night out!

    • shortygurl0815

      Not to mention, ever think about how expensive it is for these theatres to be keeping up with this trend of 3D popularity? They’ve had to completely replace their equipment for each one of the screens that they make available to show digital or 3D. I would say that it’s not a money grabbing scheme… seems more like running a business.

  • IllusionOfLife

    Most theaters have non-3D showings of the major releases along with the 3D showing. Save $3 a ticket and got to that, besides, these will still have the problem of dimming the image.

    I’m a fan of 3D when it’s done right (How to Train Your Dragon, TRON: Legacy), but I avoid anything post-converted like the plague.

    • dadada

      Post conversion can be done right if all the elements are sent separately and in layers to the conversion house. Avatar had post conversion as far as I know. In fact, a lot of things are fixed in post (re-alignment to avoid non-horizontal movement, color differentiations) to make the 3d better EVEN if it was shot in 3d. 3d is still very new for most post production studios. Some do it better than others.

  • junierizzle

    Can’t you just watch the 2D version??

    I guess it could work for couples like this dude and his wife.

  • H20

    Like someone already said, they don’t offer both versions everywhere. I’m forced to watch the 3D at both multiplexes near me

  • dogg

    James Cameron makes a phone call and this guy disappears…

    • Alex H

      While that is probably true, it’s doesn’t affect James Cameron in any way. You see, the 3D tickets are still being bought, thus the people are still paying for the 3D. They’re just watching it in 2D.

      It has no affect on the studios involved.

  • Janeails22x

    What if a child, or group of children wanted to go see a 3D movie, and as a treat, the parents decide to take them. However, the parents may not want to do the 3D thing, and therefore, this is actually a pretty nifty option for those who go with a group that wants to see 3D and you don’t.

  • JLC

    Though it might prove a logistical nightmare, why don’t theaters that only show films in 3D offer this option to their patrons, particularly parents? They’d still have to pay the 3D premium, but they wouldn’t have the added expense of buying the 3D-canceling glasses.

    • shortygurl0815

      I completely support this idea! I work for a large movie theatre chain and have already begun to push for this at my location. Seriously, anyone who likes the idea of their local theatres offering these glasses with no affect to the 3D ticket price, please express that! It takes feedback from movie goers to make these things happen!!

  • tarek

    Buy a Ferrari Aperta. Install a speed regulator on it. Congratulations! You can drive it now safely.

    • swas!

      That’s your best option when the only cars they sell are Ferrari Apertas

      • tarek

        You got the idea. ^^

  • Corin

    This is a good idea. 3D when it isn’t done right just looks like balls and detracts from the movie. I actually didn’t enjoy Toy Story 3 much because I was so distracted by the 3D that I forgot what the story was about.

    Other than Toy Story 3 and Avatar I haven’t seen any movies in 3D and I don’t plan to until Avatar 2 comes out.

  • Brock


  • tarek

    Dinosaurs Failed To Beat Asteroid

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  • space cadet

    i like to watch my movies in 2 1/2 D it’s amazing.

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  • Richard Tonkin

    Being blind in one eye, this is great news. Next time you’re at a 3D movie watch it for a while with one eye foshut.. that’s how I see ‘em. Thank you for the info. Now monocular folk (more of us than you might think) can enjoy 3D movies with others!

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