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Author Topic: Why 4K matters - and why it's not ready for prime time  (Read 14503 times)
feppe
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« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2013, 12:50:55 PM »
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Missed point, read what I said, 24fps isn't a necessity for cinema any more, ask Peter Jackson.

Neither Peter Jackson or James Cameron are a central authority who define what is a cinemetic look - viewers do. And overwhelmingly viewers think that The Hobbit in 48fps looks plastic-y, unreal, hyper-real, artificial, like a cheap theater production or a documentary.

Are we saying this?: "4K doesn't reveal enough improvement in picture quality for the average viewer at home, and just like HD sound isn't worth it, neither is 4K picture"

If so, I agree.

(note: I said "for the average viewer at home")

That's exactly my argument in the OP, and no one has really contested my conclusion.

4K is great for the home theater geeks and photographers who have money and plenty of physical space, but vast majority of laymen will see no return on investment from 4K, other than making the neighbor jealous.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 01:03:08 PM by feppe » Logged

peterv
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« Reply #61 on: September 04, 2013, 01:09:59 PM »
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Michael, perhaps you and Chris should also take a look at the new Sony 4k FDR-AX1 Handycam, before you buy into the blackmagic. No raw I think, but for stuff like the tutorials you guys produce in your studio that would not be a necessity anyway.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #62 on: September 04, 2013, 01:48:25 PM »
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And overwhelmingly viewers think that The Hobbit in 48fps looks plastic-y, unreal, hyper-real, artificial, like a cheap theater production or a documentary.
How much of that is due to 48fps ?
From what I've read you could only see it at 48fps in 3D and that opens another whole can of worms in terms of how a production is perceived.
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #63 on: September 04, 2013, 02:56:27 PM »
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Hobbit: to me it looks like a video game. Much of that attributable, at least for my eyes, to their color post-processing/synthesis. Very subjective indeed. As far as 4K is concerned, I was very close to buying a Samsung UE75F8000 but after a bit of comparison, I found out I preferred my projector for movies and a smaller 55" TV for standard stuff. At larger size HD is really an issue. Probably not if I am fully immersed in the movie (some DVD stuff is quite OK on the projection screen), but as soon as my mind notices something it breaks the spell. I think I'll wait for 4K for a larger screen. I also found out that as the resolution increases, my relative distance to the screen diagonal goes down. 55" at the correct distance seems like a tiny window in another world to me. 150" on the screen is  about right. A bit overwhelming at first sure, but what I want. (and yes, I have a dedicated home theater approximately 6mx6m).

I am eagerly waiting for 4K media and devices to keep my weekly movie a special occasion.
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jjj
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« Reply #64 on: September 04, 2013, 03:05:01 PM »
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How much of that is due to 48fps ?
From what I've read you could only see it at 48fps in 3D and that opens another whole can of worms in terms of how a production is perceived.
You could view it in [pseudo] IMAX, 3D and 2D.
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jjj
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« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2013, 03:08:36 PM »
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I found out I preferred my projector for movies and a smaller 55" TV for standard stuff. At larger size HD is really an issue. Probably not if I am fully immersed in the movie (some DVD stuff is quite OK on the projection screen), but as soon as my mind notices something it breaks the spell. I think I'll wait for 4K for a larger screen. I also found out that as the resolution increases, my relative distance to the screen diagonal goes down. 55" at the correct distance seems like a tiny window in another world to me. 150" on the screen is  about right. A bit overwhelming at first sure, but what I want. (and yes, I have a dedicated home theater approximately 6mx6m).
I sit towards front of cinema and you'd need a much bigger screeen than 150" to match that size!  Grin
Probably 4-5m wide depending on aspect ratio.
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feppe
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« Reply #66 on: September 04, 2013, 04:35:05 PM »
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How much of that is due to 48fps ?
From what I've read you could only see it at 48fps in 3D and that opens another whole can of worms in terms of how a production is perceived.

I doubt 3D is the reason: there are a lot of 3D movies out there already, and people accustomed to 3D had the same poor viewing experience with 48fps as everyone else. I don't see 3D and I certainly had that experience.
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #67 on: September 04, 2013, 04:44:35 PM »
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I sit towards front of cinema and you'd need a much bigger screeen than 150" to match that size!  Grin
Probably 4-5m wide depending on aspect ratio.

Yeah, I know, unfortunately I don't expect to ever become rich enough to put a full size theater in my house :-) and my current projector isn't bright enough to comfortably go above a 4m diagonal....
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BJL
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« Reply #68 on: September 04, 2013, 07:03:21 PM »
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Here are some thought on what might be bad about the Hobbit at 48fps, including some attributed to John "Photoshop" Knoll:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2013/01/11/the-reason-why-many-found-the-hobbit-at-48-fps-an-unexpectedly-painful-journey/
One idea I get from this: going from 24fps to 48fps at the same shutter angle halves the amount of temporal blurring, which can bring out imperfections (in make up, lighting effects, actor's contact lenses, etc.) that are smoothed over by the lower frame rate and its longer exposure times. This could be particularly bad in a movie like The Hobbit that is full of prosthetics and such, making the goblins' faces and such more obviously fake. And when combined with the bigger apparent image size on a cinema screen these defects are likely more visible than when high frame material is seen under typical home viewing conditions.

If so, then perhaps the challenge is to double the "resolution" of the make-up, prosthetics, CGI scenery, and such when the frame rate is doubled.
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jjj
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« Reply #69 on: September 04, 2013, 07:37:41 PM »
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One idea I get from this: going from 24fps to 48fps at the same shutter angle halves the amount of temporal blurring, which can bring out imperfections (in make up, lighting effects, actor's contact lenses, etc.) that are smoothed over by the lower frame rate and its longer exposure times. This could be particularly bad in a movie like The Hobbit that is full of prosthetics and such, making the goblins' faces and such more obviously fake. And when combined with the bigger apparent image size on a cinema screen these defects are likely more visible than when high frame material is seen under typical home viewing conditions.

If so, then perhaps the challenge is to double the "resolution" of the make-up, prosthetics, CGI scenery, and such when the frame rate is doubled.
When you normally alter frame rate you should also alter shutter angle[which=shutter speed] to match. Sometime you use the 'wrong' settings such as say a narrower shutter angle which makes for sharper individual frames and gives a staccato look to the moving image - often used for zombies and battle scenes.

"The Hobbit was shot at 48p, but with a shutter angle of 270°. This translates to a shutter speed of 1/64 of a second. The traditional “film look” rule for film is that the shutter speed should be twice the frame rate. For 24p, the shutter speed is usually 1/48 (or 1/50 if your digital camera doesn’t support 1/48.)"

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BJL
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« Reply #70 on: September 04, 2013, 09:17:58 PM »
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When you normally alter frame rate you should also alter shutter angle[which=shutter speed] to match. Sometime you use the 'wrong' settings such as say a narrower shutter angle which makes for sharper individual frames and gives a staccato look to the moving image - often used for zombies and battle scenes.

"The Hobbit was shot at 48p, but with a shutter angle of 270°. This translates to a shutter speed of 1/64 of a second. The traditional “film look” rule for film is that the shutter speed should be twice the frame rate. For 24p, the shutter speed is usually 1/48 (or 1/50 if your digital camera doesn’t support 1/48.)"
To be pedantic (and you clearly know this anyway) shutter angle is not directly shutter speed, it describes the shutter speed as a fraction frame rate, so for example keeping the shutter angle at 180º while increasing frame rate from 24 to 48 would reduce exposure time from 1/48s to 1/96s. Thanks for the detail that "The Hobbit" uses something intermediate, shutter speed 1/64s, so only 50% faster than the traditional standard of 1/48s, but still potentially causing the reduced "motion smoothing" that I was speculating about. Do you know why Jackson went for the 270º shutter angle? Is it a compromise to help down-conversion to 24fps?

P. S. I think the most famous recent example of exotic shutter angles is the 45º used in the D-Day scenes in "Saving Private Ryan".
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #71 on: September 05, 2013, 01:48:10 AM »
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Hard to talk about a topic if you don't bother to read posts correctly and then wander off on a different subject.
Please let me know exactly where this happened.
Quote
Plus the thread is about moving imagery, frame rate and resolution and so forth.
When you introduce audio as an analogy into the thread, I think it is reasonable to expect discussion about that analogy. Don't you?
...which doesn't surprise me actually as higher sampling rates in music, which cannot be directly heard makes audio sound better in my experience....
-h
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 02:35:45 AM by hjulenissen » Logged
hjulenissen
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« Reply #72 on: September 05, 2013, 01:54:01 AM »
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Now, aren't we getting a little bit over-excited ?
That was not my intention. I tried to illustrate how system designs that deviates significantly from the norm considered "good practice" may render knowledge about thresholds of audibility moot, as an explanation to question marks about the paper. Like I often do, I used an extreme case to illustrate what I think is true for less extreme cases: "CD-players designed by monkeys" may or may not need 20 or 24 or more bits in orderto be transparent. The JAES paper makes a good case that 16 bit is sufficient for sensible designs.

It was not my conscious intent to compare the electronics designers of "boutique" audiophile equipment to monkeys.

As they did introduce "CD-quality distortion" to a high-rez signal, they avoided the common "apple vs pears" comparision that many do (a SACD may sound different from a CD but the formats limitations might not have anything to do with it)

-h
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 01:55:50 AM by hjulenissen » Logged
hjulenissen
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« Reply #73 on: September 05, 2013, 02:09:31 AM »
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I think it is more interesting to discuss the limits of human vision, rather than aesthetics. After all, the success of audio formats is partially that they are not limiting the content (at least monaurally), thus musicians and producers are free to apply whatever aesthetics they please. If the cinemas had a similar quality for their images, then Peter Jackson & friends could consentrate on "what looks good" rather than "how to beat the limitations of the system".

This paper might be relevant:
High Frame Rates and Human Vision: A View Through the Window of Visibility By Andrew B. Watson
http://vision.arc.nasa.gov/publications/Watson-2013-SMPTEMotImag.pdf

(I know nothing about the SMPTE motion imaging journal)

-h
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« Reply #74 on: September 05, 2013, 04:29:34 AM »
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I went to cinema late yesterday and my choices were a Mark Wahlberg cops buddy drama or a Mark Wahlberg criminals buddy drama. Undecided  Ended up seeing Pain + Gain which was quite interesting to watch after the conversation in this thread, because Ben Serensin, the DoP used a whole heap of different cameras on this [by Hollywood standards $26M], low budget film. In the mix were Reds, film, Phantom, Anamorhic, Go Pros, 7Ds and others and it's a great looking film, though at times it's kind of obvious when a GoPro is being used. Despite how amazing Go-Pros are for the size, when cut with film there is a very noticeble difference. Most of the time the audience won't have time to realise as it's cut very quickly which hides these issues and is why they knew they could get away with it. But at one point a Go-Pro is used on car to catch some dialogue of the characters within and it's a relatively long take and it stands out as being quite different to rest of film - it actually looks like they forgot to grade that take. The reason I mention all this is that the Go-Pro shots also tended to look less cinematic and more Top Gear - and as Go-Pros can shoot 24p, it was nothing to do with frame rate, but image sensor size/quality.

Cameras were apparently chosen simply for their size and what the scene required, not for any particular aesthetic reason and interestingly the film was not storyboarded, They usually just rocked up to a location and winged it, apart from a few more complex shots where there was CGI used and when it involved the set being built to facilitate it. Amazingly, they averaged 60 takes a day, which is simply astonishing and film doesn't appear rushed or 'low' budget.

As for the film itself, it's based on a really interesting true story, but the film strikes the wrong tone for me as it tries to make a quite serious drama into a jolly comedy and completely and utterly missed the mark. It feels a bit confused as to what kind of story it is telling as it changes half way through into a quite different film. Violent, vicious kidnappers and murderers do not usually make for a light hearted comedy, particularly when mixed with graphic gore. Particularly as it's telling the story of some quite horrific crimes which only happened fairly recently and the people who suffered and their families probably don't find it quite so funny.
Comedy and gore can be done well - Peter Jackson's 'Braindead' is a good very OTT example of that. Black Comedy about a murderous psychopath can also be done well as in 'Man Bites Dog', which is quite exceptional in how it addresses such a difficult area of film making, a very powerful film indeed.
I didn't know who the director was until the end credits and when Michael Bay's name rolled up, that explained a lot about the tone [and homophobia] as he's never going to be the Coen Brothers.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 05:18:29 AM by jjj » Logged

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« Reply #75 on: September 05, 2013, 01:49:33 PM »
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and as Go-Pros can shoot 24p, it was nothing to do with frame rate, but image sensor size/quality.
Add to that lack of control of white balance and exposure. They're a nightmare to use in a lot of ways.
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Telecaster
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« Reply #76 on: September 05, 2013, 02:24:42 PM »
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Just an aside re. audio & bit-depth/sampling rate. Playing & recording music is my other hobby. My experience is that 16/44 via a high-quality converter will tend to sound better than 24/96 via an average one. Using the same high-quality converter, and paying close attention to recording levels, my 53-year-old ears can't hear any difference between 24/96 and 16/44 worth fussing over. Converter quality is the key.

I almost always record at 24/88. There's no harm in capturing more data than is strictly necessary, and 24 bits gives you extra headroom to avoid digital clipping. A higher sampling rate can help mitigate the audible impact of an average converter's low-pass filter too. (I like recording while traveling using my iPad with a small clip-in mic.)

As for video, I'm all for the tech supporting 8k @ 120fps. Or 16k @ 240fps.   Grin  Then whether you shoot at 24fps or 30 or whatever...it becomes an æsthetic choice rather than a technology-limited one.

-Dave-
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jjj
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« Reply #77 on: September 05, 2013, 02:28:40 PM »
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Add to that lack of control of white balance and exposure. They're a nightmare to use in a lot of ways.
The auto exposure on Go-Pros is amazing and they do produce amazing results, but on a big cinema screen as opposed to the TV, they are not a patch compared to film.
In fact the DoP on 'Pain + Gain' said all the digital cameras struggled at times with bright Miami sunshine.
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trichardlin
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« Reply #78 on: September 08, 2013, 02:31:36 PM »
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... My experience is that 16/44 via a high-quality converter will tend to sound better than 24/96 via an average one. Using the same high-quality converter, and paying close attention to recording levels, my 53-year-old ears can't hear any difference between 24/96 and 16/44 worth fussing over...

-Dave-

Talking about sound quality is akin to talking about religion.  Scientists/engineers have repeated showed, under controlled conditions, test subjects can not reliably tell the difference between 24/96 and 16/44.  Of course, there is a whole industry built on the 'belief' that this is not true.  I am the most discriminating listener in the house, yet I have the worst hearing (no hearing beyond 10k Hz).  Go figure.
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michael
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« Reply #79 on: September 08, 2013, 04:55:13 PM »
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The new Sony doesn't interest me. Small sensor, deep DOF and no raw.

A couple of years from now camcorders without raw will seem very dated.

True it would do for our interviews and tutorials, but we have other plans as well. :-)

Michael
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