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4K, 48p HFR and the challenge for set designers and makeup artists

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#1
Andrew Reid

Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:04 PM

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"Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second." - Jean Luc Godard

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world." - Jean Luc Godard

Cinema used to be an illusion, but now the camera is putting extra pressure on filmmakers to keep up the illusion. Drawing on a conversation I had a few months ago with a VFX supervisor, EOSHD presents the challenges and problems that 4K and 48p (HFR) bring to the film set.
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#2
cls105

Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:47 PM

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you'd think that with all of this affordable technology that people would redefine the art form of cinema.

 

unfortunately the majority of people out there are just trying to find jobs and continuing the status quo of the bullshit hollywood mentality.

There are no rules or limitations to art and cinema.  people need to open and expand their minds and just do things the way they want to, rather than what  schools, books, and retards are telling them how things should look.

 

books like "save the cat" and others, that make cinema formulaic are a cancer to the spirit of originality and are only good so that lame motherfuckers can have a day job.



#3
Gethin Coles

Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:24 AM

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I'm sure its nothing a bit of grading and shed loads of grain cant fix ;)



#4
hoodlum

Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:14 AM

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This reminds me of the comments when HDTV was becoming more mainstream.  Actors and news staff were concerned their "imperfections" would become more obvious in HD.  They also had to rethink makeup.  



#5
halfmac

Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:51 AM

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The most important thing for me in cinema is the story.  If the filmmaking gets in the way like 48fps, then the story is secondary.  I do not like these newer TV's with the higher refresh rate.  Makes everything look live.  I don't want to go to the cinema to watch TV.  The cool thing about the cinema is the suspension of belief.  Making a Fantasy Video just does not cut it.  I would rather see a Fantasy Film.


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#6
jcs

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:46 AM

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If we look at the trend of computer graphics (CG), the issues of sets, props, and makeup not working well at HFR and high-res won't be an issue when the cost of 100% CG becomes cheaper than shooting live actors and sets. It's been done before, but has been very expensive and the quality isn't quite there yet. When 100% CG happens, stereoscopic 3D becomes easy (basically free), everyone gets mo-cap'd, and all audio is VO (as with Gollum etc.). At some point even VO won't be needed- famous voices will be synthesized with an advanced text-to-speech system (with nuance controls). The final step is computer simulations will write and create the entire movie. This could be the peak of a golden age when analog, biological brains created content using physical cameras and live people.



#7
Bruno

Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:35 AM

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If we look at the trend of computer graphics (CG), the issues of sets, props, and makeup not working well at HFR and high-res won't be an issue when the cost of 100% CG becomes cheaper than shooting live actors and sets. It's been done before, but has been very expensive and the quality isn't quite there yet. When 100% CG happens, stereoscopic 3D becomes easy (basically free), everyone gets mo-cap'd, and all audio is VO (as with Gollum etc.). At some point even VO won't be needed- famous voices will be synthesized with an advanced text-to-speech system (with nuance controls). The final step is computer simulations will write and create the entire movie. This could be the peak of a golden age when analog, biological brains created content using physical cameras and live people.

 

Yes, that's the day films will be stripped off any soul they might still have left.

I'm sure that's gonna happen, but only as an exercise, nothing more than that. For every good CG performance there's at least a bunch of actors and hundreds of animators behind it, mocap cleanup is almost as hard and time consuming as doing keyframe animation. Trust me, there's no "automatic" anything in mocap, no matter what you see in the behind the scenes documentaries. :)

Nothing will ever be as simple or easy as shooting a good actor with a camera.



#8
Caleb Genheimer

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:46 AM

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I for one am all about illusion when I make films. That's the fun of it! film is illusion of motion, wether at 24 or 48fps, 2D or 3D, black and white or color. It is interesting, Andrew, that you bring up Dogma films. I'll give 'em a nod for effort, but the whole Dogma mentality fights against what film actually is . . . illusion. Besides, "reality" TV uses the Dogma playbook because it is a style associated with reality. I for one will be sticking with 24fps because I love how it looks, and 3D isn't my cup of the (at least until I've mastered the second dimension).

 

I do understand the benefits of 48fps for 3D, though . . . and part of me wants to hold off judgement until I see The Hobbit with my own eyes. Deep in my heart I like to think that I can trust Peter Jackson to have made the right decision in regards to FPS, 3D and resolution. 



#9
catonic

Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

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Caleb...you are spot on as to why Peter Jackson went with 48fps on The Hobbit...and it is disappointing that some so-called critics can't seem to understand something that has been so widely commented on in relation to 3D movies.

Personally, I couldn't care less about 3D. In the 5 movies I have seen in 3D, including the Imax version of Avatar, it has been a meaningless gimmick which has added nothing to the experience for me, even though I can see the effect and it doesn't cause headaches, eye strain etc.

But it is obvious the Peter Jackson and James Cameron are trying to improve the 3D experience, so good on them for trying.

On the other hand , I am very much looking forward to 4k2k projectors (in cinemas and for the home, as I have a home projector) and 4k2k TV's and monitors.

What the comments on this article and the related one that Andrew has posted show, there are some people who are very uncomfortable with the digital worlds domination in all aspects of movie making and display, be that cameras, projection, tv or anything else.

Whilst that is unfortunate, and obviously places like this give them a forum to express their unhappiness, the tide of history is against them I think.

And I certainly believe the changes are and will usher in far more benefits than problems or costs. Some of those used to doing things in the "old" non-digital way obviously are not happy having to learn new skills and practices, or seeing movies looking differently from what they have been used to.

Such attitudes are an inevitable part of any revolution, and what we are experiencing now is a very far reaching revolution indeed in the world of entertainment. 



#10
Per Lichtman

Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:34 PM

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I do not like these newer TV's with the higher refresh rate.  Makes everything look live.  I don't want to go to the cinema to watch TV.  The cool thing about the cinema is the suspension of belief.  Making a Fantasy Video just does not cut it.  I would rather see a Fantasy Film.

 

Just to be clear, it is the use of motion-smoothing (or other forms of interpolation) to playback content at higher frame-rates that creates the effect you seem to be referring to. A higher refresh rate does not create that on its own.

 

Higher refresh rate = Reduced flicker.

Higher frame rate = The complex set of variables that people usually discuss.

I personally prefer my movies at 24 FPS in the U.S. (I have no problem with native 25 FPS content in Europe either) and I dislike the use of motion-smoothing in playback. But I do not mind high refresh rates on a display monitor - under normal circumstances, I prefer them. Just make sure I get the content at 24 or 25 frames per second for cinema. :)


Per Lichtman
Freelance Composer, Photographer, Director, Audio Engineer, Consultant, Instructor
http://www.pasadenapulse.net

#11
HurtinMinorKey

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:25 PM

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I remember Jackson saying that they had to paint the sets with overly saturated colors because the RED cams were sucking all the color out of them. I wonder if this was something they never got quite right.



#12
johnnymossville

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:48 PM

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movies based on reality set in real environments will have none of these problems.  Maybe we should start getting back to telling great stories instead of making all these expensive blockbusters that stretch and contort reality in so many ways.  



#13
Caleb Genheimer

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:23 PM

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I wrote a short blog post a while back on this very subject, specifically after having viewed Ridley's Prometheus in 3D. While I admit that I went to it purely as a litmus test for films to come (read: The Hobbit, they use the same cameras and lenses), I ended up surprisingly impressed with the careful attention paid at times to 3D as a different medium from that of 2D. Wel, I won't go in depth, but Prometheus is the first 3D film that I have seen that seemed shot with 3D in mind . . . not shot like a 2D film, that is. Here's the full post. It is a pretty short read:

 

http://23point976.blogspot.com



#14
William Hohauser

Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:24 PM

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The higher the frame rate the more realistic the projected image looks. There have been many studies going years back regarding frame rate and perception. This is why Douglas Trumbell used 72fps projected film in his ShowScan amusement rides. He would have used a faster frame rate but the projected film couldn't stand the stress so 72 was the compromise. If you could see an image at 500 fps it would look almost 3 dimensional without glasses. 30+ years ago I happened to see a specialized analog color video camera and monitor set up that was running at over 200 frames per second. Even the still life that it was aimed at looked almost as real as if you were looking at the props directly. Why Mr. Jackson decided to go with 48fps is something he'll have explain in the next month as more and more people complain (I have already met a few people who have seen advanced screenings and none were happy with the experience) although higher frame rates would be beneficial for 3D filmmaking.



#15
madgamer2000

Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:35 AM

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I remember Jackson saying that they had to paint the sets with overly saturated colors because the RED cams were sucking all the color out of them. I wonder if this was something they never got quite right.

I don't mean to thread derail, but I have read that multiple times and in other places as well and it seems odd to me. With cameras that are shooting not just HFR but in RAW, wouldn't it be simple to just correct that in post? I mean, it is not like they are not going to color correct the heck out of these movies anyway. The original trilogy used extensive digital grading, and I am sure these will too.



#16
ScreensPro

Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

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The problem with this is it is a bit of a Pandora's box effect..... As soon as one or two critics mentioned it, the other critics couldn't help but look for the issue.... and this will spread and spread. Even the general public will be looking out for the "48fps effect" that they have read about.



#17
pask74

Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:41 AM

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What a great topic!

 

Aesthetically, hiding stuff is sometimes more artistic than displaying them in the open light.

After all, it's the same for me with scenography : I much prefer a love scene where things are suggested than put straight into my face without any room left for imagination. And I must admit it's also the case in real-life ;-)

 

Similarily, I like those Super8 videos from my childhood, etc. It translates reality in an imperfect but vibey pleasant way.

In photography, a portrait shot with a high-ISO film usually looks so much more poetic than an uber-clean digital picture. And so many times b&w feels much better than full colour... even less "realistic".

Maybe that's one of the reasons we now feel that we "must" edit/correct/perfect-alize any digital photography before it comes to our eyes : the technology at our disposal is showing too much of the unpleasant truth.

 

Is the quest for "perfection" about to turn obsolete?



#18
Leang

Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:26 AM

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some here are too analytic about new technology you forget to take advantage of the practical tools already in play.  real pro's just work and play along as the years go by and not hit forum boards with irrelevant theory.



#19
TJB

Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:14 PM

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For me story telling with film is all about impressionism. I find fantasy in impressionism but not in realism. Impressionism requires something of the viewer. A quote from Wikipedia refering to the impressionist art movement -"emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), common, ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles."

I think that the brain may view the world in 48p but it interprets, remembers and plays back reality in 24p.

It's been said the most important brush stroke of a succesful artwork is the final one and that it's not what's painted but what's left blank.

Maybe so it is also with film?



#20
HurtinMinorKey

Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:03 PM

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I don't mean to thread derail, but I have read that multiple times and in other places as well and it seems odd to me. With cameras that are shooting not just HFR but in RAW, wouldn't it be simple to just correct that in post? I mean, it is not like they are not going to color correct the heck out of these movies anyway. The original trilogy used extensive digital grading, and I am sure these will too.

 

http://www.engadget....-the-hobbit-vi/

 

At 5.05 PJ starts talking about HFPS, at 6.16 they mention the color issue, but it doesn't really answer your question.






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