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I love, love, love the soap opera effect!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Panavision70, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Screenwriter

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    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.
     
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  2. 42 Nov 11, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    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.
     
  3. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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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.
     
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  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    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.
     
  5. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    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.
     
  6. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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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.
     
  7. 47 Nov 14, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    LeoA

    LeoA Cinematographer

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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.
     
  8. zoetmb

    zoetmb Stunt Coordinator

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    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.'”


    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.
     
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  9. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    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.
     
  10. Martin_Teller

    Martin_Teller Stunt Coordinator

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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!”
     
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  11. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    Why does it bug you what people like? I don't agree with watching Soap Opera mode. But who am I to disparage what others do?
     
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  12. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    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.
     
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  13. Jimbo64

    Jimbo64 Second Unit

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    Thank you!
     

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