Gandalf himself, Ian McKellen, has offered an update from near the Wellington set of The Hobbit. The actor just posted the following on his official site:
I've seen Bilbo — in three dimensions.
I was visiting old friends in the Stone Street offices and heard Martin Freeman was just round the corner by the permanent greenscreen, done up as Bilbo, testing his costume in front of the 3D cameras. Indeed, there he was in the open air, mostly oblivious to the camera, though turning this way and that as required. Martin improvised a hobbity gait, padding back and forth, testing his big hairy Hobbit feet, pointy ears and little tum.
Beneath the shade of a tent, in a sun hat, Andrew Lesnie was remotely controlling the two lenses within the mighty camera which digitally records in 3D. His screen showed the familiar 2D image but next to it, above the director's chair, was a large colour screen in full magical three dimensions, much as it will appear in the cinema — courtesy of the spy-glasses that transform the blurred outlines onscreen to the high definition exactitude of the 3D effect.
Three Bilbos simultaneously, two performances on screen and the actor beyond: which was the real one? Martin Freeman was transmuting into a character whose reality will soon be as authentic as his own.
While it may be a little while before Lord of the Rings fans get to see Bilbo in 3D for themselves, McKellen's description should certainly evoke a sense of excitement, chasing away any doubt of further delays. After many years, The Hobbit is finally on its way.