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The Hobbit in 3D @ 48fps


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#1 Chris D Walker

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 01:30 PM

Peter Jackson has posted on Facebook (of all places) to announce that The Hobbit, in addition to being shot in 3D, will be captured at 48fps, with the hope that by December 2012 10,000 screens will be able to project 2K 48fps.

I'm not sure what to think. It's good that he's being ambitious with such an anticipated film, but is it possible that the film may be diminished somehow? How will it compare with the Lord of the Rings trilogy in terms of aesthetic? Is the Hobbit going for continuity? Who wanted to see Guillermo Del Toro's version more (and At the Mountains of Madness, too - sigh)?

You should be aware that I couldn't stand King Kong and I have yet to see The Lovely Bones. I don't see Peter Jackson as being among the great modern directors, despite really enjoying The Lord of the Rings.

On a sidenote, 3D at 48fps from a dozen 5K Epic camera systems - that's a lot of data.
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#2 Matt Pacini

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 04:21 PM

What about all the places that aren't going to have 48fps projection?
Which will be... basically 99.99999999% of theaters (& DVD players when it's released on video)?

My point being, can you just grab every other frame, and have the image look decent?
I'd think there would be strobing issues, or something else.
What do you guys think?

Wow, I'd hate to edit that! Actually, I hate editing anything! ha ha!

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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:32 PM

My point being, can you just grab every other frame, and have the image look decent?


It depends on the shutter angle they shoot. If they shoot with a 360 degree shutter, grabbing every other frame will look just like regular 24 fps with a 180 degree shutter. If they shoot with a 180 degree shutter, it'll all look just like that battle stuff from "Saving Private Ryan" -- in effect, a 90 degree shutter. That might be saved in post by something like Arri's "Relativity" software.





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#4 Damien Andre

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 06:06 PM

arent all digital cinema projectors capable of 48fps anyway?
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 07:49 PM

It depends on the shutter angle they shoot. If they shoot with a 360 degree shutter, grabbing every other frame will look just like regular 24 fps with a 180 degree shutter. If they shoot with a 180 degree shutter, it'll all look just like that battle stuff from "Saving Private Ryan" -- in effect, a 90 degree shutter. That might be saved in post by something like Arri's "Relativity" software.



That doesn't sound right does it? A 180 degree shutter angle is a 180 degree shutter angle, it shouldn't give the footage any kind of narrow shutter effect...unless the RED does something different with its electronic shutter.

At 48 fps/180 shutter (effectively 1/96 shutter) it'll be sharper of course with less motion blur just from the frame rate alone. Opening up to 360 degrees (1/48) would seemingly defeat the purpose of what they're trying to do, achieve sharper motion with less blur and avoiding the strobe effect which we've all seen at the projection phase.
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 10:55 PM

OK, imagine two cameras side by side. One shoots the traditional 24 fps with a 180 degree shutter. The other shoots 48 fps with a 360 degree shutter. In both cases, the shutter is open for 1/48 sec. for each frame. If you skip print every other frame from the 48 fps 360 degree camera, you get exactly the same thing as the regular 24 fps/180 degree camera.

If you run the 48 fps camera with a 180 degree shutter, the exposure time and motion blur will be the same as on the 24 fps camera with a 90 degree shutter. Again, printing every other frame from the fast camera will match what you get with the slow camera.

I really don't know what shutter angle they're using, though I do suspect that they've figured something out and tested it.




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#7 Chris D Walker

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 07:04 AM

What also occured to me is how much light they will have to use. They're going to need at least an extra three to four stops over shooting flat 24fps; lose one stop for the mirror prism, another for doubling the frame rate, and to achieve a necessary greater depth of focus they must shoot at least at a T4. Even if you're being liberal with the ASA rating, the lighting rental company is going to be very happy. Say they rate the camera at 1000 ASA, the exposure compensation leaves the camera with a sensitivity of 125 ASA at best. Imagine if they wanted slow motion...

Peter Jackson also mentioned firmware upgrades so digital projectors can display 48fps in stereo. I don't know if it's that easy. The DCP package specifies 2K at 48fps but only for flat films. Can 10,000 projectors be ready within 18 months? Will anyone else in Hollywood follow suit? Quadruple the footage for data wranglers, visual effects artists and distributors to handle over flat capture at 24fps.

No chance to watch the film in real IMAX 3D either. There's a shedload of obstacles in the way.
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#8 Joseph Arch

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 02:19 PM

That's it Peter. Keep hope alive.
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#9 Michael Dunn

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 10:06 PM

What also occured to me is how much light they will have to use.


Yeah, I'd love to see that electric bill. I'm reserving judgment on the whole 48fps thing until I see it with my own eyes. Everyone keeps telling me I'm a dinosaur for thinking 3D is irritating. I just hope the future of cinema includes good stories.
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#10 Andrew R

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 11:25 AM

I read that they are using a 270 degree shutter angle on the film. Not sure what that translates to in time since the Red does not have a disc shutter but that is an odd choice. I wonder why they did that.
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#11 John Sprung

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:12 PM

I read that they are using a 270 degree shutter angle on the film. Not sure what that translates to in time since the Red does not have a disc shutter but that is an odd choice. I wonder why they did that.


I'd guess that they tested a variety of shutter angles, looked at both the 48 and 24 fps versions, and made a subjective choice of what gave the best compromise. With a 270 degree shutter, the alternate frame extraction for 24 would be equivalent to a 135 degree shutter. That would skip (strobe) worse than 180, but still be acceptable, especially if there's not too much fast action.

The original Arriflex used a 120 degree shutter. It was mainly used as a WWII combat camera, and the short shutter artifact pretty much only shows up on fast moving tank treads. I doubt that "The Hobbit" will have anything like tank treads or fast moving wagon wheels.



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#12 Matt Pacini

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 04:17 PM

Hmmm...
Maybe I'm missing something here.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a 360 degree shutter, NO shutter at all?
Either way, it sounds like an orgy of smearing going on to me!

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#13 Austin Millinder

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:24 PM

why 48? why not standard 24?
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#14 John Sprung

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 12:31 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't a 360 degree shutter, NO shutter at all?


Yes, but in digital, there's no pulldown, either. Rather than introducing the electronics term "duty cycle", it's more comfortable to carry along the film equivalent, shutter angle. The human eye also has a 360 degree shutter, though the brain can do something sort of like grabbing frames.



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#15 Ravi Kiran

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 02:32 AM

http://blogs.indiewi...sponse-20120424

Peter Jackson's 48fps Presentation Of 'The Hobbit' At CinemaCon Gets A Mixed Response
NEWS BY KEVIN JAGERNAUTH | APRIL 24, 2012 4:58 PM

While the fact that Peter Jackson was shooting the upcoming "The Hobbit" films in 3D at 48 frames-per-second rate instead of the standard 24 frames-per-second has been around since proudction started, it gained a bit more steam last week. There were concerns about how prepared (or not) theaters would be for the blockbuster film come December, to show it in the format that Jackson intends it be viewed. The short version is that exhibitors/theater owners will need to upgrade the software on their 3D projectors to handle 48fps, and it's not cheap (about $10,000). However, the selling point is that 48 fps offers a crisp viewing experience, free of any motion artifiacts, juttering or any other anomalies sometimes present in 24 fps screenings. Win/win right? Unfortunately for Jackson, it's not quite a slam dunk. Presenting 10 minutes of footage today in the fancy new format at CinemaCon, the screening left many unimpressed.

On the more negative end of the spectrum was Devin Faraci who took to Twitter to say "Oh no. Not a fan of 48fps. Oh no no no," adding that "THE HOBBIT, frankly, did not look cinematic." Over on his Badass Digest blog he elaborated his thoughts, and essentially, the crisper looking image had the odd effect of making everything seem almost too realistic. "The 48fps footage I saw looked terrible. It looked completely non-cinematic. The sets looked like sets," he explained.

But response from the rest of the crowd, even if negative, was toned with a bit of caution as well. Josh Dickey at Variety had a myriad of thoughts tweeting, "Great Scott, THE HOBBIT in 48 frames-per-second is a thing to behold. Totally different experience. Not all will like the change. 48 fps has an immediacy that is almost jarring. And lighting it just right will be a learning process, as 3D was and still is. 48 fps also, unfortunately, looks a bit like television. But it does bring 3D to a different level."

Peter Sciretta at /Film also had mixed feelings saying, "Saw ten minutes of Hobbit in 48fps 3D. Very exciting, but I'm now very unsure about higher framerates. 48fps feature films will likely divide moviegoers -- I expect to see stronger hate, more so than 3D."

Meanwhile, the usually very picky Jeff Wells was impressed, but also echoed some of Devin Faraci's concerns. "I felt astonished & amazed...the term is WOWED...and yet a bit uncertain about the 48 fps 3D footage from Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit.' In a word, 48 fps 3D looks like high-def video. It doesn't look 'cinematic', lacking that filtered or gauzy look we're all accustomed to," he tweeted. But it was Alex Billington at First Showing who proabably hit the nail on the head of what unfolded this afternoon: "There are going to be endless debates about 48FPS and how good/bad it looks. I just think we need to get used to change after 80yr of 24FPS."

It's too early to determine the success or failure of this new "format" (for lack of a better term), but calling it a "mistake" (as some people are) based on 10 minutes of footage is premature at best. In fact, much of the reaction today is reminiscent of the same concerns that James Cameron's "Avatar" was met with in the months leading up to its release, that 3D wouldn't be the game changer that Fox was hoping for, and audiences wouldn't be impressed enough to make it a hit. And then it went on to make over 2 billion dollars. But at the current moment, while everyone at CinemaCon is talking about 48fps, to the average regular moviegoer out in the real world? They have no idea what that means.

Just search "48fps" on Twitter and you'll see numerous people who don't know what it is or that "The Hobbit" was even shooting in that format. The problems that 48 fps purports to solve are arguably not even noticed by the average viewer. Terms like "artificating" and "juttering" are terms still best known among hardcore tech heads, not moviegoers, and frankly, that's because when most people watch movies, they aren't seeing those "problems." The only criteria for the average person buying a movie ticket is that the film is good, and that the presentation doesn't take them out of the movie. Will 48 fps be too real? Too digital? Too crisp? And more worryingly, uncinematic? Time will tell.

All told, the sky isn't falling. Yes, footage of "The Hobbit" was shown and people were concerned. But it was a brief bunch of footage that, it could be said, wasn't long enough to allow the viewer to truly settle in and get used to it. Our guess? More footage of the "The Hobbit" will be shown at Comic-Con and many of the people at CinemaCon today, now prepared for how it looks and feels, will start to turn their opinion around. As for the rest of us, we'll see if 48 fps makes a difference or not when "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" opens on December 14th.
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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:35 AM

Don't know about 48fps etc, but I saw the Hobbit trailer and I thought it looked really lackluster compared to the Lord of the Rings films but then again, maybe it was made before a final grade or something. I thought it looked okay but I thought the LOTR films looked great and had a real atmosphere and style to them.

As to the 3d thing, apparently, here in London there was a preview of Joss Wheedons Avengers film and they apologised that they only had a 2d print of the film to which a loud cheer went up from the audience!

Not excited by the Hobbit but really looking forward to Prometheus! :) Just hope I can get to see it easily in 2d.

love

Freya
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#17 Chris Millar

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:11 AM

Where is Thomas James when we need him ? Posted Image

I'm so split on how to experience Prometheus first ...

ack!
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#18 Ewan Lumsden

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 02:35 PM

I'm sure Jackson will have got it spot on.
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#19 Frank Glencairn

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:47 AM

The problem is, with traditional film - shot at 24 frames - they show you every frame twice or even 3 times in a theater, tricking the brain into seeing smooth motion.

Digital projectors actually show 24 frames, which can lead to juddery motion, especially in high contrast areas.

But just shooting 48p instead doesn´t work for the brain ether - it gives you that uber realistic soap opera look.

Frank
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#20 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:32 PM

Here's an interview with Douglas Trumbull discussing higher frame rates and the issue of low screen brightness.


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