Motor Trend Reviews McLaren MP4-12C in 3D Courtesy of Honda

Though it’s surprising that Cars In Depth hasn’t been joined by other car sites in embracing 3D technology, it’s nice to see that Motor Trend recognizes the value of stereo imagery. Honda must also see value in 3D since they’re the ones paying for Motor Trend’s experiment in the hard copy edition of their April 2011 issue. Accompanying a five page spread on the new McLaren MP4-12C, illustrated with large 3D anaglyphs, is a two page 3D ad for the Honda CR-Z as well as an inserted pair of American Paper Optics’ cardboard red/cyan 3D glasses, printed with CR-Z ad copy that includes a web address for a CR-Z site in 3D. The site has a couple of 3D images of the car as well as a 3D version of a CR-Z commercial.

Actually, it’s not that surprising to me that one of the buff books has started using 3D. Ironically, though personal computers have considerable graphics capabilities, the one area where the traditional enthusiast magazines still excel is in photography and graphics. There’s something about a two page photo spread in a magazine. It has a visual pop that the same image on a computer screen just doesn’t have.

Also, all three of the major buff books, MT, Car and Driver and Road & Track have feature articles on the new McLaren in their April issues. Using 3D is one way for Motor Trend to stand out from the other two.

Motor Trend puts 3D to good effect, no pun intended. In addition to a front 3/4 beauty shot in 3D of the McLaren in front of a racetrack grandstand, the first drive article is also illustrated with a 2 page exploded computer generated 3D image of the MP4-12C’s structural and mechanical components. It’s a rather clever way to use 3D. The same graphic, only in 2D, is in Road & Track. The likely source of both versions is McLaren, including the 3D version since McLaren, like most automakers, uses 3D and virtual reality in designing and developing products.

3D is catching on pretty quickly. Motor Trend uses 3D in a feature article about a high profile car. Honda is sponsoring it as well as setting up a dedicated 3D site for the CR-Z. It won’t be too long before 3D articles in magazines will no longer be worthy of note.

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