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Peter Jackson Shows Off 10 Minutes of 'The Hobbit,' 48FPS Isn't Looking Good

04.26.12 @ 4:53PM Tags : , ,

Ten minutes of glorious 48fps footage from The Hobbit was recently shown at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. It’s unfortunate that RED couldn’t show any footage at their NAB booth, but I’m sure fans of the series were delighted to get a glimpse of Peter Jackson’s new epic film (pun intended) shot on RED Epic in 3D at 48fps. We’ve talked a little bit about frame rates before, and what they mean for our industry, but this is the first time a film of this scale is going to be filmed and exhibited at 48fps in 3D. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the 270 degree shutter is helping things, as the results aren’t impressing many of those who watched it.

Update: Looks like Peter Jackson has responded – he wants people to see the entire film before passing judgment.

While there were some positive comments, many were put-off by the hyper-realistic nature of the footage. The LA Times Blog had this to say:

Indeed, the footage shown did seem hyper-realistic. An opening aerial shot of dramatic rocky mountains appeared clearer than the images in most nature documentaries. But the effect was different when applied to scenes with actors dressed in period costume, whose every move — and pore — was crystal clear. Such realism put off some trade show attendees, who complained the footage didn’t feel enough like a traditional film.

If you wanted to expose the digital sensor exactly the same as if it was shot at 24fps, and get more similar motion characteristics, you’d have to shoot at 360 degrees, or completely open. Usually with digital 24fps, we are shooting at a 1/48 of a second (1/50 with DSLRs) or 180 degree shutter. 270 degrees should actually have a more staccato feel to it, because it’s being exposed less and thus there is less motion blur than 24fps at 180 degrees. I haven’t tested any of this, but it actually might feel more filmic at 180 degrees and 48fps, because part of what makes higher frame rates feel so strange is that there is a lot less motion blur with the added frames. (Update: Marden Blake in our comments posted a great example of 24fps vs 48fps using the same settings as Peter Jackson)

IGN Movies was also there to cover it, and here’s a quote from that review:

I didn’t go into CinemaCon expecting to write anything less than great things about The Hobbit, but the very aesthetic chosen by Peter Jackson has made me very nervous about this film. It just looked … cheap, like a videotaped or live TV version of Lord of the Rings and not the epic return to Tolkien that we have all so long been waiting for. I still have hope for The Hobbit, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say my expectations for the film have now been greatly diminished.

If this is what’s in store for 48fps then I’m not really sure it’s the way of the future. People are unconsciously trained to know what TV looks like and what movies look like, mostly thanks to frame rate. It seems like many could not get over the massive difference between the motion characteristics of 24fps and 48fps, and the lower shutter doesn’t seem to help much. This doesn’t bode well for what James Cameron might be trying to do with the new Avatar, because 60fps is an even further jump from 24fps. The good thing about 48fps is that a great-looking 24fps master can be pulled from the original material, so all hope is not lost that the film can still look like we’ve always expected it to.

If this movie ends up looking like people are saying, the best place to see it might be in a 2D theater with a film projector. It’s hard to change what people feel when watching a film, and 24fps for a movie just feels right, because we’re used to it. The fact that 24fps is slower than the way our eyes see makes a film feel less real and more distant from reality. In a way, 24fps actually allows us to become more engaged and drawn into a film because the distancing effect gives us more time to savor all of the details. Unfortunately, it’s looking like 48fps doesn’t allow for that distancing – and it’s very hard for viewers who’ve been watching movies the old-fashioned way on film projectors at 24fps to handle the change.

A lot of this talk reminds me of the sheer hatred that was thrown the way of Michael Mann when he released his film Public Enemies. That film was shot at 24fps, but because Mann wanted the film to feel more like live TV coverage, most, if not all, of the film was exposed at a 1/24 of a second or 360 degree shutter. This made the film feel more present, exactly what Mann was hoping for, but it actually disengages the viewer quite a bit because there is no distance – no time to allow the viewer to absorb what is happening.

Many films that have been shot on Panavision Genesis have used a more open shutter – usually around 270 but occasionally at 360. Part of it is the look, since some DPs don’t like the staccato or stroby feel of the Genesis, but many also like having another 1/2 to full stop of light. It seems that most films shot on Genesis have been shot with something other than 180 degrees. This is something I’ve really never seen with films shot on RED or Alexa, thankfully. Even though some are bothered by strobing, it’s a natural occurrence with 24fps material if the camera is moving too fast.

Personally I don’t have a problem with what 24fps looks like, and I’m only slightly bothered when the camera is panning or tilting too quickly. Stu Maschwitz had a great post on his blog not that far back about new TVs ruining movies because they feature all sorts of smoothing algorithms. Even with those smoothing and anti-judder options turned off, 120hz and 240hz televisions feel different than 60hz. Technically a better 24fps picture can be derived from 120hz or 240hz since it doesn’t require a pulldown, but I still prefer what films look like on a 60hz TV at 24fps.

I would imagine that the new Hobbit film might feel something like one of these 120hz televisions with all of the anti-judder and smoothing settings turned all the way up. If that’s the case, count me out, and I’ll stick to watching it at 24fps in a non-digital, non-3D theater.

Can The Hobbit succeed at 48fps, or will audiences be turned off by the hyper-real feeling a higher frame rate creates? What do you guys think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

[LA Times Blog & IGN Movies]


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  • I’m reminded of those TV sets in Sears with the “Smooth motion” enhancement turned on that would up 24p to like 120p. They would play Pirates of the Caribbean and it looked really bizzare. I would always try to change them back to normal mode.

    I used to shoot a lot of documentaries at 1280×720 in 60p… it had an interesting look- very very smooth and real. But not filmic at all.

  • Vodka Orange on 04.26.12 @ 5:00PM

    Dunno why they need to change everything these days. Get back to the good old 35mm movie cameras, with the proper 24fps frame rate. It was good for long long decades, and will be for decades to come.

    • Yeah who the hell needs improvement? I mean it´s not like the film industrie became the way it is now by people who tried out new things lol.

      • YEAH! I can’t wait for that 13K footage to be playing at 578 fps on my nanotech TV of the future! Law of diminishing returns be damned!

        Of course, the stories will be complete shit like always, but my eyes will bleed with pleasure…

        • You don´t get my point…

          The Movie Industry evolved for the past 100 years. If there haven´t been any people who were trying out new things we would still be shooting 16FPS Black and white pictures with no sound…

          We need poeple who try out new things and who improve filmmaking by trying out new crazy things.


    • Shooting on digital is a lot cheaper and easier than shooting on film, so that makes total sense. I’m all for trying new things with frame rates etc… but I think we all like “films” or “movies” for that “movie look”. And that I don’t want them to change.

  • People need to get over the “film has to look like film”.
    Just because we grew up looking at 24p, doesn’t mean we can’t change and learn to look at something that’s better. I remember when flatscreens came out. People rebelled at them. Then widescreens came out, and people rebelled at them too.

    I for one, can’t wait to see how realistic and shart this movie looks

    • People rebelled at flatscreens? Really? Where? Everyone I know took one look at those flat screens that weighed nothing and took up no space and couldn’t wait to get one!

      • Yeah….I…..don’t…….remember any rebellion against flat screens either. All of my friends and I were excited.

        • I believe Tim is referring to the flat CRT sets, not the LCD sets.

          • People did rebel against flat screens because the earlier LCD screens were bot as bright as or as sharp as a picture tube and they they broke down (inverter) after three years. They were forced into buying them because they put Digital OTA tuners in them and stop making picture tubes. I still have tube TV’s in my bedrooms because I they still work. I however had to put my plasma on Low Energy setting to stop the Burn In from the Fox logo because we watched the news all the time.

  • I noticed this with the first teaser they released; I found myself completely distracted by the obvious costuming, makeup and rubber prosthetics. I’m sure I’ll be able to suspend my disbelief come theater time, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • Just my opinion but I think hollywood should be pushing 30 fps if anything. It gives you that “enhanced reality” without sacrificing the traditional film aesthetic. In the early 1900′s we slowly transitioned from 18fps to 24fps. I think when it comes to movies people need to be eased into change. Literally doubling the standard frame rate will likely be a splash of cold water for most people.

  • I’m a big fan of seeing a movie as close to how the filmmakers intended as possible. That’s one of the big reasons I hate SmoothAutoFluidMotion+: it adds frames that aren’t there in the source material. So in the spirit of honoring the creative vision of the filmmakers, I can’t wait to see The Hobbit in 48 fps 3D (possibly projected at 4k?).

    I’m a big proponent of 24p precisely because we have roughly 100 years of training that Cinema = 24 fps and News/Sports/Soaps = 30 fps. It’s not necessarily that there’s something inherent to 24fps that makes movies more artistic (although there might be), it’s just that it’s part of the accepted language of what makes a moving picture “cinematic.”

    But I’m definitely willing to give The Hobbit a fair shake at 48 fps and make up my own mind with my own eyes. It can be fun to stretch our boundaries on the “rules” of our art.

  • I have tested this with a RED to see the comparison of 24fps @1/48 and 48fps @1/64. This is the result.

    • Thanks. Very interesting test.

    • Interesting, thanks for posting the 24fps vs 48fps from the RED. Weird, but the 24fps does look a lot better to me. The 48fps really does have a crappy “video-y” feel to it. I guess I just prefer motion blur.

    • Thanks for that. I did find the 48 fps a bit weird.

    • I think a lot of people are missing the whole point of shooting at a higher framerate (Peter Jackson and Co included); this is understandable, because it is a complex matter. From what I understand, the original idea of shooting higher rates (among other things) was to reduce blur; since the image is being recorded faster it will/should be able to capture faster-moving subjects with less artifacts. Essentially the concept is that you are capturing more image and motion data to do what you wish with in post (VFX, image clarity, etc); very similar to the concept of exposing your footage as “flat” as possible for more grading flexibility in post. This seems simple enough, right? Cinema is traditionally projected at 24fps (frames per second) so, once a crisper or smoother image is captured; the goal is to still project/display at 24fps. Douglas Trumbull, one of the forerunners of higher framerate acquisition (with his Showscan), demonstrates this principle (using 120fps capture) here-

      The “basement_red_fps” test linked above (and apparently the Hobbit) is a great example of 48fps “capture-and-display” (with no conversion being done)… which, as many people who have seen the footage, have pointed out, “looks cheap”. In a way this process is, in my opinion, kind of a cheap (though expensive) knockoff of an idea the big D-Trumbull had back in the 70′s …

      Back on point. What I’ve done with the video below is take the 48fps footage from the test by Marden Blake (which I claim no rights to), conformed it to 24 frames per second in After Effects, then “stretched” or speed it up to play at double speed; which (since it was captured at 2 x 24) being played double speed in a 24fps timeline makes it appear to display at “normal” speed. Now you may say, “Why shoot it at twice the framerate, only to display it at twice the speed; effectively nulling the effect of shooting at double speed!!!?” Well, the point of shooting at a higher framerate (as mentioned above) is to render a smoother/crisper/sexier/whatever image right? Right. Just because you are displaying the 48fps footage at 24fps does not mean that you are going to lose all of the benefits (or downfalls) of a higher framerate; the frames themselves were still captured at 48fps, and will have characteristics as such; most notably less blur.

      I have never been paid large sums of money to make “How should we shoot this” decisions, or any decisions for that matter, so my opinion will most likely go completely un-acknowledged. Mr Trumbull, however knows what he is talking about, and I encourage you to look into his Showscan Digital concept. I will admit that Showscan has not completely sold me on high framerate acquisition, and I am not pushing the technology; I am merely presenting the facts on the matter (to the best of my knowledge and ability), and offering a bit of reasoning behind the higher framerate “craze”.

      here’s the conformed video-

        • I definitely prefer the conformed version.
          The original reminds me of the “soap opera” look.

      • The Showscan video is definitely worth a watch. One thing I’d add is that a large part of the push toward higher frame rates is linked to stereo 3D: supposedly giving the brain more information (double with 48fps compared to 24fps) on separation helps relieve some of the negative issues people watching in 3D experience. That troubles me: I’m not a fan of 3D but am ok with it as long as I can ignore it and watch films in 2D. Changing how films are made and viewed to benefit a way of watching in order to benefit 3D, which has gone back to being the minority way of viewing and generating revenue, after Avatar had briefly reversed that trend, seems counter-intuitive to me.

      • Sorry but I think you are mistaken. Correct me if I am wrong but pulling 24fps from 48fps would be the same as doubling the shutter speed…right? so the objective is not to pull frames but to actually display all the frames. In 3D (or 2D) when you pan quickly especially against patterns you get flickering, strobing or w/e you call it. Its a common phenomenon in signal processing, for which the solution is to increase the sample (or frame) rate.

        the problem as I have said before is our eyes discriminate. Similar to the AGC of an audio recorder, our eyes change their refresh rates given factors like adrenaline, movement, etc. because our bodies are reacting to an environment. But put us in a theater where our environment is constant and our eyes dont discriminate anymore…so we are left with hyper reality.

        • I imagine that the effect of a faster shutter speed would render a similar image, but the funny thing is that when shot at 120fps, they were using a 360 degree shutter, which is to say “no shutter”. I know that a 360 degree shutter when shooting 120fps is a much faster (both chronologically and light gathering-wise) duration than 180 degree shutter for 24fps. An advantage though, of having those extra 96 frames a second is that you always have the option for slow-mo, “normal”, or the heightened reality 48fps playback. One can always ad motion blur back into footage, but it is neigh impossible to remove it, and retain a clean looking image. I’m assuming you watched the conformed footage and compared it to the original test; you would/might have noticed that the effect of the heightened reality was for the most part lost on the conformed version, but the footage itself was clearer and less blurry (than standard 24fps), all without the “stressful” effect. If you haven’t I recommend watching the linked to video (showscan) as it demonstrates this point to a higher degree and at faster framerates.

    • Álex Montoya on 04.27.12 @ 5:04AM

      48 fps looks very good here.

  • Pretty sure everyone saw this coming. Peter Jackson’s beard isn’t magic, neither is James Cameron’s, or Lucas, and sometimes these guys lose their way. Stupid beards. Actually come to think of it if you want to be successful as a director, grow a beard as a safe bet. But I digress….

    I’m looking forward to paying less to see a better looking movie in a non-3D 24fps setup. The whole 3D thing is, in my opinion, a way to charge more for movies a la smell-o-vision. As an avid movie-goer it’s been obnoxious if for no other reason than because my hipster rimmed glasses need to be worn beneath my $10 pair of disposable 3D glasses. Dumb. Beyond that all the “my eyes hurt after seeing one of these things” and “this feels more like an ‘attraction’ than film” bothers me as well. But ultimate the pecisimist in me hates it the most because it’s ultimately turning film into, in large part, an echo-chamber of studios, accountants, and gear manufacturers selling the newest 3D whatever in the name of higher costs and bigger profits for those at the headwaters of the cashflow.

    Bah. Bah I say!

  • Saw this coming, the first time I watched a 120Hz (or 240Hz) TV image I nearly vomited at how horrendous it made previously stunning footage (in that case, the Dark Knight). I’m really surprised Jackson isn’t as turned off by 48+fps footage as most film lovers seem to be. It gives motion an extremely cheap soap opera feel, 24fps just feels right. If the film goes to theaters this way, at least I know I can enjoy the film properly on Blu-Ray later at home… I think?

  • Look at the aaton solution to change shutter angle without change 1/48 motion blur. Aaton use it to down up 800 to 100 iso but I think it’s possible to use this type of shutter for shoot in 48 fps.
    Click on the delta leaflet and look at the multi slot shutter.

    • We’ll see if Aaton ever releases that camera – pretty disappointed it’s been in development for so long.

      • I saw Beauviala presents the first pictures shoot with Dellta in february at the Paris’s micro show AFC. The Delta work fine. I think Beauviala don’t want to sell a beta version of the Delta Penelope.

        • Yes I understand that, but they missed the release date by a year – they said it was going to be released last summer. I’m excited for it, and I’m sure it works – I’m actually concerned that they don’t think they can compete on a price level with Arri, RED, and Sony. It’s going to be tough to break into Arri’s share of the rental market.

          • Beauviala annouced a price of 80000 euro. But Delta can record internal raw. No need to a external recorder. I think you know the price of a codex for shoot in Arri Raw.

            • That’s over $100,000 American – so I think they are pricing themselves out of certain markets, but I really want that camera to succeed. Yes, absolutely on your external recorder point, but look at something like the AJA Ki Pro Quad that we covered here on NFS, it can do 4K and only costs $4,000.

  • Hey Marden, thanks for posting that test. There is definitely a very noticeable difference between 24fps and 48fps. Although I do prefer 24fps as there is much more motion blur, I didn’t hate 48fps as much as I thought I was going to before I saw your clip.

    The funny thing is that 48fps is suppose to be better for action, but with soccer ball kick, I actually preferred the motion blur of the slower frame rate.

  • Let me get this straight… people are complaining that a film looks too realistic.

    Really? Are you kidding me?

    This is simply pathetic. Can’t more realism only be a good thing? Just because there is a supposed “look” to films that some people are accustomed to shouldn’t get in the way of forward progress.

    • Not necessarily – subconsciously there is a feeling associated with footage shot at different frame rates, and anything 30fps or above is very closely associate with news footage. Immediately when watching something with higher frame rates, the part of us that’s been trained on movies being 24fps finds something off-putting about it. A lot can be hidden in motion blur, and part of that is what gives film its feel. There is a psychological distance that is created by movies because they are shot at a frame rate that is below anything else we watch on TV.

    • our eyes refresh at around 12 fps, there is something called nyquist’s theorem of sampling which says we should sample at at least double what we perceive which is where 24fps comes from (and 44Khz for audio sampling). now the trouble comes because, although we can see the clear difference between 24fps and 48fps, we dont actually see the world that way. in real life when we move around our eyes discriminate (just like our ears do when listening to things) and we are left with a feeling of motion closer to 24fps. but sit us infront of a screen and show us the world at 48fps, and its going to feel hyper real because our eyes are no longer discriminating. At least thats my theory.

      heres a test, shake your head back and forth and look at something. now take out your camera, set it to 60fps and move the camera in the same way. The camera will look smoother and faster than you simply shaking your head…hence, hyper real and VERY distracting.

    • By that way of thinking, we should get rid of paintings and switch to photographs of things only. Or get rid of animation in favor of live action.

      Just because it looks “More realistic” (or, like a soap opera) doesn’t mean it’s better. I think we’ve stuck with 24fps (it’s actually 23.98 fps) because it looks good, higher frame-rates have been available for a really long time, but narrative filmmakers haven’t utilized them because 24fps works best…

      • Agreed, i think 48fps has its place. 3D IMAX documentaries would be awesome and everyone agrees the mountain shots were breathtaking. Even sporting events i dont mind high fps, but narrative film making needs to stay at 24

        • I completely agree with you as well, ha ha!

          At first when I heard of 48fps for 3D, it made since… I figured it would look correct with 3D cycling between both eyes, I figured it would be like 24fps per eye, you know? So I though “2D is both eyes looking at a single 24fps image, so 48fps 3D would be each eye individually seeing 24fps images…” Guess I was wrong lol

  • I’m definitely not some radical purist who resists change, but I’m also not for changing something just because we can. I’ve seen 48fps clips. They look ugly. And it’s not because we’ve gotten used to some Hollywood convention. There are a couple reasons I think 48fps is a bad idea.

    1. The human eye’s frame rate is variable, but there are only so many “pictures” the eye can take each second. When our autonomic nervous systems are engaged, we see at a higher frame rate; when we are relaxed, our eyes relax a little bit and the frame rate drops. While I haven’t read any studies on this (although I did work in a cognitive psychology lab experimenting on vision) I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the reasons people feel unsettled watching 48fps is because our eyes feel the need to catch up, which creates tension in us.

    2. The more realistic things look, the further we delve into the uncanny valley. The movies aren’t reality. They aren’t meant to recreate reality, and subconsciously we don’t want them too. A lot of people think that the ultimate goal of cinema should be to portray reality the way we see it on the screen. I don’t think that’s the point of film, it’s an artistic medium, some of the magic of film lies in our distance from it. If can chew through some of Christian Metz’s theories, he deconstructs this.

    3. And this is more personal; 48fps is one more nail in the coffin of actual celluloid film. Digital is great, and it makes distribution more accessible for independent filmmakers, but actual film will always have advantages. At the risk of sounding archaic, I am a firm believer that film looks better. Because it does.

    Anyway, I like 48fps as a tool for filmmakers. I don’t think it should become a standard. Directors and cinematographers should be able to decide what format and frame rate is best for the project.

    • I agree with this 100%, i didnt read it before posting my comment above and we arrived at the exact same conclusion. Just like our ears, our eyes discriminate. Also think about when we pan our head, our eyes are going all over the place trying to focus on something, when watching a screen we cant do that.

      we dont want the be in the movie, we want to be watching it. If we wanted to be in the movie we wouldnt have music, slow motion, narration, or even camera cuts. you can hold one thing to a level of hyperrealism but keep everything else the way it was. That said, 48fps would be an awesome 6flags ride :D

  • “Even with those smoothing and anti-judder options turned off, 120hz and 240hz televisions feel different than 60hz. Technically a better 24fps picture can be derived from 120hz or 240hz since it doesn’t require a pulldown, but I still prefer what films look like on a 60hz TV at 24fps.”

    I strongly agree with leaving all forms of motion interpolation OFF when using these 120hz sets; however, 120hz should be *truer* to the 24fps image because of the common multiple it shares with 30 and 60 respectively. The judder associated with 60hz display is similar to the judder we see from 3:2 pulldown, as the frames in a 24fps film cannot be multiplied evenly. Take cinema projection, which often uses 48 or 72hz (2-3x the FPS) to display for sake of flicker; the same cannot be done with televisions until you hit 120hz, because it is a common multiple of both 24, 30, and 60fps. For The Hobbit’s 48fps, we would technically need 240hz displays to get a common multiple.

    In short, to prefer a 60hz-displayed 24fps image is to prefer something that is flawed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging you, but to really enjoy 24fps, one should not be viewing it on a 60hz display.

    • I’m so used to pulldown that when I watch 24fps on a 120hz TV, it looks very, very strange. But you’re right, it is flawed – but pulldown has been a way of life for so long – we’ve never been watching anything at true 24fps except in a theater or on a computer screen.

      Either way I’ll gladly move to 120hz TVs with no motion interpolation – I’m just saying there’s a huge difference in how the footage feels to me personally.

      • It’s interesting you’re used to pulldown — I personally can’t stand it. Here in Australia (and in other PAL/SECAM places like Europe, NZ, etc.) we’ve never seen it. Our DVDs are sped up by 4%, playing 24fps at 25fps, so we’re used to true progressive pictures.

        Blu-ray is odd, though. They’re all 24fps world-wide, and at least with the PS3, if your TV doesn’t support true 24fps, it won’t play it at 25fps, but instead uses pulldown to play it at 60fields per second. To me, pulldown looks awful.

        Still, we have the same awful smooth motion problem here. I can’t understand why people aren’t bothered by it, but I couldn’t understand why people would put up with stretched and distorted 4:3 analog images on their new widescreens either.

        • The 3:2 pulldown here in America is not as destructive – you’re not really changing anything (and you’re not changing the speed of the action). I think I would hate pulldown if it had to speed up the picture like in the UK – that’s a totally different feeling.

          It’s also one of the reasons people tend to think British shows feel cheap, because 25fps does not conform well to 30fps.

        • Daniel Mimura on 05.4.12 @ 11:06PM

          Wow…yeah, Aussie tv looks weird. I was channel flipping with my dad, passing by Friends or Seinfeld or some American TV. It looks so weird…it’s a very uneven blur/stutter. I kept pointing it out to my dad, who was with me ever time there was movement in the frame. “Did you see that!? There! Again!”.

          It was frustrating b/c my dad couldn’t see what I was seeing… Sigh…I guess it’s sort of like when people watch TV in Jabba-vision (ie:, when TV’s are stretching 4:3 to 16:9 and people all look like Jabba or like the grandma from Who’s The Boss in Brazil where the doctor is stretching her face.)…if people can watch it like that and not get annoyed…there’s almost no point in even pointing it out to them.

          I agree w/ Joe about that perceived quality of UK TV (here in America). Thankfully with HD and the Internet, it’s more or less a thing of the past…watching BBC/Sky F1 coverage on my iMac looks amazing! …unlike old Fawlty Towers/Dr Who reruns.

  • Errrr….I watched the 24 vs 48 and, 48 is not bad, it just makes it feel more soap opera’ee. Right now I would NOT prefer to watch a movie at 48fps. Of course Hollywood will force whatever they feel is “better” on us. They’ll say “you can see more detail and action” and “It will look more like you’re really there”. I’m not opposed to change but if the change is detracting from the feeling of what a movie has come to feel like, then don’t force it on us. We may not want “more detail” or for it to be “more real”. I personally have not grown tired of 24fps. Concentrate on improving theatre sound because I’m not complaining at all about 24fps. On the other hand, every creator has the creative right to present their idea at any frame rate they wish. We are not FORCED to watch it.

  • It’s a very interesting discussion to have because it exposes something about us as humans.

    In the video game field they’ve run into this as well… being “too real” can make the game experience worse to gamers, even if they “thought” it would be better and were unable to understand why it wasn’t. I think there is something deeper here than the idea that we are just used to seeing movies at 24fps. Here are my thoughts.

    NARRATIVES – It’s the information that isn’t there that engages us. 24p is preferred generally because it’s subconsciously more approachable precisely because it isn’t as realistic as “ordinary” life – or 48/60fps for example. Its a bit paradoxical but we can tell the truth with fiction and we can visually transcend reality with less-than-real frame rates.

    DOCUMENTARY – It’s the information THAT IS there that engages us. 30fps,48,60 all work fine here because you are supposed to be watching reality, not transcending it.

    • Daniel Mimura on 05.4.12 @ 11:13PM

      I think there are a lot of great “cinematic” documentaries out there…I think that documentarians (and filmmakers in general) should shoot in whatever format or frame rate that want…but shooting in greater than 24fps can actually “cheapen” the perception of the film b/c docs are often more budget constrained or shooting on video (which until the last few years) was limited to 30fps (in the US).

  • 48 and 60 are very good for sports and nature documentation. The image comes out looking sharper and the motion is better overall.
    For narrative works, unless you’re perhaps trying to get the viewer into a more tense state, it ends up being perceived as ‘cheap’.
    Then again, we’ve been largely conditioned to accept 24p as the magical framerate. The delivery method of dreams and fantastical scenarios and stories. That may change in a few generations, but I fear that a lot of people who’re going to see the Hobbit this December will walk out thinking that it was cheap.
    The whole decision to film at 48fps seems to be slightly misguided, though simultaneously, very brave.

  • The 24fps scheme was ultimately a financial one made by the studios, not some “this is the best format for viewing pleasure.” We have just become used to it over time. It is an arbitrary distinction, that is only perceived as “worse” because it is different. Kids that grow up on 48 won’t give a damn, and may even find that it is indeed better. Any seasoned media consumer is inherently biased in this matter. We are either open to being re-trained in this capacity, or we are not. There is no better or worse.

  • I think higher framerates are the way of the future, just like most movies of the future will be viewed in 3D. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be some growing pains, just like there is right now with 3D. Eventually, people will get over the feeling that film needs to be 24fps.

    We have a Samsung TV that does the 120hz interpolation, and it was really annoying and degraded our enjoyment of movies watched on it, so we disabled it. But I feel that video SHOT at 120fps would look different and less artificial than film shot at 24fps and interpolated to 120fps.

    I’m a firm believer that realistic recreation of a world is more engaging… and disagree with people saying that film is not an effort to realistically recreate a world for the viewer to be drawn into. Of course, we enhance or exaggerate in film and sometimes you don’t want realism, but I think, most times you do.

    Audiences have been conditioned to think film must be 24fps. This will change. I respect Peter Jackson for trying to explore higher framerates….some, perhaps many people will reject what feels strange at first, but I think as more and more high quality productions adopt higher framerates, that it will feel less ‘cheap’ or TV-like to everyone.

  • All this stuff means nothing to the average viewer. They don’t care if a film is made in 48fps or 24fps they will simply follow the trends. I think it’s just a way for Peter Jackson to feel like a “pioneer” in the industry.

    Viewers just want a good story.

  • Rev. Benjamin on 04.26.12 @ 11:11PM

    To whoever posted the 24 vs 48 – THANKS. That really helps clear it up for me personally. So my gut reaction – 24fps motion blur feels more natural, more like real life. The 48 seems incredibly stuttery, reminds me of watching PAL footage on American TV, only far worse. I guess this is the shutter angle mentioned then. My eyes just gained a level!

  • Seems to me, the more frames per second you have the closer you get to what interlaced footage looks like. Which is why I think a lot of folks think 48 and 60 fps look like soap operas, news footage, sports, etc.
    Weren’t we all clamoring for 24fps just a short time ago? It took an act of congress to get it on the 5D MK2. Now, all of a sudden, we need more frames? Some people will never be satisfied.

  • Its a big call – all I can do is trust in the fact that a master or his craft has made a choice and that aside from a vast minority of armchair critics – the general populous will either see no difference / love what they see or not give a crap one way or the other.

    Just going off the red samples posted above – I still prefer 24fps but i wasnt that thrown by 48fps…and dont you think PJ would have done extensive testing to make sure this was the look he wanted?

    Oh and Marden, LOVE the lighting and treatment on those test clips. Red truly ROCKS in hands of a pro :-)

    • In 50 years I think very few movies will be shown in 2D at 24fps. There will always be those that hang on to and prefer older methods… As we age, humans typically avoid change. This avoidance of change has happened many times in our history. Just like those that prefer black and white movies over color or still think that film photography is better than digital. Kodak believed that film would never die…. and they went bankrupt.

      I’m looking forward to shooting some of our narrative films in 48fps on our Scarlet. And I’m sure some will hate those films in 48fps….. but a newer generation will come to accept 48fps+ as the norm.

      I’m sorry, but anyone that can’t see this cycle of technology has short-term memory.

  • It’s a lot of eye culture involved in that. My canadian colleague hates anything 30fps or above because it reminds him of cheap video. But because in Europe we are only used to watch 24fps or 25 fps (Europe is a PAL country), to my eye there is absolutely no difference between different framerates.

  • No one can tell me that a pan at 24fps looks good or is pleasing to the eye! Nor can you tell me that a martial arts fight at 24fps enables me to fully appreciate the skill and speed of those involved.

    Bring on the higher framerates! Kudos to Jackson for pushing the envelope. Purists can keep their 24fps, film, black and white, and horse carriages…. :)

    • +1

      I hope more and more films will use higher frame rates in the future and rather abandon 3D.
      I find 3D is not that enjoyable to watch and doesn’t add much to a film – higher frame rates though will forever get rid of stuttering, headache-inducing pans!

    • Daniel Mimura on 05.4.12 @ 6:33AM

      This 48fps push is only *because* of 3D. Cameron said so himself.

      With the polarized projection systems of current 3D at 24fps, you’re either only seeing 12fps per eye, or interlaced, with half to each eye…so when there is action on the screen, it strobes (depending one what system).

      Kung fu films look the best, in my opinion at 24fps. Look at Jackie Chan movies in the 80s and early 90s (when he was fast). You still frame it, and he’s just a blur. You watch it at 24fps…and it makes it smooth.

      Yes, lateral pans strobe at 24fps if you don’t have, and the AC handbook has always pointed that out. Yes, you can see it as a “flaw”, but DP’s and operators have known about this “problem” for 90 years. (If you have a lateral pan, if you have a subject cross the frame as you pan over (often an extra, like a waiter in a restaurant scene, for example)…your eye follows the extra and not the background.

      Faster than 24fps does have it’s place…it’s great for live sporting events b/c you can get better slow mo replays…but for movies, the buttery smoothness of the slow shutter makes 24fps work well for me.

      In AC, in the articles for Collateral, Miami Vice, Public Enemies, Mann’s fascination with shooting longer than 1/48th of a second is so that he can shoot in real night with real sources…so you can see the tommy gun light up the night like daylight, or where distant lights in the background aren’t lost, so the actual city at night is there, instead of swallowed up in darkness.

      Yes, it works for this effect, but damn, it looks ugly. It’s the same “video look” as greater than 24fps gives.

  • The only envelope that Jackson is pushing is that he is displaying in 48 (if that really is the case). Showscan shoots at 120fps, yet projects/displays at 24. It’s been said a few times here; the preference of 24fps is not so much about a change in technology so much as an aesthetic. 120fps is obviously more advanced than 48fps, so does that mean that just because Trumbull and co. are looking to reap the benefits of a sharper, less blurry image (captured at 120fps) while still retaining the 24fps aesthetic, they are “Purists’? I would rather call that pushing the envelope as it is far more intricate a process than simply displaying the same speed it was shot at… In the video I link to above (or in my article in the pingback) they do an interesting demonstration of two martial artists fighting eachother; one being displayed in traditional 24fps, and the other in a Showscan 24fps; the results are very interesting.

    As people have said, there may be certain projects and subject matter that call for that heightened reality of being shot-and-projected in 48/60/etc, but 24fps is more pleasing to the majority of people who pay attention to framerates. Plain and simple.

    • I agree – this is basically what I’m arguing against, displaying in anything but 24fps for narrative films. It just feels right – it gives the right sense of distance between the film and reality. I have no problem with conforming to 24fps from any higher frame rate – the clip you conformed from Marden Blake looks great. 48 and 120fps work because they are evenly divisible, but 60fps is a problem, it takes a little more work.

      I do have a problem with projection at other frame rates – it’s too real, too present. Maybe I’ll be one of those people clinging to 2D and 24fps projection in the future, but we’ve had higher frame rates for years. 30fps and 25fps has been around for years, and yet the holy grail was when Panasonic gave us the DVX with 24fps.

      As was mentioned before – people clamored for 24fps on the 5D Mark II – almost to the point of marching down to Canon headquarters and demanding it. If enough people push to project at higher frame rates, it’s going to happen, but I won’t be one of those people happy about it.

      • I read someone’s opinion of it once who had a very interesting theory. He felt that 24fps left big enough gaps in the motion that our brains had to fill in, which engages the creative/imagination section of our brain, making the story feel more real. When we view higher frame-rate content, our brain has all the information it needs, doesn’t need to fill anything in, doesn’t engage creatively, and perceives it as more “real” which as you pointed out, doesn’t work out great for a fantasy story like The Hobbit.

        • Whoops, just realized I used the term real twice in that explanation. I meant that 24fps makes the story feel more story-like, fictional, alive; whereas higher frame-rates feel more reality-television.

      • Until film-makers come up with ways the perfect live action to the point where filming it is so perfect and precise, then this frame rate may have a good chance.

    • Josh: ‘but 24fps is more pleasing to the majority of people who pay attention to framerates. Plain and simple.”

      No, actually, it’s not that simple. You assume that your personal preference is the correct and most liked preference…. While 24fps is loved by many now, I’m confident they will be the minority in 50 years.

      I pay attention to framerates…. very much so. It surprises me when people on this forum say they can’t tell the difference in framerates of a video. When I bought the Sanyo HD2000 a few years back, and it was capable of shooting 1920×1080 at 60p, I loved this. Unfortunately, most systems and viewers are still incapable of viewing content higher than 30p or 60i. And I hate interlace…. not because of the higher field rate, but because of all the artifacts and motion issues in editing interlaced video.

      In the Red example posted on this thread I much prefered the 48fps clip! Or are you going to tell me that I’m wrong…. I couldn’t possibly have liked it more than the 24fps version, right? This is the kind of attitude I find arrogant and associate with purists who feel they know best for everyone else.

      I respect Thrumbull’s work in creating some kind of hybrid framerate system. He is pioneering…. But that doesn’t take away the fact that Jackson has ‘balls’ to release his Hobbit movies in 48fps, especially when he realizes he’ll be getting a backlash from all the 24fps lovers that feel true cinema must be 24fps. I’m disappointed that his 10min clip is getting this negative press… doesn’t mean he’s wrong or misguided.

      Feel free to boycott films shown at 48fps+. That is your choice, not mine.

      • Joe, I think you hit that on the nose; “60″ frames requiring more work. It’s a pulldown right? I’m curious to see what Cameron does with it; I for one thought he should have been improving his story telling (as far as Avatar is concerned) for the next project rather than “How much more 3D can I make this”… Oh well, maybe the “documentary effect” will happen with films like Avatar, that are meant to be immersive… we’ll see.

        Vanlazarus, I didn’t say that everyone prefers 24fps; only that (and you quoted this) “majority of people who care” prefer 24fps. The fact that Jackson’s ten minute clip is getting so much backlash already, proves this point, as well as that a good deal of the people who are commenting on this thread seem to be of that mindset. This is not THE CORRECT opinion, it is just a popular one, and sometimes the popular opinion sucks, but it is popular because it is a majority.

        I enjoy narrative films projected/displayed at 24fps, but I am definitely going to see The Hobbit in 48fps 3D, because it is the way Jackson made the film, and I am curious of the technology; who knows I may fall in love. At this point, though I really think that Trumbull is on the right track with using higher rate footage in a 24fps timeline, but let’s see what Jackson’s film looks like ourselves.

        Side note: was anyone here at that screening? it would be interesting to hear more opinions.

        • Changing people’s perception that film is 24fps and 48fps+ is TV video is something that will change. I personally feel that it’s more about what people are used to, than what is more pleasing to the eye…. but I’m sure some will always prefer 24fps…. just like some like film over digital.

          • Is there anyway to edit a comment after posting it?

          • A lot of people didn’t like it when sound was added to film.
            A lot of people didn’t like the idea of color being added to film.
            Both of these things supposedly destroyed the artistic distance from the viewer.

            I think when the only thing that seperates your film from looking like tv is the 24p frame rate, then something is wrong with your film anyways ;)

            People (“normal” people, not us cine-nerds) will get over 24p very quickly. Maybe they notice a difference to the old movies, but they will like it because it’s smoother, “faster” and more detailed (and gives you less headaches during slow pans)

        • I think Avatar will turn out good for the one fact that it will be perfect. It will be all animated, perfect ques, perfect acting.

          It will be hard to spot a physical flaw.

      • Van –

        I can totally appreciate your sentiment… I’ve noticed the shift in aesthetic more in video games, where I’ve had an easier time of it. And I can admit that on clips of a dude’s feet and some bouncing basketballs, the 48 shot looks fine. But like every other tool at a filmmaker’s disposal, it’s a question of using it right.

        Personally, I don’t mind 48 FPS – I could see it working wonders for “hyper-real” shows, a la 24 or CSI or crap like that (which I actually don’t watch, but for the purposes of this argument I could see how the aesthetic might play there). But a fantasy world – the world of the Hobbit – twice the information isn’t a good thing for me to get involved.

        Great literature expands your imagination; challenges it, even. Alien, and the other great horror movies, terrify you based on what you INFER. So narratively, when it comes to fantasy and fiction, sometimes we really do like filling in the blanks. Ditto for frame rates – the more we’re inferring, the more we’re free to involve our unconscious minds in the experience.

        My .02.


  • I think that new TV sets are helping people getting used to the fast motion crispier look (unfortunately) :-(
    So we might see things change, or at least people will not complain that much…

  • I’m sure the arrival of sound seemed an annoying distraction to some at the end of the silent movie era. The best films will always be driven by story, and the smart filmmaker will choose the technology that serves their story best.

    • Well said.

    • Yeah that is a very good point. I’m all for new developments in media presentation; as long as they improve the experience. I think the article posted the other day about Atmos (I might have spelled it wrong) the new technology from Dolby is really interesting, because sound is such an immersive and kinetic force that could really improve the cinematic experience; maybe even more so than image-improvements.

      The time we are living in as filmmakers, and multi-hyphenates of all kinds, is such a rich and diverse on; even if only speaking on a technical level. We’re so lucky to be able to choose things such as high-speed image capture and display, but at the same time, because we are in such a (re)developmental and innovation filled time of media technology we should be somewhat critical in our thinking when viewing/listening/what-have-you these new developments. Not necessarily to “null” them, but because (in a romantic world) the technologies that are praised might be more pursued, by developers/manufacturers, rather than the ones that are less desirable. For example the case of this huge push for 4K when MOST of us would rather have RAW images or at least more “bit-deep” ones; instead of highly or even poorly compressed Ultra-super-high-resolution ones. This all goes to say, that we’re (or I’m), not saying that innovation is bad, it’s fucking great! We’re saying that maybe THIS innovation is not necessarily a great one, or maybe it’s not being pursued for the right subject matter; a period fantasy… BUT we’ll see, maybe it blows us out of the water, only a viewing, and critical thinking will tell.

  • I bet this 48fps 3D 4k was invented by 3d artists who wanted to get more render hours. standard render factors are 2k at 24fps.
    4k 3d at 48fps is 4x2x2 = 16 times more than a regular movie!

    The other option is to watch the hobbit at half speed, so this 3 hour movie becomes 6 hours :D

    • motion blur is slower to calculate and render than almist anything else. So a 48fps with little or no motion blur might actually take LESS time to render than a 24fps with motion blur.
      Also, I would challenge you to find a VFX artist who wants more (usually unpaid) render time added to the day.

  • 24-25 fps tends to properly mimic the human eye, which also experiences motion blur naturally with similar effect at 180 degree shutter for most film cameras. Even if you up the framerate and change shutter speed, you lose part of the equation that properly mimics the eye’s image signal. However there’s much to be said about how video is changing this standard through digital trickery, finding other ways to get the same effect, and fiddling with shutter speed looks like it’ll be part of the tookit for most DPs now. Sad to hear that 48 fps with algorithmic motion blur garbage matting didn’t turn out to be the holy grail the guys thought it would be, even though anyone who knows their way around cadence knew it wouldn’t work. Motion blur isn’t the only issue, you also have to consider gate weave, highlight smearing, blooming, etc. to recreate the full effect.

    • Daniel Mimura on 05.4.12 @ 6:50AM

      24-25fps does not mimic what our eyes see. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% behind keeping fps’s at 24fps (unless when you say fps, you mean First Person Shooter, in which case I want it faster.)…but a 24fps movie is broken up by 1 or 2 additional fan blades to keep the image from strobing.

      Trumball’s experiments when he was creating showscan found that people generally reached a threshold of perception at 72fps. Everyone has different internal “frame rates”, or whatever you want to call it. Persistence of vision has different thresholds that varies from individual to individual.

      • Daniel Mimura on 05.4.12 @ 6:52AM

        I meant to say 1-2 fan blades per frame. 24fps strobes without that.

        With digital, it just refreshes more often and that works (even better) than the mechanical fan blades of film projectors.

  • @Joe Marine: I think you wanted to write Panavision Genesis instead of Panasonic, right?

    On topic: I see the higher framerates in a more evolutionary way. You look at the 48fps (or higher) movie and instantly compare it with “what’s right in your head” and therefor come to the conclusion that it doesn’t look theatre-like. Maybe if you’re someone who watches a high fps movie (i.e. The Hobbit) as his or her first one in a theatre, you’d think it’s normal. After that, you watch another with 24fps and think for yourself “that looks weird, so blurry”. I could easily see a future where no 24fps will be around. As of right now, 24fps is dominant. Pushing the acceptance of higher framerates forward will be a hard job, especially for the pioneers. Maybe those first films (incl. The Hobbit) will get less positive responses as they should get, just because of being displayed in 48fps.

    • Yep, fixed. Don’t know how no one else saw that. I think I’m still a little disappointed at Panasonic for their poor NAB showing.

  • john jeffreys on 04.27.12 @ 12:24PM

    Yeah I’ll be watching this in 2D on a film projector for sure! I don’t care if I sound like a total luddite.

  • I work as an AC on “Ain’t It Cool With Harry Knowles”. We just did an interview with Douglass Trumbull (Blade Runner, 2001, Silent Run, etc.) And we talked about the hyper-realism of high frame rates and the future avenues of cinema.
    I highly suggest checking it out, he has a new project that is going to be an experience no one has ever experienced thus far in cinema.

    • Stu Mannion on 04.27.12 @ 7:31PM

      Thanks for posting that. Very interesting.

      As an independent filmmaker I have no plans to go for higher frame rates or even higher definition. Anything more than 1080p 25fps is too sharp and too revealing when you don’t have the budget to make every detail in your frame perfect. I like the softness of the 5D, i see it as a crucial part of maintaining a suspension of disbelief for the audience.

      3D is different from 2D and maybe higher frame rates work to deepen the sense of immersion but as Trumble said it demands a whole new ciematic language. If you just up the frame rate and shoot (and design, light, makeup, act) the way you did before you get the reaction people are having to the Hobbit footage.

      • “3D is different from 2D and maybe higher frame rates work to deepen the sense of immersion but as Trumble said it demands a whole new ciematic language. If you just up the frame rate and shoot (and design, light, makeup, act) the way you did before you get the reaction people are having to the Hobbit footage.”

        exactly. as is said in one of the articles about the hobbit footage, the longer shots were more pleasant to the eyes. as trumbull says, the bell curve is the best around 66fps… for what, for EXCITEMENT! :D so it may be a great tool for action flicks, for rides as the classic back to the future ride (i remember how that was awasome when i was 15yrs old in a visit to USofA! i went to that ride sober and stoned and it’s one of the best experiences i had with moving images!! :D :D)

        so i think that in the future, after this “i’m right, you’re wrong” technological battle, people will realize that more and more with the digital tools, we gonna have different possibilities… for example, for a drama or a slow paced movie, 24fps is more than ok, since it will relax not excite your mind… for an action flick, showscan would be perfect, since action movies are all about excitement ( that’s why teenagers and young adults and males in general love this gender!)… so, not just black and white, color, 3D, 2D, mono, stereo, dolby, holosound, with time even frame rates will be part of the tool set of the artists.
        like, a blurry image shot at 24fps is more like an french impressionist painting. a 48fps image is more like a renascence painting, etc… for example, a ingmar bergman movie would suffer from a hyper real image from 48fps the same way some of the old classics from jackie chan would have been great if shot with showscan.

        Why to choose only one default frame rate, if digital projectors can project in lots of them?

    • Yeah thanks a million for posting the video interview! I just updated my article ( to reflect the new info. As interesting as the article was, I am still left wanting; I wish Harry would have asked Trumbull why he demonstrates the “conform” process in the video, yet supports the 48fps shoot and display process. I’m assuming he says that Jackson’s decision is a “step in the right direction”, because it’s bringing higher framerates to a large audience and opening minds to the possibilities held therein. I’m excited to see what’s to come. Thanks again.

      P.S. I’m quite jealous of you, you lucky lucky bastard (for having been in a room with Trumbull).

  • Seems like human habit trump technological innovation.

  • “The good thing about 48fps is that a great-looking 24fps master can be pulled from the original material.” – so when you convert 48fps movie to 24fps the motion blur will reappear?

    • Depends how it’s converted, the ideal way would be to probably conform it so that you can get a clearer picture but the motion still looks correct – just without as much blur. You should also be able to remove the additional frames to get to 24 – which should look the same as 24fps.

      • I wonder how it would look like in 24fps version…

      • Unless you apply a motion blur effect, the motion blur of the new 24fps master would be the same as it was when at 48fps. The frames themselves aren’t changing, only the rate at which they are being displayed. However, you might perceive the amount or intensity of blur to be different, though if you were to do a frame to frame comparison, they should be identical. This is assuming that the software you have used isn’t doing anything but the conforming and stretching process, ie; conform to 24 and “slow/stretch” to half speed.

        • Right, perceived motion blur. My point is that technically you could remove every other frame instead of conforming – theoretically that should be exactly the same as if you shot it at 24fps – since you’re just taking out extra information.

          • I see what you’re saying now. Though, to my knowledge, conforming just make the 48fps play at 24fps, this is why we see it as slow motion (there’s twice as much info per second), but when “stretched/slowed” to half-speed, you do exactly that “…remove every other frame…” and you get 24fps footage with the motion characteristics of 48fps frames. Forgive me if I’m coming off as aggressive; this subject is just one that’s always fascinated me, and I rarely get to have conversations about it.

        • While it’s true that the motion blur won’t be what you’d get from 24 at 180 degree shutter, the actual shutter speed is 1/64 as opposed to 1/48 which isn’t a huge difference (in degrees it’s like 135 vs 180)…and a lot of films shot on film use 1/64 instead of 1/48. I have an old 16mm Beaulieu R16 camera, and it has a fixed shutter speed of 1/64 in 24fps mode.

          • Yeah, I would say that you wouldn’t see drastic differences until you get into higher framerates; I assume that’s why they are shooting as high as 120fps with Showscan. Though, they are using a full-duration shutter (shutterless) which at 120fps is still much “faster” than a 1/48 (180 @ 24fps) shutter.

            However, a 180 degree shutter for 48fps would be 1/96 which is a great deal faster than 1/48 or even 1/64 for that matter. When speaking in terms of fractions of a second even 1/10 can make quite a huge difference. Not contradicting for contradiction’s sake, just trying to propagate “Good science”.

          • I guess I forgot that the footage (the test and The Hobbit) is being shot at a 270 degree shutter (hence your reference to 1/64). I am curious as to why they went with a longer (relative to framerate) duration shutter for the 48fps? I’m becoming more and more curious to see the footage.

  • Josh: So the 24fps version wont have more motion blur and will have more staccato feel to the contrary?

  • Charles Brepsant on 04.30.12 @ 5:51AM

    Highly against higher frequency TVs, the image looks horrible, even if only because we were used to 24fps all our lifes.
    Thumbs up for 24fps and a real cinematic image.

  • 48 FPS in 3D. 24FPS in 2D for me. 24FPS in 3D makes me sick, 48 doesn’t.

  • please stop pontificating and masturbating over frame rates and simply concentrate on a genuinely new idea, eh? christ you’d think most people visiting this site were cinematographer of the year or something, or were working on a film anyone might actually be bothered about watching.

    no offence.

  • I just watched the bassment examples, thanks for posting those.

    I preferred…

    48 fps footage: basketball movement, camera pan
    24 fps footage: foot that was kicking the basketball, the box and the soft toys that fell to the floor

    From my pow, you just have to know what you’re doing and combine the technologies as you yourself feel is the best, clearly there is a big difference to the material.

    Ufomaster (Finland)

  • AD Stephens on 05.3.12 @ 4:40PM

    Please correct me if I’m wrong, but could this negative response to 48fps simply be attributed by the higher framerate and thus, lack of motion blur or that 24fps ‘stuttering’ (which I actually quite like, just my opinion) looking, from a non-technician point of view, too much like 50i/60i (I’m from the UK so for me it’s 50i) TV? Obviously it wouldn’t have the interlace movement artifacts but having twice the framerate of what is considered to be a cinematic standard would always be a bit of a problem for some people. I think we can all agree that we can see what Jackson is doing, but perhaps trying to demolish that ‘cinematic’ experience and turn it into something more perceivable as reality isn’t what Cinema needs. Perhaps our escapism into cinema needs something that takes it away from reality in terms of image perception?

    By the way I’m yet to see any Red Epic stuff shot and shown at 48fps so this is all personal conjecture, but I am downloading Marden Blake’s example of 24 vs 48fps, and also I fully agree with Peter Jackson’s comment saying we should watch the film in it’s entirety before passing judgement. It might be an alarming effect, simply because it’s something different, that disappears when we’re (hopefully) immersed into the film.

    I really appreciated the point mentioned about the newer HD TV’s having that horrible feature (I think they call it TrueMotion or something in some TV’s) where it smoothens out the 24/25fps image, I remember when I first saw it, I coined it the ‘Eastenders Effect’ (for those not living in the UK Eastenders is a shitty soap show, the epitome of low budget TV), it made The Matrix look like it was shot with an HD handicam!

    Apologies if I’ve touched on anything that has been mentioned before, I didn’t read through all the comments before posting!

  • Higher then 24fps stuff is nothing new. We’ve been watching shows shot and presented with higher then 24 frames per second rates for years: news, sports, reality shows & budget narrative tv. And when we were forced to shoot our indie projects with 29.97 cameras, they looked like garbage.

    We never started thinking 30 fps looked better then 24 (for narrative projects), we went digging overseas to get PAL cameras and the old DVX changed everything by getting cheap video back to 24… so why would going to even higher framerates for narrative films suddenly be a good idea?

  • “he has a new project that is going to be an experience no one has ever experienced thus far in cinema” Woo…ooo – good luck with that. Mr. Trumbull could tell you all about his “success” . He is correct in everything he believes. But take a look at his struggles.
    You can compare this to people complaining about the change to sound all you like. Not the same. When something looks like crap, it looks like crap. No one likes Garbage forced down their throats in the name of progress. Can you say Vista?
    Mr. Science in his lab is one thing. You can push all the envelopes you want. But when the Peter Jackson’s start ignoring Mr. Schmoo and his girl going down to see the latest flick ,you’ll see. Would be very sad to see Jackson fail. You think it can’t happen? Wait till the rumor mongers start fanning these flames.

  • Geoff Longford on 05.3.12 @ 7:42PM

    I’m no tech head but I do know that stuff that is too sharp looks like you are looking at things through a window.I don’t want that in a feature film.The thing looses all sense of mystery.I’m overdosed on reality as it is.If I want reality I stick my head out the window.

  • I for one welcome the new soap opera look, they’ll go great with our modern soap opera crap films that are plaguing our theaters.

  • When I was studying cinematography at film school, one of my teachers; Paul Wheeler used to say that the human race has been watching movies in the cinema for so long now that we are subconsciously used to the 24 fps flicker of the motion. So when we see something a movie that doesn’t have that flicker, we find it a bit strange. It’s a cultural thing.

  • For 2D… I feel we can leave it at 24 fps… but in 3D… something HAS to be done about the jittery-stuttery motion. It’s so degrading of the image that I’m considering giving up on watching 3D until it’s fixed.

    I have yet to see a 3D movie without being distracted by movements that almost feel like mistaking the field-order of interlaced footage. Avatar being the worst offender in this, because with all that thing foliage my eyes where scrambling to make sense of all the shapes that were jumping all over the place.

    If higher frame-rates are a remedy to this… then by all means bring it to us! Then maybe I can actually enjoy the depth fully.

    And that would only leave the “comin’ at ya’!”-feeling that has never materialized for me… it just becomes double-vision and I have to actively re-converge my eyes to get it that far out of the screen. And by that time they have cut to something else, so I once again I need to reconverge… oh and during all that time? I’m totally outside of the movie, thinking technicalities and not paying attention to any story or look.

  • I feel me distracted by this color movies.
    And not to forget that sound – uhh.
    And 24fps!!!!


    OK, just joking…

    In a nutshell:

    Everytime a new technology comes up some nay-sayers come up and say they don’t like it, they find it distracting, it will not work out and so on.

    We had that really when sound film came up! Go to the archives…
    We had that with color film.
    We had that with television.
    We had that with CRT to CCD.
    We had that with CCD to CMOS.
    We had that with Digital Projection.
    We had that with 3D.
    We had that with simply every new evolving advancement ever.

    I don’t say those people are really wrong in the perception that they have a different feeling experience when watching the new stuff. But technically this new stuff is a major leap in terms of temporal and also spatial resolution. The increase in resolution is DRAMATIC.

    I am not talking about the fact that these movies are being shot at 5K RAW 48fps (if not even 96fps), but that surely adds upfront a lot of additional information. Many may not know that just the fact of 3D is adding a lot of resolution too, because our human eye can derive a lot more information from the two perspectives – more than from the sum of the two.

    Test yourself. Close one eye, check what you see. Close the other, check again. Compare what you see with two eyes. More? Right. Not? Go to the doctor :)

    Next thing is additional frame rates increase, that again adds a lot of information. If you ever had a steenback and have been rolling the film in fast forward mode, the image became dramatically sharper.

    Unfortunately, the very stable sensors lost some of this effect compared to noise unstable film, as the film does basically a more random and therefor better sampling. But all effects like 5K etc. help compensating.

    If Buster Keaton ever had an EPIC 3D camera or even better tool, he surely would have choosen that and we would have skipped *centuries* of backwarded discussions.

    Gladly, those who don’t like 4K 48fps 3D can stay at home and hear some good old LPs on their phone player. Don’t forget to turn the crank… :P

    Everything that is now a “past” in terms of technological advancements will become “look from the past” tool of story telling. Like shooting in Super8 style to simulate old movie. I bet my heart that at some point 2K 24p will be a “style” to make something looking so early 2000-ish” :)

    What will happen when NHK is ready with 8K * 4K @ 60 Hz TV for everybody?


  • Daniel Mimura on 05.4.12 @ 10:39PM

    No offense? Really? You say something like that on a forum of filmmakers and dare to question our integrity or interest in such matters, just because (most of us) haven’t won awards or made any big films.

    I’m a dp (steady-op professionally, DP only semi-professionally…on low or no budget gigs.) These changes to frame rates are important to me 100% whether I win awards or not. It’s especially important as technologies are now changing with the rapidity of Moore’s law, now that the dominant formats are digital. Film (24fps 35mm 4-perf) was the dominant projection medium for 90 years…now look how fast things are changing.

    HDTV came about 10 years later than originally expected & only a part of it was technological…the biggest hurdle was standardization…so when something is looking to become standardized, we really need to weigh ALL the pros and cons & learn to read through the vested interests behind each and every format.

    I’ve read about > 24fps a lot…& because the two big films coming out with it (Hobbit & Avatar 2) happen to be geekfest fantasy crap (don’t get me wrong Star Wars ’77 is what got me into films as a kid), I’ve read a huge amount of misinformation about this technology because of these sci-fi fantasy blogs (cuz nerds may have a tendency towards hi tech, but most aren’t coming from a film background). Anyway, I see a lot written about it elsewhere, but I don’t bother posting about it or even bother reading comments on comicon type movie blogs. I get my reading about camera technology and best practices here, on The Black & Blue, CML, and

    Keep these debates coming. Koo, E.M., & Joe almost always end articles with a question, inviting opinions and dialog. Of course, a good film must start with a good idea…but this particular article is not about screenwriting, or pitching projects or brainstorming those kinds of ideas, it’s about framerate and how people have differing opinions about how that new technology is affecting audiences. These are important things to think about both for camera tech people as well as producers (who really need to be concerned with audience tastes and preferences). These *are* “new ideas”…if you mean just screenwriting & story ideas, maybe stick to commenting about that stuff if this is too technical for you.

  • 48fps and 60fps isn’t a new technology, so what does that have to do with color and sound (which at those times were actual new technology). 24fps is the way to go if you don’t want your project to look like a videogame.

  • Been watching the film yesterday (well today, really), in 48fps, and have not been able to see any difference !

    I had read about this “dramatic” change that would affect our perception of the images, that would be ultra-real and ultra-sharp. I was aware there would be a “big difference”. And I just failed to see it. Really.

    Was reminded of it only today when reading that some spectators (strangely enough, only in the UK so far -I’m in France-) have experienced a strange feeling, a “sickness”, as they have put it in the papers. Headaches, migraines and whatsnot.
    Tried to tell us it was all because of the higher frame rate.
    Found it difficult to believe, though, knowing that TV films are all shot whit a high frame bit, and that there has been a few films shot in 60 fps. I guess the crowd and excitement at an ungodly hour (it was released after 12.00 everywhere) had a part to play in their sickness. But I’m digressing …

    The point is, the audience is just used to being exposed to a wide variety of techniques, and quickly adapts. At 20, I have been watching analogic films, digital films, 2D animated films, 3-D animated films, watercolor painted background, digitally-colord pictures, 3D enhanced films, REAL-3D films, IMAX and this and that, and ‘ve even gone all the way back to Black and White and silent films last year ( The Arstist, remember). The last decade has been bursting with new or revisited technologies, and we’ve eaten so many we cannot even tell the difference anymore. Very few have this kind of romantic attachment to old-times cinema that I’ve read about, with people not wanting to go and watch The Hobbit in 48 fps, not even for GK’s sake.

    Add to it that the Hobbit is a heroic fantasy film with much action and little psychology (well, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that the characters have no depth), and then you may see that a higher frame rate might not be unwelcome (after all, the decor is pretty much the same as in LOTR, and there are not that many details to be spotted, and the whole thing is so purely fictional that no-one can ever reject it for being TOO real to get into). In that case, real is even better, so that you can believe the unbelievable !

    If I were to criticize the film, it would be more directed towards a few fails in cuts (the chasing scenes are totally illogical, and that bothered me much) and the childish silliness and slowness of the 20 first minutes (the Trolls scene, for God’s sake !), the latter being forgiven when really getting into the action, when the rythm dramatically changes, with a new ambush every 2 minutes. At some point, it was not filmed like a Heroic Fantasy film any more, but really like an action movie !

    As for the image itself, I thought it was fairly OK, maybe too bright (on closeups, it sometimes felt as if the sky was a painted decor), and sometimes too blurred (Galadriel has more aura than a 50s-film-heroine).
    The SFX looked like they were design as part of a video game, and that’s what I thought all along ! It really looked like it, and not like a movie. I had the same feeling watching the escape for the Gobelins hall as I had with the one in Moria in LOTR. Really the same !
    The battle scenes were only OK, compared to those of LOTR, but they were short, put there as flashbacks, so it didn’t matter.

    As a complete neophyte, that’s about all I could spot. I think that frame rate think is a pros-only debate.