How does 24 FPS make a footage appear more cinematic than other frame rates?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by iAppleseed, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. iAppleseed macrumors regular

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    #1
    I read somewhere that 30 FPS is the limit of the human eye, making the frame rate 30 and above seem very continuous and natural. I have also read somewhere that 24 FPS is for the cinematic look. Now, how does a choppier look make a footage appear more cinematic?
     
  2. floh macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Well, if you define "cinematic" as "looks like in the cinema", the answer is pretty simple: Hollywood movies always were and still are shot at 24 frames per second on film. That is what you see on a cinema screen. It does look a bit "choppy" and not as fluid as 30fps and above, but it looks like in the cinema.

    So, for a cinematic look, 24fps actually is the right way.

    The problem is that people often confuse "cinematic look" with "better looking". :) It all depends on what you want to achieve...
     
  3. WRP macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    You mean DELIVERED at 24 fps. Over cranking and under cranking a camera is pretty common, especially with action. Just because a Phantom can shoot 2500fps doesn't mean you watch it at that speed.
     
  4. floh macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Yes, sorry, I should have been more clear.

    The film that is shown in theatres is at 24 fps. The shooting is a whole other story.
     
  5. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    #5
    I heard that Peter Jackson showed new footage of "The Hobbit" and people left feeling a bit mixed. Apparently the video was too crisp with strange contrast making it look like a made for TV movie. Supposedly the problem was the film and playback were higher than usual (60 fps).
     
  6. floh macrumors 6502

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    #6
    First of all, before others complain: The framerate was 48 fps, which is still double of what's "normal".

    And then: I am really looking forward to actually seeing this myself! I am absolutely not sure if people disliked it because it what different to what they were used to or because it actually looks strange... I guess we'll have to wait and see.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #7
    The human eye can detect things at a much higher rate than 30fps. For example, a camera shutter, or flash, going off at 1/1000th of a second is easily perceivable.

    Nearly a century of being conditioned that the motion signature of 24fps = cinema is basically why.

    You mean for talkies, right? 'Cause silent films were shot, delivered and projected at a variety of frame rates. But now we're just getting pedantic. ;)


    Lethal
     
  8. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    #8
    My bad, yes 48 fps.
     
  9. madaspy macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Ding Ding Ding, Which is why if you live in an NTSC country and you look at PAL films which are shot at 25fps they just have a "different" feel to them.
     
  10. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

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    #11
    To me, faster framerates feel "cheaper" because I'm used to home video at 60i. But that's all opinion and many people (usually those uninvolved in production) don't even notice the difference.

    Whenever I read anyone claiming a certain framerate, aspect ratio, or depth of field is the "secret ingredient" to getting a cinematic feel, I have to roll my eyes.
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #12
    I agree. There is no secret ingredient, there are just a number of contributing factors.
     
  12. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #13
    I feel bad for the Vfx guys. Theres a lot of maladies hidden by the frame rate of films. I hope 48 FPS doesn't make a huge difference but I think it will.

    I remember a video where they talked about needing to redo the warddrobe on the hobbit because it didn't stand up to the new frame rates.
     
  13. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

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    #14
    But you can't disagree with the fact that there is a distinct difference between 24 fps, 30 fps, and 60 fps. I turn off the 120Hz and 240Hz on all my TVs because the "smoothing" drives me nuts. I edit in 24, 30, and 60 a regular basis. I always prefer the look of the 24.
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #15
    There's certainly a difference. I was just agreeing w/ppc_michael in that there is no magic bullet to making something look cinematic.


    Lethal
     
  15. bradoz7 macrumors newbie

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    #16
    24P in a 60hz country is a strange choice ....

    Unless you are watching 24P on a LCD @ 120 refresh or a Plasma @ 96hz or 72hz if it's a pioneer then your not really watching native 24P

    24FPS does not display on a 60hz TV unless you add an extra video field into every alternate Film frame , ie 3:2 pull-down.

    While this definitely gives 24FPS a "look" on 60hz TV systems , I would not say it is a good one.

    In European Countries and most Asia Pacific countries (50hz countries) 24P is simply increased by 104% to run at 25P , no need to add the artifacts required by 60hz countries.... after 50+ years , finally 60hz countries can see native frame rates again due to updated display technology displaying @ 72,96 or 120hz (all multiples of 24)

    So, unless you plan to take your production to the Cinema or release in Europe/Asia Pacific , then do the world a favor & DON'T shoot in 24P !, shoot in 30P if you must get the "film" look without the artifacts .....

    I get so annoyed with the way 24P is thrown around by people who have NO knowledge why it actually exists !....

    Why a CONSUMER would EVER want to go anywhere near 24P is beyond me.... :)
     
  16. tekno macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    The reason feature films were shot at 24fps was because this used the least amount of film whilst still allowing good sound reproduction and not creating too much flicker.

    In fact, when watching a film in the theatre, the frame rate is 'increased' to 48fps by displaying each frame twice - this makes the flicker of the projector imperceivable.

    Regarding the cinematic look, with regards to the frames-per-second alone, there are many theories that 24fps is preferable over, say, a smoother 50fps as it forces the brain to work harder to 'fill-in' the missing information and so is better for story-telling.
     
  17. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #18
    Ugh, 30p bugs me. It's like it's too choppy compared to 60p/i and too smooth compared to 24p.


    Lethal
     
  18. D-Dave macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Just to add a small bit to this: While the difference in fps is one factor that give a different feel to PAL material it is also the difference in resolution (NTSC: 525 lines per picture of which a max of 486 are visible; PAL: 625 lines per picture)
    In summary the difference in fps is most visible with fast motions (especially when material is transcoded from one standard to the other...yuck) while the resolution has it's impact on picture sharpness.
     
  19. Richardthe4th macrumors regular

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    #20
    Right. And there is a theory that 48 Hz is causing the brainwaves to more or less synchronize with that. And because in a cinema there are no distracting other lights, the whole audience gets slightly hypnotized. So that is why after 15 minutes everybody stops to talk and silently watches the movie (duh mobiles :( ) (and of course good movies also silence the audience :D )

    So for a truly cinematic experience: darken the room end hypnotize everybody :rolleyes:
     
  20. handsome pete macrumors 68000

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    #21
    That wouldn't effect how you perceive the motion though. You're still only seeing 24 distinct frames per second.
     
  21. tekno macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I was referring back to someone's comment about the fastest motion the brain can perceive or something. Of course there are still only 24 images each second.
     
  22. jclardy macrumors 68040

    jclardy

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    #23
    I think one of the main distinctions in feel comes from the motion blur.

    When shooting 24 FPS you can have a shutter speed twice as long, as you have two times as much time between frames. Shooting 48 FPS means your shutter can be open for less time, creating less motion blur on the individual frames.
     
  23. dmz macrumors regular

    dmz

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    #24
    Wrong. Exposure time for 24fps film cameras is variable through shutter angle, it is not fixed at 1/24th of a second, and can be "stopped down" to as little as 1/500th–1/1000th of a second.

    Main difference - film has much wider exposure latitude and characteristic colour response which varies depending on the film. Video, digital or analog, has less latitude and no character. This changes the "look", and though digital video can be altered in post to look like film, it's not the same.

    Frame rate has little to do with it.

    Cheers,

    :apple:dmz
     
  24. Sackvillenb macrumors 6502a

    Sackvillenb

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    Canada! \m/
    #25
    Honestly, there is nothing about 24 fps that makes it automatically or intrinsically cinematic. It only looks cinematic because we've been using 24 fps for movies for ages, so that what our brains are trained to watch and trained to expect, for movies. So then, when we watch a movie at a higher fps, it doesn't look "right" to most people. It's just a question of what we've been used to, and what are brains have been habituated to.

    Faster fps is of course a preference. My girlfriend loves 120 Hz for movies on our tv, but personally, I hate it! To me it makes everything look low budget. But everyone is different. :)
     

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