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The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think? 
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
Back on topic: There's my man, saying almost word for word of what I said, even making the same comparison to music *padding myself on shoulder* plus some excellent statements regarding 10 minute test footage:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/markkermode/ ... nd_no.html


Fri May 04, 2012 1:50 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
reviews coming in, maybe they should have passed on 48fps

Quote:
More disconcerting is the introduction of the film's 48-frames-per-second digital cinematography, which solves the inherent stuttering effect of celluloid that occurs whenever a camera pans or horizontal movement crosses the frame -- but at too great a cost. Consequently, everything takes on an overblown, artificial quality in which the phoniness of the sets and costumes becomes obvious, while well-lit areas bleed into their surroundings, like watching a high-end homemovie.


http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117948867?refcatid=31


Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:34 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
I'm skeptical of the doubters, if that makes any sense. It's going to take some time before we can decide which are the genuine objections and which are simply complaints that the new tech is different from what people are used to.

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Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:38 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
Ken wrote:
I'm skeptical of the doubters, if that makes any sense. It's going to take some time before we can decide which are the genuine objections and which are simply complaints that the new tech is different from what people are used to.


Agreed 100%. It is obviously (in part) about people who just can't let go.
Before I go any further: whenever Douglas Trumbull says anything about cinema technology and the human vision, my jaw hits the floor. This man really, I mean really is a genius and pioneer. So I'd say the following rule applies: "When Doug says speed 'em up, it means speed em up!" But of course everyone is entitled to their opinion and a comprehensive explanation why that is.

For once: if 48 fps reveals the sets and makeup too much (the same is said about the clearer image of Star Wars episonde IV: the BluRay edition makes it look cheaper), the problem is obviously NOT the increased motion resolution, but someone needs to work harder on the sets and makeup. The exact same problem happens with native IMAX productions: it takes longer to remove any dust and hairs from the set, and surface texture needs to be treated with much more care, because it all will show.

I repeat: 24 fps definitely is too slow. It is kind of acceptable in more recent flicks because all great cinematographer work their way around it.
To confirm this: Check Youtube for old news footage shot on 16mm. That would be in Europe roughly up until the early 1980s. Check when the camera has to pan at a medium speed, to catch anything unexpected occuring out of the frame (it's real life and the camera operator has to react in the moment), or even just pans without any great abd carefull planning. You can't recognize anything during that pan, because the strobing/wobbling effect is too strong at 24/25 fps.

Take your time and watch any 30s through 50s black and white movie. Including Hitchcock movies and eben "Citizen Kane" (!). There are tracking and panning shots which are simply unacceptable because of the wobbling that occurs when your eyes follow the image content across the sceen (the larger the screen, the worse). For decades we fought against (=got used to) that and it is almost part of our collective DNA to do that. But it's not right. Sure any higher frame rate would look like things are gliding and slipping, even without any video smear artifacts as evident in video productions up to the mid 90s (when digital video took over for good).
As Douglas Trumbull says: we need higher frame rates and much larger, curved screens - this will affect the way films are being made.

Peter Jackson made the right decision IMHO. He knew he will get a lot of heat. I like people who got the balls to do the right thing anyway.

3D is different. It is not fully developed and used with conventional filmmaking techniques. This obviously doesn't work. I'd say. let's first speed up the frame rate and at the same time the standard resoliution to at least 4K (= roughly 4000 pixels).


Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:12 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
I will also point out that noticing the fakery in a movie is not necessarily a bad thing. Sets? Makeup? Surely these things are acceptable as long as they're used to a creative purpose in the storytelling.

I will remind everyone that there was a time before movies when people went to the theater and saw live actors standing below a proscenium arch. I doubt people complained about being able to see the sets and makeup then. It is now just as it was then: it is not the audience's right to sit passively while the cast and crew strain to create a seamless VR experience.

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Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:30 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
Here is a clip from Hitch's "Psycho". It seems to be from the crystal-clear restored BluRay version (which I own and treasure).
Please make sure you find the right resolution and size to minimize image "ripping" (meaning image procesing issues with your computer regarding the image being "ripped" along horizontal lines). This of course is not the ideal example because this is an internet streaming video and there is a lot of math and conversions going on - but I found it good enough to make my point.

Then try to follow the leaf pattern with your eyes, instead of looking fixed at the screen. You will clearly see the 24 fps strobing/wobbling effect. The same occurs at the enmd of this short clip. The lamp in the foreground is out of focus so the wobbling is slightly less noticeable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyxcQ4FV ... plpp_video

Please check - I'll appreciate any kind of input.


Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:02 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
I think the problem with 48fps as well as digital photography is that it's going to require huge changes to how movies are made. Film as always been about creating the 'illusion' of reality, and there's always been a falseness about it. Digital photography has already required changes in how scenes are lit, since digital photography captures the light differently than film (particularly in low lit scenes). One of the complaints on The Hobbit 48fps is that the scenes look flatly lit, a complaint that didn't get lobbed against the 24fps version. Good DPs are already adapting to these changes. Just look at Skyfall, its digital photography is just something else, and looked quite unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I loved it. I think the problem with the Hobbit is that they decided to use this new technology, but didn't change the ways every other aspect of design was done to cater to these changes. Think about the changes that would have had to have been made going from black and white to colour. Suddenly there's so many more variables that would have to be considered that never mattered before.


Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:40 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
So, just to be clear. The 48fps effect is similar to the effect of higher frequency TVs, right? I agree with Ken. I'm skeptical of doubters, and interested to see the higher frequency perfected, but at the same time it takes some getting used to and, like Awk Man points out, definitely requires a different approach to filmmaking.

Does anyone have like an LED TV on which they watch this higher frequency stuff regularly? I dunno, what does everyone think of it? I think it really just depends on the movie. Threeperf, Psycho seems like a film who's style would mesh decently well with a higher frequency, but even so, it can't possibly compare to Skyfall, which is a film that's clearly been crafted and designed specifically for the new market of high-frequency bluray images. Yet again I'll assert that RE5 also falls into that camp. RE5 and Skyfall are perfect examples of how filmmaking needs to change to accomodate digitial cinematography and presentations.

But will the style work with up-converting older stuff? Hard to say. For me personally, it can be tedious to sit through 120 hz of a feature. It makes the film feel longer because the images are so crisp that they seem to linger more. And movement has certainly not been perfected, at least not on the TVs I've used. But theatrical projections of RE5 and Skyfall, in 2D, were exhilarating experiences. I'd love to see it reach its full potential.


Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:56 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
The frequency of the TV doesn't really effect the playback of the material. A 120Hz TV will refresh the image displayed 120 times per second, but the image being displayed will often be running at a different frame rate. So say you're watching a blu-ray, which typically plays at 24fps, then each of those 24 frames will be displayed 5 times.

Now LCD television have traditionally had issues with higher refresh rates, often producing an unstable/jittery image which is often unpleasant to watch. So to counter this issues, artificial smoothing was introduces, which would 'blend' the current image with the next one (over those 5 frames on a 120Hz TV) so that the transition looks smoother and more stable.

This essentially 'simulates' the process of shooting at a higher frame rate, though in practice it doesn't work very well. At this point, pretty much all films were designed for and shot at 24fps, so watching it with motion smoothing on an LCD doesn't look natural, and often the illusion is broken because the two technologies don't quite mesh together. So I wouldn't use motion smoothing on TVs as an argument against higher frame rates, as it's a flawed comparison.


Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:05 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
Awkward Beard Man wrote:
This essentially 'simulates' the process of shooting at a higher frame rate, though in practice it doesn't work very well. At this point, pretty much all films were designed for and shot at 24fps, so watching it with motion smoothing on an LCD doesn't look natural, and often the illusion is broken because the two technologies don't quite mesh together. So I wouldn't use motion smoothing on TVs as an argument against higher frame rates, as it's a flawed comparison.


That is absolutely correct. The typical "smear" effect of motion smoothening can be seen easily when the camera follows a character who is moving, or circles around it. This means the head/face is relatively stable and the viewer's eyes can focus on it - the background is moving. Check the area around the head on LCD tv screens when there is motion smoothening: there are artifacts which resemble the liquid smears when cleaning windows - it's horrible.
There is another strong argument against motion smoothening: when the director of photography opted for a hard strobing effect (think battle scenes in "Saving Private Ryan") - the effect is completely ruined when smoothening is on. I have it always turned off.
Here in Europe we have 100Hz technology (twice the old analog 50Hz standard), so movies on tv run at 25 fps (as they always have) and each frame is shown 4 times. The look is very slightly different, but the "liquid smear" artifact is exactly the same.

This should never be used against higher frame rates in film production. If movies can be shot at 120fps without compromising light input, image resolution and of course budget (mass data storage might still be a problem) - then I'd say: go for it. Imagine a huge screen and you see a car driving fast - the camera follows to keep the car centered in the image frame - finally your eyes can follow the background all across the screen and it remains as clear and steady as eveything else. That's impossible with 24fp. And it's just one of 1000s of examples why 24fps simply isn't enough. Of course since moving backgrounds are not blurred out by 24fps "soft strobing", the viewer will easily be distracted - that's one small example why higher frame rate requires complete new thinking about how movies are made. Repeating myself: the future is moving forward.


Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:29 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
Here's kind of a tangential question I have. What exactly is the technology behind these new digital projectors which have been implemented into movie theaters now? The projector I have at home is an InFocus DLP. How do current theater projectors differ from that?


Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:22 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
MGamesCook wrote:
Here's kind of a tangential question I have. What exactly is the technology behind these new digital projectors which have been implemented into movie theaters now? The projector I have at home is an InFocus DLP. How do current theater projectors differ from that?


This might be useful

Quote:
Each projector maker will have its own strategy for high frame rate support.

There are roughly 13,000 Sony 4K digital cinema projectors shipped worldwide, and “we expect the majority of those screens to have high frame rate support enabled by the time The Hobbit is released,” Sony told The Hollywood Reporter.

Industry leaders explained that Series 2 projectors from Barco, Christie and NEC—all of which used technology from Texas Instruments—would be able to show The Hobbit at a HFR and in 3D with a software upgrade and a piece of hardware call an “integrated media block” (IMB) with 48 fps (and 3D) support. Such IMBs are being developed by several manufacturers such as Christie, whose IMB is expected to be available in June for roughly $10,000.

Don Shaw, senior director, product management, Christie Entertainment Solutions, estimated that worldwide there are between 40,000 and 50,000 installed Series 2 projectors that are capable of being upgraded.


I wonder if the different projection strategies explain why people are having vastly different reactions to 48fps. People are saying it looks 'sped up'/jittery/dim/amazing/too real/fake, and often many of the claims contradict each other. Maybe it's because with such a new technology people don't really know how to react to it and vocalise their thoughts. Or maybe some projectors simply do a better job at displaying 48fps than others. I think my local theatre has a Sony 4K projector, so hopefully since it seems to have mostly native support of HFR technology I'll have a better experience than others.... At least I can hope.


Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:13 pm
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
My current theory is that the best format in which to watch a movie is the one that calls the least amount of attention to itself. What JB says in the hobbit review is exactly right. All this bullshit adds absolutely nothing to the goings on of the movie. It's dead weight.


Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:51 am
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
Is it calling attention to itself specifically because of something in the way that they used it, or is it calling attention to itself simply because eyes that have been trained by a lifetime of 24fps simply aren't used to 48fps?

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:01 am
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
Ken wrote:
Is it calling attention to itself specifically because of something in the way that they used it, or is it calling attention to itself simply because eyes that have been trained by a lifetime of 24fps simply aren't used to 48fps?


The second reason is the correct one. I think a sped up frame rate just throws in a curveball that you don't need. 48 vs. 24 can never determine whether the other aspects of a film are good or not. It doesnt' affect the acting.


Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:12 am
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
They said the same thing about colour films...


Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:43 am
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
Awkward Beard Man wrote:
They said the same thing about colour films...


Color brought films closer to life.

The digital conversion is the major change of our generation. Things like 48 fps and Imax cameras are merely cheap novelties which will be forgotten in the years to come, much like vista vision, super technirama, ultra-panavision, 70 mm, etc. They're just one more thing a director has to worry about. Color and digital are ultimately the opposite: two less things the director has to worry about.


Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:33 am
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
MGamesCook wrote:
Color brought films closer to life.


Life doesn't play at 24fps... In fact the problem with higher frame rates is that things look too 'real', where the 'illusion' of film is destroyed (sets, artificial lighting, fake beards, etc. look too obvious).

Having a film in black and white means there's a whole lot of stuff that a director doesn't have to worry about. But as you say, colour brought things closer to life, which I suppose is good if that's what the director's after.


Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:43 am
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
Well I am repeating myself, but since we are freed of mechanical limitations when shooting in digital, I say: speed 'em up. If a format is more real and closer to life, you always can manipulate it to look differently (f. ex. color palettes such as Scorsese used in "Hugo"), and lower frame rates to create the "Private Ryan"-hard-strobe look, so beloved by many action film directors.

The worst thing for me about 24 fps was always when your eyes could follow an object across the screen - either a slow camera pan or, say a car starting to drive away with the camera not following. This fast wobble (either hard or soft depending on conrast and shutter opening angle, which is usually 180º in film (meaning each frame is exacly exposed 1/48 second.

I can't wait to see the first camera panning or steadicam movement to be really smooth and crystal clear (like any movement in real life). If the sets look to fake, work more on the sets. 24fps is a standard from the mid 1920s, it makes no sense why it should be "better" than higher frame rates (or any other frame rate for that matter). The only argument which makes sense is that this frame rate is so familiar to people that it became part of our colletive DNA. I would look elsewhere to solve the fake soap opera look (I have to check for myself but I doubt that in these times of severe financial crisis, cinemas will have perojectors capable of 48fps where I live). Let's get used to higher frame rates. One day people will look at older movies shot at 24 fps and clearly notice it. The same as old European 50 Hertz tube tv sets - the flickering is ridiculous. To think I grew up with this eye straining image...


Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:57 am
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Post Re: The Hobbit in 48fps, what does everyone think?
One reviewer (can't remember whom) was very distracted by and leaned towards damning it, but he did brought up a quote which I feel is thought-provoking, from one Marty McFly after the horrified look of everyone for his furistic guitar play: "I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet... but your kids are gonna love it."

As for myself, I am very curious about the technology, but find it rather unfortunate that the first film for this has to be a 3-hour epic, so I'd like to go see it the normal way first for the story, and then if time and money permit, I would go for the 48fps 3D.


Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:14 am
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