The Big Picture: Frame Rate

Hollock

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Jun 26, 2009
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I liked the 48 fps. but man, am I glad to hear that those were the complaints. I noticed those problems, but couldn't figure out if they were just in my head or not.
 

iamscottevil

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Nov 24, 2009
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Saw it in the best theater possible in 3d (shutterglasses), HFR, dolby atmos and it was a whole new way to watch movies and a whole lot of fun. Certain camera movements and high moving objects were a touch distracting, but once those get ironed out watching 3d this way will be mandatory for me. I've never seen such clarity in a 3d presentation and the movie was deeply engaging. Love it.
 

Crimson_Dragoon

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Jul 29, 2009
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Those disadvantages Bob mentioned (things move unnaturally fast and CG and effects are easier to pick out) are exactly why I hated seeing the movie in 48fps. I'm sure it will be fine once the technology is up to date, but its not there yet. Special effects in the Hobbit felt more fake than they did in the now 10-year Lord of the Rings trilogy. The whole thing broke the immersion for me, and that's the opposite of what it was supposed to do.
 

BartyMae

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Apr 20, 2012
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2:10

"The theatres showing it in 44 FPS..."

48*

Is it normal for the intro title to be different from the actual video title? Frame Rate vs. Frame Job.
 

shogunblade

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Apr 13, 2009
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Scrumpmonkey said:
I would also like to add that many critics referred to it as "Too bright". This is actually a legit comment as the higher projection speed means there is less 'between time' in frame transition and actually increases the perceived amount of light. I'm not sure what compensation was made for this in the digital grading but traditional theaters and screens may have to adapt to this since the light intensity is matched for 24FPS.

Just an interesting technical point.
I'm fairly certain that's why Peter Jackson shot the movie in 48 FPS was to address the problems the movie would have with 3D technology on top of that (It is in 3D, right? I haven't seen it yet, and my theater probably won't get it until January 2013 at best).

I read a lot of Roger Ebert, and his reviews of 3D movies tend to be, "3D glasses make movies look too dark and therefore, no where near as great as if you watched the movie in 2D", but if the concensus of 48 FPS is to make the screen brighter, then by Hobbit Part 2 (or even 3), The movie will probably run much better, look and feel better, and if 3D has any involvement, it will make the movie seem like it was shot with only the audiences' eyes at best interest (and Hollywood's for making boatloads of money with experimental frame rate techniques and 3D).

Just my two cents on it. I know my movie theater's projector (still running 35mm) runs our movies at something like 18 FPS (according to my boss), but I argue it's more 24 FPS then what he says it is. That's just me, though.
 

Mr_Terrific

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Oct 29, 2011
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Eabus said:
Thanks Bob, that explanes why my roommate was going on about frame rates right before we went to see The Hobbit. But what does it have to do with Supergirl?
Lol. I also came here thinking this would at least be about comics again.
 

Gatx

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I figure that the unnaturally fast movement is just a product of us not being used to the format. For the first 20-30 minutes, I had the impression that everything was on fast forward but I did eventually get more used to it. While the CGI monsters themselves looked great in my opinion, the scenes where it's in front of a green screen were much more jarring.
 

Bors Mistral

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Mar 27, 2009
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Watched the Hobbit this weekend, but the 24 frame version. The 48 frame one was only available in "3D"... Are there at all any theatres that show a non "3D" 48 frame version?

gardian06 said:
60fps is a target, but many of those games due to differences in even small points will drop that number to somewhere around 40-50 on the PC, but will mostly maintain high 50s on the consoles
Most stuff on consoles runs 30 frames or sub-1080p (or both). Almost any game on PC you can run at 60fps and way higher, as long as I don't try to do that at 2560x1400 with AA on.
 

Hitchmeister

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Nov 24, 2009
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"The inherent crappiness of a standard based on near century old technology must be preserved for all time."

No thank you, Mr. Movie Critic.

"The first attempt at using any technology will have certain flaws, therefore it's better to abandon any hope of progress."

Yeah, that doesn't sound any better.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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I haven't seen this 48fps, but I can understand that images moving too fluidly can be weird. The newest HD TVs which have that clear motion tech is already too pristine for my taste.
 

Tireseas_v1legacy

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Sep 28, 2009
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I understand the critics dislike of higher FPS (although I never saw the Hobbit) mainly because similar higher refresh rates on high-end televisions have a fairly disorienting effect. You see everything, and the pictures are crisp and fluid, but the brain recognizes something off about what it's seeing, like something is scratching in the back of the mind, and it's really not a pleasant feeling for most.

Am I opposed to this transition? No. Like HD television a few years back, it's still in its infancy and a lot of the kinks need to be worked out.
 

axlryder

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Jul 29, 2011
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The 48 fps looks like shit to me. It's NOT the same as games, btw. I tire of hearing people like "oh, well, games look better at 60fps, so what's the problem?!" Games are fully graphically rendered. Many of them can afford to be silky smooth without their seams showing. Not the same for film. Not only do the effects tend to look worse, but there's a different aesthetic mentality that we view films with. 24fps seems to lend itself better to this mentality in many cases. Maybe they'll learn how to circumvent the format's problems in the future, but for now it looks crap.

Also, "new" tech (which 48fps filming is not) doesn't necessarily mean better. I think a lot of movies would look better on film rather than being filmed digitally, despite digital being the newer tech. Hell, there's a reason why people laud Breaking Bad for being shot on 35mm as opposed to digitally. It looks good.
 

Brett_

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Oct 19, 2012
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I saw it in 3D with 48 FPS here at the local theater.

The CGI is a seriously mixed bag. Many of the CGI creatures (such as Gollum, the Goblins, the Eagles, and the Trolls) looked really good in 48 FPS. On the other hand, some scenes with heavy use of CGI looked appallingly bad in 48 FPS, particularly some of the scenes when Radagast was on a sled being pulled by bunnies. In fact, one particular scene in an open field with that looked like the type of CGI you'd get in an early 2000s video game - I was laughing at it in spite of myself in the theater.

As for the live-action stuff, I'll second the point about the cameras. Whenever the camera was moving smoothly or not at all, it made the live-action scenes look really good. But when they were jerking the camera around really quickly (as with most battle scenes), it looked terrible - like I was watching the movie on fast forward. This didn't disappear after the first 20-30 minutes, either.
 

Eruanno

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Aug 14, 2008
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For some light reading on what this all looks like and the problems that arise, I'd suggest googling the "Soap Opera effect".
 

Nimzabaat

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Feb 1, 2010
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Falseprophet said:
I saw it in 48 FPS. Here are my spoiler-free thoughts:

When it came to the fully-CGI aspects of the film, especially CGI characters and creatures, it was excellent. They felt really alive and authentic. We're used to this from video game cutscenes and the like, though. I think a fully-CGI film will look absolutely great in 48 FPS.

Conversely, when it came to scenes with live actors, it often looked too real. Like a bunch of LARPers with bad makeup putting on a play. This might have been fine with a story more grounded in reality, but my girlfriend and I felt it detracted from the mythic/fantasy illusion they were going for. It got a bit better later on. We want to see it again in 24 FPS and see if that restores the illusion.

Then again, the 3D did look a lot more convincing in 48 FPS than most 24 FPS films do.

On the other hand, when the camera moved very quickly, especially during action scenes, it almost gave me nausea. With static shots or slow pans it was fine. But if the side benefit of this is the death of shaky-cam, consider me an instant convert.

I'm not dismissive of the format as a whole, and I think it will definitely improve over time, but, like Bob, I feel filmmakers will have to do a lot of reinventing of their craft. Not just camera placement, but lighting, editing techniques, new types of makeup, and so on. And I'm not sure having a fantasy film being the first test of the format was the wisest decision, but as my friend said, someone had to be first.
I also found that the 48 fps helped the CGI characters a great deal, but made the live actors look CGI as well. Actually it seemed to make EVERYTHING look CGI. I think there's still some bugs to work out.
 

leviadragon99

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Jun 17, 2010
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Well for some utterly arbitrary and assinine reason I won't be able to see the movie until Boxing day anyway, because Australian cinemas are dumb like that.
 

XDravond

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Mar 30, 2011
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I liked the 48fps HFR 3D it looked simply better, great clarity ad so BUT I agree with the people who felt that some parts in the beginning (ie before Bilbo left the shire) it looked a bit out of sync and like they where moving in fast-forward.. But I think it were a lot the HFR part the movie felt at times like you were watching actors on a theater stage (not cinema..) I guess much because you could see all the fine movements and count their facial hairs... And sometimes the CGI might look a bit of 2000...


Still I enjoyed it and recommend it to all but the ones who have no interest in LotR or didn't like the first 3, and hardcore fans and movie reviewers that were expecting something else or "better" can go visit Smaug... :)