Aymax – what is it, technical specifications of a format, features of films and movie theaters

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The advent of 3D technology was considered by many to be the greatest achievement of cinema. But more recently, a more advanced movie playback technique has emerged. Imax technology allows you to watch high-quality movies, completely immersed in the atmosphere of the film. In Russia and the CIS countries such cinemas began to appear in large numbers. Many people wonder what are the features of film technology and whether to buy special glasses..

What is Aymax

What does this name include? Aymax is literally translated “maximum image”, a cinematic widescreen technology that allows the reproduction of high-quality feature films. The film format itself was developed by the Canadian IMAX corporation in 1970. Its width is 70 millimeters, and the frame is located along. The large area of ​​the film image allows you to play movies on large screens.

What is IMAX 3D in movie theaters

Conventional cinema systems have a screen width less than the width of the auditorium. The imax format creates a panoramic effect in the room. The angular dimensions of the image exceed the field of view of a person sitting anywhere. The shape of the screen resembles a crescent. Due to the bending of the border, the videos become fuzzy, which allows you to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the film. A person literally feels that he is moving into virtual space. IMAX projector is often called a giant screen.

The technology has a high resolution system, qualitatively details the image. Halls with IMAX technology are not designed for a wide audience. The room allows no more than 14 rows, the rear of which are located at a distance equal to the height of the screen. It is amazing that the chairs are at an angle, which allows a person to relax as much as possible while watching.

IMAX logo


Aymax 3D is a complex of advanced technologies that are completely immersed in another world for 2-3 hours. The standard screen dimensions are 16.1 x 22 meters, but there are more if the dimensions of the hall allow. Many old movie theaters remodel movie viewing rooms for the digital version of aimax by purchasing new equipment. The following are the benefits of technology for watching movies:

  1. Filming is carried out using two cameras, which provide a new level of three-dimensional image.
  2. To play movies use dual projectors, stereo glasses.
  3. The cinema uses a laser system to equalize sound. It does not stun the audience, but supports the optimal soundtrack throughout the session.
  4. The space of the hall is filled so as to expand the visibility range of the cinema.
  5. The maxax screen size is 2, or even 3 times larger than a standard 3D projector. Because of this, the viewer feels all the epic and dramatic highlights.
  6. Most cinema halls have comfortable armchairs, located at an angle and with vibration massage. While watching, the viewer can completely relax and feel at home..
  7. The realism of the video. In the cinemas of Aymax, it seems as if the viewer exists with the characters. With 3D format, the effect is not felt so brightly and the emotions from viewing will not be the same.


To shoot films, a 7 cm wide film is used, on which the frame is located along and occupies a height of 15 perforations. For older formats, images are applied across 5 perforations. The film itself is made using a non-shrink dacron substrate, a battery. This ensures the stability of the picture, the accuracy of movement. Technical characteristics of the rest of the equipment for filming:

  1. The camera does not have serial production; it is assembled to order in single variants or in small batches. For the most spectacular scenes, cameras weighing 46 pounds and film with a flow rate of 150 meters for 1.5 minutes are used.
  2. A traditional projector provides a single pass through the camera. Because of this, the film is not damaged by the high speed of scrolling and the high load of the grab on the perforation. All projectors are equipped with an intermittent film movement system, it is also called a rolling loop. The frame is large, so a glass surface is added to the optical system, to which the film is pressed using a vacuum pump.
  3. In maximax films, a seven-channel digital sound is used to play audio, which is synchronized with the projector using SMPTE (time code). Sound is transmitted from the hard disk without compression and is decoded by Dolby Digital. To make phonogram speech more legible for the audience, special attention is paid to acoustic design. Speakers are attached with a laser beam to maintain accurate distance.
  4. In the cinema, the viewer’s location is much closer to the screen than in 3d. High-quality image detail and a wide screen overlaps the field of view of a person, which allows you to achieve the effect of complete immersion in the film. The disadvantage of the cinema is that the hall accommodates a small number of spectators (from 8 to 14 rows). Armchairs are located at a slope of 300. Standard screen dimensions – 22×16.1 meters.


The films based on the Aymax system are based on a perforated film with a width of 70 mm, which arranges frames longitudinally. Fragments of the movie are arranged along in increments of 15 perforations, and in other systems only 5. Projectors move the film vertically at a standard shooting frequency of 24 frames per second. It is made using a non-shrink dacron substrate, which gives increased strength and stability of the picture, the accuracy of its movement.

The IMAX film format can be rolled, production and contact. Only the main, most dramatic movie scenes are shot in large format, due to the lack of bulky and noisy equipment. Most of the movie scenes are reproduced in medium formats, which are printed optically, and then digitally processed. It often happens that films are entirely shot in the usual format, smaller than the original Super Panavision 70 or Super-35, but then simply printed in the Aymax format.



The main component of Aymax equipment is a projector. For the filming of feature films, original dual projectors and the patented Image Enhancer system, which improves image quality, are used. This technology supports stable brightness, saturation and contrast of the video, eliminating strong jumps. The aimax projector provides a large amount of light in 3D films, unlike other formats.

It is compatible with jpeg 2000 files. The movie projector, like the camera, has two lenses and a powerful xenon lamp. The projector is charged with two films, the sound is recorded on a separate track so that there is no compression. For example, in a standard 3D cinema, two projectors are used that are located at a certain distance from each other.

Image Separation Method

Cinemas use different methods to split the image. Today, there are three technologies: polarization, active, anaglyph. The latter is considered the oldest and cheapest. Films shot using the anaglyph method have a low cost. The polarization method splits the image frame by frame. Movie rentals in turn for each eye project 3 frames at a speed of 70-72 frames / second. Along with this, a silver-plated screen is used, transmitting the polarization of light to the audience.

The essence of polarization technology: the frames of the right eye have horizontal polarization, and the left – vertical. 3D glasses have two lenses with different planes. It turns out that the most epic shots do not escape the viewer’s eyes. The method has drawbacks – when the head is tilted, the immersion effect of the film is lost, the image quality decreases.

Less commonly, movie theaters use shutter technology: glasses consist of LCD shutters that open and close alternately. It turns out that the viewer sees every second moment with only one eye. Unlike shutter technology, the polarization method is more sparing for human vision. When you watch movies, your eyes get less tired and overexert.

Halls features in IMAX cinemas

IMAX movie complexes have a number of interesting features. A special layout contributes to a visual increase in space. The screen occupies the entire wall when, as in 3D rooms, the visual range is larger than the projector. The creators took care of the comfort of the audience and improved seats. The seats are located at an angle of 300, providing the visitor with a reclining position. The screen itself is also inclined, in the form of a semicircle. The length of the hall is 8-14 rows. The distance from the scene to the last row is equal to the height of the screen.

Screen size

The opening angle of the shutter in IMAX screens is 20%, due to the features of transportation. This has a positive effect on light output. The standard screen size is 16.1 x 22 m. Due to its enormous dimensions, special requirements are placed on it. It is much more difficult to achieve optimal illumination and brightness on the screen than on a regular one. The projectors have xenon lamps of good power and short-focus lenses, which are specially designed for the geometry of the hall screen. The maximum weight of a film projector can be 1.8 tons.


Modern IMAX cinemas use seven-channel digital audio, which is synchronized using the SMPTE code. Previously, a 35 mm wide magnetic perforated tape synchronized with a movie projector was used. Today, sound is read from the hard drive without compression, and then decoded by Dolby Digital. Video is also played from the hard drive. To make the soundtrack as natural as possible, speakers are placed around the cinema and behind the screen. Laser beams are used for the correct placement of audio..

Cinema hall

Varieties of IMAX

The spherical cinema system, which shows the film on a dome-shaped screen, is called IMAX Dome. Filming is carried out using a fisheye lens. It distorts the image captured on film, so parts of the frame that are severely deformed are obscured by a special mask. Distortion is compensated by the shape of the screen. The result is a picture similar to a hemispherical view. To get a picture that completely fills the dome, the optical axis of the lens goes far below the center. Therefore, the sky occupies a significant part of the image..

The projector of the dome cinema is raised with the help of a special elevator and is located like a planetarium projector. Using a wide-angle lens, the film covers a viewing angle of 1800 horizontally, 1000 vertically up and 220 down. Because of this, the image reaches gigantic proportions. In Copenhagen, for example, the area of ​​the IMAX Dome dome screen is 800 m2. The following are the features of the technology for shooting IMAX 3D format:

  1. To create a three-dimensional picture, a dual movie camera is used. The lenses are located at a distance of the stereo base, which coincides with the space between the pupils of the average person. Sometimes the width is done more specifically to enhance the effect of the depth of space in the main movie scenes..
  2. During 3D shooting, two hard films of 65 mm are used, one for the left eye and the other for the right. The equipment is heavy, weighs more than 100 kg, this significantly slows down the work process. Difficulties arise when shooting scenes with a moving camera. For the IMAX 3D format, dual digital movie cameras with a Super-35 sensor are used, which is then converted to standard.
  3. For 3D films, polarization technology for stereo imaging is used. IMAX 3D movie rental appears less frequently due to high screen requirements. It should not change the polarization of light incident from two projectors. To avoid this problem, the screen is treated with a silver coating..

Some cinemas use the IMAX 4DX format to enhance the effect of being present in the movie’s atmosphere. It gives a more realistic feeling. In addition to visual accompaniment, other effects are also affecting the viewer: aromas, smells, a breath of wind and a sense of movement. The question arises, how is this even possible. For example, from the side seats, trickles of air are fed into the face, and a special ventilation system creates wind. Lighting effects, such as lightning and explosions, are triggered by side strobe lights. There are still bubbles and fog in the room.

IMAX HD has an increased shooting frequency and projection of 48 frames / second. The format allows you to remove the intermittent movement that often occurs on large screens. The cost of equipment for shooting HD is 1.5 times higher due to the fact that the film moves faster. The high price is the main obstacle to the development of IMAX HD in Russia. The most famous imax movie theater of this format is located at Disneyland.

What is the difference between IMAX 3D and 3D

In IMAX 3D cinemas, the sound quality is much higher; at every point in the hall, the viewer hears the movie equally. In ordinary 3D halls, the first rows suffer from too high sound frequencies. The new format is superior in terms of technical specifications. But they fit more people. IMAX 3D screens have the shape of a crescent, 3D – flat. Due to this, the viewer is immersed in the film picture. The cost for aimax cinema is much higher, but emotions will be indescribable.

IMAX 3D lettering

Format prevalence

According to statistics of 2010, the world numbered 396 movie theaters in IMAX format. Today, their number and demonstration are growing rapidly. They are scattered in 44 countries and are available in major cities of Russia. 55% of movie theaters are located in Canada and the United States. Half were built for commercial purposes, the other remained educational. The largest screen is located in the capital of Australia – Sydney. In 2019, Russia already has 36 operating cinemas in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Voronezh and other populated cities..

Films in IMAX

An art or science film shot in IMAX format has clarity and realism. Recently, old films have begun to convert to film copies and displays on large screens. So in IMAX format appeared the Best shooter (1986), the Wizard of Oz (1939) and many others. Due to the high cost of equipment, new films are shot very little – no more than 50 per year around the world. Among them are: Avatar, Deadpool, Divergent 3, Hardcore, Travel from Paris and others.

Omnimax collaborates with space organizations. Together they made about ten documentaries about life outside the globe, about the secrets of the galaxy. Russians are familiar with films and photographs taken with the Hubble telescope. The most famous in the world was the scientific imax cinema under the name “Space Station in 3D”, in the filming and resolution of which not only NASA, but also Russian cosmonauts contributed.

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