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High Frame Rate Cinema

COW Library : Cinematography : Debra Kaufman : High Frame Rate Cinema
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CreativeCOW presents High Frame Rate Cinema -- Cinematography Editorial


Santa Monica California USA

©2012 CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.


All eyes are on High Frame Rate cinema, the latest technology shift touted by such heavyweight filmmakers as Peter Jackson and Jim Cameron. But how many frames per second is ideal? How does HFR cinema change the workflow and the bottom line? This group of experts weighed in on why we should be excited by the opportunities of HFR cinema and what we can expect in day-to-day production and post workflows.



High frame rate (HFR) cinema isn't here yet, but it's one of the most talked-about topics in the media and entertainment space. The recent news that Warner Bros. has curtailed its 48 fps release of The Hobbit to a handful of large cities was cause for yet more conversation about the viability of HFR cinema.


Douglas Trumbull
Douglas Trumbull is both an expert and a pioneer in high frame-rate cinema, with his development, in the late 1970s, of the 60 fps/70mm Showscan format. Thirty years later, he's as bullish as ever on the aesthetics of HFR cinema. "The higher the frame rate, the more realistic the image, and even more so with 3D," says Trumbull. "My interest is in hyper-cinema. By combining 3D with extremely high frame rate on an extremely large screen at extreme brightness, the result is more like live performance. This offers a new interesting unanticipated opportunity to make movies that are like live events. The viewer is in the movie, on the adventure."

Trumbull isn't the only advocate for HFR cinema. Most notably James Cameron has taken up the cause and plans to produce a high-frame rate sequel to Avatar. Trumbull and videotaped presentation by Cameron were just two of the speakers at a panel on the topic at SIGGRAPH 2012.

Moderated by Christie CTO Paul Salvini, the panel also consisted of
The general consensus was that HFR Cinema is both desirable and inevitable. In his presentation, Cameron showcased specially shot test footage that compared 24 fps, 48 fps and 60 fps versions of the same material. He railed against the judder and artifacts seen in the 24 fps footage, noting that the reason film standardized on 24 fps was because the industry's early producers were too cheap to pay for more film stock. Both he and several other speakers spoke about HFR Cinema as "lifting a restraint" that's been in place since film's earliest days. "We're here to explore its potential to deliver more immersive, impactful stories," said Salvini.

Cameron's producing partner Jon Landau extended the director's diatribe against 24 fps cinema. "We want to find technologies that disappear and transport the audience more into the narrative story," said Landau. "We thought 3D was one step in that direction. We have a responsibility as filmmakers to continue to push technology to tell stories in better ways, to tell stories that couldn't be told before and to drive people out of their homes into theatres." Landau also pointed out that HFR Cinema does not have to be in 3D, but can also raise the impact of 2D movies.


Poster advertising The 7th Voyage of Sinbad with the newest movie-making miracle... DYNAMATION. Fair use rationale
Muren noted that he comes to this from a background of loving films. "I'd seen Doug's Showscan reel, and it looked pretty darn neat," he said. Muren experimented with high frame rates at home, by playing back Ray Harryhausen's classic stop-motion animated feature The 7th Voyage of Sinbad at higher rates. "A higher frame rate did smooth out the stop motion animation," he said. "Then I noticed the Cyclops character looked like a rubber puppet in front of a production screen, which wasn't as noticeable in 24 fps. In 24 fps, it didn't look as obviously artificial." But that wasn't his only experiment. When he played back one of the old "Mac vs. PC" TV commercials at 120 fps, he found them funnier at the higher frame rate.

"I was looking at the close-ups and the performances are better at a high frame rate," he said. "You see the intent of the actors more clearly, what they tried to do. It was an incredible thing." His conclusion? "I think HFR is a great tool," he said. "It's closer to reality. You can always filter the camera or cut it back, all the things that cameraman have done to take the curse off video. But the audiences can connect more. Add 3D on top of that and you're there. I'm a big proponent of it."

Helliker spoke about the HFR research that he's conducting at Sheridan College, in partnership with Christie. "We're working in stereo 3D and live action and are working to establish an R&D center for HFR," he said. "We'll shoot HFR on different cameras and test the workflow and delivery." In addition to Christie, Sheridan's other partners are content production companies and creative professionals. "That's helped set our agenda," said Helliker. "For us, the two critical aspects are the filmmaking process, and how HFR adds to the language of film, just like composition and framing. We want to find how HFR impacts on that. The other critical aspect is audience experience. We're going to display different types of material and get feedback of how it impacts the audience, by demographic, and look at that scientifically, to get feedback that can help filmmakers make the decisions."

The SIRT Centre at Sheridan is also working closely with international groups including SMPTE's HFR working group, and looking closely at the relationship of HFR and shutter angle. "As the shutter angle goes up, the frame is captured over a longer period of time," Helliker said, as he presented footage that showed 24 fps at 180 degree shutter (normal capture); 48 fps at 180 degree, 270 and 360 degree shutters. "You would expect an increase in motion blur, and it also affects other aspects of the image."

RealD's Matt Cowan described the human factors of viewing 3D and HFR. "One of the interesting things is that HFR isn't new," he pointed out. "We see things at an infinite frame rate because there's motion everywhere. The media industry's job is to attempt to cheat to satisfy bandwidth limitations and present as realistic as possible an image. Just as Jim Cameron said, the industry has been stuck on 24 fps on film by practical camera speeds and the cost of film. But if we look back, TV has run at a higher frame rate: 50 fps in Europe and 30 or 60 in the U.S. In the early 1970s when video display terminals were in their infancy, IBM did research and found that 72 Hz was the flicker-fusion frequency that was comfortable for the viewer."


Avatar: Photo courtesy WETA. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Sam Worthington as Jake Sully, Zoe Saldana as Neytiri in AVATAR.
Photo Courtesy of WETA, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.



"Across the population, there is a big spread of what frame rate you need to avoid seeing flicker," he continued. "Some people don't see any flicker, others are sensitive to it. This led us in the introduction of 3D to look at flicker rates; we knew we were limited to 24 fps capture, but it caused significant artifacts. We looked at double flash, which allowed us to present 48 fps per eye, but a big portion of the population found that quite uncomfortable because the edges were soft, you had excessive flicker, and dark spots between each frame was troubling. At 72 fps per eye, you didn't see flicker but we still had motion artifacts including blurring."

"Satisfying the human visual system of between 55 to 60 fps is a necessary part of moving to the next level of experience," concluded Cowan. "The movement for high-frame rate cinema will open up the visual experience and give us the possibility of new creative output, to say nothing of being able to go brighter as well. It heralds great things for the industry!"

Trumbull discussed his early experiences with HFR Cinema, developing 60 fps/70mm Showscan. "But I could never get it implemented in the motion picture industry because it required new screens and projectors," he said. "Although the studios liked it, they wouldn't put in any projectors unless all the movies were made that way. It was a Catch 22. I left Showscan many years ago, in a state of profound disillusionment."



Trumbull directing Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood on the set of 1983's Brainstorm, which was intended to be the first Showscan film. Paramount owned Trumbull's company, and had offered some support for launching Showscan. Unfortunately, an upheaval at Paramount led to the picture ultimately moving to MGM. Then, the unbelievable struck, and Natalie Wood died. Image courtesy MGM.


Since then, however, Trumbull has revived Showscan to recreate it as a digital process. Shooting tests three years ago, the new system offers 24, 60 and 120 fps. "We no longer have shutters in cameras or projectors so it's possible to shoot with a 360 frame rate," said Trumbull. "It captures 100 percent of what's in front of the camera. The shutter never closes and never misses anything. Since the frames are all contiguous, you can connect two frames and regain the blur."

Trumbull has another idea regarding high frame rate capture. "I realized you are no longer restricted to applying any frame rate globally to a movie," he said. "You can dynamically change it on any pixel, any scene, any character or object. Frame integrated motion analysis allows you to pick the right frame rate for the scene or character." He is currently in experiments with this, using high-gain hemispheric screens, projecting 3D at 35 foot-lamberts. "Christie is helping with special lenses and we're shooting with many different cameras to figure out the parameters," he said.

Feature animation, pointed out Salvini, gives creatives complete control over many factors including the cameras and amount of motion blur. "It's very exciting to think about," said Dreamworks Animation's Wallen. "When you think of our experiences in animating characters, our audience may have an expectation that a character can hold a heavy object, which requires us to animate it in a very physical way. We create an imagined or fantasy situation that the audience sees as real but doesn't actually conform with the real world at all."


James Cameron directing on the set of AVATAR.
He plans to produce a high-frame rate sequel.
"We're used to multiple frame rates," he added. "We do this all the time in VFX and animation and anyone who creates video games will already be familiar with running different objects at different rates to create an overall effect. Putting this in the hands of cinematographers could be very exciting. There are obvious costs for image generation, rendering being the obvious one. And it could slow down the animation process. Perhaps animators would still work at 24fps and we could automatically interpolate. But the front and back end of our pipeline could handle the increased number of images in a smooth way."

Dreamworks Animation's Beshears expressed his change in attitude about HFR. "Now that I've seen it here, it makes more sense than it did when I've seen it previously," he said. "I'm more positive about it. I've also learned that if we're going to use this, we have to take it shot by shot. In some cases that compared 24 fps with 48 fps, the 48 was a less satisfying experience."

Even so, Beshears had some words of caution regarding how HFR cinema will impact the post production process. "A 3D movie has 150,000 frames, a massive amount of data to store and move around," he said. "Rendering can be daunting. With HFR cinema, that's a reality that will have to be addressed in the whole post process."

Visual effects in a high frame rate world was touched upon by Side Effects Software's Moore and Digital Domain's Grant. Moore discussed the experiments Side Effects Software has done in HFR cinema. "The nice thing about CG is that if you want to change the frame rate, it's easy to re-render," he said. "If you think of the cost of rendering 48 fps versus 24 fps, it seems that it would be double...but it isn't. At 24 fps, you're spending time computing motion blur, and you can reduce the cycles dedicated to motion blur at higher frame rates."

"Another big difference is that temporal resolution is very different between 24 and 48 fps content," Moore continued. "The effective resolution is much higher at higher frame rate and you begin to see a lot more detail, so defects are more apparent at 48 fps. Imperfections in a visual effect that you could have gotten away with at 24 fps, you can't at 48 fps. Quite a bit more effort and sizes of simulations go up with higher frame rate. There are big implications for storage and computation time, not just render time. It's easy to get used to a 24 fps world and a frame based approach, but if content needs to be re-branded, switching to a time-based approach rather than frame-based might be a paradigm shift."

Grant described what Digital Domain anticipates with regard to a VFX pipeline for HFR cinema. "There's a lot of extra work on the VFX side," he said. "As Luke [Moore] said, it's not simply rendering, but all the data to generate that image. And it's not just twice the data; there are one or two orders of magnitude of data that feeds into that final image that goes into the animation pipeline. That's something that has to be considered."

Cyclops from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. © 1958 Columbia Pictures. Directed by Nathan H. Juran, animated by Ray Harryhausen with Dynamation. ©Sony Pictures, released Oct. 7th, 2008. Courtesy Blu-ray.com
He also referenced Muren's description of how the Cyclops from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad looked more obviously like a puppet when rendered in high frame rate. "We haven't had to fix these things in post up until now," he said. "That means paint and roto for every frame...and now with two times the number of frames." Grant also noted that, just as toolsets helped workflows smoother for 3D, something similar is now required for HFR cinema. "You'll have to see a lot of work done in the tool creator side to make HFR more successful," he said. Grant also noted that we're still in the very early days of HFR cinema. "No one has asked us at Digital Domain to even bid on a HFR project yet," he said. "There are challenges in terms of how you think about shooting a film when you're going from 2D to 3D and now, again, from 24 fps to 48 fps."

Of all the speakers, Park Road Post's Oatley was the only one with hands-on experience. In fact, he's working on the first-ever commercial HFR feature film, The Hobbit. He described director Peter Jackson's big desire to shoot HFR. "We were trying to achieve the director's vision," he said. "In the beginning of 2010, we looked into the commercial and technical viability of HFR cinema, at 48 and 72 fps -- knowing that we would still have to deliver a 24 fps version of the film."

"We started talking deeply with technology partners to work with us on creating and accepting HFR, Christie being one," he said. "After a certain amount of R&D, we realized 48 fps was playable on Gen 2 hardware, but 72 frames was a little outside the current capabilities of hardware. There were also issues around bit rate ceiling of DCPs given the time frame of The Hobbit's release. We also did exploration around shutter angle, which is vital to the look and feel. It had to translate to 24 fps."

The company met SGO, which had developed Mistika, a DI platform with a 3D toolset and a platform that enabled Park Road Post to build its own tools. "RED was on the cusp of releasing the Epic cameras and we got a handful of these cameras and 3ality rigs and embarked on a week long shoot to see what this would be like in a real-world scenario," Oatley said. "During that testing phase, we pulled together the first 48 frame dailies workflow and the ability to deliver to a 24 fps editorial workflow because there are no real editorial tools to cut natively at 48 and translate that back to a 24 fps timeline. We had to match dailies turn-around times, to deliver to the production. We managed to do that through the development we did with Mistika."

Park Road Post's workflow began with a digital lab, where everything is moved into the company's in-house-developed asset management system. "Everything generated is tracked and moved through the asset management system. The Mistika environment develops dailies, which the stereographer and colorist work on simultaneously. We ran two to three hours of dailies screenings a day, projected in our cinema."

"HFR capture creates an avalanche of data," he continued. "We generated 6 to 12 TB of original camera data each day and we shot 6 days per week. We designed systems to cover that volume of data as quickly as we could. In 35mm terms, we processed 24 million feet." Post production on The Hobbit is still underway, and Park Road Post is, said Oatley, still committed to moving HFR cinema forward.



The Hobbit
The Hobbit with Peter Jackson, who filmed The Hobbit with RED Epic cameras shooting at 48fps. Warner Bros. is considering a limited release at the higher frame rate.


Landau noted that, "we'll learn a lot from The Hobbit," and added, "Jim is still trying to learn. Initially, he thought 48 fps was enough, then he looked at higher frame rate. One thing we do think about HFR is that filmmakers don't need to come up with a consensus: people can choose to do what they want. The technology allows you to do that."

Muren was even more to the point. "There should never be a consensus on how to do this," he said. "Directors will be driving this. We should listen to them and give them what they need."

The enthusiasm over the possibilities of HFR cinema was tempered by some of the impact on VFX and post production toolsets and workflows. But if the past -- including the recent past with the adoption of 3D -- is any indication, this won't hold anything back. In his videotaped presentation, Cameron went so far as to say that a move to 4K imagery was meaningless as long as the frame rate stayed 24. When it's finally released, The Hobbit will tell the studios a lot about how HFR cinema is received by the general public -- at least in the cities where that 48 fps version is released. If audiences are enthusiastic, everything will fall into place: studios will greenlight HFR projects, some directors will enthusiastically embrace it, hardware and software vendors will come out with the technology to handle it, and the VFX and post houses will deal with the consequences, as they always have.

We've got a lot of time and a lot of work and development to get to that place. Numbers will be crunched, from dollars to bit rates. Concerns will be aired. Successes will be hailed. Stories will be told. At Creative COW, we intend to continue the conversation.








Click to read our feature in Creative COW Magazine, Douglas Trumbull: A Writer-Producer-Director-Engineer-Inventor Looks Forward


Title image: The Hobbit: IAN McKELLEN as Gandalf in New Line Cinema's and MGM's fantasy adventure "THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo by James Fisher.


High frame rates explained from Christie on Vimeo.




Additional interesting information from Tribeca: http://www.tribecafilm.com/tribecafilm/side-by-side.html#.UC1iio7J70A

Hollywood Elsewhere: Immersive Hyper-Cinema by Jeffrey Wells: http://hollywood-elsewhere.com/2012/08/immersive_hyper.php

...and footage of the actual panel discussion:








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Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by William Burrus
The people on this thread are SO VERY interesting and informed.
I have an extremely IMPORTANT [to me] QUESTION.

Which similarly priced video camera would you choose between nikon 3200 and canon 600 D 3ti?

The Nikon seems superior as to the following specs [Nikon listed first]:

Pixel Pitch 3.8 um v. 4.3 um
Pixel Array 6016x4000 v. 5184x3456
Sensor Size(mm) 23.2x15.4 v. 22.3x14.9
# Pixels 24.2 MP v. 18 MP [this seems HUGE]
Bit Depth 12 v. 14
Crop Factor 1.5 v. 1.6

The Nikon comes with an APS-C sized sensor, 1080p movie recording at 24/25/30p, manual audio controls (not during recording), but no headphone jack and no clean hdmi-out at 1080p. Also NO Tilt Viewfinder.

Is separate audio recording (with clapper) desirable/feasible/preferable?
How important is the headphone jack?
What does "no clean hdmi-out at 1080p" signify?

My intention is to produce/film simple fictional narrative [no special effects] of film-festival quality.

My budget will not allow a higher priced camera.

Thanks so much.
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Jeremy Garchow
I have no idea what this exercise will (or will not) do to the net effect of getting more people in theater seats, or allowing the further creative expression of filmmakers.

What I find highly ironic is how much work and effort was put in to shooting 24p video on digital video tape, and the cost associated with monitoring and dealing with it, at least at first.

Tapeless made this easier, then cheaper, and then of course more ubiquitous, along with capture cards being able to handle the signals both incoming and outgoing, and then of course cheaper monitoring.

And now, the tables have turned. 60p/48p digital cinema is going to be more expensive, and difficult to project at first.

Also, 48p is really close to PAL (50 Hz). If you've seen 720p50 video, 48p by my estimation, can't look dramatically different. Or can it? Those of us in the US all know what 60p looks like.

I was watching the US version of Top Gear for the first time the other day. They were obviously using a bunch of different cameras in a rather involved episode with lots of driving in many different cars by multiple people. Perhaps that describes every episode, but this was the first one I had the pleasure of watching. They constantly switch from 24p to 60i (or perhaps sometimes 30p). The difference, especially seeing them within a few shots of each other is very noticeable. Most of the more tripod/out of car stunt related scenes were p, the in/on car cams and small lipstick/GoPro type cameras were 60i/p. They are sometimes intercut. I'm not saying this is good, or bad, but it is certainly not indifferent. I am sure the production had to make their choices. Seeing the same action with differing frame characteristics all being viewed in a 60 Hz stream was a very small exercise in visual psychology for me. I am sure it was unintentional by the Top Gear team, but it certainly exacerbated the modern mixed bag of media dilemma. I did, ultimately, enjoy the episode.

I don't have anything good to add, but I am sure that the consumers will decide what they want to watch with their wallets, and if they don't, I'm sure the wallet watchers will decide.

I wish everyone the best in their creative, technical, and business endeavors.

Thanks for the article,

Jeremy
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Richard Kaufman
Great story, but more bad news for those of us who sell film stock like me.

However, it is great news for those of us who sell hard drives, like me!

Richard Kaufman
Comtel Pro Media
richard@comtelpm.com
@High Frame Rate Cinema
by Rich Rubasch
Interesting....I think for 3D the point is valid. It might just be the ticket. To be fair, the Christie demo I saw at NAB was 3D and in one of the sword fight scenes it did sort of feel like you were in the room with the two guys fighting it out. The 24p version suffered a lot from the motion. The 60fps on that clips was live (but 3D live, not 2D) and therefore very realistic.

Great thread here.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Tony Koorlander
Well folks, I have done huge experience research on 3D, and as a result have been shooting dual stream 59.94P full HD progressive for nearly 3 years. The BluRay format knobbles me to outputting at 1280x720 at the moment, but on my studio setup I can preview in Full HD 3D at 59.94P and believe me it makes 3D WORK like it should. The whole idea of taking 3D into a low frame rate medium sucks. The dream like adherence to film standards by the media industry makes me wonder what they're smoking half the time. The appalling temporal stutter on motion flow is unacceptable in 3D. The human eye and brain combination perceives motion at a much higher frame rate than 48 .. 59.94 is better. The switch rate of 120 Hz on Nvidia's 3D setup works stunningly well with 59.94P source, and this is what I've shot EVERYTHING in on my 3D library.
Tradition and artistic temporal distortion is what creativity WAS about .. but in 3D there's a lot of uphill acceptance of fact which the industry is showing reluctance for. I am writing a discussion paper at the moment that - to the common sense folks amongst us - will make a lot of the reasons behind my thinking become obvious. James Cameron has wonderful talent that is seriously compromised by a lethargic industry that is not giving him the tools he and others need to be appropriating.
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Douglas Bowker
"Defense of 24 fps sound a lot like LP vs CD. Those of us who have actually mastered LPs (who know just how much dynamic range you give up to fit music onto one) look on in amusement at those praising vinyl."

Um yeah, except CDs have far worse fidelity than analogue due there own inherent limitations. 44.1khz is not how we hear the world; not by a long shot! CDs are like the digital cameras of 10 years ago, never mind how they dumbed peoples idea of hi-fi down to worship convenience over all. And whether they can in theory have wider dynamic range, in practice they usually don't. Try listening to a new well mastered analogue LP on a decent turntable vs a same release on CD (let alone mp3) and I challenge to dismiss it as dead technology. Faster and easier is rarely a recipe for better. It usually is just a way to get the equivalent of a frozen dinner. Digital in all it's forms is like building technology introduced in the mid-20th century: limitless creative possibilities that is more often embraced as a cheap way to churn out an inferior product for less effort and money. The best cinematography is still made on film, even if later it uses DI or CG effects on top. Go take a look at Dark Knight Rises on a real 70mm Imax screen. THAT is what film making is all about.

I am hopeful we will see more and more digital film tech. in the future is made for the cinematographer instead of the studio exec. looking to trim the budget, but to me, it's worth pushing back in in order to get it right. This wholesale embrace of the new is just part of an overall obsession of technology always being "better." This is most evident in the scramble for 3D film making. Oh, except that 90% isn't made in the 3D at all, it's just post converted. Sure Avatar and few others were great, the flood of high-tickets crap didn't give us "more" anything, much less better. Blurrier, cheap gimmicks, where exactly is the net positive. It's just a distraction from the fact that so few good stories are told and so few movies care.

Hugo actually had a reason to use 3D and it looked outstanding and maybe that's the thing: it was an integral part of the story, and not just a reason to jack the ticket price up. On the other hand, it was made by one of the masters of traditional cinema, so 3D or 2D might not have mattered either way. Scorcese knows what tells a good story and has earned his place through hard word work and true love of the art of film. Agian think of some of the great films of the last 20-30 years: would any really benefit from higher frames rates, 3D projection or ultra sharp digital film? The Three Colours series? Schindler's List? Magnolia? Goodfellas? The Piano? I'm sorry but I can't think of any on the 500 greatest movies that need anything more than what they had.

Doug Bowker

3D Animation for the Medical and Technical World
http://www.dbowker3d.com
@Douglas Bowker
by Chris Williams
It's off an a tangent, but Paul D. Lehrman in the April 2008 issue of Mix magazine wrote about a test in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society where they took very high quality recordings on Super-Audio CD and DVD-Audio and ran them through a A/B/X comparator. The A was direct, the B was through a very well-respected CD recorder.

With 554 test listeners, they identified the better than 44.1 source 49.82 percent of the time - exactly the same result they would get if they were flipping a coin. Working engineers at the AES convention did slightly better, at 52.7-percent correct.

So, no. Removed from the world of subjective evaluation, CDs are good enough. As for the loudness war, we are in agreement. Just because misguided record company executives are insisting that CDs be compressed to death does not mean the format is flawed.

As for why people hear differences in cables and others things during subjective tests, read this article by Ethan Winer that explains how, short of locking your head in one place like Alex in A Clockwork Orange, you're going to hear things differently every time you sit back down after changing a cable.
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by William Burrus
thanks for all the feedback.

i tend to think 3D might be too distracting from a good romantic comedy.

but, what do i know?!
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Björn Engström
I am stunned by this sudden interest in high frame rates.
Why are people like Peter Jackson surprised by negative reactions to the look of 48fps? Shooting at 48fps or even 120fps is just doing during production what people's home TV sets have been doing for years - the interpolation of frames to reduce judder. I have seen The Lord of the Rings look as if it was shot on VHS interlaced! In stores, demo TV sets use interpolations of new frames and other destructive processes (maximum sharpness, maximum color, etc) to present laughable versions of multi-million-dollar movies. Why have filmmakers not been fighting to remove these horrible functions from TV sets?
No, instead now some of the greatest filmmakers in the world WANT their films to look like TV. They say it will look more real, but it will not.
To quote Jin Choung above: "it DOES NOT look like reality. it looks like BROADCAST TV." SO so true.

I can understand the relevance of HFR for 3D, to create an immersive experience, but how is this turned into being "the future of cinema"? It is something else, it is maybe a new medium taking form. But it is NOT cinema!
Cinema is an artistic medium for which 24fps is one important part.
As David Hansen says above about 24fps: "It has the quality of a memory, not a live feed."

If hyper-reality is what the audience wants, then why do they like action scenes shot in a Ridley Scott style with short exposure times (tighter shutter angle), double-printed frames, slow-motion etc.? Why does the audience love camera moves like the bullet-time effect in Matrix? Why does the audience so often prefer being told a story in non-linear time?
I believe it is because the audience wants to be told a story, in an expressive and visually exciting way. And if we make the medium too hyper-realistic, we will lose a part of the excitement.
I think there is already a way for the audience to become immersed in a world: computer games. They are interactive, and you can control what you look at. It creates a true sense of reality. Maybe the 3D and HFR people should have a look at it? :-)

/Björn Engström, filmmaker
http://www.ikiru.se
http://www.meningenmedhugo.se
@Björn Engström
by Mauro Andreini
In response to your point with regards to the unpleasant new look of some recent footage one has to consider the dramatic increase in definition with modern high end digital.
That tends to confuse people making them think that the almost artificial look is only due to the higher Frame Rate when in fact the quality of details and the almost grain free picture is mostly responsible for that.

Mauro Andreini

Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Morten Kvist
Thank you for this little debate about the frame rate beyond content.
A bad story will, as we already know not be improved by adding effects or give it a higher frame rate. To truly connect with the audience we still need the good story. But these days it seems like it's the fascination of the effects rather than the story that make people buy the tickets.

With that said I love to see movies where the quality and the good story goes hand-in-hand.
But I also think it's time to experiment and be bold enough to find new ways. And here 48 frame rate may be an interesting choice. But make a comparison with that to games and TV is not fair. I think the 48 the frame rate will improve the look of 3D movies with lots of action and make the experience more authentic. I'm sometimes disturbed by the flickering when I watch fast action in 3D movies today.

When it comes to the frame rate we are naturally comparing this with something we already know - the 24 frame rate is for the nerd the real deal but perhaps the same kind of nerd will see differently on this subject in the future…

And wouldn't it be great if the TV industry adopted the higher frame rate too? So we finally could get rid of interlaced footage? I'll would certainly love that kind of future. It would improve the quality of the graphics and give us the opportunity to use the enormous library of fonts that is a "No Go" today because of the thin lines when we write text in a small size.

So perhaps the higher frame rate would have a positive side effect (c;
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Tim Wilson
Pleading for the survival of 24fps is like pleading for scratchy records. 24fps was never a goal. Never. It was never more than a compromise, originally based in economics. In fact, Edison was adamant that it should be 46 fps, saying that anything less would strain the eye.

Here's how you can tell that 24fps is a sub-optimal visual artifact: wheels often, if not almost always, appear to spin backward on film. There's simply not enough temporal resolution to make wheels appear to spin inthe right direction. That's the definition of an artifact - it can't accurately depict very big things that anyone can see with their naked eye from a very long distance.

Twenty four frames may be an artifactual limit to resolution that you've gotten so accustomed to that an artifact-free image is distracting. That's fine. But 24 fps IS an artifact, along with flickering, gate weave and the rest. Digital projection is addressing some of these historic distortion artifacts (which I've heard plenty of complaints about too), and high frame rates will begin to address even more.

It turns out that the biggest controversy in the history of cinema wasn't the addition of sound. That was pretty fast. Even if far from the point of full acceptance, 3D is now well past the point of controversy.

Color? The argument against THAT raged for YEARS. Douglas Fairbanks wrote about being unable to raise funds for a pirate movie he wanted to make in color. Pirates are fantasy, investors said, and color would make it much too realistic to be enjoyable. He won in the end, but as late as 1947, not one Best Picture nominee was a color picture. Too realistic. Not artistic enough.

(And, ironically, not realistic enough either. Color was inevitably so poorly done that it would always call attention to itself as a shabby attempt at realism. Poor color. Couldn't catch a break.)

Scorsese also mentioned in an interview last year that when he was in film school, there was little argument whether or not most movies would be made in color -- because EVERYBODY was CERTAIN it would NEVER happen...so really, why argue about it?

There will indeed be a transition to *good* 48fps filmmaking and audience comfort, just as there was with sound and color. It's just that shittier technology doesn't win in the long run.
@Tim Wilson
by Mauro Andreini
Here is someone who hit the nail on the head.
You’ve obviously done some reading about the history of film and you are totally correct.
Thanks for shearing it.

Mauro Andreini

Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by William Burrus
Understand the advantage of HFR in 3-D; Special Effect; and High-End Cimena (ala "Lawrence of Arabia").

What about Comedy & Romantic Comedy type productions (ie, "Sleepless in Seattle, "As Good As It Gets")?

What's the minimal framerate for these creations?

Thanks SO much.

William
@William Burru
by Chad Capeland
We won't know until someone tries. Maybe the clearer picture will make us more empathetic? Dennis Muren and Douglas Trumbull seemed to feel that what they had seen this was the case, but would a casual audience notice? We'll have to find out. It may be that 100 HFR action/3D movies are made before 1 romantic comedy is, but the audience will by then associate HFR with action and 3D and think the movie wasn't exciting enough.

@William Burru
by Max Gutfeld
My only thought is that with a higher frame rate and greater sharpness we could see more of the so-called 'micro-expressions'. We make tiny involuntary movements with face muscles constantly. Potentially HFR could make us more emotionally connected to characters by letting us see more of those micro-expressions (maybe reserve HFR for closeups?). OTOH, it could reveal more poor acting and make it harder to suspend disbelief (good thing rom-coms don't have that).
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Leslie DeFacio
The story, the characters, the acting - that used to transport audiences up into the screen. We became a part of the story and reality faded away for a few hours.

Hyper-reality high frame rates and "brighter" images will do no more than put bottles of artificial tears in the concession stand. Audiences used to cry real tears for a reason. It was not 24 fps.

High frame rates may get "laughs" at the movie, instead of with the characters in a real story.

HFR has a place - documentaries on nature, science, physics.

Putting people in a dark theater to watch a large, bright image and follow intricate movements within moving pictures at high frame rates produces any number of physically unpleasant side-effects. Try it.
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Ted Bragg
I will NOT pay to see movies intentionally made to look like something on PBS. HFR is little more than equipment makers trying to sell more gear. Period. The Hobbit 48fps sample footage I saw was horrible. It wasn't a movie, it looked like a well lit soap opera episode.

We already have HFR -- it's called broadcast television. Keep it off cinema screens please.
+2
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Ray Egan
I agree with what is being said here...

As a budding filmmaker who does remember the transition from LP to cd, much controversy was made about the quality of both formats. Ultimately, the winner was technology, small size, more storage.... Heck, it was the late 70's and computers were starting to take off, so I kind of got that, although it did take me a while to 'convert'....

However, this seems to be a bit different. It DOES seem like it is form over substance a bit.

I suppose one can hardly blame technology for introducing us to new concepts, but this also looks like another way that indie filmmakers are going to be left in the dust in case this DOES become the ipso-facto way to make a film.....

Guys, I just bought a couple of 7-d's....GIVE ME A BREAK!!

Story and presentation is what I am going to strive for... so let these folks have their fun and see how far they get. Maybe that will mean all the 24fps gear will go down in price and I can buy a couple of red epics for chump change!!!
@Ray Egan
by Chad Capeland
Red Epics already shoot at these framerates, so they aren't going to get cheaper to make room.

That's the thing that made the most sense to me though... The camera and displays needed to make these movies exist NOW, not in some lab, but they're already on set, in the studio, in the cinema, and in your home. For 3D, we had to get new camera rigs (or new cameras), new monitors, new asset tracking pipelines, new software, glasses, etc. But with this stuff, we've ALREADY bought it. We just need the projects using it greenlit. We do need some changes to DCP, though, as Doug Trumbull found that they had to hack it a bit to do the 120Hz.

@Ray Egan
by denise quesnel
"I suppose one can hardly blame technology for introducing us to new concepts, but this also looks like another way that indie filmmakers are going to be left in the dust in case this DOES become the ipso-facto way to make a film..... "

It is absolutely possible for indie producers/directors and DIY types to create a 3D HFR film on budget. We just wrapped our second HFR short film for under $25K, shot on 24, 48 and 60 frames for each shot on the Red EPIC. This was not only an indie film but a research shoot, to see if this was even possible and one week post wrap now it is clear it is. More cameras are coming out to make this accessible, and there are dozens of monitoring solutions (incl consumer TVs and computer monitors).

I will post our formal thoughts and results at another time, but I wanted to emphasize to people that this is absolutely do-able for indies.

Stereo 3D Post Production Specialist, adjunct researcher at the S3D Centre in Vancouver.
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Alex Cardon
I saw Showscan in the 90's and it's true, it looked great, like film but somehow more involving.
Then recently i saw some test of 48fps on a Christie and it looked like a cheap sitcom.
I'm waiting for The Hobbit to make up my mind.
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Jon Merrifield
The majority of projects I have worked on over the years have included higher frame rates. It's called over-cranking. Just saying..., doesn't it depend on the scene and the playback of that scene and how the presentation of said scene is visualized? Jin and David are so right.

The only view that has integrity to the art form, is the one than maintains or expands the variable ways in which we can present moving images. We can shoot something at 12fps or 300fps and play it back at whatever speed we want depending what we are trying to do. Suggesting that a 60fps container may be better is not really thinking things through and will be greatly offset by the amount of negatives and cost impacts that will completely overshadow any perceived benefit to the viewer which is entirely subjective as previously discussed in this article.

This is simply a "look at how big mine is" kind of thing that benefits no one. Of course those that can attach sales to this will cheer it on. But re-read what is being said by the post artisans like the gentleman from Digital Domain, then go watch something displayed at 60fps and tell yourself what you really think.

If they sold popcorn and soda for two bucks instead of 10, they might not be at 16 year low in theater attendance, if we can believe that guy anyway (in the article videos). He said the movie studios get 75% percent of their revenue from foreign distribution and 75% of their revenue from digital distribution and I guess that would mean that (negative) -50% of their revenue comes from U.S. theaters so it can round out to 100.

Don't we all have real work to do?
+1
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Chris Williams
I loathe 24 fps and can't wait to see the back of it. Ever since I saw "Niagara Wonders" in Showscan, I've been expecting it to catch on. It doesn't look like broadcast TV, it looks like film - but better. The "difference" between broadcast television and cinema is the same one Candida Royale used to define the difference between "erotica" and "pornography" - lighting. A good cinematographer will get excellent results the same way they always have, with vision and skill.

Defense of 24 fps sound a lot like LP vs CD. Those of us who have actually mastered LPs (who know just how much dynamic range you give up to fit music onto one) look on in amusement at those praising vinyl. Same thing with 24 fps. I am constantly noticing judder, even in films that have won Academy Awards for cinematography.

100 years is far too long to stick to a mediocre standard. When we are no longer shipping reels of film around and lugging them into the projection booth, when doubling the frame rate just means more hard drive space and rendering time - both of which are constantly getting cheaper - there is no reason to stick to the bad old way of doing things.
@Chris William
by William Burrus
can't tell me "as good as it gets" wouldn't have been worse in 3D, nor that higher hfr's would have made it better.
i find the lp-cd comparison a bit obtuse, although, i do agree that "film" will soon go the way of the theatrical production.
@William Burru
by Chris Williams
The LP vs. CD comparison is valid.

People who love film love the artifacts of film in the same way that vinyl fans love the artifacts of vinyl. They praise subjective aspects of their preferred format ("more warmth!") while steadfastly ignoring objectively provable faults like limited dynamic range, bass summed to mono and vastly higher noise floor.
+1
@Chris William
by William Burrus
thanks for the input but i believe the comparison to lp to cd is comparing apples to oranges. to suggest lower frame rate productions will go the way of the lp -- into almost instataneous oblivion -- is wholly overstated as to the foreseeable future.

audiences only can see(video)within a certain range, consequently, at some point clarity becomes nonconsequential except as it pertains to the "feel" or "look" different frame rates convey.
undoubtedly, as to 3D, "special effects" and animation, there might be an advantage, but NOONE will EVER convince me films like "sleepless in seattle" or "as good as it gets would be improved by increased frame rate -- and, CERTAINLY, not by a 3D effect which could only distract from the story.

anyway.., as i read your responses i understood that you know one hell of a lot more about this issue than do i.
still.., that doesn't make me wrong.
maybe nobody's wrong.., just have a different conception of the art.
@Chris William
by William Burrus
understand your well-stated points.
i think, possibly, my only objection to the comparison is that, when cd's entered the market, lp's were rendered, almost immediately, to oblivion as to the their general use and relegated as curios to a relatively small segment of the population.
i don't feel the transition period to hfr application will be anywhere nearly as abrupt.
within a year after cd introduced almost no lp's produced. i expect the "transition period" as to this technology period to be much longer given (if nothing else) the feelings expressed by other experienced film creators on this blog. certainly, no "music creators" held such feelings for vinyl. a relatively few "consumers" might have.., but the "creators".., no.
anyway.., really nice to talk to someone with a differing opinion, given that communication with those who agree with one's own viewpoint gets one nowhere on the learning curve.
managed rock bands (including lyric writing)in germany for a few years in the mid 70's and found out quickly how close-mindedness and ego can be the greatest impediment to success. performers (in almost every medium) can be so nuts.
take care.., and thanks for your time.
#Rick
by Debra Kaufman
Your concern re storage was brought up by a couple of people on the panel. There are a lot of hard questions to be discussed re the viability of HFR. Stay tuned.
#David
by Debra Kaufman
Hey David - Don't knock smell-o-vision! I love the scent of oranges when I fly over the groves in California Adventure...but all points well taken. HFR seems to be Cameron's latest hobby horse. In the videotaped piece he made, he said 4K is a waste of time and money at 24 fps...It is most definitely a creative choice, and I'm interested in the opinions of more creative folks on how and if they would like to use HFR. Debra
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by jin choung
the truly bewildering thing is how they seem to talk about HFR as if they're in a reality distortion bubble...

i really want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them really hard, perchance to wake them up.

everyone already knows what 60fps looks like. we see it every day when we watch broadcast tv whether it's a game show, a newscast or a soap opera.

when jackson and cameron say that 48fps or 60fps looks like "reality" they're wrong... and not only wrong... willfully, evidently incorrigibly wrong.

it DOES NOT look like reality. it looks like BROADCAST TV.

the aesthetics of that hfr image has DECADES of precedent in our minds as the look of broadcast tv... they think we're not going to bring that with us when we see their stuff?

it's like they're showing us the color blue and just insisting "see the nice red!"... and they expect people are going to say, "yeah, that's a nice red!".

----------------------------------

peter jackson has first hand testimony of audience reaction from the cinecon debacle.

for most of us, we're going to say that it looks like crap. it looks like newscast, it looks like behind the scenes footage.

and yet, he and cameron and all those other guys out there are what... telling us that what we think is WRONG?

--------------------------------------------------

HFR, and most likely with 3d, has its place - they would be great and probably most fitting in RIDE FILMS. or wild life documentary or nature films or other subject matter that has been the province of imax documentaries.

but trying to stuff traditional narrative film into HFR... and especially something like the rustic aesthetics of the hobbit into it... argh...

i've used one analogy already - here's another:

it's like they're looking at an impressionist painting and bitching about how it's not real enough... that the "pixels" are smeared out and imprecise... that we can capture reality a lot better than that.

in one sense, they are absolutely correct. but in the sense that counts - that considers the nature of impressionist painting - they are completely bassackwards wrong.
+4
HFR effects on movies @jin choung
by Mauro Andreini
Personally and from my audience point of view I’ve always found 24fs disturbing and just insufficiently wrong. It is true though that some people, less sensitive or observant, do not seem to be effected by the fragmentation created by 24fps. Furthermore cinematographers had a real battle for too long in order to combat stuttering pans (and tilts if you wish), which proves once again the deficiency of the 24fps.
As an Independent filmmaker I have found filming with my RED at 4 or 5 K on 24/25fps even MORE disturbing than with stock.
Reason? ... Simple, the film shutter operates for the all duration of a frame showing light to the film uniformly for that specific time (180deg is a choice) with a gentle and gradual rotating attack and release.
Digital works by scanning the frame; now it doesn’t take a calculator to work out how long each pixel is exposed to light in an 180/pixel time (hence the more K the worst the effect, confirming Cameroon statement)


I know that the old “FILM LOOK” has an invariably very transporting effect with his mystic vale, but we don’t have to loose that only because of HFR.
For that purpose nothing equates the thrill of reading a story in a book instead of watching it being displayed on a screen; it’s just a different way of being transported so, let’s be sensible before hazarding comments on HFR.

I would concentrate more on the main responsible asset of filming, THE LIGHT !!

Mauro Andreini

@Mauro Andreini
by jin choung
"I know that the old “FILM LOOK” has an invariably very transporting effect with his mystic vale, but we don’t have to loose that only because of HFR."

that remains to be seen.

imo, 24fps vs. 60fps changes the look of a shot far more than the difference between video vs. film alone. and that difference in look may be intrinsic to the frame rate difference.

they probably will have to change the way they light things but will it still have the "impressionistic, dream like quality" of film? i doubt it.

again - the proof will be in the pudding when the hobbit comes out later this year. jackson lit the image for this new process... i'll bet it still looks like video. and cinecon audiences already gave their say saying that it in fact, does.

and it's not just about the image itself but it's also about audience reception.

24fps has a "film look" that we've been conditioned to recognize for a hundred years.

60fps has a distinct "video look" that we've been conditioned to recognize over ~50 years. when the film makers push into 60fps, we won't say it looks "more real"... we're going to say it looks like TV.

one of the premises of the HFR boosters is that superior image quality will win the day.

i disagree... if the superior image quality results in a crystal clear image that looks like you're watching the superbowl or "days of our lives", people are going to balk.

ultimately, i think all of this push for "more real" is wrong headed... it's not the realism of cinema that gives it its expressive power - it's all the departures from reality that gives us the language of film. the reduction in dynamic range and depth of field gives cinematographers the ability to selectively emphasize and paint with light. the ability to instantaneously jump vantage points absolutely has no basis in reality but gives editors the power to show the audience what is most important and revealing. color cinematography is not "superior" to black and white... it just literally gives you a different palette to play with. and as with schindler's list and sin city, black and white still has a valid role to play - despite its departure from reality.

ultimately, what i disagree with most is the HFR booster's desire to make hfr the new standard. same thing with people push stereoscopic cinema.

if it's valid at all, it's valid as a choice. one option that need not be grafted onto all films of all kinds.

and i think that's the way it's going to shake out. just as not everything (thank christ) is not shot or converted to 3d now hfr will be a choice that not everyone will take.
@Mauro Andreini
by Björn Engström
I don't believe 180 degrees is a choice, it is a necessity. You can't have 360 degrees in a film camera. You need half the time of a frame to pull the next frame into place before you can expose it. So for 24fps, 1/48 second is what you get in a film camera. You can decrease the time of exposure by reducing the shutter angle (to 90degrees, for example), but you cannot increase the angle (not by much anyway). This is a common misunderstanding of people coming from a video background. I don't know you background, but what you wrote just didn't sound right to me.
Actually, 360 degrees is very commonly used in film-look video cameras, which creates a very un-filmic look with blurred frames. As soon as the camera moves, the frame is blurred, making it hard for the audience to focus on small things in a shot, like eyes. I dislike it very much. But a lot of people seem to like it since it is claimed to reduce judder...

/Björn Engström, filmmaker
http://www.ikiru.se
http://www.meningenmedhugo.se
@Björn Engström
by Mauro Andreini
You’re very right and I am sorry about the inappropriate wording (I unsuccessfully try to hide being Italian)
What I meant is that 180 deg IS the choice for film (not necessarily for digital).
As a mechanical engineer I perfectly understand the need for that.
My argument was not based on that particular subject though; I was merely stating facts, facts that we have to deal with.
The digital scan takes time to occur as it travels left to right line after line so the exposure time in degrees is no longer comparable with that of the film. As I was saying, each pixel is only exposed for a time equal that of the shutter angle divided by the number pixels in total. (Minimum compared to film, hence more evident judder)
Having more frames does not mean one must use them all at all time but they are there if needed.
I personally think that having gotten used to 24fps we tend to conservatively think that anything else is wrong. I don’t agrre.
Avoiding the TV / Video Games look is achieved by using Film Like shooting, creative light and mostly final grading.
It has nothing to do with frame rate, as most of us seem to think.

Mauro Andreini

Mauro Andreini

@jin choung
by Chad Capeland
Don't call it wrong if you are just speculating. They're the ones shooting it, and to them, they're seeing the difference and THEY LIKE IT.

It's not going to look like news footage or a game show unless the director wants it to. It's not like they're going to stop lighting scenes or grading them. Please tell me you don't think that 24Hz is the only thing that separates daytime drama from a Hollywood drama.

I was in the audience for this panel, and the 60fps and ESPECIALLY the 120fps footage DID look real. Looked like a person on screen, not an image of a person. The 48fps does not have this affect for me, it just looked like film without the stuttering. I don't know what changed, but I personally could feel it.

Would I pay more to see higher framerates? Nope. BUT... I would drive to a different cinema to see it. And the thing is, it's probably NOT going to cost more, because it doesn't cost more to make. At least not for live action (and the costs for animated CG movies aren't going to be THAT much higher). Does color cost 3x more than black and white? Nope.

@Chad Capeland
by jin choung
"They're the ones shooting it, and to them, they're seeing the difference and THEY LIKE IT."

cinecon.

peter jackson is the one that shot it. he's seeing the difference. he likes it enough to show it off to the cinecon audience.

audience response?

"looks like video"
"looks like a newscast"
"looks like a soap opera"
"looks like behind the scene footage (which is shot with video)"

just wait for the hobbit's release. a few people will champion the video-y image because they are loyal to jackson...

a vast majority will, like the cinecon gang, say WTF?!

"They're the ones shooting it, and to them, they're seeing the difference and THEY LIKE IT."

yes... they do. but few others do. and this is why i'm saying they seem to exist in a bubble of their own...

"And the thing is, it's probably NOT going to cost more, because it doesn't cost more to make."

that's false. at the very least, it will cost far more in data storage to start with. that affects production.

then it will impact data processing at EVERY step down the production chain from visual effects to final grading... and what this means BEGINS with storage but ultimately ends with TIME necessary to do any specific thing... if it takes x minutes to apply an image filter over 5sec @ 24fps, it will be double that for 5sec @ 48, more for 60, much more for 120.

and of course, you will have to spend time and money lighting things differently so the artifice of hollywood looks less artificial.

make no mistake, it WILL cost more.
@jin choung
by Chad Capeland
Why would you have to spend more time and money lighting it differently? It's the same lighting you would use with a normal 24Hz production. Except that you can now do strobe lights.

You think people sitting in a theatre watching The Hobbit will be confused and think they're watching a newscast? That's hyperbole. The reason they won't is because NOTHING about the experience is like watching a newscast. Who watches a 60ft tall Ian McKellen in 3D tell you about the local weather? Even if you want to talk about framerates, what newscast is done at 48Hz?

For the cost, what you are missing that only a TINY percentage of time is spent waiting for the computer to process something in realtime. It might take 10 seconds to process a clip at 48Hz, but you would only be adding 5 seconds WHEN THE CLIP IS PROCESSED. All the time spent setting up the software, all the manual work you do, all the time you spend getting approvals, all the time you spend watching the clip... Those won't change. It's the same as with the shooting. It will take 2x longer to download the footage from the camera, but you don't download footage from the camera all day. The time spent setting up the shoot, shooting, and packing up the shoot won't be any longer. Even the CG stuff won't be 2x longer. Heck, even stop motion wouldn't be 2x longer. And time isn't your only cost either. Craft services won't get any more expensive, liability insurance won't be more, etc. Storage usage won't double, not by a long shot, and even if it goes up by 1.5x, the COST of the storage won't go up at the same rate.

@Chad Capeland
by jin choung
argh... there's too much there to dispute.

i'm just going to let your post stand for itself.
@Chad Capeland
by Douglas Bowker
I can say this, as someone who works entirely in CG, the cost WILL go up. Way up. Every frame costs, both in time and processing power, plus storage. Even at Pixar you'll hear about complex frames that took days to render. And now you want 3-4 times that? It's going to cost more or else you'll see a plethora of new software and comapanies using "frame rate post tripling" or such, just as you see post 3D film processing. And we all know how well that's working out.

Doug Bowker

3D Animation for the Medical and Technical World
http://www.dbowker3d.com
@Douglas Bowker
by Chad Capeland
No doubt costs will go up to support this, but by how much? I'm suspect of Darin Grant's claim, I just don't see how his math works. He expects an EXPONENTIAL increase in costs, and that's just silly. The WORST case scenario would be that moving from 24Hz to 48Hz would double costs. But that's assuming that things like health care would double, or the time spent reviewing dailies would double, or the time spent using the restroom would double. The only thing that would likely come close to doubling is rendering, but that's only true if you have the same amount of motion blur samples, which you won't. So we're going to see just a small bump in overall film costs (and in some cases, like rotoscoping or keying, costs will go down).

@Douglas Bowker
by Walter Soyka
Blinn's Law: Frame rendering times will remain constant despite any advances in hardware or software.

HFR cinema will just be another one of the forces balancing out Moore's Law and keeping Blinn's Law true.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by David Hansen
The best takeaway from this is that frame rate is a personal preference, not some necessary evolution of the form. It's only the future of movies for people who want their movies to look less like traditional cinema and more like live television.

If HFR is some kind of holy grail, why was there such an agonizing push for 23.98 on prosumer video cameras 10 years ago? We've had the approximation of HFR with 60 fields for decades, and now we've got straight 60 fps and every iteration imaginable--and many of us STILL want to shoot 24. Why? Because it's cinematic. It has the quality of a memory, not a live feed.

I also don't get Trumbull's defense of HDTV motion smoothing to watch Citzen Kane or the Godfather. I can't stand the way smoothing looks, no matter how long I stare at it. For all the fuss decades ago about colorizing old movies, where is the outcry for making the best movies look like third-rate cable access?

If movie attendance is at a 16 year low, could it be because audiences are turned off by mindless sequels, Adam Sandler in drag and movies about 80s toy franchises? A crap movie in 3D 4K at 60fps doesn't suddenly crown it cinematic genius.

I love cool tech as much as the next guy, but I don't need a choose-your-own adventure plot, smell-o-vision, tingly seats, or "super real 3D" at 60 frames. I want a master storyteller to captivate me with the telling, not with a bunch of gimmicks to add some level of "experience." Maybe I'm old fashioned, but all this talk about the future of cinema sounds like carnival barking to me. Here's a novel idea: tell better stories.

+3
@David Hansen
by William Burrus
love your answer best.
it makes most sense "overall".
thanks.
@David Hansen
by denise quesnel
"The best takeaway from this is that frame rate is a personal preference, not some necessary evolution of the form. It's only the future of movies for people who want their movies to look less like traditional cinema and more like live television. "

What if I was to say that HFR is less like a personal aesthetic preference, and that HFR is meant more as a new storytelling tool rather than a standard? I think this is the piece of the puzzle that everyone is missing. HFR can be treated like a tool, a medium the same way film is, HD is etc. It can demonstrate a film's tone.

To reflect on the last part of your quote that I highlighted, the 'look more like television' part- I say this. I find in my research that people refer to what they are seeing as a LIVE PERFORMANCE rather than like film or tv. That is what they take from it, and depending on the films content/story is can be used for this purpose. There is very little more engaging and immersive than the feeling you are in the centre of a live performance.

"Here's a novel idea: tell better stories."

And that is exactly what some individuals involved in the development of HFR are attempting to do- match the HFR tool with the right story to create an unprecedented experience for the audience.

---

Stereo 3D Post Production Specialist, adjunct researcher at the S3D Centre in Vancouver.
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by Rich Rubasch
I saw the James Cameron demo in the Christie Projector booth at NAB and sort of walked away scratching my head. It sort of looks like they are going back to what we call "video look" or "news look" with higher resolution to get this "hyper real" experience.

It did provide a feeling of being there with the actors, but haven't we always touted the fact that 24fps gave a film the quality of being a story and NOT real? Wasn't that the allure with 24fps?

Imagine 4k files at 48fps filling up every friggin hard drive in the world.

I do.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com
+1
# George
by Debra Kaufman
Hi George: A good point, which was made (halfway jokingly) during the course of the panel. The extra costs of a 3D production are not obvious to the consumer who believes he's paying extra for the use of the glasses (something Jon Landau said with a straight face during the panel)...but I don't know how theater owners can spin increased ticket prices for HFR. Debra
Re: High Frame Rate Cinema
by george manzanilla
the most important thing will be... how much will it affect the price of a movie ticket?

----
george manzanilla
rundfunk media
http://www.rundfunk.com
http://www.georgemanzanilla.com


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