Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CKL at CinemaCon

George, Jeffrey and James, together again.

... James Cameron, Jeffrey Katzenberg and George Lucas outlined their latest efforts to wow moviegoers. ... Cameron said that shooting movies at a higher frame rate than the standard 24 frames per second will give them an added sense of reality. ...

Katzenberg revealed that he is working on scalable multicore processing, calling it a "quantum leap" in speed and power. Animators currently wait hours and even days for computers to render full animation based on their initial, low-resolution footage. But with the new processes, Katzenberg said, "our artists will be able to see and create their work in real time. ...

And SW Chapter 7 will be shot as a hologram. ...

The part I found most intriguing is James Cameron's ongoing campaign for 48 or 58 fps. He's been talking about this for years, and ... I donno ... I think he's serious about it.

The reason that we've got the 24 fps standard, per a knowledgable friend of mine, is that silent films settled on a rate somewhere between 16 fps and 28 fps. It was a simple matter to adjust silent movie projectors to whatever frame rate was required, and frame-rates were written on the film cans of the movies shipped to theaters, but the rate had to be stadnardized for sound, and everybody settled on 24 fps.

Or so the story goes.

In the meantime, if new pictures bounce up to 50 fps, it might make for a somewhat different film-going experience, yes?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

And not to mention how much more expensive it will be to produce animation... wowza's !!!

Anonymous said...

"Katzenberg revealed that he is working on scalable multicore processing,"

Does he do this between directing cartoons and reading The Illusion of Life?

Tim said...

If the film rate jumped up to 50fps, that would kill theatrical hand-drawn animation for good (on 2's & 1's, anyway).

If the profits from films made in a new format exceed the cost of production and exhibition, the new format will survive (e.g. Synchronized sound, Technicolor, Cinerama, Vistavision, CinemaScope, etc.) Some last. Some don't.

(Wasn't there a push back in the 80s to go to 30fps using a 3-perf frame? If memory serves, the TV show "Max Headroom" used that format. Also Doug Trumbull was developing a 60fps format. Whatever happened to that?)

Anonymous said...

The "scalable" part is automated inbetweening that RUINS the animation timing. Everything gets mushy and badly timed like the animation in roger rabbit.

Anonymous said...

It's akin to the ink and paint folks on the old Popeye cartoons that added inbetweens as they saw fit if the drawings looked funky to them.

Ron said...

Doug Trumbull's ShowScan process was used for the Luxor show in Las Vegas. If you've seen it, the complete impact of the experience is quite good.

Popular Science article from 1994 about Luxor and the 3 ride films:

http://books.google.com/books?id=QriV7IuTZygC&lpg=PA83&ots=Ed8p_L7Uck&dq=luxor%20ride%20film&pg=PA81#v=onepage&q=luxor%20ride%20film&f=false

Anonymous said...

Showscan was cool! But most of the tests were practical or live action. Since most (if not all) digital projectors can be run at the equivalent of 60 fps, the effect is similar. Asking animators to adjust to this from a timing point of view would take a LOT of getting used to--effectively slowing production down considerably, as well as driving up cost. And the "auto-inbetweening" does, indeed, make the animation "soupy."

I'd prefer learning to adjust production to the timing differences than the continuing the image degradation via current stereoscopic methods.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkWLZy7gbLg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co_Duv2XCPU&feature=related

Steven Kaplan said...

I just watched an interview with Doug Trumbull on FXGuide TV. He talks about his career, ShowScan and shooting at higher fps .. among other things.

I've never dealt with footage over 30fps and a standard ISO. I've been reading tweets from people shooting with RED that are shooting 1600+ ISO (the strauss brother's Skyline for example). Mr. Trumbull makes a compelling argument for higher frame rates in his interview.

Check out the interview at this link: http://www.fxguide.com/fxguidetv/fxguidetv-104-douglas-trumbull/

Anonymous said...

douglastrumbull.com

his is still going at age 70 and doing some amazing work. Just heard him talk recently and was blown away by his vision and skill. He stepped out of Hollywood after his Brainstorm movie and never looked back.

Anonymous said...

If the film rate jumped up to 50fps, that would kill theatrical hand-drawn animation for good (on 2's & 1's, anyway).

In the same way most hand-drawn animation was on 2's, I think at 50 fps the animation would look the same if it was done on 4's. How would the eye see the difference? And where you would have animated on 1's in the past, you do it on 2's.

Of course, in a world of digital projection, you could also do it the old way, and project it at 24 fps.

Anonymous said...

This may come as a surprise... but the big payoff in the higher frame rates is going to be with 3-D. Everything else will look better as well, but it should lead to fewer headaches for those wearing glasses [3D ones]

Anonymous said...

People associate the film-like look of 24fps with higher quality theatrical productions. Higher frame rates have a different feel similar to soap operas or cheaper consumer equipment. Smoother is nice when you're recording your babies first steps, but when you want to tell a story, the flicker of 24fps helps to stimulate the imagination.

Anonymous said...

In the same way most hand-drawn animation was on 2's, I think at 50 fps the animation would look the same if it was done on 4's. How would the eye see the difference? And where you would have animated on 1's in the past, you do it on 2's.
And if you needed really fluid movement for part of a shot, you could actually animate on 1's and take advantage of the higher frame rate. Yes, it'd drive up costs, but imagine how cool it'd look.

Anonymous said...

24fps vs 58fps...

Seems like a lot of time and money for very little story payoff...

Seems even more worthless than stereoscopic.

iBookworm said...

Like the commenter above, I think the real benefit to a higher framerate is for 3D. 3D currently has teething problems, and one of the biggest is that when the eye is seeing depth it does not expect to be limited to a noticeably framerate. Everything in 3D, and especially scenes with fast motion or camera movement, looks a little choppy. Doubling the framerate would help a lot.

That said, I'd be just as happy if 3D disappeared for good. The only 3D movie I've seen that was worth it was Tangled. The Disney artists infused it with so much depth using traditional means like color and lighting that when it was brought into 3D it actually felt dimensional, and not gimmicky.

Anonymous said...

g"This may come as a surprise... but the big payoff in the higher frame rates is going to be with 3-D"

Wrong. The brightness of the projector, and the glasses, will still dim the image up to 30%. That has nothing to do with frame rate. You'll only end up with slightly sharper, just as dim as 3D images.

Anonymous said...

All the technology doesn't overcome the one big issue, compelling stories that people talk about and want to go see.
Unfortunately, a lot of the films offered all reek of same place same thing.
Many of the animated films are too.
I mean right now the animated features coming out are very similar plot lines, just in different settings. So we get to be wowed by the unique setting and not notice that the plots are full of holes.
So then you have Toy Story 3, no new look or universe. So they actually had to work on the story.
Now that's what solves the movie going experience problem.

Anonymous said...

Uh....earth to dumbass...Toy Story 3 was the LEAST unique story of ALL the animated films this year. It's super nostalgic though, and done very well, therefore beloved by the public and critics. But a unique story it does not have

Anonymous said...

*I meant last year

Anonymous said...

Well if Toy Story 3 was the LEAST unique, in your silly opinion (my response to being called a --not gonna repeat it ---) then explain why it was one of the most successful films last year? Huh? No? Can't do it can you?

Anonymous said...

Because it was preceded by two other films done years ago with the same plot & characters, that a generation of kids grew up with, that's why.
That's obvious. It's previous goodwill, not that the STORY was so incredible. It wasn't bad, just by the numbers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous. You took the words right out of my mouth

-The other Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Anybody else here see the Muppet presentation with Jason Segel?

Holy cow, Disney's gotta be sweating. What a clunker!

As for 3D, the last time I saw a 3D movie, the glasses left an indentation in the bridge of my nose that took half a day to go away. I don't care how much better 3D gets, it's not worth the money - or the disfigurement.

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