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back to article James Cameron to amp up Avatar frame rate

James Cameron has said he's decided to up the frame rate on Avatar 2 and 3 to give the movies an "added sense of reality". Speaking at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, the director suggested that he'd crank up the movies from 24 fps to 48 or 60 fps. He explained: "When you author and project a movie at 48 or 60, it becomes a different …

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Coat

What about showing the films?

So just after investing in 3D, cinemas will also need to buy 48fps projectors? Expect popcorn prices to be a tenner a bag soon, just to fund this stuff.

Mine's the one with the smuggled M&Ms in the pocket.

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It says in the article

that digital cinemas can already cope with 60fps. No idea if this is true, but it sounds like there maybe hope for popcorn and drink prices remaining at their already-exorbitant level....

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Read the article

The article says that digital cameras (not projectors) already cope at 60fps

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Digital projectors

All digital cinema class projectors will do a minimum of 120fps at full frame and 144fps in a reduced picture size (with the lens zooming up to full frame). Some models with newer boards will do 144fps full frame. The issue is that there is no standardised way of feeding them more than 24fps in 3D stereoscopic 2k resolution. The DCI forum are working on it, but right now no server supports decoding of JPEG 2000 at more than 48fps (24fps x 2).

Looks like another round of server upgrades for cinemas (~$15k per screen). And very likely there will also be a 24fps deliverable for those who don't upgrade.

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Strange

I read that sentence 3 or 4 times and each time saw "cinema" where it in fact says "camera". Oops!

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Thumbs Up! for 60fps

Although shame that blu-ray couldnt cope? But full HD spec is 1080p x 60fps afterall. Everyone chooses to default back to 30!

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jai
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yes but...

...thumbs down for someone green-lighting not just a 2nd but a 3rd film too :(

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Coat

60fps

60fps gives video a "soap opera" effect, according to PowerDVD. Having seen it, I quite agree. The characters move very smoothly and the colors are notably brighter. Makes it even more odd when a viewer such as PowerDVD "upscales" old DVD content not only to 1080p, but to 60fps as well. Had to pop the DVD in the normal player just to make sure the movie really was as crappy-looking as I remembered it.

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Unhappy

THE STORY!!!

WORK ON THE F*&(ING SCREENPLAY!

stop pissing about with the technical stuff and realise that great films start with the screenplay.

This clown is a long way from the 80's Cameron who wrote/ directed Terminator, Aliens/Abyss - films with ideas.

Honestly, you and George Lucas should be ashamed.

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I think they did it on purpose

I think they deliberately went very generic - they wanted something that they could sell everywhere and would offend nobody.

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PochaFernDeath

Avatar : Reworking Pochahontas, throwing in elements of Fern Gulley and setting it on Harry Harrison's Pyrrus.

Using that formula, the sequel may as well take Snow White, chuck in some bits of Open Season and set it all on LV-426.....

Actually, that might work........

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Headmaster

"added sense of reality"

It's too bloody real already for some.

The only real 'blue people' are not the Smurfs, not the Naavi but the Nac McFeegles.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: PochaFernDeath

It's a simple classic storyline as befits an epic film. You know this is acceptable cinematic convention, and happens all the time, right? Every movie is not expected to be Memento.

I sure am looking forward to an afternoon of people bleating "IT'S DANCES WITH SMURFS LOL" as if they were the first to ever think of it, though.

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Coat

"Every movie is not expected to be Memento"

Thank fuck for that

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Headmaster

almost

wouldn't it be more like

" ITS DANCS WIT SMURFS LOLZ LOOSERS!"

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RE: Every movie is not expected to be Memento

Why not? Would demanding a higher level of originality and intelligence in our films be a bad thing? Personally I would rather Hollywood's output dropped off by 80-90% if we saw an equivalent rise in quality.

Who knows, maybe if more films were actually worth seeing, more people might actually pay to go watch them. Radical, I know.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: RE: Every movie is not expected to be Memento

It's not about some single ideal - there are so many different types of film and you cannot expect them all to conform to one standard. That would be weird, and all films would be the same and it would be extremely dull, and you'd go on the internet to complain about it.

Some films fail and some succeed on a creative level - it's a matter of what they set out to be and how fully they realise that. Zombieland is one of the best films I've seen in recent years - it's just a little comedy, nothing groundbreaking or thought-provoking or moving, but it's so complete and has so clearly fulfilled its own brief that it's massively satisfying. There's more than one kind of 'good'.

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Dances with smurfs

Well it IS Dances with Smurfs. Actually, it's more Fern Gulley than Dances with Wolves - but it doesn't have Robin Williams' bat to redeem it ... though 90% of the visual effects (particularly landscapes) were directly lifted from Roger Dean's artwork without him getting a penny.

The original content of the film could probably be written on the back of a beermat - Cameron even plagiarised himself by bringing back Aliens-style loaders, with guns chucked on, and dropships (Sigourney Weaver doesn't count - the character WAS different). It's such a monumentally overrated film.

That's not to say it's a BAD film - disengage brain, drink beer, eat pizza, watch Avatar - like Starship Troopers, it's fine in that context, though Starship Troopers was a little more subversive. Avatar certainly doesn't deserve the praise it's received so please, just allow us to mock in ways that have all the originality of the film itself.

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Heart

Zombieland

It has Zombies

It has Bill Murray

It manages to squeeze Emma Stone into a pencil skirt

It has a Black Keys track in the soundtrack

"Zombie take down of the day!"

Awesome film

Good shout, Mistress Moderatrix

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RE: Re: RE: Every movie is not expected to be Memento

I think I failed to get my point across clearly. I wasn't implying that all movies should be the same as Memento, just that I would take a far smaller number of films if they were on a par with it. Not to sound like a Chris Nolan fanboi, but Dark Knight was good, though nothing like Memento, and as you say, Zombieland was excellent.

But for every Memento there are 50 I still Know What You Did Last Summer's.

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Well then they failed.

All I saw was the trailers and I was offended enough not to pay to see it.

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False Dichotomy

It's not either/or. He can do both. There's no reason he shouldn't be pushing the technology if that's what he loves to do. Why piss on his parade?

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Oh, stop bitching

Who didn't know what to expect when they walked in there, eh? I went in expecting some amazing eye-candy with a fairly pedestrian plot to provide an excuse to keep the pretty stuff appearing on screen. I got exactly what I was expecting, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not every film is or needs to be Citizen Kane. In fact, just to hear the screams of the film buffs, I would even say not even Citizen Kane is Citizen Kane - I tried again to watch that the other day, still had to turn it off partway through because it was boring as shit.

If you want amazing plots, go read a book.

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@Oh stop Bitching

"If you want amazing plots, go read a book."

I could not agree more.. Some of my favourite books / book series have long arcing storylines that would be impossible to convey in a 2 hour movie, or even a series of movies. I read books for an engaging story, and films to be entertained for a couple of hours.

Occasionally you come across a fantastic film that ticks both boxes ("Fight Club" and "The Usual Suspects" spring to mind) but these are few and far between.

I actually thoroughly enjoyed Avatar - I even took my Dad & Step Mum to see it when they visited one time and they both stayed awake all the way through - which is a bloody astonishing feat let me tell you!! :-)

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Boffin

since the shutter is "closed for less time"

well yes in the land where adding extra frames makes seconds longer...

In order to fit more FPS each frame is displayed for less time, meaning on average the shutter, is open for..... the same amount of time...

Plonkers.

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FAIL

Not really.

Only if you don't understand the mechanics of film (and presumably digital) projectors, particularly how the shutters actually work.

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Rotating Disc Shutter

Just rotates faster, at no point do you increase the apperture, hence duration of the frame, in the disc.

The overall exposure remains the same.

Fail back at ya!

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Bring it on

Of course it will probably clog the interwebs as it will further double the size of the video files being shared via bittorrent (As if 3D wasn't enough).

It probably won't make any difference anyway, with most action films these days it seems, the net result will just be that we will have 60FPS 3D shaky camera action scenes. Oh joy.

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Stop

Not as much as you might expect.

A higher frame rate will generally have lower inter-frame difference, so will compress better for the same perceptual quality.

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Fantastic News

That's really good news. With large cinema screens, the distance objects move between frames can be very large. This is why the whole thing looks like jerky shit whenever anyone pans a camera from one side to another.

Not just 3D, but normal films will benefit massively from an increased framerate. It's just a shame they don't go up to 120Hz or so while they're at it.

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WTF?

48 or 60fps?

Wouldn't it make it look less "filmy" and more "TV showy"?

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I thought there was resistance to the higher fps for this very reason.

Higher frame rate stuff tends to look more like TV shows and people tend to associate 'TV show' with 'cheap and nasty'....

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You are quite correct.

This is a major reason for resistence to higher FPS in the film industry.

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Low framerate = cinematic

I remember a story about the MTV Video Music Awards, the first year they were shown live in HD. The producers chose 720p as the broadcast format, which has a 30fps frame rate, rather than 1080i (which is 60 fields per second)

Afterwards, there was quite a bit of speculation that the event had not been broadcast live at all, and was in fact pre-recorded. Historically, so much pre-recorded material (especially drama) is originated on film that viewers have associated the lower framerate with material that is "not live".

The low framerate also contributes to the scale of a cinema presentation; watch a blu-ray with your TV's motion fill-in turned on, and then turned off. To me, the basic 24fps is "better", despite the motion-compensated one being "more realistic".

If Hollywood audiences wanted realism, Ken Loach would be a living on a yacht, and Jerry Bruckheimer would be flipping burgers somewhere.

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There is still the problem of 600 million years of evolution.

Your eyes have to focus on the screen, but this differs from the apparent distance to the object as apparent from stereo information. This is a new situation, in the sense that in 600 million years of evolution our eyes have not had to deal with it until now.

Alternatively, if you do not believe in evolution, GOD DID NOT MAKE US THAT WAY. 3D FILMS ARE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL!!

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Coat

IF GOD WANTED US TO SEE IN 3D...

...HE'D HAVE GIVEN US TO EY... waitaminute...

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Headmaster

hrm...

I'm glad no one gave me to eyes. Giant eyes would be creepy, twice over if the owned me.

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Who or what is "the"?

Unless it's a pet name for yon Moderatrix. Doesn't she own us all anyway?

Sorry, I meant "pwn".

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Title

If he's talking about the shutter being open and closed, presumably he means the old mechanical rotating shutters?

But these already project at 48 fps for that very reason - they just show each film frame twice.

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Yes, except it is actually 3 shutters per frame.

For 72 fps (but three identical frames at a time).

Been reparing 16mm projectors the past 2 months.

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About time

It's ridiculous that x and y resolutions have been going up and up for years but resolution of the t dimension has remained the same for decades.

Because high frame rates remind people of cheap 70s TV broadcasts, there has been an absurd mental block in effect for just as long. If you were to play a 24fps clip to a group of people and then the exact same clip at 60fps to another group and ask them to estimate the film's budget, you'd probably find that the 24fps clip rates higher.

Sometimes people just need to be told that their feelings are wrong.

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Cinema vs home

Of course, unless your brand new 3D TV / Blu Ray player can cope, you'll just *have* to go see this at the cinema.

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WTF?

In fact, it is just reality

In fact, it's just bollocks. In one swift move, we've achieved, hey, domestic TV refresh rates (pick your appropriate side of the pond!). That 24 fps frame rate's been a pain in the backside for telecine designers for years.

Perhaps this time Cameron will make the right film - y'know, science fiction and all that - and give an answer to the unasked question: on a world in which every other animal has six limbs, the smurfs (thanks, Sarah - I hadn't heard that one!) only have four - and yet they can do the magic spaghetti monster stuff with the tendrils. Since the smurfs have the wrong number of limbs they're obviously imported; since they can do the tendril thing - and yet have no visible technology - they're obviously bred for the purpose.

By whom, and why? That's the film I want to see, not yet another western-in-spaaaaaaace!

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How about

they run the original Avatar at 60 fps

That way we won't have to sit there for so bloody long

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Jos
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agreed

That's mostly how I watched it on DVD anyways. Still wasted a half hour of my life...

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But then...

We'd be complaining about "Dances with Chipmunks", Shirley?

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Happy

Great!

Jolly good luck to him! The last film I managed to have the patience to sit through was Titantic 'cos I wanted to get off with the girl I went with, who later became my wife! The only film I have watched in the last 10 years has served it's purpose, cheers James!

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@Sarah and Cowherd

Nothing wrong with a simple storyline, if it's done well. Two of my three favourite films ever are Die Hard and Aliens. Neither of those two score highly on storyline complexity - but they do score pretty well on script and characters. The irony with Avatar is that as the visuals went 3D, the characters went 1D. Conservation of dimensions, or something.

(My third favourite film is Bagdad Cafe, if anyone cares. That's the film with CCH Pounder, not the godawful TV series with Whoopie Goldberg.)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @Sarah and Cowherd

I think the characters are fine in context - we know what they want and we can empathise with them and want them to succeed, which is all you really need. It's very basic and it presses your buttons. For more subtle and enriching character development, you go elsewhere. Cameron knows exactly what he's doing with the various elements of film - he's a master.

For seriously bad/non-existent characterisation, check the Star Wars prequels.

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non-existent characterisation

My biggest problem was with the bad guys. Giving the good guys something less 1D fight would do wonders to a movie like this. I can't tell you the name of the corporate weasel or army guy, but everyone remembers Darth Vader...

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