48 frames per second

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by holmburgers, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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  2. Paul Cunningham

    Paul Cunningham Subscriber

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    At Expo '86 in Vancouver, one of the provinces showed a film shot at a higher frame rate, and as I recall, it was indeed stunning.
     
  3. willrea

    willrea Member

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    I believe I read the film for E.T ride at universal was shot at, I think, 48 fps.
     
  4. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    That's awesome... it seems like they used to do the coolest stuff at World Expos!
     
  5. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    70 mm movies were often projected at 30 fps.
    Most 35mm movies get projected at 24 fps in the US and some are projected in Europe at 25 fps.

    Some IMAX movies are projected at 48 fps. In this case, we're talking about 70 mm film.
    The frames are 69mm wide and 48mm tall.

    To put this in perspective, the projector moves a strip of film as wide as your hand at a speed of over 3 meters per second!


    Those projectors sound like freight trains! The booth has to be sound proofed and the projectionist has to wear hearing projection!
     
  6. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    it should be noted that these "films" are actually digital video and have no relevance on apug.
     
  7. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    I believe it was the Saskatchewan exhibit where the real life narrators interacted with the characters on the screen.
     
  8. hrst

    hrst Member

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    Yes, and further, there is nothing new in Peter Jackson's "new" finding. Indeed, it is called "video" or "television", and it was invented much before Jackson was born.

    In USA, it ran at 60 FPS and later at 59.94 FPS and in Europe it runs at 50 FPS. OMG, more than 48 FPS.

    Also, "video productions" have been made since the advent of usable VTRs. This dates back to 60's or 70's. This has also always been a prominent low-budget choice to make movies - "films" shot on video.

    HD video has been around for decades, too. And, for about 5 years, every consumer has been able to buy a digital low-cost HD video camera capable to shoot at 50 or 59.94 FPS.

    This "new look" is not new to anyone. We all have seen it for all our lives, probably tenfolds more than films, you just need to turn on that TV. It indeed is very smooth because of high frame rate. Every once in a while there has been trends to remove inbetween frames or "deinterlace" the video to try to mimic film look with low cost of video. Needless to say, this is mostly pathetic and will not look better. Video is video, it's a different world than film and it's good as it is.

    So, Peter Jackson is making just another video production. Oh, but that doesn't sound cool does it!? The emperor needs to have new clothes.

    As for the original question, isn't that a no-brainer? Film can be easily shot and projected at practically any speed, and you can be sure it has been done. It's just a question of cost etc. how wide-spread it can be. Shooting at up to 4000 FPS is quite normal for slow-motion, and even many of the "normal" (non-high speed) cameras go typically up to around 70-100 FPS. Projection, OTOH, at more than about 50-100 FPS is possible but not necessary because we could not see the difference.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  9. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    The question is about film, and much of the interesting information on the thread is relative to film.
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Douglass Trumbull ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Trumbull ) shot the effects for many Los Vegas and Florida theme rides at a frame rate higher than 60 fps IIRC. It was done both in digital and analog. He is also a marvelous speaker and was a keynote speaker on this subject here at a meeting in 2006.

    PE
     
  11. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    48 FPS? Isn't all 3D already shot at 48 FPS?

    Two cameras shooting side by side at 24 FPS those frames are then merged into one frame on screen. While the frame refresh rate is 24 FPS, you are actually seeing 48 FPS.

    Sounds like marketing fluff to me.
     
  12. JohnRichard

    JohnRichard Member

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    Todd-AO was shot at 30fps, and looks... interesting.
    As a cinematographer, I can say that usually audiences will not like anything other than traditional look. They booed Cameron off the screen at Sundance when he tried to show his new faster than 24fps digital film. There was also a large (still ongoing ) discussion on Cinematography.com about the merit of shooting faster than 24fps.

    The general consensus was that the average audience wants to SUSPEND BELIEF, not have reality shoved into their face. They do not want to watch "reality". They want to watch FANTASY! After all, that's what we as audiences have seen for the last 100 years or so. This is also the reason I believe 3D will fail (again), and everything will go back to the way it has been.
    Besides the fact that I will personally never shoot AND PROJECT faster than 24fps. I have a very nice 16mm setup at my home, and will continue to make improvements to my art.

    I'm almost completely done with digital cinema, and despise 3D. I'm just glad the Kentucky Theatre in downtown Lexington, KY projects 35mm all of the time.
     
  13. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Depends on the format.

    35mm film in 3-D is run on a standard projector with a prism box in front of the lens. The image frames are split in half. One half the frame is for the left eye and the other is for the right. Each image half is directed through the prism box, passed through a polarizing filter and superimposed on the screen. The viewer wears polarized glasses that block the "wrong" image from being viewed by the "wrong" eye.

    IMAX 3-D does use two strips of film. There are two projectors that are frame-for-frame synchronized, running two strips of 15/70 format film. There, you have the active "shutter" style glasses which receive a signal from the projector which tells them which eye is to be open at what time.

    Digital 3-D is done with a standard digital projector that has a rotating glass polarizing disk in front of the lens. The projector simply projects the left and right frames alternately and the computer processor rotates the glass disk to the correct orientation at the right moment. That glass disk spins at something like 300 RPM!

    I agree with JohnRichard. People go to theaters, whether they are movie theaters or stage plays, because they want to get away from their daily lives for two hours. This whole idea of presenting movies as technology and hyper reality is the same thing as people who spend all their time and money buying new and "better" camera technology but couldn't take a good photograph to save their own lives.

    James Cameron is one of those people. I think his movie, "Titanic" would have been better if he knew how to edit. That movie did not need to be 3 hours long. Let me at it with a splicer and I could cut an hour out of that movie with no effect on the plot. Cameron spent all his time and energy putting cameras on deep sea submarines to the detriment of plot and substance.

    The same thing goes for "Avatar." Cameron spent more time building his motion capture studio and computer generated 3-D graphics than he did the plot. Yet again, he created another 3-hour bore fest. That movie timed out at 162 minutes!

    James Cameron needs to forget the 3-D. He needs to forget the computer graphics. He needs to forget the 48fps whiz-bang contraptions. He needs to go find a 16mm Bolex and shoot a couple of movies on black and white film with no sound and no special effects.

    Movies, today, are all hype and zero substance.
     
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  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Great discussion going on here... and to the comment about this being off topic for APUG... well, *this is me rolling my eyes*...

    I think there are two competing approaches here that are most interesting; 1) the "suspension of reality" that is such an historically important element of movies and 2) hyper-realism.

    I think that in terms of documenting nature, natural events, Earth in general, "cinematic reportage" if you will; hyper-realism has it's place. Flying over the grand canyon in 3D IMAX at 48fps would be an absolute visual miracle, and the fidelity would be meaningful.

    On the other hand, it's so true that this has nothing to do with making good movies, and that's where suspending belief still excels; like you guys said, a 16mm Bolex in the hand's of an artist is unmatched by a hollywood movie with a $300m budget. I'll take The Bicycle Thief over Avatar any day, in terms of substance, meaning and "heart-strings". Still, movies like Avatar are in many ways technological masterpieces, and are analogous to a huge print from an 8x10" color negative.... the detail & fidelity are literally awe-some, but whether the image stays with you after the fact is a function of the artist and not the medium.
     
  16. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    For those who have not seen the full version of Avatar, with about 1/2 hour of added scenes, you will find that when you do view it, the full story changes radically. For example, Grace (Sigourney Weaver), knows that Jake is working as a spy. And, the wimpy company manager tries to prevent the final massacre, but is locked in his office by the military commander. It also leaves out the part about the massacre of children in the school. So, editing can make, break or change a story.

    As for Avatar and Titanic, if they were such bores, howcome they were such blockbusters? Hmmmm? Sometimes I want to be wowed, sometimes I want to be surprised, and sometimes I want to suspend belief. The falling glowing creatures on Avatar were an amazing bit of imagination, and they were part of the story at the same time. For the first time, we saw a real ecology on an alien planet in depth, albeit from someone's imagination. I saw it in IMax 3D and the entire audience seemed to be transfixed.

    Maybe they were so bored, they were asleep, but the conversation as we filed out did not make it seem so.

    As for the high speed projection, the "Back to the Future" ride and others use over 60 fps according to Trumbull and it does not need 3D to give a sharpness and depth of its own to these images.

    PE
     
  17. Ray Rogers

    Ray Rogers Member

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    Don't you guys mean suspension of disbelief?

    I was reading from the bottom of the page... I see what JR was saying now.

    But you need both I think.
    Escape and suspension of disbelief....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2011
  18. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    yes

    :redface:
     
  19. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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    Well this post points out the problem with both the Avatar/Titanic moviemaking approach and the digi-cam soak the masses approach: they are hugely popular and make shite-loads of money. Never mind that the movies, as Worker 1181 and JohnRichard noticed, had the plot lines of a thousand dumb comic books for pre-adolescents. A pretty picture of a "glowing creature" is not what I would call imagination; it's just a wowee thingamajig, like my 11 year old son's star wars legos, only more expensive and more wowee. Adult imagination to me is the capacity to step into the shoes of another being or another world and deal with the complexities and the ramifications, whatever they are. In Avatar you just have that dumb old "Dancing with Wolves" joke of the white guy out-nativing the natives, showing the natives how to be true natives in a bad-ass, wowee way. Who led the final battle? It was the white guy and he was the badest ass of all at exactly what the natives do.

    And you also have the old story of the corporate force (James Cameron) using craft (the pretty blue people) to soil the spirit (bad movie), even while, on the surface, it purports to be on the side of the native and the primitive and the earth and the spirit.

    Unfortunately, because the American movie-goer is by and large childish and juvenile, these thing become blockbusters while the good stuff, with real human issues involving real human personalities, get ignored. And that's exactly why I fear that bad, 3-D cartoons are going to succeed, just as the whole digi-cam fiasco has succeeded.

    Sorry, PE. And, of course, maybe I'm wrong. Great discussion, though.
     
  20. Dave in Kansas

    Dave in Kansas Member

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    I believe all of the original 3-strip Cinerama movies were shot at a higher rate than 24 FPS. I think it was 26 FPS. Not a lot faster, but it made things a little smoother.

    Dave
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Well, in answer to some comments, I get exhausted by the daily "grind" of drama and just want to let go at the end of a day or week. (Less so now that I am retired.)

    So there is a place here for every POV. But, if you attribute this to the "American" public POV, you are wrong. The films in question were big hits world-wide. Doesn't this say something about the premise that these movies satisfied the American public? It touched something in people in just about every country.

    PE
     
  22. jglass

    jglass Subscriber

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    PE, I do want to mention that I also went to and enjoyed Avatar, but it was over-hyped and should have been a 45 minute film for kids. I completely understand about letting go at the end of the day, but Avatar was taken far too seriously and is far too respected as an imaginative advance in artistic film-making.

    I also understand it was a world-wide hit. Unfortunately, the juvenilization of mass media has not stopped at our borders. For me, what it touched in people was our immature desire to be soothed by a fake-sincere story about saving natives.

    No disrespect to anyone who liked the movie. Let's see it for what it is.
     
  23. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    All I will say about Avatar is that I couldn't help but thinking that I was watching our generation's "Wizard of Oz", which I really think it was.

    I think it was pretty clear that this wasn't going to be a deep movie. The general message of it was that big corporations and national interests are evil and disregard more important human concerns, like culture. I'm fond of that message frankly, and it's exactly analogous to the colonization of the Americas and "white man's" absolute disregard and dismissal of the existing cultures; cultures that we could have learned a lot from.

    So, if some 6 year old kid can take that message away from Avatar, even subconsciously, that's awesome. I'm not that offended or surprised by its lack of 'artistic merit'.

    That being said, it's not on my top 25 list of movies, but I enjoyed seeing it in the theatre for the first time.
     
  24. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    There is nothing wrong with an archetypal story retold over and over again so long as the audience engages and appreciates each time with all the subtle, profound, or sublime changes of the message or the medium.


    Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
     
  25. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Avatar is The Wizard of OZ? You meant to say Pocahontas or Othello or something like that?
     
  26. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I'm referring to the revolutionary aspect of the Wizard of Oz's use of color, and Avatar's 3D. Sure 3D has been around for a long time (longer than color), but the modern variant is a revolution and exposed a whole new generation to something phenomenally novel.