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James Cameron Says The Next Revolution in Cinema Is…


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#1 Justin Hayward

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:24 AM

I imagine you guys have talked about this to the bone, but I thought you might be interested anyway…

http://www.slashfilm.com/cameron/#
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#2 Chance Shirley

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:54 AM

Cinema is 24 frames per second, regardless of what James Cameron or Roger Ebert says.

Stu Maschwitz explains it nicely on his blog at ProLost.com:

"Roger Ebert hates that wagon wheels go backwards. It drives him nuts. Years ago he saw a demo of Maxivision 48, a system that shoots and projects 35mm film at 48 frames per second, and he’s never forgotten how smooth it was. Like many, he decries 24 fps as a technological dinosaur, a holdover from a bygone era.

Why Roger should relax: With the advent of HD, it became easy to create digital moving images of high enough spatial resolution to pass for film (unless you’re Jim Jannard, see above), but at first we could only do so at 50 or 60Hz. HD video at 60 images-per-second inspired no filmmakers and no audiences—in fact, at the very Sundance I met Roger, a 60fps HD test shot by Allen Daviau was booed off the screen. It wasn’t until we hobbled our HD cameras to 24 that we could start making movies digitally. More frames-per-second is indeed smoother and more life-like. Just like video. Who would have imagined that audiences don’t want movies to feel more like daytime soap operas?"

You can read Maschwitz's whole post here:

http://prolost.com/b...ould-relax.html
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 02:14 PM

"Roger Ebert hates that wagon wheels go backwards. It drives him nuts.


It's shutter angle, not frame rate, that causes the backwards wheels. A 180 degree shutter at 48 fps will be just as undersampled as it is at 24 fps. The wheels will still go backwards, but the wagon has to go twice as fast. To completely eliminate backwards wheels, you'd need a 360 degree shutter. But nobody wants to do that, because we're all accustomed to 180. 360 looks to us like too much motion blur.




-- J.S.
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#4 Gabe Spangler

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 02:38 PM

Let's not forget the loss of light and the extra storage space needed ... or the faster processors on digital cameras ... or the fact that is just plain looks dumb. Film is NOT reality – it's FICTION. People want a fantasy world, something UNrealistic, a world NOT like reality that they can slip into for 90-120 minutes.

Yeah ... not happening. Go make some more kids movies, Cameron & Lucas.

Edited by Gabe Spangler, 01 April 2011 - 02:41 PM.

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#5 Matt Pacini

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:14 PM

I'm not saying it's a bad idea, I've never seen it, so I can't comment on that.

But I do get the sense these last few years that guys like Lucas & Cameron are VERY interested in passing on some sort of technological legacy.
Like, even after people forget about their films, they will say "wow, that guy totally changed the way we make movies".
So naturally I'm suspicious, because these guys don't necessarily have quality as their only agenda.
I'm sure Cameron has already licensed some device or technique so he can cash in on it if everyone has to switch to some new standard - kinda like how Lucas is raking it in with THX and all the other technical royalties he collects.

These guys are not just directors/producers - they are an entire industry unto themselves.

Matt Pacini
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#6 Chris Millar

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 04:22 PM

It's shutter angle, not frame rate, that causes the backwards wheels. A 180 degree shutter at 48 fps will be just as undersampled as it is at 24 fps. The wheels will still go backwards, but the wagon has to go twice as fast. To completely eliminate backwards wheels, you'd need a 360 degree shutter. But nobody wants to do that, because we're all accustomed to 180. 360 looks to us like too much motion blur.

-- J.S.


Not saying I want faster framerates - but with a 360deg shutter combined with increasingly high fps the motion blur will go away... Not sure of the (capture and presentation) fps you'd need for the eye to accept it as normal, but there will be a number we could most agree on (now does 'normal' mean 'like film' or 'like life' or 'good' or.... ) - bags not testing it ...

Anyways, the visual artefact of backwards wheels (and every other version of it - 'temporal moiré' anyone ?) is a slightly more complex combination of just shutter angle, you have to take into account acquisition and playback rates, the manner of how the film or sensor was presented the focused image over time (CMOS, interlaced, butterfly shutters etc...) - there is 24fps but 48Hz projection or not - and that pesky myriad of ways human sensory perception will throw your expectations off axis...

I know your posts here though John, and know you know much more than you often let on ;)

Anyone miss Thomas James ?


Lets try to get this off topic! Heres a thought experiment that I find hard to visualise:

Shutters are 360deg - fps is infinite (or a very very very very very large number) - i.e. exposure is very very very very very small - ok, so you have what you might choose to call 'human vision' - now change the shutter angle to X*360deg... i.e. you can see the X times the original exposures worth of past and present at the same time, but smoothly integrated...
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#7 Joe Zakko

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:09 PM

I only really understand film, don't know much about digital. I rarely shoot with digital cameras, and have never had to do any slow motion with them, but I know you just slow it down in post. Exactly how does that work? Does the camera just shoot at a high frame rate and cut out unnecessary frames when editing in case you need the extra frames for slow motion? Other than frame duplication, which isn't exactly smooth, I'm not sure how this works.
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#8 Chris Millar

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:30 PM

I only really understand film, don't know much about digital. I rarely shoot with digital cameras, and have never had to do any slow motion with them, but I know you just slow it down in post. Exactly how does that work? Does the camera just shoot at a high frame rate and cut out unnecessary frames when editing in case you need the extra frames for slow motion? Other than frame duplication, which isn't exactly smooth, I'm not sure how this works.


If you shot at 48fps then took out 'unnecessary' frames - which I'm assuming you mean every second frame ? - then youd end up with 24fps footage, presented at 24fps, i.e. normal footage but, with a 90deg shutter angle... Hard to describe in test, but have a think about it ;)

Next point to ponder is what is an 'unnecessary' frame. How do you define one in a way that an algorithm, mechanical, software or human readable can work with ?

Normal slow mo is simply shooting a given fps then playing back at a lower fps.

As for making a given capture frame rate playback at the same rate and yet give a slow mo affect - its a temporal version of spatial scaling - you know when you make an image larger in photoshop, you're putting in info that wasn't there to begin with, a blunt method of doing this is simply comparing to neighbouring pixels and finding out the average value between them, then mathematically smudging it in there... Its all a bit more complex than this as blow up values are rarely a factor of 2,4,8,16 and so on ...

Temporal systems like this can work also and are known as 'frame blending', the pixels compared aren't spatial, but are compared frame to frame. But again, this is a blunt approach, as things like 180deg shutters leave discontinuous areas of motion blur that well, to put it simply 'make it not look right'... To compensate people have developed systems which can locate and track then compare movement across an image then make a informed guess as to what should fit in between, its a statistical method which can be tripped up but for the most part the algorithm gets a lot of the work done, then a cleanup pass or two are run with the added input of the user.

Mind boggler: If you were to have 360deg shutter angles and super fast fps you could capture information that could be in code made to make certainly any lower fps and shutter angle you wanted - and to a certain degree of relative quality any higher fps also (no tweening/motion tracking required)

google twixtor and arri relativity
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#9 John Sprung

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:19 PM

It's not that the blur goes away with higher frame rates. You'd have less blur on each frame, but more frames. A thought experiment: Shoot a thrown baseball with two cameras: one at 24 fps, the other at 240 fps, but both with 360 degree shutters. The blur on the 24 fps frames will be a streak ten times longer than on the 240 fps frames. But then composite together consecutive ten frame groups from the high speed camera. The resulting frames would have the same amount of blur as the slow camera. So it really comes down to what the human visual system does with this stuff.

The human visual system does some interesting things with real world motion. Look very carefully at a variable speed ceiling fan. Notice that when it's going very slow, you see the blades moving with basically no detectable blur. When it's going very fast, you see nothing but blur, like an airplane propellor. But concentrate on the fan while it goes through the in-between speed range. There's a region where you'll see both the blur, and something that looks like brief freeze frames, mixed.

As for undersampling, the classic explanation is the cave man story: Imagine that there's a cave man who spends almost all his time far underground. But, once every 23 hours, he comes out and looks around for half a minute, then goes back in. He tries to figure out the motion of the sun, what answer does he get?




-- J.S.
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#10 Chris Millar

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:33 PM

It's not that the blur goes away with higher frame rates. You'd have less blur on each frame, but more frames. A thought experiment: Shoot a thrown baseball with two cameras: one at 24 fps, the other at 240 fps, but both with 360 degree shutters. The blur on the 24 fps frames will be a streak ten times longer than on the 240 fps frames. But then composite together consecutive ten frame groups from the high speed camera. The resulting frames would have the same amount of blur as the slow camera. So it really comes down to what the human visual system does with this stuff.


What I was saying is simply play them back at the same rate as acquisition, that would be different. But for your example where you composite them back, just comp 5 of them - or any number... i.e. choose your shutter angle after the fact ;) higher fps gives you more resolution of control over this ...


The human visual system does some interesting things with real world motion. Look very carefully at a variable speed ceiling fan. Notice that when it's going very slow, you see the blades moving with basically no detectable blur. When it's going very fast, you see nothing but blur, like an airplane propellor. But concentrate on the fan while it goes through the in-between speed range. There's a region where you'll see both the blur, and something that looks like brief freeze frames, mixed.


We are much better accustomed to follow moving objects along the horizontal plane than vertical where our eyes motion tends to fixate ('saccade') more - follow a bird flying with your eyes horizontally and note how smooth you can do it, now try achieving the same smoothness following a fixed line that isn't moving like the horizon or a simple horizontal edge, now try the same things vertically. A ceiling fan rotates which forces us to go from one axis to another, that is once POV no longer kicks in, maybe it kicks in at different rates on each axis also... Interesting stuff huh


As for undersampling, the classic explanation is the cave man story: Imagine that there's a cave man who spends almost all his time far underground. But, once every 23 hours, he comes out and looks around for half a minute, then goes back in. He tries to figure out the motion of the sun, what answer does he get?


Blinded Posted Image - but what use are eyes in a cave anyway !

But for the sake of pedantry - where on earth, what time of the year, and how many times does he sample ?

Edited by Chris Millar, 01 April 2011 - 06:37 PM.

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#11 Joseph Arch

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:31 PM

If James Cameron says it then it must be true. He is the Creator of Abater, not a typo, which means to reduce in amount, degree, or intensity; lessen.

Avatar. To reduce in amount, degree, or intensity; lessen.
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#12 Chris Millar

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:39 PM

If James Cameron says it then it must be true. He is the Creator of Abater, not a typo, which means to reduce in amount, degree, or intensity; lessen.

Avatar. To reduce in amount, degree, or intensity; lessen.


Well, I'd rather watch Avatar than listen to James Cameron talk...

He's provoked you at least Posted Image
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#13 Joseph Arch

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:59 PM

Possibly because his film has drowned in it's own technicalities and cannot bring the story back, or take it further.

Edited by Joseph Arch, 01 April 2011 - 07:59 PM.

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#14 John Sprung

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:50 PM

If James Cameron says it then it must be true. He is the Creator of Abater, not a typo, which means to reduce in amount, degree, or intensity; lessen.


I actually preferred the title "Dances with Smurfs".... ;-)





-- J.S.
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#15 Joseph Arch

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 12:12 AM

John, that is awesome sauce description.
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#16 Bob Yarwood

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 07:53 AM

I imagine you guys have talked about this to the bone, but I thought you might be interested anyway…

http://www.slashfilm.com/cameron/#


It doesn't sound much of a "revolution" to me, merely to increase the frame rate. I have suggested a new system, which really would be a revolution, elsewhere in this forum. It's in the form of an essay, at this address:

Virtual Space - the movies of the future
http://www.virtual-space.org.uk
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#17 John David Miller

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 12:52 AM

I'm not so sure the speed bump are the theatres. I think production companies/studios would be reluctant to embrace this.

This could mean a very large increase in the amount of film being shot and developed. It would likely bump up the lighting budgets and with that the grip as well. This also trickles down to more time taken up daily by having to reload a camera more often. Larger crews equal more housing/per diem, P&W, more transpo support...

All for smoother action sequences? I'd love for it to happen.
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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:18 AM

48 fps is mainly being talked about for digital productions, so the amount of film stock shot isn't relevant nor is the crew size, it's just that digital mags will have to be downloaded more often and there's more data in post to deal with.

As for light levels, "The Hobbit" is being shot on the Epic at 48 fps with a 270 degree shutter angle, and that camera is rated at 800 ASA generally, so you're talking about only a 1/2-stop of light loss compared to 24 fps with a 180 degree shutter, so they still have an effective +500 ASA rating, not factoring the additional stop lost from the 3D mirror rigs being used.
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#19 John David Miller

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:31 AM

48 fps is mainly being talked about for digital productions, so the amount of film stock shot isn't relevant nor is the crew size, it's just that digital mags will have to be downloaded more often and there's more data in post to deal with.

As for light levels, "The Hobbit" is being shot on the Epic at 48 fps with a 270 degree shutter angle, and that camera is rated at 800 ASA generally, so you're talking about only a 1/2-stop of light loss compared to 24 fps with a 180 degree shutter, so they still have an effective +500 ASA rating, not factoring the additional stop lost from the 3D mirror rigs being used.


I understand video would have little/no issues with this.

So your basic movie shot on film could still be shot at 24FPS? It would seem logical to have a projector that can project at any framerate.

The Hobbit is being done with a 270 degree shutter angle? I thought 240 was max for use with CGI. But that is why I am a Grip ;)
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#20 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 01:51 AM

I understand video would have little/no issues with this.

So your basic movie shot on film could still be shot at 24FPS? It would seem logical to have a projector that can project at any framerate.

The Hobbit is being done with a 270 degree shutter angle? I thought 240 was max for use with CGI. But that is why I am a Grip ;)



This is all digital -- digital production at 48 fps, digital projection at 48 fps. Doesn't stop regular 24 fps production. 2D film prints for "The Hobbit" will be 24 fps (if they simply pull out every other frame to create 24 fps from 48 fps, it will just look like they shot at 24 fps with something around a 144 degree shutter angle -- I don't want to do the math right now...)

Remember that at 48 fps, a 270 degree shutter angle is still something shorter than the 1/48th time of 24 fps / 180 degrees, it's something closer to 1/60th, so there is less per-frame blur, not more as with a 270 degree shutter at 24 fps.
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