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Why The Hobbit's 48fps Is a Good Thing

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the in-places-deep-where-dark-things-sleep dept.

Lord of the Rings 599

An anonymous reader writes "Last year, when we discussed news that The Hobbit would be filmed at 48 frames per second, instead of the standard 24, many were skeptical that format would take hold. Now that the film has been released, an article at Slate concedes that it's a bit awkward and takes a while to get used to, but ends up being to the benefit of the film and the entire industry as well. 'The 48 fps version of The Hobbit is weird, that's true. It's distracting as hell, yes yes yes. Yet it's also something that you've never seen before, and is, in its way, amazing. Taken all together, and without the prejudice of film-buffery, Jackson's experiment is not a flop. It's a strange, unsettling success. ... It does not mark the imposition from on high of a newer, better standard — one frame rate to rule them all (and in the darkness bind them). It's more like a shift away from standards altogether. With the digital projection systems now in place, filmmakers can choose the frame rate that makes most sense for them, from one project to the next.'"

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599 comments

Why? (2, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288405)

A lot fo the magic of film was 24fps.

sure its outdated, but so is 48 fps.

broadcast TV has been 50 for years, with more recent forays with high def into 120hz (no idea of the actual frame rate with digital, but I could image its up there)

why are the doing this now? and why only 48fps?

Re:Why? (1, Flamebait)

marcosdumay (620877) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288451)

They are doing this because they want. No problem with that.

Why are people talking about this like if it was news? Or, in other words, why is it on /.?

Re:Why? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288557)

Just because it isn't about linux, RMS, or anti-Gates it doesn't need to be on slashdot, dumbass. It involves technology.

More frames per second means more fluidic movement on the screen, especially when it comes to violent action scenes.

Imagine playing FPS games at 120fps LCD screens.

This is about RMS. (5, Funny)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288607)

The movie has hairy, disgusting trolls.

Re:This is about RMS. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288657)

mod-up. this is funny.

Re:This is about RMS. (5, Funny)

froggymana (1896008) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288817)

The movie has hairy, disgusting trolls.

I think it's clear you went to the midnight showing...

Re:This is about RMS. (5, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288919)

So does Slashdot, but we try not to discriminate.

Re:This is about RMS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42289057)

I kill both the butterflies and the spiders you insensitive clod.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288513)

why are the doing this now? and why only 48fps?

Follow the slashdot link in the summary, it was discussed extensively there, no need to derail yet another thread with it.

Re:Why? (0)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288613)

more flickr than an LCD. not retina resoultion. lame.

Should'a gone for the full 3x [wikipedia.org] = 72FPS

Re:Why? (1)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288531)

why do you think it last sooooo long .... ;-p

Re:Why? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288563)

I agree with you, I think hobbit looks like ass, WAY to much detail and no motion blur or warm moments for your eyes to pause on.

we had the technology to go as many FPS as we wanted to for the last 50 years, there is a reason we use 24. jackson is a retard.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

fastest fascist (1086001) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288597)

I'm not aware of broadcasts in 50 FPS. AFAIK, they're being evaluated, but basically material is broadcast at 25 or 30 fps, depending on the standard used. These conform to the old PAL/NTSC/SECAM framerates. Interlaced formats, however, can be 50 or 60, but that's because each frame is essentially split into two frames of alternating horizontal lines, "fields".

Re:Why? (0, Redundant)

Carewolf (581105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288997)

I'm not aware of broadcasts in 50 FPS.

It is called interlace. Many TV show especially soaps, music videos and sports broadcasts are sent interlaced with 50-60 unique updates per second. The reason the technology of the hobbit has been compared to soap opera is that 48fps makes it almost as smooth as a soap opera, and thereby gives unfortunate associations.

Re:Why? (2)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288741)

I designed and produced many corporate events in my life. Most of then involving video animations on screens as large as 60 foot wide. As soon as technology allowed me, I produced and projected video animations in 60fps to make pans more fluid. Would I be producing a movie today, I would try to shoot in 60fps for the same reason, much more fluid motion on big screens.

Re:Why? (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288859)

broadcast TV has been 50 for years

Clarification: That was 50i for PAL and 60i for NSTC. Because of the interlace the FPS was actually 25fps and 30fps respectively.

Re:Why? / One more thing (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288931)

1080p still follow the 25 or 30 fps conventions. You've seem to have confused frame rate with monitor refresh rate.

Re:Why? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288977)

Screen refresh rates are something totally different from field rates or frame rates.

In the US, analog TV used to be broadcast in NTSC format, 320 x 240 pixels, 29.97 frames per second (progressive rate). Analog TVs have long supported 480 lines, though. In interlaced rate, the frames are drawn on screen in something called "fields". First, the odd field is drawn (all the odd lines) and then the even field (all even lines). Each field persists for two refresh cycles, alternating in turns. This makes it look like a 480-line picture.

Even with digital, the frame rate is still mostly 29.97fps, with some 24fps made directly from digitized film. All the "i-modes" (480i, 720i and 1080i) are interlaced in the same way as it was with analog, which makes 1080i look worse than 720p (IMO, at least). Nothing changed that much.

So, although TVs can refresh the screen 120 times per second, DVDs, BDs and digital broadcast TV still uses the same frame/field rates as ever. And I don't think it will change in the future.

Where? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288457)

Where can I see the Hobbit in 48FPS?

Re:Where? (5, Informative)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288559)

Never heard of google? http://www.48fpsmovies.com/48-fps-theater-list/ [48fpsmovies.com]

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42289045)

Heaven forbid we have conversation.

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288601)

http://www.48fpsmovies.com/48-fps-theater-list/

Re:Where? (1, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288721)

Where can I see the Hobbit in 48FPS?

"Yes."

What makes it... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288461)

distracting? Since the film seems to be getting panned a lot, does this maybe have something to do with it?

Why not 50Hz? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288467)

Why 48 frames per second? Yes, it's double the existing film standard, but since it's an entirely new thing why not use 50 fps which is used in many countries for TV and computer monitors? Then I could watch the film at home without any of the nasty hacks used to get film fps to match TV fps.

Re:Why not 50Hz? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288561)

Because 1080p24 is the resounding standard for high def. 50fps is incompatible with that.

What planet do you live on? 60 FPS or go home. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288793)

60fps is probably the "best" standard we have that also matches a lot of existing hardware. 30 if you're you're an ATSC weenie, 29.97 if you still live in America in the 1960s. As to the GP, 50 is only there to be compatible with 25FPS PAL. And the goffy geekish need to have time domain frames come out in hundredths of a second.

Re:What planet do you live on? 60 FPS or go home. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42289061)

48 or 50, you could still drop frames for NTSC or PAL without doing silly shit like 2/3 pulldown.

Re:Why not 50Hz? (1)

fibonacci8 (260615) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288897)

Because adding difficulty converting the film from one format to another without loss of clarity is an intended consequence.

Re:Why not 50Hz? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288973)

It's hard to scale temporal resolution by non-integer values.

On the film itself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288479)

Anyone else think that Radagast is Peter Jackson's JarJar?

Awkward... (5, Interesting)

ClayJar (126217) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288727)

Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of the Hogfather (specifically from the movie).

While I enjoyed this first Hobbit movie, I found the Radagast scenes awkward (like an old family photo with too-large glasses and sisters with poofy bangs). Radagast and his bunny sled seemed too much like something right out of Discworld, which would be delightful except that combining Discworld and Middle Earth yields a very large impedance mismatch.

Re:On the film itself... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288801)

more like jackson went all PT on the hobbit

i remember before the star wars PT came out all the SW fan boys on the internet were creaming themselves at having all the little details revealed to them. the kinds of details that are supposed to be minor in a story

same here. all the nonsense most people don't read jackson used it to make a somewhat crappy 300 page book into a 9 hour movie

Rather than shooting with more FPS (5, Insightful)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288485)

maybe Jackson should just try actually shooting the whole story this time. Hey Merry - where'd you get that cool magic blade that killed the Witch King? "Errr.... well err ummm. See there were these barrows, but we had to cut that from the story, but - hey, Liv Tyler is hot, right??"

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288541)

Is this the part where I have to pretend that the whole Tom Bombadil segment wasn't the most poorly-written part in the books?

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (2, Insightful)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288569)

And here I thought the worst part was the hundreds of pages of walking through marshes and getting eaten by midges.

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288671)

The worst part was reading a Tolkien novel.

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288703)

Thank goodness for page flipping.

Oh, wait, Apple patented that. Now reading books is really going to suck.

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (3, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288819)

150 pages of Frodo walking with almost nothing else happening in mordor didn't excite you?

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288609)

Fog On The Barrowdowns is one of the most harrowing parts of the book, and the first major signal that this wasn't merely The Hobbit part 2.

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288649)

And it could have been done SO WELL on the big screen. Would have made the first movie much more enjoyable.

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288847)

I'd take a poorly-written Tom Bombadil over a half hour battle scene with the "comic relief" quips every 20 seconds. The Hobbit, sadly, only amplifies everything I didn't like about Lord of the Rings. I had seen Fellowship at the theaters over 20 times. I doubt I'll see The Hobbit again unless it's to see it at the Imax or when an extended edition comes out. While I understand that The Hobbit is suppose to be more of a children's tale, it could have been done in a more sophisticated fashion and kept the kids interested at the same time.
 
Captcha? "Dwarfed"

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288893)

But it yielded Tim Benzedrine [wikipedia.org] . That alone was worth it.

Along those lines, a quote in TFA made me wonder exactly which book Peter Jackson was basing the plot on?

An interminable sequence in Bilbo’s hutch culminates in a dorky, dwarven drinking song, performed alongside animated plates and spoons.

Bored of the Rings?

We Boggies are a hairy folk,
Who like to eat until we choke.

Loving all like friend and brother,
We hardly ever eat eat other.

Gorging out from morn till noon,
But don't forget your plate and spoon.

Now, I would pay good money to see that film.

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (2)

gfxguy (98788) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288749)

At the same time I love the movies (and just got the extended BR edition), I'm sad that they weren't as 'faithful' as they could have been to the books, and worse is that it was such a huge endeavor that it's not likely to be tried again for at least a very long time, if ever. I more than understand cutting out a part like Tom Bombadil (and changing and cutting various other things) for the sake of brevity, but that's not what they did - they cut it for the sake of stuff that wasn't in the books at all.

Back on subject - I haven't given a lot of thought to 48fps except that I was under the impression it was to make 3D versions better - clearer and brighter, due to counter the effects of the glasses (cutting 50% of the light). What I've read so far is that it makes the characters look 'plastic-y' like straight to video does. i wonder how this affects BR releases... can consumer devices handle that much throughput in HD?

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42289009)

I'm glad they took license. There are many things I enjoy about LOTR, but the pacing of the books is not one of them.

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288809)

Hey Merry - where'd you get that cool magic blade that killed the Witch King? "Errr.... well err ummm. See there were these barrows, but we had to cut that from the story, but - hey, Liv Tyler is hot, right

Of all the things to complain about, this is fairly lame. It's a movie. Things need to be cut.

Now, if you want to talk about the complete destruction Jackson visited upon the actual core of the plot, to say nothing of the characters, that's another story.

Alas, for Faramir.

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about a year and a half ago | (#42289033)

If he really wanted to, he could have cut all of Helm's Deep, added the Barrow scene and the Tom Bombadil scene (although I can see why that was cut) and probably just had the movie end before the book did. Then they could have picked up the story in TTT.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate that they did Helm's Deep or even that they went to Osgiliath in RotK, but it was jarring to leave out the Barrow Downs, have all these expensive and time consuming deviations, and then be told that the canon parts could not be fit into the story.

Re:Rather than shooting with more FPS (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42289029)

If you watch all 3 movies in the "Extended directors cut blah blah blah" or whatever, I think they come out to be about 12hrs or so. How much longer did you want them to be? Maybe they could have been made into 9 movies? I can't imagine they would have been nearly as successful though.

i always liked the soap opera look (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288493)

for decades i could never figure out why they could do it on TV soap operas and some sit coms but not on movies that cost a lot more money to make

i'll take a blu ray of an older movie over the grainy theater crap quality any day

Re:i always liked the soap opera look (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288631)

Blu-Ray of old movies are still 24P, they don't magically add more frames that don't exist, and interpolation generally looks like ass.

Some people want to see ass (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288733)

Blu-Ray of old movies are still 24P, they don't magically add more frames that don't exist, and interpolation generally looks like ass.

But some people want to see ass, especially when voiced by Eddie Murphy [wikipedia.org] . If DreamWorks Animation wanted to rerender Shrek at twice the frame rate, could they?

As a lesson learned, actually. (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288507)

From the reviews I've seen so far, no one seems to enjoy the 48fps. Even mainstream reviewers have referred to it as 1970s video smooth, "old Dr. Who at best." (Paraphrasing from the CNN review this morning). Maybe The Hobbit is the sacrificial movie which needed to be made and receive this kind of backlash, in order to never have such an awful-looking "feature" used in film again.

Re:As a lesson learned, actually. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288651)

It succeeds in parts, but the negatives (in my opinion) outweigh the positives. Certain scenes look amazing, and draw you in. Any fast movement by characters or the camera is accentuated and highly distracting, although this seemed to go away a bit with time, suggesting my brain adapted. If every film were 48fps, we might simply recalibrate our expectations, but then I'm not sure we'd experience the benefits.

Re:As a lesson learned, actually. (2, Insightful)

prefect42 (141309) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288729)

I really don't get why people are so attached to 24fps. Can you imagine this with computer games?

Re:As a lesson learned, actually. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288943)

People get attached to all kinds of foolishness. You can spot the irrational people by their claims that poor quality is somehow magical.

Re:As a lesson learned, actually. (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about a year and a half ago | (#42289025)

So basically most the starwars fanbase?

Re:As a lesson learned, actually. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288743)

People are just so used to shitty framerates of 30 or under that their brains aren't used to seeing something at decent FPS, and it can look jarring for a short while before you get used to it. I guarantee you that if high framerate becomes the norm, people will marvel at how they put up with such low framerates in the past.

Re:As a lesson learned, actually. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288755)

I am planning to see it at 48 fps. I hope I will like it, because for me it hurts for me to watch even a 2D movie at 24 fps, fast moving objects always seem to jump in steps over the screen, let alone a pan, which almost makes me vomit.

I've actually seen 300 fps TV as a demonstration by the BBC, that was quite an eye opener how much better TV can be compared to 50 fps. It will take years for TV to develop 300 fps in production. The movie industry could give a new experience with this kind of reality, it could be the competition against TV which they have been looking for.

And before people say that 80 fps is high enough for humans, it is true that Silicon Graphics have done extensive research for frame rates for flight simulators and found that 80 fps was the lower limit for pilots not to get motion sickness. But sharpness for fast moving objects increase at higher frame rate, since our eyes can track and focus on fast moving objects (this has nothing to do with motion blur).

Re:As a lesson learned, actually. (1)

kachakaach (1336273) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288759)

To paraphrase Pavlov, you simply have not been sufficiently trained yet, give it time:

http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/03/11/153205/young-people-prefer-sizzle-sounds-of-mp3-format [slashdot.org]

Re:As a lesson learned, actually. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288925)

Wait, so we're comparing a superior framerate to compression artifacts now?

I think a better analogy would be all the people complaining way back when that "who the hell wants to listen to actors talk?"

Why is it weird? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288509)

I guess I will soon find out for myself, but why is a higher framerate weird? Shouldn't it be better in every way? The low framerate in movies has bothered me for a long time, this sounds like a step long overdue.

Can't say I've ever been playing a game and thought "damn this high framerate is unsettling, I wish I still had my old video card so I could enjoy this at a nice chunky 24 FPS"

Blurs the imperfections (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288971)

I guess a low frame rate blurs the imperfections in the sets and in the acting. It's sort of like how porn struggled at first with high definition formats.

Re:Why is it weird? (1)

Omestes (471991) | about a year and a half ago | (#42289011)

Most of it is expectations, we expect 24fps, and associate it with movies, where we associate 48fps with trashy TV. The only real difference I can see involves light. You need more lighting for 48fps (faster rate = less shutter = more light), which could effect the aethetics. I've heard people say the Hobbit looks "plasticy", and this could be related to different set lighting than we are used to.

What about YouTube? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288577)

when can we upload 48 or even 60fps videos to youtube?

right now everything gets transcoded to 24fps which is absolutely terrible if you're uploading gaming footage with single frame flash effects

nicovideo lets you do it, as do a number of the other providers, but google, who one would expect to be at the forefront of technology will always downgrade whatever you upload

Re:What about YouTube? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288775)

right now everything gets transcoded to 24fps which is absolutely terrible if you're uploading gaming footage with single frame flash effects

Pretty sure the cap is actually 30FPS, which matches NTSC.

But the answer is "never" because higher than 30FPS is useless for video, as the Hobbit is demonstrating. Video games have needed higher framerates because they don't do motion blur, so the frames don't blend together quite right.

But for a video, it's just wasted extra data. You're throwing more frames at the screen than needed to create the illusion of motion. Throwing more at the screen disrupts the illusion. Just read the reviews of the Hobbit.

Also, why are you uploading "gaming footage" to YouTube? Do you really need to let the world see your "sick pwn" of people in Call of Duty? I'll never understand why people feel the need to upload footage of themselves playing games. Congrats, you really "pwned" those "noobs." For your next trick, try getting a real hobby.

Re:What about YouTube? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42289035)

But for a video, it's just wasted extra data. You're throwing more frames at the screen than needed to create the illusion of motion. Throwing more at the screen disrupts the illusion. Just read the reviews of the Hobbit.

I will have to step in and call bullshit. The more frames you have, the better the illusion and smoothness of motion. This does not affect the texture of the picture in any way. Oh, I am an old fart, and watch classics speedruns on youtube. Now get off my magnificient, freshly mowned and well fertilized St-Augustine lawn.

Re:What about YouTube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42289049)

It's been a long time since I've seen a post as out of touch with reality as yours. Congratulations!

how does it "look" different (2)

zeldor (180716) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288579)

not having seen the movie or old enough to remember it if it happened in the golden age of movies..
how does it look different in the theater at 48fps vs normal 24fps movies?

Re:how does it "look" different (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288731)

ever see an LCD running 120 or 240hz with "True motion" enabled? It looks too real, like you're watching a play. Jitter is gone slow movements are lost.

Re:how does it "look" different (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288949)

Jitter is gone slow movements are lost.

That's completely unhelpful to what the difference actually is.

Re:how does it "look" different (1)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42289053)

You mean Soap Opera style I get with my 120hs tv? Blah no thanks.

this FP for gNAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288615)

noises out oIf The

48fps considered harmful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288623)

The higher frame rate requires more storage and bandwidth in the production of movies. This will obsolete vast amounts of otherwise useful equipment and provide motivation to upgrade otherwise adequate systems. Consumers are provided an incentive to move to higher fidelity equipment as well. All of this is music to the ears of manufacturers that supply equipment and our environment will pay the cost of our indulgence of entertainment and consumerism.

Fortunately most of the damage will be in Asia. So whatever.

Happy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (c) day!

Video games have been doing this for years (4, Informative)

wwalker (159341) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288635)

When playing a game, I can easily tell if it's running at 30 fps or 60 fps, and I *much* prefer the higher framerate, for obvious reasons. It'll definitely take a bit of getting used to when it comes to moves, but it is no doubt a good thing.

Re:Video games have been doing this for years (2, Insightful)

BergZ (1680594) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288907)

Agreed. The kvetching over the transition from 24 fps to 48 fps reminds me of the transition from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent or the transition from records to CDs. It strikes me as nostalgia for a (mostly) inferior product.

60 or bust (1)

zppln (2058178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288679)

60 fps would have been a good thing. 48 is just as dumb as 24. You'll still have to do a pulldown on most consumer displays with 48 fps. If you're reading this Hollywood, update the DCI spec. to support 60 fps!

Re:60 or bust (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288763)

60 fps would have been a good thing. 48 is just as dumb as 24. You'll still have to do a pulldown on most consumer displays with 48 fps. If you're reading this Hollywood, update the DCI spec. to support 60 fps!

48 is either dumber or smarter than 24, but not just as dumb, depending on whose idea it was. If it was the display makers' idea, then it's goddamned genius because all the videophiles are going to buy new displays all over again. My TV's panel has a native film mode so it doesn't have to do anything wacky to display a film-mode signal. But it doesn't have a 48hz mode... Not that I'll be buying another TV. Problem is, even if a firmware update would let my TV display that content, it's not going to be an allowable mode, and there never will be a firmware update for that, so it's just another format my player will have to handle, which makes the player more expensive. And it's frustrating from my point of view, because my TV is actually really good at scaling and whatnot, but it's not going to do this at all.

Matter of opinion (1)

kc67 (2789711) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288687)

I have not seen the movie yet but I believe this news article is very opinionated. Here is an article from Wired that tells a different story: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Failure [wired.com]

60fps with motion blur may provide a solution (5, Interesting)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288691)

I'm all for video and motion being at 48fps, and maybe even 100fps+ for super smoothness which will also help cure motion blur (without the use of black flickery interspersed sub-frames). Heck why stop there, 240 or 300fps will help for compatibility, and allow us even smoother motion.

HOWEVER..., critics argue that the Hobbit feels less 'dream-like' and 'too real'. Even though I disagree with them to an extent, I recently played a game called Nitronic Rush [nitronic-rush.com] (fast free Wipeout clone, with tron-esque graphics, great fun btw). I set it to 60fps, but the graphics are 'enhanced' by motion blur, which 60fps normally doesn't 'need'. We're talking at least a couple of frames worth, and maybe up to 5 frames worth of artificial motion blur. However, I find this actually gets the best of both worlds. You get the smoother motion so that your eyes don't ache, and any fast panning looks convincing. But you also get the cinematic 'blurry' look that 24fps films provide (24fps film techniques employ motion blur naturally, or at least something similar to motion blur).

I think 60fps with this kind of motion blur may have a big future for it.

Re:60fps with motion blur may provide a solution (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288827)

I cannot agree with you more. Also, with 24 fps you get directors telling actors like Wesley Snipes to punch slower so his movement doesn't appear awkward on the screen. What is up with that? Bullshit, that's what it is.

Re:60fps with motion blur may provide a solution (4, Interesting)

avandesande (143899) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288923)

I wonder if there is something more to this than just people being used to old technology. Perhaps there is something like a visual 'uncanny valley'?

Re:60fps with motion blur may provide a solution (2)

ojak (1857004) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288929)

I'm all for video and motion being at 48fps, and maybe even 100fps+ for super smoothness which will also help cure motion blur

Motion blur can be a very good thing, and is regularly used stylistically in photography, motion graphics, and video. It's used for effect and implies motion, and IMO, doesn't require a "cure."

Low expectations amplifying. (1)

ehiris (214677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288701)

I had really low expectations for these movies ever since I've seen the trailer and found out they will have 3 movies out of one book.
Those expectations are now even lower. The soap opera effect is awful.

Re:Low expectations amplifying. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288873)

Actually two movies out of one book, the third out of the notes from lord of the rings and the silmarilion. Still one storyline though.

Obligatory xkcd... (3, Informative)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288765)

https://www.xkcd.com/732/ [xkcd.com] . Especially the alt-text.

so (1)

grenadeh (2734161) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288789)

Having just left the movie about 9 hours ago: 1) It is a good thing. 2) To anyone who plays PC Games this is utterly unnoticeable. Bfd.

Nauseating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288839)

There was an article in the paper about it here in sweden.

People found it nauseating, not exactly the best review.

"it's ... something that you've never seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288861)

before, and is, in its way, amazing."

I've seen a lot of things on the Internet that I had never seen before, and many of them could even be called, in their way, amazing. That's really, really not praise.

Movie is a disgrace (1)

avandesande (143899) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288863)

Peter Jackson could have challenged himself by directing a well made children's movie that adults would enjoy too. Instead we get Phantom Baggins....

Everyone should be happy about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288865)

Lots of people complained Avatar looked too realistic - that it didn't have the "magic of film" or something else fantastically stupid. Same crap here - and, again, the underlying cause is the same: it's not familiar so we're confused and uncomfortable. Higher FPS is a win - just like 1000 other advancement before it, even if the result looks different than other movies. My only complaint is they didn't go far enough.

It's pathetic that we have to have this round of whining on Slashdot of all places (in the comments, I mean; the OP seems reasonable).

There's a whole load of this crap I could live without ever hearing again: "Gameplay and fun are more important than graphics (therefore some advance is graphics technology is pointless or negative)", "Things looked better before everything was computer animated", "Nobody can tell the difference between regular and HD television", "3D gives everyone headaches and doesn't add anything/is a gimmick/I'm an idiot".

Again, I understand when I see this kind of lazy, stupid comment endlessly repeated elsewhere, but it's sad that it's also the default mode of conversation here, on a site that used to be mostly tech people interested in (and understanding of) innovation.

Maybe the Hobbit is a bad movie. But higher FPS is a win. 24FPS isn't some magical true key to film art - it's just what some people are used to. It's also why panning looks horrible in movies. It's dumb and we should be done with it. If someone wants some jerky crap to appease aging morons, I can be a technical consultant on how to simulate 24FPS with 48.

Even Lucy can't 'splain it. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288915)

Ok, I wanna go see it in 3D and with 48 FPS and with Imax, if possible.

WHAT THE FUCK ARE THESE:

- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey DBOX (PG13)

- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey E3 3D HFR (PG13)

Movie people, fucking make some god damned sense!

Re:Even Lucy can't 'splain it. (1)

jaskelling (1927116) | about a year and a half ago | (#42289015)

DBOX is a special auditorium that has motion enabled seats that are coded to move/vibrate etc. with the movie. http://www.d-box.com/en/movie-theatre/ [d-box.com] E3 is that chain's particular "big screen" just like Regal has RPX, Cinemark has XD, etc. High end luxury auditorium.

It's a good thing (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288937)

If you have watched any 3D action movie lately, you will see that the action scenes are less clear than even youtube videos. The framerate is just too low to handle such fast moving objects clearly, and 3D reduces resolution making it even less clear.

After we get used to this change, I think the end result will be a lot better, especially for action movies.

48 fps for everything! (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288939)

I watched Breaking Dawn part 2 (yes, snicker if you must) and there is a scene where Bella and Edward go into their new house, and the camera sweeps across the rooms as they first look in. My wife turned to me and watched my reaction during that scene. Afterwards, she explained "I knew the stuttery video would bother you so I wanted to see if you winced." I've been harping on low frame rates for years, and this confirms for me that my perception is different. Everyone sees it, they are just used to it. Now that I've explained it to her, she sees it too.

We really need to move beyond 24fps though. Take any single frame of that scene and just try to make out what is in the house. Is that a lamp? Or a table? Or wait, maybe it's a vase with a funny flower coming out of it. You can't tell. It's a blurry mess. All you can tell is that is was a sweep of the inside of a house. No detail. This probably makes it easier for filmmakers. 48fps is a real test of set and costume designers.

24fps is not video - it's a cartoon. 30fps is video. 60fps is perfect video. People are just so used to cruddy quality that seeing something new is distubring.

Survey needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288945)

Saw it in 48fps, seen other test footage of ultra fps video. It's not distracting me at all. A bunch of people seem to assume that, since THEY find it distracting, and OTHERS find it distracting, the MAJORITY must find it distracting. Uhm... proper statistics and large truly randomized sample size needed please.

Why we have to justify this... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42288987)

Here's what I get out of all these discussions we keep having out on the net:

Pundits, media, theater owners, film majors, digital projector manufacturers: It's better... no really it is!
Viewers: Er.... No it isn't.
PMTOFMDP&M: Yes, no you don't understand it's B E T T E R
Viewers: Er... I think I know what you're saying, but... yeah it's not better
PMTOFMDP&M: But really you'll come to see this as better soon. you're realize that it's sharper and more like real life!
Viewers: It's not sharper. In fact most digital cameras used to capture this have lower resolution than native 35, 60 or 70mm cameras, not to mention your low resolution projectors.
PMTOFMDP&M: Yeah but .... it's mor elike real life!
Viewers: I don't want things to be more like real life. If I wanted that I would watch Reality TV.
PMTOFMDP&M: It's better. Trust us.
Viewers: OK... fine. Do I get to pay the same price for the film?
PMTOFMDP&M: Er... no because it's BETTER. You need to spend more money because it's BETTER
Viewers: Hmmm... ok, I'm sure you're right. After all you were totally right about the mass appeal of 3D!

Tired of Luddites calling higher FPS "soap opera" (3, Insightful)

guidryp (702488) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288995)

Most of the time you can't even tell the difference between frame rates, except when it emerges as artifacts at 24 fps.

24 fps movies are purposefully shot with more motion blur to hide the jerkiness. But nothing really gets around it when panning.

So 24fps primarily equals artifacts: Blurring, jerky motion, and juddering pans.

How nonsensical is it, and how resistant change do you have to be, to worship these artifacts. They are no more beneficial than ticks/pops were on Vinyl. There is certain nostalgia value to listening to something with ticks/pops sometimes, but it isn't something we put everywhere because we can't do without it.

So these resistant to change, Luddites in love with quite irritating artifacts have taken to calling superior motion video with less blur, less judder and less jerking: "The Soap Opera Effect".

Do a freeze frame on a soap opera and good movie. You can still tell which is which when frozen. Soaps look like crap, because they have crap production values. Poor sets, poor lighting, poor cameras, shot without any flair.

Shoot 48fps (or 60 fps or 120 fps for that matter) with great sets, great lighting, great cameras and great flair and it will be amazing and have nothing in common with soap operas.

Better 3D (1)

willie3204 (444890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42288999)

Saw it last night at midnight. Once they got out of Bilbo's house and got into the scenery it was very easy to get used to the speed and clarity of the surroundings. Within the house it did seem a bit strange. A lot of the whining about the 'soap opera' affect was just FUD.

Pseudo spoiler alert the last flyover scene with the eagles was amazing!

I highly recommend everyone to see the high frame version first and be blown away. You won't want to go back.

Distracting? (1)

lattyware (934246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42289007)

Really, I don't get this, me and two friends went to see it at 48fps and didn't find it distracting in any way at all. No one I know who has seen it in the HFR version has said it was.

A good movie has nothing to do with FPS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42289059)

A movies FPS has absolutely nothing at all to do with it being a good movie or not, and does nothing to improve the film industry.

Look at the thousands and thousands of really great movies we have had in the last hundred years dating back to black and white silent movies filmed on a hand crank camera. None of them ran at 48fps and yet still had so many great films.

Saying 48fps adds to the film industry is the same thing as saying 3d revolutionized movies and made them even better which is completely false. 48fps is a gimmick and nothing more because it doesnt actually improve movies or make the movies themselves better.

Occasionally we get something that actually improves the movie experince like sound, color, HD, surround sound but just speeding up FPS beyond 30 does absolutely nothing to improve the film. 30fps is the world wide considered speed that is most comfortable to the human where everything is exposed at the optimal speed to the eyes. But in general the human eye see's in about 20fps during everyday normal life but you dont ever complain about things being laggy or jerky looking when you look out the window do you?

For people who compare it to video games they are not even the same thing and not comprable because they are different things. The human eye only observes higher frame rates when in panic mode but gamers say 100fps game looks better, they arent actually percieving more frames they just are seeing less of frame switches in a video game and thus makes it look a little less jerky but your eyes are still seeing it at about 30fps. Video games are not movies because a movie is filmed in one way or another which is translated to the brain via eyes different than a video game which isnt filmed and being rebroadcasted to the eyes. So if youre arguing that games benefit higher fps you have no idea what your are talking about and just spitting dribble you heard others repeat to you with no real knowledge of what you speak of, it just sounds good and others say it so you consider it to be true as well.

Good movies come from good film makers and nothing more.

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