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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey HFR 3D FAQ

November 7th, 2012 · 19 Comments · 3D Movies & Videos

A short official FAQ about the HFR 3D (High Frame Rate 3D) format using 48 frames per eye in 3D mode that will be available as an option for watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The movie will also be available in 2D, 3D, IMAX and IMAX 3D format, apart from the HFR 3D format that Peter Jackson is trying to promote and that he has announced to be used also for the sequels of the movie – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There and Back Again. James Cameron is apparently also interested in the high frame rate 3D format, so he might be using it for some of his upcoming 3D movies. And here comes the big question, is doubling the frame rate from 24 to 48 perin 3D really that good for a movie and does it make the experience much better? We’ll have to wait and see after watching the HFR 3D version of the movie, and when you do so as well please share your feedback as well in the comments below.

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19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Antriel // Nov 7, 2012 at 11:11

    I think doubling the frame rate will help a lot. Even in 2D I hated some movies for low framerate. I do see massive problems when camera is rotating around slowly.
    Now I can just hope some local cinema will play in such format.

  • 2 Daniel Stange // Nov 7, 2012 at 12:25

    Could not come soon enough, I think the vast majority of people will not like it though, everyone seems to associate it with being cheap like a soap opera.

    I think this is long over due and I am a little sad that they didn’t try for something even higher but this is still great.

    Think of all the new possibilities that this opens up. Panning shots can run at faster speeds, action scenes can move at a quicker pace since it will be easier to comprehend the actors faster motions, an entirely new set of motions and speeds are now available to film makers. I’m sure there are possibilities I can’t even imagine yet film makers have been banging their heads against a wall for years trying to deal with the 24 frame limitation.

    Unfortunately if directors are forced to also make 24 frame copies of their 48 frame movies they will not be able to take advantage of this new range of motions that will be available.

    I’m hopping that 24 frames is quickly fazed out, however, since streaming movies has become so popular and people are willing to sacrifice a little quality for convenience i’m not so sure that is going to happen any time soon.

  • 3 hjk105 // Nov 7, 2012 at 13:38

    What are the technological differences between 3D (RealD 3D?) and IMAX 3D referred to in this FAQ?

  • 4 Bloody // Nov 7, 2012 at 16:31

    Peter Jackson is using Red Epic cameras for shooting the movie at 5K resolution with 48 fps, so this will be used as a source for converting the movie for different viewing methods. Normal 3D should be referring to RealD 3D / Dolby 3D or lower resolution/smaller screen compared to the IMAX 3D (unless the lower res digital version).

  • 5 eqzitara // Nov 7, 2012 at 19:52

    Hopefully this will push the Hobbit will be able to push the new format for hdtvs/projectors. Similiar to how avatar pushed the format all together.

  • 6 olli66 // Nov 7, 2012 at 20:19

    interesting…no way to play it with common 3d hdtv sets then?

  • 7 Bloody // Nov 7, 2012 at 22:08

    There will be a 24 fps normal version being shown at cinemas, in fact this will be the widely available one as there will be a limited number of movie theaters capable of showing the 48 fps one, and the version released on Blu-ray 3D will be 24 fps as well…

  • 8 Renbry // Nov 8, 2012 at 02:02

    The big compromise in doing HFR is the shutter angle of the camera is lower (obviously to capture more frames) and this shows as less motion blur…
    …which is great for stereo 3D but not for mono 2D.

    The mono 2D will have a GREATER stutter/strobing effect than usual but this is the compromise in doing HFR and mono 2D prints of the film.

    The HFR 3D @ 48 looks stunning….you don’t even want to blink – think of a direct-retinal feed of information rather than a zoetrope from the 1910’s. Yes, that big of a difference.

  • 9 olli66 // Nov 8, 2012 at 19:55

    wow. so when will the 3d@48p find place on disc? is a totally new standard needed? new players? new TV sets etc.?

  • 10 Jason Gilbert // Nov 9, 2012 at 12:27

    Asus Going Past 120Hz, Meet the New 144Hz Asus VG278HE 3D Monitor

    This makes total sense now…they probably needed these to make the movie. I bet they used early models for production.


    144Hz = 48p x 3

  • 11 Renbry // Nov 9, 2012 at 23:49

    1080 @ 48p isn’t a ratified standard yet, so we’ll probably get some derivative on Bluray (unfortunately) but then if Avatar is going 60p then I wouldn’t want a new standard TOO soon!!

    I assume that theatre projectors are double-exposing already (i.e running at 96 fps so that’s why they say it’s a software upgrade to accept 48p)

    No special monitors used for making Hobbit ;)

  • 12 StuartM // Nov 11, 2012 at 12:26

    I first noticed the problems of 24fps in 3D in Tintin. Muzzle flashes from gun-shots looked really bad. Hope there is a HFR 3D version of this near me when it comes out

  • 13 Buenoblue // Nov 11, 2012 at 22:41

    Cant wait. I have a 3d dlp projector and have been using avisynth with ffdshow to frame interpolate 3d sbs rips. Though artefacts come in to play, watching a 3d movie with 60fps to each eye is mesmerising. So fluid, I can’t watch standard 3d now. Maybe an article about 3d frame interpolation would be welcom.

  • 14 Renbry // Nov 12, 2012 at 08:33

    @Buenoblue –
    interesting that you say that, because with 48fps comes twice as much temporal information that makes those high-frame-rate interpolation schemes able to operate more efficiently and with higher quality output…
    so you could go from 48 to 240 hz and it would look quite a bit better than 24 to 240 because it’s starting with a more informed motion detection routine.

  • 15 Buenoblue // Nov 12, 2012 at 22:04

    The software that I’m using is called svp ( smoothe video project).

    It does more than repeat frames faster as playing a movie at higher hz does. It actually builds new frames based on the before and after, thus giving information that wasn’t previously there.

    It’s a free all in one solution, and I highly recommend you try it out.

  • 16 Badelhas // Nov 23, 2012 at 02:34

    I tried the SVP program the last user suggested and it’s great, movies look much better, did you get to try it, bloody? You should review it for 3d!

  • 17 MikeArms24 // Nov 28, 2012 at 21:15

    Hopefully this format helps usher in a new generation of displays that can accept 120hz input or more. I’m sick of settling on everything being 1080p24 on everything but my monitor.

  • 18 Daniel // Dec 17, 2012 at 11:10

    I have seen the movie in 48fps and 5k resolution. The image is stunning and the 3D is really good. It was so good that I am planning to see it again since this is the only chance to see it with this resolution since the final Blur-ay 3D will still be in 24fps 1080p :(

  • 19 ricky // Mar 7, 2013 at 16:38

    too bad i’ve lost the opportunity to see the movie at 48fps on cinema and now probably i will never be able to see it again as there is no standard around to watch 48fps 3d movies at home, even if with a pc we would be able to watch it right now.

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