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24p Era Disappearing

Cinebasics's picture
Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
Joined: 03/19/2011 - 3:49pm

I recently read an article from Peter Jackson how he's filming the Hobbit in 48p and how he's done with and prefers the faster frame rate in all aspects. And I have to say I agree with him.

The 24 frame rate was established a very long time ago when sound was introduced to film. And mostly because projectors and film cameras of the day had an intermittant which would only react so fast. 24 frames worked back then, but why oh why are we still using it now. Everone wants digital cameras with 'native' 24p, which doesn't actually mean anything, but yet everyone wants it. There's nothing wrong with your digital footage NOT looking like the blurry film you're used to seeing. I agree that 35mm captures more color variances than most digital chips can, but the eye percieves motion oh so much faster and clearere than 24 frames a second. And isn't the ultimate goal to have footage that is exactly how our eyes see the world?

SO that's my question, discuss, debate, argue, and I'm curious what other opinions are on this. ;)


shippocaio's picture
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: 06/12/2008 - 7:24pm

That brings a question to mind.

What is the eye's frame rate?

or is there such thing?


Woody Sanford's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 10/19/2010 - 7:33am

 From my understanding 24 fps came about due to a need to be cheap. When faced with how few frames per second could be used to use less footage of film, 24 just happened to be where some drew a line. I've also read of some importance with how sound was matched to the fps so that it looked real when people talked. Sounds logical and makes some sence.

My attempts to use 24p were not that fruitful early on. I was interested in it for lowlight reasons outside. However, the need to move an pan a lot while filming animals, the motion was to great and the footage suffered greatly. It just didn't fit my environment at all. I'll also propose there is another element to this other than just frame rate and shutter speed. Attempting to use some consumer grade cameras with cheap sensors resulted in footage that would look good in a film about meteor's hitting the earth or a "Bumper" cam for the Duke's of Hazzard 2. In my experience the whole fad of cheap cameras with 24p was a disaster.

I'm currently using a NEX-VG10 for outdoors which I do like very much at 30p and opt for a faster lens for lowlight, which is what I should do rather than adjust fps. I would like to see 60p in the same camera just to see what it could do. However, I have dropped the shutter speed to 1/50 to induce slight motion blur and I can't tell it apart from well shot 24p at 1/48. Its really nothing more than just a look, like "Hollywood teal", but done with fps.

So my opinion is 24p is much like Disco. It didn't start out cool, it just happened. Lots of people jumped on the band wagon because so many said it was cool. Down the road a lot of people are going to look back at it and be shocked that so much of their life was a blur. :-) 


Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 10 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

"24 frames worked back then, but why oh why are we still using it now."

2 reason:

1 (and the most common): People think using the same frame rate as film makes their video better. Too bad they're completely wrong.

2 (more practical reason): If you're going for a theatrical release and will transfer to film, you're definitely better off shooting 24p instead. If 60p became the norm and you transferred to film at 60fps, the cost of the film transfer just because twice as expensive.


8string's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 11/28/2009 - 7:08pm

In dredging up my memory of film school, the choice of 24 came from the upgrade in the teens/20s from 18fps (the old herky jerky silent movies frame rate), to something that would smooth out the motion enough for the eye to be fooled. Once in place, there was no real good reason to change it. Does that jive with what some of you remember? (too lazy to Google it this am). Likely we will move to higher frame rates as the computing power dictates. I for one, still like the look of film, (think about the filmic look of The Conformist, one of, IMHO, the most beautiful films ever made, regardless of what you think of the plot.). All these new 'videos' require enormous post processing to be made to look like film, so why bother? By the way, was "Get Low" filmed or done in video? I ask because while I thought it totally failed as a movie (the ending was a terrible let down after the wonderful lead up), but was one of the most beautiful period pieces I've seen lately.


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

Funny thing, I just shot footage for a commercial to be played in a movie theater and they wanted it at 30p. 8string, you can come close to the film look with filters that smooths out the edges a little bit so the are not so sharp; remember,I said close. Film will always be film and digital will always be digital and there is a gulf of difference between the two.

Personally, I love black and white movies and there is no way to make that happen in digital without a lot of post production.I can't imagine Cassablanca being shot with digital, the grainy look lends itself to thepictures sucess. Showing my age I know.

One more thing to realize and I will get off my soap box. In the early days, actors actually had to be able to act to make the film a success and most of the footage could not be fixed in post. The stringent demands made on film actors is great as film is not cheep, digital we can have a hundred cuts until we are satisfied.

I will now contradict myself, I am really glad for the digital revolution as it allows many creative people to be able to get involved in film making and be able to show what they can do, I am one of them.


VM4GLENN's picture
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
Joined: 03/10/2008 - 5:15pm

Like all Great things in life, humans are designed for change. although we resist change at every corner, we benefit from such advancement. Film is a great venue to have used, and now it's time for digital. As such many are resisting the change: "Video can look like Film". But we will move forward as a community into the digital realm.

example: 3D coming to a town near you soon :)


UnitedNerds's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: 11/12/2010 - 2:19pm

There is an actual framerate that the eye can see, though I've heard multiple rates depending on what the source is. Here is an interesting website that tries to explain the process:

http://www.100fps.com/how_many_frames_can_humans_see.htm

I personally don't understand why we watch video in 24fps anymore, obviously we can distinguish (though barely) the difference between 24fps and 30fps we should at least try upgrading the frames per second to 48-60 for better clarity and stills. The closer we are to how our eyes really see the world, the better, right?

And I do think we will see this change in the next 5 years, instead of jumping resolution I think cameras will start boasting higher fps recording instead. James Cameron is pushing higher Frames Per Second really hard and apparently so is Peter Jackson and I applaud them. Why not change the norm?


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

I've downgraded my videos to 24p, and the more you compress them, the more you start to see artifacts and mistakes, especially by downconverting 1920x1080p60 videos to 24p.


Woody Sanford's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 3 days ago
Joined: 10/19/2010 - 7:33am

210pe's picture
Last seen: 5 years 1 week ago
Joined: 12/09/2009 - 2:01pm

I wish 24fps would go away. I am one of those that sees judder in the theater and it drives me crazy. If I sit close to the screen it will make me physically ill. My wife does not see it at all so not everyone is susceptible to it - but I hate it. The higher frame rate the better.

As far as converting for theatrical release, this will not be true in time either as movie houses switch to digital projectors. They do not want to print and ship film any more than they wanted to pay for the cost of it originally. Digital projectors are already in some theaters and eventually will take over and film will officially die the death it should.

Travis


Moab Man's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 week ago
Joined: 11/02/2010 - 3:35am

As someone getting into video a few years ago I never knew of 24p and the "film" look. The way that some praise it I thought I must be missing something. No matter how much I tried to like it, because clearly I wasn't understanding something, I could never figure out why 24p hasn't been left in the round filing cabinet under my desk. To me it seems like the desire for 24p is out of nostalgia.

Please don't take my comments as hostile towards those that like 24p or that old frame rate. I simply can't get my head around it but love reading the comments.


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

frame rates are just another tool in the toolbox...

here's a clip I shot a 25 fps...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTZ4eDFFQL0


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

"here's a clip I shot a 25 fps..."

Everything on Youtube's converted to 24p. It does look a little jittery by the nature it's downconverted from 25p to 24p.


Dave Haynie's picture
Last seen: 4 years 8 months ago
Joined: 03/29/2010 - 4:12pm

The eye doesn't have a "frame rate", it's continuous. The idea of frames is based on the fact that we don't have any reasonable way of recording film/video without breaking it down into samples. And yeah, 24fps was standardized ages ago because of the need to standardize audio recordings more than anything.

It's remained simply because 24fps is about the minimum frame rate that most humans will perceive as motion without judder. The eye is continuous, but it's not terribly fast, and the brain helps here... it tries to make sense of what you see with an extra layer of image processing. Individual frames make no sense, continuous motion does.

With that said, we actually would see it flicker, but theaters long ago started double-shuttering it. If you can still find a film based theater, you get 24fps displayed as 48fps. Digital cinema is usually 2K (nominally 2000x1000 pixels) at up to 144fps. So in a very real sense, the technology is already based on the fact that 24p is a minimum, not necessarily a preferred frame rate.

There ramifications, though. Digital television and Blu-ray fully support only two progressive modes: 720/60p and 1080/24p (1080/30p would have been trivial to support, and most displays handle 1080/30p encoded at 1080/60i just dandy) in NTSC lands. There was a chance to correct this with the recent Blu-ray upgrade to enable 3D formats, but sadly, they did not add support for 1080/48p or 1080/60p.

Online downloading and streaming, satellite, etc. all love the 24p format, simply because it offers higher quality for the same bitrate, versus 60i (also viewed as lower bitrate/size per unit qualty). Many of the online sites automatically transcode to 24p regardless of the upload format, simply to save on storage and streaming bandwidth while maintaining some level of quality.

Given all that, while it's very much time to expand beyond 24p, it's not going to vanish any time soon.