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Will they ever fix Soarin' distortion?

rreading

Premium Member
So the two questions still linger:

Is it possible to fix the distortion? Sounds like probably not

Does WDW care? In California they should just go back to the original (or offer both). My preference would be for them to update the film. Flying by the (usually distorted) Eiffel Tower or CGI Taj Majal does nothing for me; vistas of beautiful lands are *to me* much more relaxing and enjoyable.
 

DisneyCane

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There is an exception: the scene of the Golden Gate Bridge, which appears distinctly sagging because of the distortion.

There is some slight distortion evident in that video but it is more with things at the edges of the frame. The balloons don't morph into new shapes, the trees and poles in the middle of the screen don't bend like superman is grabbing the ends, the control tower and crane on the aircraft carrier don't start leaning, etc.

The frame edge stuff evident in this video (and I guess if you really looked for it in the old version while riding) is in your peripheral vision.

Compare the slight distortion of the Golden Gate Bridge in this video with what happens to the castle in the new version.
I carefully watched for it when I rode the center group and saw no noticeable distortion at all. Others may vary, but that was my observation. I must admit though that I also had seen it from the sides and did notice the distortion, but, frankly didn't care at all.
From the center you won't see the distortion.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
There is some slight distortion evident in that video but it is more with things at the edges of the frame.
It’s the same amount of distortion as in the current video, just less obvious. Note that the bridge curves in entirely the wrong direction—it appears to sag just as the Eiffel Tower appears to bend.

30a26ed9df59698d660b512ccae9c176.jpg
 
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Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
Back to my earlier point. The distortion existed in SoC, but was much less noticeable because unless you looked for it, it was hidden by the fact that most of the views are of nature rather than recognizable landmarks. The distortion of the bridge really is not very good, but it's only the opening frame and gets forgotten rather quickly as you go from scene to scene of other enjoyable activities in nature. SoC is just a much better film than SotW for the ride/show. I mean, not only does it work better, it's superior in every other way IMO. I wish for a short while they'd show SoC on one screen, and SotW on the other. Once they see the waiting lines for SoC are much longer, maybe they'd understand their error in changing it and go back to SoC permanently. The cost to do this would be almost nil.

I don't blame a corporation/person for taking a swing and missing, but I do blame them for being incapable of recognizing, admitting, and then correcting the error. I'd have a ton more respect for Disney if they'd just correct their mistake and go back. SO much cheaper than to take another swing, spending a ton of money on a new video that might not be any better.
 

DisneyCane

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So the two questions still linger:

Is it possible to fix the distortion? Sounds like probably not

Does WDW care? In California they should just go back to the original (or offer both). My preference would be for them to update the film. Flying by the (usually distorted) Eiffel Tower or CGI Taj Majal does nothing for me; vistas of beautiful lands are *to me* much more relaxing and enjoyable.
Agree 100% with going back to to natural images of land (like the pavilion it resides in is supposed to highlight). The CGI Taj Mahal is really embarrassing. Most video games have more realistic looking buildings.
It’s the same amount of distortion as in the current video, just less obvious. Note that the bridge curves in entirely the wrong direction—it appears to sag just as the Eiffel Tower appears to bend.

30a26ed9df59698d660b512ccae9c176.jpg
I guess you are correct. I did watch a youtube POV from when they brought the original back in CA on the current projection system and it didn't look much more distorted than the video posted above from the IMAX film projection system. Maybe the lack of so much distortion has to do with shot composition and possibly also the lenses they shot the scenes with. The original "Soarin' Over CA" doesn't display the obvious distortion in the center of the screen that the current version does, even on the current projection system. The bridge distortion is the worst visible in the old film but even at the frame edge in your comparison, the support tower isn't bent nearly as much as the Eiffel Tower in the new version and that is dead center where it is most noticeable.

At WDW, I wish they would dedicate one theatre to the original version and let you choose which version you want. I'd always pic the CA version.
 

LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
Back to my earlier point. The distortion existed in SoC, but was much less noticeable because unless you looked for it, it was hidden by the fact that most of the views are of nature rather than recognizable landmarks. The distortion of the bridge really is not very good, but it's only the opening frame and gets forgotten rather quickly as you go from scene to scene of other enjoyable activities in nature. SoC is just a much better film than SotW for the ride/show. I mean, not only does it work better, it's superior in every other way IMO. I wish for a short while they'd show SoC on one screen, and SotW on the other. Once they see the waiting lines for SoC are much longer, maybe they'd understand their error in changing it and go back to SoC permanently. The cost to do this would be almost nil.

I don't blame a corporation/person for taking a swing and missing, but I do blame them for being incapable of recognizing, admitting, and then correcting the error. I'd have a ton more respect for Disney if they'd just correct their mistake and go back. SO much cheaper than to take another swing, spending a ton of money on a new video that might not be any better.
I’m in the minority here in that I like the new film. The only bit of CGI that looks egregious to me is the island rowing scene, and I always sit in one of the central gliders and so am spared the distortion. While I know it’s taken for granted here that the vast majority of people would pick the original film over the new one if offered both options, I’m not convinced that ordinary guests are as decided on the matter. Was there any significant change in guest satisfaction after the switch? Perhaps @lentesta has some relevant data.
 

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
I’m in the minority here in that I like the new film. The only bit of CGI that looks egregious to me is the island rowing scene, and I always sit in one of the central gliders and so am spared the distortion. While I know it’s taken for granted here that the vast majority of people would pick the original film over the new one if offered both options, I’m not convinced that ordinary guests are as decided on the matter. Was there any significant change in guest satisfaction after the switch? Perhaps @lentesta has some relevant data.
I can respect that. I would never criticize you or anyone else in any way for enjoying the current version. It's a matter of preference. If they keep the ride the same, you'll be happier. If they change it, I'll be happier. Since neither one of us has control, guess it doesn't matter a whole lot. 😁 My dream of changing the ride back is basically just that. I'd say there's little to no chance of that ever happening. If there's one thing I've come to realize about Disney, is they will never admit a mistake (if that's what anyone would consider the change to Soarin' of course), and they make no apologies. Think there's any chance of them changing Tron Test Track (3T) back to the Test Track that made sense? Nope. I'm sure tons of people love 3T, but it made sense as a test facility... hot, cold, corrosion, speed test, suspension test, handling test, brake test against a barrier. Now it's just Tron Coaster... sorta, with speed tracking at the end for no reason.
 
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LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
I can respect that. I would never criticize you or anyone else in any way for enjoying the current version. It's a matter of preference. If they keep the ride the same, you'll be happier. If they change it, I'll be happier. Since neither one of us has control, guess it doesn't matter a whole lot. 😁 My dream of changing the ride back basically just that. I'd say there's little to no chance of that ever happening. If there's one thing I've come to realize about Disney, is they will never admit a mistake (if that's what anyone would consider the change to Soarin' of course), and they make no apologies. Think there's any chance of them changing Tron Test Track (3T) back to the Test Track that made sense? Nope. I'm sure tons of people love 3T, but it made sense as a test facility... hot, cold, corrosion, speed test, suspension test, handling test, brake test against a barrier. Now it's just Tron Coaster... sorta, with speed tracking at the end for no reason.
Ditto as far as respect and enjoyment are concerned!

They will have to replace the film at some point; hopefully, Version 3 will strike the right balance and win general approval.
 

lentesta

Well-Known Member
I’m in the minority here in that I like the new film. The only bit of CGI that looks egregious to me is the island rowing scene, and I always sit in one of the central gliders and so am spared the distortion. While I know it’s taken for granted here that the vast majority of people would pick the original film over the new one if offered both options, I’m not convinced that ordinary guests are as decided on the matter. Was there any significant change in guest satisfaction after the switch? Perhaps @lentesta has some relevant data.

I think guest satisfaction levels stayed about the same. That was mildly surprising to me.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
There is some slight distortion evident in that video but it is more with things at the edges of the frame. The balloons don't morph into new shapes, the trees and poles in the middle of the screen don't bend like superman is grabbing the ends, the control tower and crane on the aircraft carrier don't start leaning, etc.

The frame edge stuff evident in this video (and I guess if you really looked for it in the old version while riding) is in your peripheral vision.

Compare the slight distortion of the Golden Gate Bridge in this video with what happens to the castle in the new version.

From the center you won't see the distortion.
I'm not sure which one you are referring too, but the golden gate was visible from the center, but since there was a lot of background it had to be search for to be, in ones face, noticeable. However, from the center area I have not noticed any distortion any worse then the Golden Gate on the old one or some of the tree tops during the river scene.
 

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
Thanks. Did you expect them to go down?
I did actually. Obviously by sheer numbers, most rides taken on any given ride are repeat from a previous trip, previous day, or just earlier that same day. I really thought fewer people would be enamored with the ride since the change, slowly reducing repeat rides over time. That doesn't seem to have happened as far as I know, but I'm curious if there are public stats on such a thing... rides taken per ride in a given year. I know they track that internally, but wonder if that's available publicly. That'd be interesting to see since the change.
 
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LittleBuford

Well-Known Member
I did actually. Obviously by sheer numbers, most rides taken on any given ride are repeat from a previous trip, previous day, or just earlier that same day. I really thought fewer people would be enamored with the ride since the change, slowing reducing repeat rides over time. That doesn't seem to have happened as far as I know, but I'm curious if there are public stats on such a thing... rides taken per ride in a given year. I know they track that internally, but wonder if that's available publicly. That'd be interesting to see since the change.
I like the new film because of its global scope, its attention to architectural landmarks, and its cute (sometimes gimmicky) transitions. Items 2 and 3 on my list are what seem to annoy people here, but I can see them being crowd-pleasers among the larger guest population. The distortion of the Eiffel Tower (and the Taj Mahal) is certainly very visible from the lateral gliders, and it bothers me enough that I always (politely) ask to be seated in the centre, but I think many simply accept that, as with any film or show, certain seats are going to be better than others. The overall experience is impressive and immersive enough that I don't think a few bendy sequences are enough to ruin it in most people's eyes.
 

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
I think one can like or even prefer the new film while still acknowledging (as I do) that it is not as successful as the old one was in getting around the problem of distortion. Some may consider the tradeoff worth it; most in this forum clearly don't.
Yep. Totally agree. Once again, I completely respect any and all who enjoy the current iteration more than the former. My preference is just for the former. The soundtrack for SoC gave me chills. Hearing, feeling, and seeing the jets come from behind and spread across the desert landscape... I dunno. The whole video and audio of SoC gave me chills. The current version just doesn't achieve that for me.
 

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
I think Mr. Morrow... Mr. Tom Morrow means Disney, execs, Imagineers, and the such.

Yes.

In some other threads I've posted a big analysis on why Soarin' Over California is much better, but I'm not sure where it is, so to summarize:

- SoC's emphasis was on the ground, and the act of flying over it. The purpose was to reflect on how wildly varied the landscape of California is. Much of AtW's focus is showing you recognizable landmarks that you fly towards.
- SoC had a greater emphasis on changes in altitude. You go from cresting over a mountain or cliff to over a huge chasm below, and next you're just a few feet above the ocean or a river.
- In SoC, you are constantly changing speed, pitch, tilt, altitude, etc. In almost every AtW scene you are flying straight at about the same speed. It feels like a screensaver.
- The segmented music track of AtW lacks the flow and emotional impact of the original, which is one complete piece.
- The transitions: I think a few are okay, but there's one for almost every scene change and it feels a bit too "in-your-face" for what is supposed to be a soothing experience. They also turn what was an artful presentation into a much more "theme park-y" one.

And simply put, Around the World suspiciously feels like the efforts of "new talent" missing all of these points and only observing the original attraction on a surface level without really analyzing what made it work.
 
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