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What do you do when 30p looks more 'filmic' than 24p?
  • Hear me out, I recognise I'm going against all established norms in filming BUT on lower res cameras, and specifically I mean the Olympus video HD output WHEN converting to black and White using film convert or just using the saturation and general color board in FCPX I find 30p convert better and looks to my eye more filmic. I'm guess this is a simple fact that 30p is more defined and crisp looking which when in B&W actually has more defined out of focus and in focus and generally helps contrasty black and white that is all about the edges and 24p can if not the best codec and bitrate look muddy in B&W.

    Ok this is fine its subjective but what I'm wondering is how this can complicate things for distribution of a documentary. Could it still be shown in a theatre or would it have to be converted to 30p etc.

  • 28 Replies sorted by
  • Get a second opinion?

  • it is possible that your camera alters the compression and shutter/iris settings in 30p mode, right? it is then because of the other settings that you like this mode better, possibly.

  • Lets not exaggerate the difference between 30p and 24p from the start here. Many people I guarantee, even professionals wouldn't be able to tell the difference. When most people are upset about videos frame rates they really mean 60p not 30p. I'll try to upload some examples that prove my point.

  • What is 'filmic'?

  • So which one is a more pleasing 'Cinematic image' try to keep an open mind, the test is not in anyway scientific as its someone else footage, it is however the same sensor in the EM5 OMD, bitrates and a million other factors vary of course but this is trying to illustrate why I'm finding 30p to look more pleasing as an image than 24p. I put the footage through the same Filmconvert process.

    @caveport Some debates need to you take a certain amount of assumptions, I can't have that debate right now. Plus its not an honest question cause I'm sure you are itching to share your view on it.

  • I gave up on the 'cinematic' 'filmic' discussion years ago. The image either looks good or it doesn't. There is a lot more going on than frame rates. 16fps looks 'cinematic' if you compare it to old silent film. It's all about one's point of reference.

  • @caveport. I did too but there is almost no debate about 24p being the framerate of choice. And I am doing exactly what you said focusing on what image looks best, which to my eye in this particular case is 30p.

    And the actual original question is will this cause any problems if say I wanted to have a theatrical release?

  • @goanne. I am asking for a second opinion but no one wants to give it.

  • pretty sure you can go to theatrical release with 30p (please someone correct me if I am wrong here) - after all many documentaries have been filmed in 60i or 30p and even went to film for theatrical release. If you want to print to film, you will need to apply some sort of reverse telecine, though if staying digital, just pick your frame rate and be done.

  • Due for imminent release? Do what the distributor says. Destined for a wait in the cupboard? Shoot 30P.

  • @suresure123 There are a ton of other variables involved in the example clips you showed, but the first clip looked far more "filmic" to me than the second one. Make of that what you will.

  • Folks, als long as you see this on a computer (or the like), 30 fps will always look better! Very few monitors can display 24 fps with their original frame rate. Any comparison only makes sense on native display technology.

  • @nomad I agree, the right frame rate is the one that syncs properly with the display. For 48fps film projectors, that was 24fps. For 60hz LCD monitors, it's 30fps. Shutter duration is what determines motion blur, not frame rate. The electronic shutters used by DSLR's cannot properly reproduce the effect of the 180-degree rotating shutters in classic film cameras. Rotating shutters produced smooth exposure ramps at the start and end of each frame. Electronic shutters produce temporal aliasing effects at the start and end of each frame, which exaggerates the inherent judder of low-frame-rate video. When the frame rate does not evenly divide into the display rate, it produces periodic beat frequencies that can be noticeable while panning across brightly-lit scenes. The effect is usually subliminal, but you can see it quite clearly in viewfinders that interleave RGB planes at non-standard frame rates.

  • Red has a pretty good explanation on their site:

    They even have a solution, but it's more expensive than most of the cameras we are discussing here…

  • So, the obvious solution is for a manufacturer to make a camera with a relatively large sensor and rotating shutter.

  • So 24p while not looking great on my computer screen will look better if it was made into a digital print and was viewed in a movie theatre?

  • @ 4CardsMan: It already exists from Arri.

    @suresure123: Yes. Or if you burn it to a Blu-Ray and play it on a projector or screen which can handle it without adding pulldown.

  • @LPowell 35mm film projectors are 24fps with a three-bladed shutter which increases flicker rate to 72fps. 24fps movies on an electronic display don't have this feature, hence the un-natural look on playback. After reading many comments in forums about the so-called 'cinematic' look I have realised that most people have a very limited understanding of how all the technical details of film production, from aquisition to projection, affect the overall viewer experience. Frame rate is just one part of the whole look.

  • @suresure123 If you have distribution lined up, speak with your technical point of contact re what they want from you. If you're producing film with hopes to secure distribution, that's another story, in which case you should get advice from someone who's familiar with technical requirements for distribution.

    Perhaps someone here at personal-view has experience with theatrical distribution and can chime in with advice here.

  • Analog film projection needed that three-bladed shutter to increase flicker frequency to make it (nearly) invisible to the human eye. But, of course, it didn't increase temporal resolution. Temporal resolution of film was chosen at the beginning of the sound era and meant to be just barely enough for "decent" sound at the time (silent film was 16-18 fps). Modern displays or projectors don't flicker (well, apart from 3D with shutter glasses). But it'll never look the same as analog film again.

  • @caveport Archived discussion of 48fps two-bladed Simplex 35 cinema projectors:

  • @LPowell Thanks for the info. It is 24fps with 2 bladed shutter which creates a 48Hz flicker rate.

  • Film projectors with triple-blade shutters aren't so common. The majority have two blades. Three blades reduce the flicker, but also the light output.

    Digital cinema projectors don't have any shutter. Are they not cinematic?

    60 Hz computer monitors display 24p just fine. They display one frame of the video twice, and the next frame three times, repeating. It's the same way TV and DVD and Blu-ray have been doing 24 fps material in NTSC countries since the earliest days of movies on TV.

    What you're finding is that 30p just looks better than 24p, not more "filmic". There's not a huge difference anyway. Use 30p unless you have some particular need to shoot 24p.

    60p is even better. If for some reason you prefer the look of 30p, you can always shoot 60p and throw out every other frame to get 30p. But I promise you, tastes are changing, and the association between 24p (or 30p) and something being "cinematic" will disappear over time.

  • flick flick flick motherfucka flick fliik flick

  • Damn I never thought those old projectors were such a technical feat.