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Say what you want about Michael Bay but you have to admit that his work, before the visual mess of Transformers 2 anyway, demonstrates that at the least he has a flair for the visual. Michael Bay knows how to make things look good, so it seemed like a good idea to let him shoot Transformers 3 in 3D when we heard about it a few months ago. Except, well, they’re not.

When producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talked to us about shooting the movie in 3D back then the thing that nearly everyone glossed over is that what he actually said is that they’re “doing a lot” of the movie in 3D. How much is a lot? It’s unclear but whatever that other percentage is we now know it will be done using proven to be horrible, 3D post-conversion technology.

Talking to Moviefone Transformers: The Dark of the Moon director of photography Vince Pace admitted that when it comes to choosing between shooting in 3D like Avatar and using Clash of the Titans style post-conversion they’ve decided they’re “doing both”. He then quickly went on to talk up how hard they’re working on it. Maybe they are, but they aren’t working hard enough to shoot the whole thing in 3D. Obviously you can’t do “both” at the same time so that means parts of the movie will be shot in 3D and others will simply look terrible, like almost all live-action post-conversion 3D does.

Maybe they’ll turn this around, maybe Transformers: The Dark of the Moon will be the movie to prove that there’s a way for live-action post-conversions not to suck. Right now, however, there’s a Titan-sized mountain of cinematic evidence which pretty clearly says otherwise.

If post-conversion is so good why not do the entire thing that way? The answer to that question is obvious. Audiences have started to catch on to the fact that post-conversion 3D doesn’t work. That’s why Resident Evil: Afterlife went so far out of its way to advertise that the movie was shot in 3D and therefore not a post-conversion. By shooting even a small portion of the movie in 3D, now Transformers 3 will be able to say the same on its posters, even if it’s not entirely true.