Latest post Fri, May 30 2014 6:35 PM by Job ter Burg. 31 replies.
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  • Wed, May 28 2014 5:05 PM

    Why shoot 24p for TV?

    One of my pet peeves is cameramen who shoot 24fps for projects that are only intended for television and will NEVER have a theatrical release.   They insist 24fps looks more like film.  I contend it is the gamma curve of the camera, the sensors, lenses, lighting, color correction, etc., that makes the image look filmic—there is nothing inherent in the slower frame rate that makes an image look like film.

    In order to use their 24fps footage in a broadcast commercial, I have to convert it to 29.97 (30p), so it seems to defeat the purpose of shooting in 24fps when shooting exclusively for television.

    I always shoot 30p to get the most information into the camera.  I set my camera’s gamma curve to emulate a certain film stock, use film style lighting (I was trained to light film) and then color correct to create the look I’m after.   When I do this, some of these cameramen swear I shot 24fps.

    If there is a compelling reason to shoot 24fps for television, I’d love to hear about it?

     

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  • Wed, May 28 2014 5:17 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: What shoot 24p for TV?

    This is somewhat of a religous argument, and therefore impossible to conclude.

    But, one small difference.  Assuming the same camera and that when you are shooting 29.97, you are shooting Progressive, then the only real difference comes down to shutter speed and the associated look defined by that.

    All things being equal, 23.976 will have a slightly longer shutter speed, which means there will be more inherent motion blur on moving objects.  29.97 will have a shorter shutter speed and less motion blur.  Since we have grown up with the longer shutter speed of 23.976, that is one "clue" that the brain takes to say "Ah HA!  Film".

    Now if you are shooting 29.976 interlace, then the shutter speed is even shorter and much less motion blur is captured.   Some will say that this is one of the biggest pointers to the "dreaded video look".

    Another "clue" we get that tells our brain "film" is 2:3 pulldown which is necessary to bring 23.976 into 59.94 broadcast standard.  While it can be argued that the artifacts of this process are horrible, it is how we have been viewing films on TV for decades.  We are used to it.

    So, compelling reason?  More motion blur maybe.  Less frames to deal with in a VFX situation.  Lower data rates for web delivery.  Beyond that?  Voodoo.

    My perspective.

    Jef

     

     

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  • Wed, May 28 2014 5:57 PM In reply to

    Re: What shoot 24p for TV?

    jef:

    All things being equal, 23.976 will have a slightly longer shutter speed, which means there will be more inherent motion blur on moving objects.  29.97 will have a shorter shutter speed and less motion blur.  Since we have grown up with the longer shutter speed of 23.976, that is one "clue" that the brain takes to say "Ah HA!  Film".

    Thanks for the insight, Jef.   I've never been a fan of motion blur, so maybe that's why I'm not a fan of 24p.  I shoot a lot of fluid camera shots and I hated when refresh rates of ealier HDTV's were too slow.   A near religous argument, as you say.

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  • Wed, May 28 2014 7:12 PM In reply to

    • Kyle
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    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    Well having worked on several projects that shot both 24 and 30 on the same camera I'm definitely in the "24 looks MUCH better and filmic than 30 or any of the higher frame rates" camp. But I'll also agree that this is a fairly religious issue. But you can DEFINITELY tell the difference. 

     

    It's also easier to convert 24 into any other frame rate rather than starting with 25, 30 or 60

  • Wed, May 28 2014 11:07 PM In reply to

    • TVJohn
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    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    30p.

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  • Wed, May 28 2014 11:13 PM In reply to

    • jwrl
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    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    As I think I may have posted elsewhere on these forums, I have had an experienced post production individual effectively call me a liar when I showed him an SD video project - he was convinced that it was film.  Until I dug out the original footage and showed him that, nothing would convince him that it wasn't.

    The difference was in the grading.  But this issue goes even deeper than grading.

    I remember reading a paper by a post-grad student at one of the Californian universities written some time in the late '80s or early '90s.  She had a done a series of blind tests of a range of different program segments.  That's"blind" in the testing sense, not "blind" in the vision sense!  Interestingly, the take away message was that if the audience enjoyed the program content they tended to assume that it was film, and if they didn't they tended to assume it was video.  They were wrong as often as they were right.

    This result held true, regardless of whether the audience was an "educated" one or not, although as you would expect the "educated" audience did get it right more often.  The word "educated" here means in the film industry sense, not academically.

    So unfortunately when I hear arguments about "film-look" (whatever that may be) being in some way superior, the old BS detector kicks in.  I have seen apalling pictures on both video and film, and I've seen great pictures on both media.

    This argument will inevitably go away as alternative capture and distribution systems grow, and the so-called film look will be relegated to sepia tone, ferrotype, bleach bypass, etc. - an effect you use for nostalgic reasons.  Which is where it deserves to be.

    Remember, the average gamer expects frame rates in excess of 60 fps, and they're bringing that aesthetic to everything else that they view.

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  • Wed, May 28 2014 11:33 PM In reply to

    • jwrl
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    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    Terry Snyder:
    If there is a compelling reason to shoot 24fps for television, I’d love to hear about it?
    Following on from that, Terry, I've just been talking through a young editor on a workflow to deal with this issue here.  She's absolutely tearing her hair out because the cameraman insisted on shooting at 23.98 fps for a project that will only ever be screened at 25 fps.  His argument was "it's what they're all doing in Europe".  I'll bet they're not, especially if the BBC or German television have anything to say about it!

    So this young woman is having to speed up all her footage by 4% and pitch shift the audio to match.  Needless to say, this was never budgetted for.

    I know what I'll be saying if anyone asks me if I know that cameraman's work.

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  • Thu, May 29 2014 12:53 AM In reply to

    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    jwrl:

    Remember, the average gamer expects frame rates in excess of 60 fps, and they're bringing that aesthetic to everything else that they view.

    Good point, John. Just a couple of years ago when I first started delivering videos for web streaming, I had to alter the way I'd been shooting for years because the streaming rate could not handle most camera moves--even when these were smooth and aesthetically motivated.  YouTube streaming still does not handle strong camera moves without some motion blurring, but it's getting better every day.  Not to mention that people are spending lot's of money to buy big screen HDTV's with 240hz refresh rates. 

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  • Thu, May 29 2014 3:53 AM In reply to

    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    Terry Snyder:
    If there is a compelling reason to shoot 24fps for television, I’d love to hear about it?

     

    It is a look. No more, no less. It is one of many factors that makes an image "cinematic".

     

    30p to 24p conversion is not the same as shooting 24p native. Your time slices have already occured in different intervals. Any conversion to 24p at that point is just interpolated frames.

     

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  • Thu, May 29 2014 6:22 AM In reply to

    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    One reason I can think of is that if you shoot 23.976 or 24p, and edit and master in 23.976 or 24p, you end up with a master that can be more easily converted to both 59.94i and 50i for international delivery.

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  • Thu, May 29 2014 6:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    I'm hopeful the "film look" will be a fad that will eventually disappear. Film at 24fps was always a compromise between the cost and run time of film reels and the look was just a consequence of that.

    We aren't limited to those constraints any longer and it's interesting to see the newer generation using higher framerates for a more realistic look.

    I spend quite a bit of time sppeding up 24fps to make 25fps and then having to pitch shift and speed up the audio.

    The best of all is when somebody has shot 24fps for the look and then at some point of the edit youn park on a frame and they see the blending. They question what they are seeing and you explain that their original nice clean frames are now blended into compiled frames (assuming you have just converted 24-25 at the same speed).

    They often ask what the solution to having nice clean frames is and the answer of course shoot at 25fps!

     

     

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  • Thu, May 29 2014 11:54 AM In reply to

    • Kyle
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    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    Even though it was a compromise nevertheless I think most of us have grown to associate that look with quality. Did you see the hobbit in 48? Maybe you liked it but I couldn't stand the look of it. And those TV's with 240hz refresh rates are TERRIBLE. The higher frame rates are great for giant screen theme park attractions, but that's the only time the "super-speed" look of it isn't noticeable. 

  • Thu, May 29 2014 11:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    I do too much interlaced TV work so I don'tlike the cinema at 24fps. It takes me 15 minutes or more to learn to ignore the motion judder.

    I love 50i and 59.94i even better itlooks great.

    And while it used to associate high production values with that film look sadly I see too much horrible 24P & 25P content tohave destroyed that.....

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  • Thu, May 29 2014 12:56 PM In reply to

    • jwrl
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    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    Kyle:
    Did you see the hobbit in 48? Maybe you liked it but I couldn't stand the look of it.
    I did see the hobbit at 48 fps.  Not only did it not disturb me one iota, I was too busy watching the story to pay too much attention to the lack of flicker.
    Kyle:
    And those TV's with 240hz refresh rates are TERRIBLE.
    You'll get no argument from me on that.  But then I don't see the point of interpolating extra frames with cheap chips that crush whites and tear on image highlights.  The processing that TV set manufacturers do to the signal to achieve those rates only degrades it.  Of course it looks terrible.

    On the other hand if the manufacturer has chosen not interpolate motion and just repeats the frame display the end result is no different to a multiblade shutter in a movie projector.  In which case you shouldn't have any trouble with it.

    But neither of those are what we're talking about.  Higher frame rates are probably more or less inevitable.  Where they will end up, who knows?  I suspect that it may be somewhere north of 48 fps - possibly even as high as 72 fps or even 75.  Who knows?  Ultimately, who will even care?

    As long as we can still tell stories.

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  • Thu, May 29 2014 1:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Why shoot 24p for TV?

    jwrl:
    I was too busy watching the story
    There was story in that movie?

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