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I love, love, love the soap opera effect! (1 Viewer)

Craig Beam

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We don't have any obligation to do anything but try to enjoy the film. That's a lot easier if you please yourself, not don a hair shirt to please someone who's been dead 25 years.

I hardly feel that I'm "donning a hair shirt" by preferring to watch a 24p film in the frame rate it was shot in. For me, it looks right... and it's an absolute pleasure.
 

Mark-P

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However in the case of Oklahoma, turning on the interlacing is *exactly* what the creators wanted. They shot the film with a higher frame rate than normal to make the movements smooth. I'm sure they wouldn't object at all to enhancing that effect a bit on playback. The same effect can be very useful for silent films with jittery frame rates. There's nothing wrong with the tool if it's used properly.
You keep using the word interlacing when you mean interpolation. Frame interpolation mimics higher frame rate, but is not true HFR. Oklahoma is 30 fps and that's how it is presented on the Blu-ray, in it's native frame rate, so no interpolation is involved. The "interlacing" is due to the fact that the Blu-ray spec doesn't allow for progressive 30fps, only 24. I'm not certain but I believe that Ultra HD Blu-ray 4K will allow for 30fps progressive because it can support all the way up to 60fps progressively, so Oklahoma on 4K Blu-ray should be pitch perfect.
 
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Jonathan Perregaux

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I love this effect also... in theory. What ultimately forces me to shut it off are the bizarre visual artifacts that crop up when the algorithm doesn't know what to do. Like when a character moves past a patterned wall or windowed building, or when quick movements and whip-pans cause things to be in two places at once.
 

Josh Steinberg

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What ultimately forces me to shut it off are the bizarre visual artifacts that crop up when the algorithm doesn't know what to do.

That's why I quickly gave up on the 2D-to-3D conversion tool that's built in as an option to must 3D displays and 3D players. It's far inferior to an actual BD3D disc, but I thought it could be fun to try. It usually does pretty good with long shots that get held for a long time, but anything with lots of fast cutting and especially angled or otherwise unusual compositions (fast movement, shaky cam, etc) and the algorithm would get really thrown by it.
 

bigshot

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I love this effect also... in theory. What ultimately forces me to shut it off are the bizarre visual artifacts that crop up when the algorithm doesn't know what to do. Like when a character moves past a patterned wall or windowed building, or when quick movements and whip-pans cause things to be in two places at once.

If you have the roadshow Oklahoma try it with the dream ballet. It will knock your socks off. It really is amazing. It works really well with blu-rays of opera and ballet too.
 

Brian Kidd

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I don't think it's a cut and dried situation.

I saw the first Hobbit film in HFR and loved the effect. It definitely aided the realism of the 3D and, to my eyes, enhanced the film, overall. (I won't get into the script or dodgy digital effects.) In that case, however, HFR was the desired frame rate of the Director and the film was shot with HFR in mind. Higher frame rates have been used many times over the history of cinema, but mostly for special films and ancillary uses such as theme park attractions. That's not to say it won't become more common in the future. As was pointed out in earlier posts, a decent number of younger people, especially gamers, prefer higher frame rates for content. YouTube commonly offers 1080p and higher resolutions at 60fps. PC gamers consider being able to run games at the highest possible resolution and frame rate as a sign of status, some spending thousands of dollars on their gaming rigs and monitors in order to push the limits of what is possible. There's certainly no guarantee that 24fps will remain the standard for movies.

Watching 24fps content at home with frame interpolation activated has too many issues for me to leave it on. I think it works pretty well for shots without horizontal pans or without a great deal of small details. However, as soon as a pan happens or a lot of movement occurs, the artifacts show up like crazy. There is a halo around whatever is moving where the processor in the TV doesn't seem to be able to keep up with what is happening on screen and causes visible glitches. Detail is also slightly, but noticeably, decreased because of the interpolated frames smoothing out the image. I'm sure that the technology has improved since my TV was made, so I don't want to poo-poo the whole thing without a modern frame of reference.

TLDR: I'm not against higher frame rates when the material is shot with it in mind and it enhances, rather than detracts from, the cinematography. For action and dance, it can work quite well. However, I don't believe that the technology is quite ready for prime time when it comes to interpolating image information that doesn't exist in the original material. Imaging technology is always improving, however, and the future is wide open.
 

LeoA

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I'm a fan of original frame rate with my movies, but as high as possible if it's a videogame. Native 60 fps videogames don't look like cheap videotape, unlike what happens when a 24 fps source is converted by someone's 120 of 240 hz display.

And higher frame rates in videogames are advantageous for many reasons. For instance in a racing game it helps with the sense of speed. It's also beneficial to controlling a game. It's also not something new in the world of videogaming, even though it's being referenced like it's a modern concept in this thread.

Most arcade and console games of the 1970's through the early 1990's were 60 fps. In fact it was universal on the Atari 2600, which is a console that turned 40 this year, and which was the first exposure to home gaming for many people of a certain age. It's why even something like River Raid by Activision, renowned as one of the system's best games and the first hit videogame in history developed by a woman, looks so smooth in motion to this day.

30 fps and lower didn't become the norm until the 3D era took hold, which was approximately 1995 or so in the console world. Then, it was often a struggle just to meet a compromised 30 fps with frequent dips during the next five years, since the hardware wasn't very capable (Nintendo for instance wisely capped most of their Nintendo 64 games at 20 fps, since a locked 20 fps is far superior to one struggling to reach 30 fps that's all over the place).

Happily, the industry has finally started to seek 60 fps again even in graphically advanced games, although it's still far from universal and most games only reach it on an inconsistent basis.
 
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zoetmb

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If it looks better to me and the people watching the movie with me, then it looks better.
No it doesn't. It looks how you want it to look. There's a big difference. When I hear a car audio system that's highly distorted and vibrating the metal in the car so it becomes part of the sound, it doesn't sound better and it doesn't represent the original intent of the artist. It's just the way that car's driver likes it to sound. There is objective criteria to determine whether it sounds better. Distortion is not better.

Most people like over-bright, over-saturated and over-contrasty images. That's why retailers have TV's set to "store blast" mode. It's not better. But it sells TV's, especially when comparing one to another. I've seen people have their TV's calibrated and then hated the result.

There's a number of people on this site and others like it who hate black bars and would rather watch a severely cropped image that fills their screen than the full image that doesn't fill their screen. By no objective criteria can anyone say that's better. It just happens to be their preference.

Some people like fast food chain pizza. It's not better. In Napoli, you legally couldn't even call it pizza. But it's what they like.

This reminds me a bit of the Issac Asimov quote: "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”


However in the case of Oklahoma, turning on the interlacing is *exactly* what the creators wanted. They shot the film with a higher frame rate than normal to make the movements smooth. I'm sure they wouldn't object at all to enhancing that effect a bit on playback. The same effect can be very useful for silent films with jittery frame rates. There's nothing wrong with the tool if it's used properly.
You might have a bit of a point there, except that I don't believe that any current prints of Oklahoma are from the original 30fps negative. And even if they are, watching the original is not doing any interpolation. There's a big difference between 30fps origination and using TV set software to interpolate frames.

(When Blu-ray was initially released, I went into a retail store to take a look. At the time, I didn't know anything about those motion modes that the TV has. They had a Blu-ray of Jackson's King Kong, which I had already seen in the theater. The motion mode was turned on and rather than smoothing out the motion, it made it jittery - Kong didn't move smoothy at all. I thought to myself "OMG, they really blew this Blu-ray thing. It looks horrible!")

The problem with higher frame rates is that they destroy the believability of most films. We need the blur of 24fps shooting to make the image believable. This can be easily seen when you watch "making of" documentaries where an action scene looks totally fake in the 30 or 60fps documentary and looks totally believable in the 24fps film or film-like presentation. Clarity is not always a benefit. If you want Oklahoma to look like you're watching a stage play, I guess it works. That's how "Billy Lynn's..." looked to me in HFR. But Oklahoma wasn't supposed to look like a stage play in spite of the artificial sets.

Now there are some films where it might work. Since "The French Connection" was photographed by Owen Roizman, who previously shot documentaries, it looks like one. That film might have actually benefitted from HFR. Might.
 

bigshot

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No it doesn't. It looks how you want it to look.

Yup. Absolutely! I bought the equipment for my home theater to please myself, and I bought the movie to please myself too. My opinions matter to me. I am the audience and the customer is always right. You can feel free to adjust the color to be bright red and I won't try to shame you. You can do whatever you want. We all have different ways of perceiving. Please! By all means! Adjust your system to work with the way you perceive things! Don't give a second thought to what is "right and proper". In your home, that doesn't matter to anyone sitting in the room, so it doesn't matter at all. You pays your money and you makes your choice.

Dogma and art never go together well. If I can improve the perception of the art using technology without altering the meaning or statement of the art, that's a good thing. That's the same thing that people restoring films for home video release do. I can pick and choose for myself what kind of restoration I want- do I want something that looks like film? Or do I want something that uses video technology to make something that looks and sounds *better* than it did on first run in theaters? That's my choice. It's my choice to adjust my color and contrast settings or use the noise reduction and processing filters built into my home equipment too. You and the creator and God have no say over how I enjoy films, and it isn't a moral outrage to turn on a setting that didn't exist when the film was produced. It certainly isn't ignorance to choose to explore your options.

The problem here is that I'm talking about a specific application of the "soap opera effect"... adding it to a film that was shot 30fps in a dream sequence that is intended to feel different than the rest of the picture. Maybe you aren't familiar with the film Oklahoma. If you have it and haven't watched it yet, watch in progressive up to the dream ballet and then switch on the soap opera effect for the dream ballet. Then go back to progressive after the 20 minute dream sequence is over. This is a specific application of the effect that works. I'm not crazy, kooky and out of my head. I've screened it that way for friends and their jaw is on the floor amazed by the whole overwhelming experience of it. Maybe most of the time progressive is the best choice. But absolutism will cheat you out of appreciating the exceptions to the rule.

There is an application for the soap opera effect that improves the program, not detracts from it. You just have to be open enough to be able to discern the difference and not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
 
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Martin_Teller

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I love threads like this because it instantly tells me whose opinions I can ignore. Probably deep in the HTF archives is a thread titled “I love, love, love pan and scan!”
 

Brian Kidd

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You might have a bit of a point there, except that I don't believe that any current prints of Oklahoma are from the original 30fps negative. And even if they are, watching the original is not doing any interpolation. There's a big difference between 30fps origination and using TV set software to interpolate frames.

The current Blu-ray release has the TODD-AO version at 30fps from the original negative. It had to be encoded as 1080i because 1080p doesn't allow for 30fps, but it looks spectacular. I don't think I'll ever watch the Cinemascope version ever again.
 

Lio

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I understand your point.
I often have artwork printed, and when they get it wrong, if the print differs from the artwork, I get pretty frustrated.
The same applies to film.
However, sometimes one of my pieces is printed and differs but looks better.
Were I a movie director who has spent many hours sitting in a grading suite lovingly crafting a piece that has taken the last two years of my life, I'd want it viewed as I intended.
I feel this is a case of taste, and it's not ok to impose on others. Choice is a good thing. A democracy is based on a level within reason of personal freedom.
Altering frame rates has no bearing on cinematography. That is unchanged.
Another however, there are many other things inflicted on a movie, that eclipse the frame rate issues.
A studio will often edit a movie, how often have you seen a ' directors cut' on blue ray? Because the movie has had whole sequences hacked out against the wishes of the director.
In the digital age, a director would like you to view the product in a theatre, but a lot of people view on a tiny phone screen, this alters the experience much more than a higher frame rate. I don't hear many people complaining about which device something is viewed on.
Television broadcast would in the past chop the image to a different ratio, television will still interrupt every ten minutes with advertising breaks. Nothing will ruin a viewing quite like someone trying to sell you breakfast cereal every few minutes.
People continue to use 24 FPS because of convention. Tradition is hard to break, especially when so many people have been accustomed to a look, and make association accordingly.
In other areas, film has strived for greater realism and naturalism, grain has been minimised, sets are more convincing, acting is more natural, writing has tended towards naturalism, visual effects are constantly evolving for greater realism. All this is an attempt to make movies closer to how we see the real world, but the greater naturalism attained by a higher frame rate is still frowned upon by some.
I' m not one of those. I find the soft grainy film look distracting, it's like viewing through a dirty window. If I can clean the window via some very clever television technology, I will.
Even if the director disapproves. But as I have already said, viewing with ad breaks on a six inch screen would also be not what was intended.
Digital Tek has enabled choice. Anyone can choose to view what they want, when they want, how they want. Television, in that regard, is way ahead of cinema, which hangs on to old conventions, and is at risk of being left behind as the world moves on.
In a theatre, you have little control over how you view or when you view.
TV allows freedom. Netflix will release an entire series so you can either view in installments or all at once. Films like okja were turned down by many film studios, Netflix allowed it to be made, as the writers wanted -slaughter scenes intact. If you object to the slaughter scenes, you can fast foreward.. The director wanted you to see it, but you don't have to. Freedom to choose.
If film doesn't evolve, it risks being left behind. TV and games are moving at a faster pace. Games already surpass film in popularity, why? Maybe because they offer more personal choice? . TV is now 4k whilst film stays predominantly 2k.
To view in whatever frame rate you wish, is there. I think all movies should be shot HFR, and screened in both HFR and low frame rate. The viewer can choose.
HFR will be attended by a younger audience, whilst low frame rate will be an older clientel.
Give it time and low frame rates will be phased out.the 1927 decision to use 24 FPS, will eventually be forgotten. Only now has the technology allowed this to happen. But change doesn't come easy.
In some countries, a manual car gear box is still the most used! I find the rejection of an automatic gear shift incomprehensible. Some people can't let go of old ways. I've heard objection to driverless cars on the grounds of ' I enjoy driving'. Fair enough, buy a day at a racetrack to do your driving.
I'll be relaxing in my driverless car, thanks.

Great answer Daresaur 100% with you in this answer
 

Lio

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Unfortunately, I think you're right. It's many years away and I don't know that I'll live long enough to see it (and I'm not even 40) but eventually the horrible HFR video game look will take over.

One thing that gives me hope is that there hasn't been any movies since The Hobbit to use it so clearly few were impressed by the fake look of it. It might have changed but my understanding is that James Cameron will be shooting the Avatar sequels in HFR but I don't expect that to change any filmmaker's opinions either.

Why do you called it "the fake look" i see it more real and vivid (honest question)
 

Lio

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Like I said, all CG and every movement onscreen looks like a video game to me. Unfortunately, that undoes the positive of how great and detailed that static shots look and I consider the overall look of it to be fake.

Thank you for your time and answer, its nice to hear the different point of views
 

Adam Lenhardt

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