Thanks to the intrepid cinematographers at Engadget, you can now get a taste of what The Hobbit might be like at 48 frames per second come December. I’ve seen test footage shot on the same cameras at 48fps, and I have to say that this is a decent representation of the experience.
The biggest hurdle filmmakers are going to face in the transition to higher frame rates is going to be inserting enough motion blur to keep the experience from feeling like a big screen soap opera, without rendering redundant all that extra image information and clarity that higher frame rates provide. There’s no question that higher frame rate cinematography is great for action shots, and that it creates a much more convincing and consistent illusion for 3D, but I firmly believe that the best use of 48fps will be in creating an ideal 24fps version of a film, smoothing out kicks, punches, and other fast moving material.
Engadget has shot footage of an offroad rally at 50fps, and then downsampled that footage to 25fps in a simulation of the process that The Hobbit will undergo. High frame rate is most problematic (for some viewers) during still and dialogue scenes, so pay careful attention to the people in line for the snack bar, and how the dune buggies seem to be a little too hyper-real in comparison.
Make up your own mind at: [Engadget]