3D High Frame Rate film

By | January 9, 2013

Well, that was interesting.

I just saw The Hobbit in 3D High Frame Rate. Ignoring the plot, design, acting and so on for a moment, I was struck by the 3D response I got. Normally, I have monoscopic vision due to my extremely far-sighted left eye, so seeing something recognizably 3D was really surprising. It ran counter to all of my experience with the real world. I’m really not sure what was going on there – maybe there’s something about the technology that triggers it for me or maybe I do really see 3D after all, but without enough response to make it noticeable. Either way, it was awesome and new, and more testing is warranted.

As for the high frame rate, I really liked it. As a player of games, I really appreciate high frame rates as they let my eyes blur the motion rather than having it presented to me pre-blurred on film. There were a few moments of oddness early on, of course, Bilbo puttering around his house on speed and bunnies running faster that seems natural, but I got over that fast. In all, it felt a lot like an extremely well rendered computer game running on really good hardware. If we can expect that more from movies in the future, then I’m looking forward to it.

For another interesting perspective on 3D HFR in The Hobbit and the direction of high frame rates in film, I’d suggest reading Kevin Kelly’s post on the subject.