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Old May 5th, 2012, 04:12 PM   #76
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

Unless we've seen the footage projected, in it's full resolution, in the correct color space, in 3D at 48fps, then this whole conversation is speculative and, quite honestly, silly.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #77
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

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Unless we've seen the footage projected,....... then this whole conversation is speculative and, quite honestly, silly.
Speculative - yes, at least to an extent. Silly - no, far from it. The CinemaCon screenings led to a lot of bad (and inaccurate) rumours going round, and it's worth trying to get to bottom of them.

Opinions have ranged from "nothing wrong with the look of the footage" to "the 48fps look is making it look videoish".

The first opinion is obviously incorrect - from the last link there should be no doubt that what has been seen is ungraded, it would be surprising if it did look perfect! That's straight from Peter Jackson.

On the other hand, the criticisms seem to be along the lines of disliking the footage because it's "overlit and amplified" in one persons words. It's likely their impressions are valid - but what's wrong is blaming the negativity on the framerate rather than simple lack of grading.

Worth reading on down in the Hollywood Reporter article to get some fairly heavyweight opinion SPECIFICALLY about the framerate issue. (Which generally seems positive.) For example:
Quote:
In contrast to the first wave of skeptical tweets, a sampling of reaction from exhibitors, studio executives and producers at Cinemacon found many saying that 48 fps represents the wave of the future.

At one panel, Regal CEO Amy Miles said her circuit is committed to 48 frame rates............

Producer Neal Moritz (Fast Five, 21 Jump Street) likened the reaction to the 48 fps footage to the first reactions to digital cameras, which wasn’t initially embraced by many filmmakers. “Now, every filmmaker wants digital. It just takes getting used to and this is no different,” he said.

IMAX Filmed Entertainment chairman Greg Foster said it amounts to a generational issue, and that all the kids who have grown up watching digital television find it easy to accept movies projected at 48 fps.

etc...........
But OK, final judgement reserved until we've seen the finished product.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 12:02 AM   #78
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

Having seen 24 fps film motion interpolated on modern televisions, I'm no fan of 2D narrative film at high frame rates. In my experience, it can make things look so real that they feel fake - like the reality that we are looking at a Hollywood set.

Also, having seen fast motion 3D at 24 fps, that's also a fail.

We need to stop thinking about 48 fps at either/or and think about frame rate as a creative control. The question isn't if 48 fps is good or bad. The question is "in what situations, genres, and shots would you use 48 fps for the best effect?" Or even broader: "If you had full control over the playback framerate, what framerate would you use for various situations, genres, and shots and why?"

Directors don't shoot everything at exactly 24 fps (slower for action, faster for dramatic slow motion), so why should we play back everything at a single frame rate?

As an example, one shouldn't pan edge to edge on a plate in less than about seven seconds at 24 fps, according to the ASC handbood. You can pan faster when tracking an object. You can also whip pan, which is so disorienting that you don't notice the judder. But what if you wanted to pan at a medium speed on a naked background? This would be a perfect place to switch to a fast frame rate, if only temporarily.

Rather than a technological threat, or a full-time switch, we should see this as yet another creative variable.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 12:49 AM   #79
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

The question of whether 24fps for narrative is something that looks right to many of us because of convention or because of inherent qualities of the frame rate is a classic nature vs nurture type of question. If scientific nature vs nurture questions are anything to go by then the answer to the 24fps question will most likely be that our preference for that frame rate for narrative is both nature (inherent quality of the framerate) and nurture (convention established by seeing so many films at 24fps).

Quite aside from our conditioning I think there are many inherent qualities of lower frame rates that make them more useful for many kinds of narrative. I think this connects with a very strong thread in the visual arts where less becomes more because by offering us less information the artist allows more space for the sort of participation in the image/story that comes from us as the viewers filling in some of the missing information.

Contemporary artist Jim Campbell's work is a really good example of this. He creates super low resolution displays from arrays of LED lights. In one work an array of 1040 white LEDs is used to display home movies. There is so little resolution in these works that you find yourself hallucinating the missing detail, a fact that produces a great deal of the power we experience in viewing Campbell's work. The general point is that less information can make a work more powerful.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 12:57 AM   #80
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

Regardless of what may please some and pain others, one thing for sure. There are going to be people, unfettered by convention or notions of limitation, who take these tools and make them do things beyond what we and the designers expect and anticipate.

Look forward to that and some good "original" story stuff in the future. It is not a bad time to be around and young enough to wait out the dust storm.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 08:16 AM   #81
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Directors don't shoot everything at exactly 24 fps (slower for action, faster for dramatic slow motion), so why should we play back everything at a single frame rate?
I agree. We are unfortunately still stuck in the business decisions of the last century. The dependence on playback of a 24fps film projector. That isn't used now !!!! We are happy to use VBR to store the data on a DVD rather than CBR but seem unable to extend this to the frame rate. The rational is the same . Use more when you need it and less when you do not.

It is the misuse of 24p that bothers me the most. If I am watching an instructional film of how to assemble some thing etc I want to see this as if I am there right next to the camera man, no judder no fancy color grading just there. For me this includes documentaries as well for the same reasons. I want to be there.

If you want to take me on a dream trip you can use whatever you like in frame rate, color grading etc and I will decide if you were successful in entertaining me. With modern computer technology there is no need to be constrained. We shall see if we can break free over the next few years !!!

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Old May 6th, 2012, 01:11 PM   #82
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

For instructional video, shallow DOF is the worst! I might want to pause the video, see a detail, read if the model number is the same as mine, etc. But if the detail that I'm interested in is out of focus due to shallow DOF, I can't see it.

Oh well. I like creative control, but not everybody will use it the way I would like.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 12:16 AM   #83
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

Another article on Peter Jackson's 48p experiment-

Switch to high-frame-rate 3D movies may not be smooth - tech - 03 May 2012 - New Scientist

I thought this was an interesting observation-

"Some short cuts used for a long time in moviemaking may not now work," says Michele Sciolette, head of visual effects technology at Cinesite, also in London. "Every little detail in make-up, costumes and props will have to be absolutely perfect in terms of visual detail - otherwise they may not be perceived as real."

So now while it's not the cost of film footage that is holding us back the fact that a much higher level of attention to detail might be required of props and sets might be just as much of a financial disincentive.

Last edited by Ben Denham; May 13th, 2012 at 02:28 AM.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #84
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

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Originally Posted by Ben Denham View Post
Another article on Peter Jackson's 48p experiment
But unfortunately another one just repeating uncritically what has previously been first reported. Read the previous comments in this thread, and it seems highly likely that the reason for the general dissatisfaction in the audience was nothing to do with framerate and everything to do with the fact that the material hadn't been properly graded. For example, comments from the article like "the preview was described as video-like and lacking in colour contrast," Is "colour contrast" really much affected by framerate?

As far as the observation you quote, then does this not also sound more of a comment on the fundamental definition than framerate? A comment more about ungraded material that hasn't had the "edge" taken off it by grading, than about the implications of high framerates?

I can only hope that any more "experimental" 48p screenings solely use fully graded material.........
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Old May 13th, 2012, 06:27 PM   #85
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Re: The Hobbit shooting in 48p on RED cameras

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Directors don't shoot everything at exactly 24 fps (slower for action, faster for dramatic slow motion), so why should we play back everything at a single frame rate?

..........But what if you wanted to pan at a medium speed on a naked background? This would be a perfect place to switch to a fast frame rate, if only temporarily.
The answer to "why should we play back everything at a single frame rate?" is most probably because if it was decided to allow continually varying rates throughout a production, the chances of things going wrong increase dramatically. Yes, that SHOULDN'T be the case, but ask yourself how many times you now see something shown in the wrong aspect ratio on somebodys TV? Having continually varying framerates multiplies the chances of something going wrong along the chain, or at the very least gives a whole new set of potential headaches.

And for what? Yes, 25fps may "look" different to 50fps, but why introduce a lot of potential pitfalls to (say) have four successive sequences at 25, then 40, then 30, then 50fps?

In terms of artistic reasons, why not just define replay at 25 or 50fps - which is pretty much what happens now with broadcast TV anyway? Typically, on HD services in the UK, drama is likely to be 25p, sport etc 50fps (albeit via i/25, not 50 frames progressive) For the cinema, if all projection became 48fps the "traditional cinema look" could be very easily got by shooting at 24 and showing each frame twice. (Exactly as a film projector now does via the shutter.) I'd hazard that would give 90% of the effect and look you wish, with none of the potential pitfalls.

If you're still not convinced about the technicalities, then just as example, ask yourself about issues such as timecode. The more I think about it, the more potential problems come up, I wonder how long it would be before a vision sequence got filmed at 40fps, and the sound with timecode at 30fps........ :-) ?

And that's before we even begin to think about backwards compatability. Mercifully, we are spared matters like 29.94Hz framerates and drop-frame timecode in 50Hz lands, but bear in mind that they stem from issues with audio receivers in the earliest monochrome US TV receivers, and the introduction of colour in 1953. Can you imagine the legacy issues that continuously variable playback frame rates would give?
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