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James Cameron Supercharges 3-D

Terrific, extensive, technical interview with James Cameron on the state and future of 3-D filmmaking:

For three-fourths of a century of 2-D cinema, we have grown accustomed to the strobing effect produced by the 24 frame per second display rate. When we see the same thing in 3-D, it stands out more, not because it is intrinsically worse, but because all other things have gotten better. Suddenly the image looks so real it’s like you’re standing there in the room with the characters, but when the camera pans, there is this strange motion artifact. It’s like you never saw it before, when in fact it’s been hiding in plain sight the whole time. […]

[P]eople have been asking the wrong question for years. They have been so focused on resolution, and counting pixels and lines, that they have forgotten about frame rate. Perceived resolution = pixels × replacement rate. A 2K image at 48 frames per second looks as sharp as a 4K image at 24 frames per second … with one fundamental difference: the 4K/24 image will judder miserably during a panning shot, and the 2K/48 won’t. Higher pixel counts only preserve motion artifacts like strobing with greater fidelity. They don’t solve them at all.

(Via John August.)

Saturday, 12 April 2008