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October 17, 2013

4K Porn Has Arrived. Will High-Resolution XXX Adult Videos Push UHD Adoption?

The adult industry, always looking for a way to make some noise, is now jumping head-first into 4K porn distribution. While shooting porn in 4K is actually nothing new (the RED ONE has been used a bit), a new company called Huccio is claiming to be the first in porn to actually master and distribute their content in 4K. Regardless of your opinion on this -- and judging by No Film School demographics you probably have a strong one -- it could have very real effects not only for porn, but for the entire movie industry.

Huccio Mastering and Releasing Porn in 4K

Huccio has only soft-launched the site, and it appears to have imploded under a recent spike in traffic thanks to being picked up by Gizmodo. Right now on Vimeo they've got a sample of the 4K-mastered video, but full 4K samples are available on their website (NSFW). You can watch the obviously NSFW clip by clicking the image below:

It's somewhat of an urban legend that porn played a role in the VHS and Betamax battle (and it was likely not even a blip on the radar for HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray), but 4% of all websites are pornographic in nature and 14% of searches are porn-related. Those numbers are pretty significant, but it's difficult to get perfect numbers on that sort of thing for obvious reasons.

As mentioned above this isn't the first time material like this has been shot in 4K, but apparently it hasn't been distributed in 4K or UHD until now. Gizmodo had some interesting words with one of the creators, Toni Tsai:

There seems to be some backlash online about how "gross" porn would look at 4k, but we big to differ. =)

I will say that more care needs to be taken during the shooting and post process as you will inevitably see more details. Details do mean more flaws exposed but when done right, as we hope you see in our content, it can look amazing.

4K is Coming (Not Just in Porn, Obviously)

4K is coming sooner or later -- whatever the medium -- and the issue mentioned above is a very real one for filmmakers. More care needs to be taken with specific elements, like production design and makeup, so that they don't distract the audience from watching the story. It might sound a little gimmicky right now, but for anyone who has watched 4K content on 4K screens for a long enough period of time, the high-resolution material looks almost 3D. As a viewer there is so much more you can pick up on in a well-composed 4K frame, as small details can really pop.

Tsai also talked about the adoption of 4K:

As 4k cameras become cheaper, I think the porn industry will definitely crossover and 4k will become the norm sooner than most people think. Case example, the new Galaxy Note can shoot 4k! Of course ,there will be varying qualities of 4k, so our goal is to provide the best visually. Because we had an head start in shooting exclusively and mastering our content in 4k, our goal is create the biggest ultra hd 4k erotica porn library for our subscribers.

They are releasing the videos in H.264 right now (and probably H.265 in the future), but it's an interesting case study for what might work for filmmakers. 4K theater distribution is out of the question for most filmmakers, but besides releasing full-quality videos on a website or uploading to YouTube, the only other options at this point are Sony's 4K player (that only works with Sony TVs) and RED's REDRAY playback device combined with the ODEMAX distribution service. No other services or devices are working in ultra high-res just yet, but with Sony's Playstation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One both capable of 4K playback, and 4K/UHD TVs now hitting price points around $1,000, a lot more 4K content is potentially on the horizon.

I don't really see pornography alone pushing the sale of 4K displays, but seeing how this situation plays out could benefit indie filmmakers who are looking for more ways to get their content seen in an increasingly media-saturated environment. In some ways, adult entertainment and independent filmmaking are sort of kindred spirits, sometimes pushing boundaries but always doing anything and everything to get more eyeballs to their content. The adult industry has often been forward thinking as it relates to marketing and production -- as we saw this year with the first Google Glass adult video -- so indie filmmakers might actually learn a thing or two from a place they least expected to.

Porn shot and displayed in 4K may not have been what you were asking for, but it's coming. The same is true for movies. The only question remaining is how fast the format will be adopted for both acquisition and distribution, and whether regular audiences will even care in the first place.

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Your Comment

42 Comments

"Porn shot and displayed in 4K may not have been what you were asking for, but it’s cuming." Had to fix that haha

October 17, 2013

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That was my first thought lolol

Nice; we all saw what you did there NFS ;)

October 17, 2013

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Ugh. 4k razor bumps and open heart surgery shots. Blur filter please

October 17, 2013

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vinceGortho

HAHA! My thoughts exactly. Sometimes, less is more.

October 25, 2013

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Short answer: no. lol

Joking, but definitely will sell more 4K players. Xbox One will live up to its alias, Xbone.

October 17, 2013

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Rodrigo Molinsky

Lets hope they don't blow the highlights.

October 17, 2013

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Good one!

October 18, 2013

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Dave

On a serious note its true that port was the big tipping factor in the VHS vs Beta war. But that was because VHS was cheaper, not related to quality.

Thats why in the Blueray vs HD-DVD battle porn didnt factor into it because both mediums cost a lot more than what they have at the moment.

Same goes for this post. Porn wont be a consideration in this because people wont spend more on 4K televisions for that.

Porn = Cheapest delivery format.

But I think they will when it comes to gaming. If Playstation and XBox go 4K its all over. 4K cant be put back in its box after that, if it even can at the moment.

October 17, 2013

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There was plenty of Betamax porn in the early 80's.

There were several reasons the format tanked. One was because there was more margin on the VCR lines on the sales floor. Sony has always been reluctant to offer price breaks to the retailers based on the "This is Sony. It sells itself" strategy but it was often at under 25% as marked on the floor. JVC, Mitsubishi and Panasonic were far more willing to offer promotional considerations and fatter margins to the retailers. Money talked. (There were other Beta manufacturers but Sony was the top premium brand)
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The other big difference was the length of the tape that was due to the relative cassette sizes. VHS was physically larger and, early on, a single tape was 1 hr. on Betamax vs. 2 hrs on VHS and later, it was 2 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 6. So, if you wanted to tape a 3 1/2 hr Monday Night Football game, it worked fine on VHS and not at all on Betamax. That made it a very good selling point in the VHS favor, even if the majority of folks couldn't figure out how to record - or "time shift", as it was known then - anything.
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And, when the total units sold began to tilt heavily into the VHS favor, the third major selling point was the "tape compatibility". That pitch was, "You can borrow a VHS tape from friends and just stick it into your VCR and play it". Usually, the "borrowed tapes" were major films that some folks bought new ($89 through the mid-80's) or used ($25-$30). The offshot of that was video stores stocking a lot more initial VHS copies for the new releases and, within 3-4 months, discounting the slightly worn copies for a final sale. As the rentals then were ~ $3/day, a copy of a hit film paid for itself within a month but, after the early surge, no one needed to tie up the shelf space with the titles that were no longer renting and customers were more than happy to purchase a favorite film less than a year after it was playing in the theaters.
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And it snowballed from there. Porn really wasn't a major variable one way or another. It did, however, hugely contributed to the video market at large, both in terms of video sales and rentals and the early acceptance of VCR's and camcorders.

October 17, 2013

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DLD

Good points. As an early B-M buyer how long you've had that disgruntled rant on your chest ;)

October 25, 2013

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funkydmunky

Money shot

October 17, 2013

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TIm

Someone told me a long while ago that porn and the military are the driving forces behind state of the art video compression. I guess he was right.

October 17, 2013

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Anthony Marino

"there is so much more you can pick up on in a well-composed 4K frame, as small details can really pop".... giggidy

October 17, 2013

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Chris Lambert

dunno if that's really good... If you know what I mean.

October 17, 2013

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Alex Mand

Oh, I totally know what you mean. That was my first thought exactly. Like, there's a reason they had the 'Bob Guccione' Penthouse filter.

October 17, 2013

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Dave Mueller

I just remember Jay Barushel's monologue on Tropic Thunder where he discusses
The deciding factor in the BR/Hd-DVD battle.. Lol.

Downey Jr. - "You talkin to me this whole time!?"

October 17, 2013

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Fml

It won't last long.

October 17, 2013

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moebius22

[puking intensifies]

October 18, 2013

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Natt

I'm feeling the fact that this of all topics is the most civilized discussion I've read on NFS for a long time! Haha! - genius :D

October 18, 2013

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Kraig

nofilmschool's content, I have noticed, as of late, is going down. Pun intended.

October 18, 2013

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sbsk

Speaking of porn and technology, has anyone seen "Burning" from X-Art.com? It is a short porn flick where they hired a Hollywood cinematographer which made the flick look just like a Hollywood film. I showed it to my wife and she thought she was watching a real film until they started showing the naughty bits!

October 18, 2013

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Aaron

The "cinematographic quality porn" has been done before with directors like Andrew Blake and many European directors. The new trend in high budget XXX is apparently "parody porn". I kid you not.

October 18, 2013

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DLD

Well low budget porn parody has been a main stay for, ever? Nothing new there. Didn't it happen to horror movies some decades ago?

October 25, 2013

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funkydmunky

I hate the Porn industry.

October 18, 2013

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ianb

It's a vile business, but it does employ a lot of people. I know a lot pf crew members who work on the side in porn when mainstream work gets slow.

October 18, 2013

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Mope

The Alexa is the mother of all skin flattering cameras... Keep it at 1080, just use an Alexa.

October 18, 2013

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Fml

Thank je NFS, for getting a title with porn in it...
I opened NFS on a train (full): people were certainly looking very weird at me and I certainly got enough space to even sit down. (don't get too close to that man I heart a mother say to her child...)
I never felt that uncomfortable in my life!!!!!!!!!

Nice article though!

October 18, 2013

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henri108

Porn has gone from 720p to 1080p for a long time and so what? What make 4K porn special?

October 18, 2013

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Koseng

4K....at 60 faps per second...

October 18, 2013

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Skeptikal

Joe Marine writing an article about porn...I worry about you guys sometimes. :-)

Seriously though I think porn has to make the jump in order to sell. So much of if it is free they have to have something new to sell. I don't really think it's going to be enough to push 4k any faster though cause in the end it comes down to what happens in the porn that matters to the viewer just as any other production and resolution only has to be so good. I don't think the audience can really tell between 1080 and 4k.

October 18, 2013

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Woody Sanford

By the way, if my recollection is correct, B&H is now listing Sony Z-100 (the pro version of their two yet to be released 4K camcorders) pre-orders at $5,500, which is $1K off the original MSRP. This could be due to a numbers of factors - from the imbalance of purchases in favor of a cheaper model to an expected glut of competitive products from other manufacturers. IMO, the interchangeable lens camcorders will have a big role to play in the development of the format. In relation to this thread, one could say, it'll be a Dirk Diggler size part.

October 19, 2013

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DLD

Shoot said adult video on GH2, then use Apple Motion to uprez to 4K for best results other than Red Dragon. GH2 still has best dynamic range and resolution for uprezzing.

October 19, 2013

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Sam Biel

Even when urezzed, still sharper than an actual 4K camera. Been beta testing 4K BMPC and GH2 is slightly better, suprisingly.

October 19, 2013

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Sam Biel

GH2 easily best camera bar the Alexa, agreed.

October 24, 2013

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Norm Rasner

This is one exciting development ! Will the wonder's of Man never cease ?

October 24, 2013

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Dheep'

No clips so we can evaluate the technical quality? You're slipping... (oops)

October 24, 2013

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My first taste of seeing way too much in HD was at IMAX Theatre for the second installment of The Matrix. I found it quite disturbing that I could see the hair in Keanu Reeve's nose, up close and personal like. I don't watch porn now and I've no plans for doing so in the 4K future, but I can't imagine how that sort of ultra-vivid imagery would benefit that sort of "film". Then again, I never understood why anyone would want to watch the genitals of strangers slamming together.

October 24, 2013

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stegokitty

Was'nt S3D the opportunity for the porn-industry to get a lift? And seriously, the industry seemed to believe in it and was an early adopter and systematic buyer of S3D-in-a-camera tools and toys. Did it save the S3D and push TV sales, I doubt it. But seeing the first demo's some years ago @ the IBC/Amsterdam of the early NHK-BBC transmissions of ULTRAHIGH VISION in 8K, it was certain to me that there was much more potential in 8K to 4K or even 2K than for S3D to any of the formats higher resolution formats.
The problem with S3D is that it is a language so much more difficult to master [I saw only 2 or 3 films that managed to make it interesting and not just kept the parallax at minimum all over to make it work] that I have been afraid for years before the new rush, that it would ever be possible to create a decent and interesting looking film in S3D. 4K and 8K is certainly not going to be easier for the focus puller, but it puts like it has allways been, that responsibility on just one person, cinematic language unchanged ;-)

October 25, 2013

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Josss

What a bloody waste of time and resources. As if porn wasn't already a waste. A civilization in decline. Yes, it's true. And Nofilmschool....C'MON YOU GUYS. IS THIS REALLY RELEVANT? WHY NOT SPEND YOU TIME AND ENERGY COVERING SOMETHING RELEVANT.

October 25, 2013

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Drew

Sorry. What were you saying, we were watching porn :)

October 25, 2013

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funkydmunky

Awesome!

November 27, 2013

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C. M. Brown

I've shot better on 70mm film and photographed on large format 4x5

May 9, 2014

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Emily Taylor