I love how so many "pro-HFR" people turn to insulting comments towards people. This is a poll, and this is all opinion. Personally, I am stuck in the middle. I like the "feel" of the 24FPS experience, but HATE how it has what I call "stuttering blur"... You know, not even a smooth blur to show action. I then, in turn, love the clarity that you get with the higher frame rate, but hate how artificial things look.
I have not seen Smaug in HFR and won't for 2 reasons,
1) HFR for the previous Hobbit film really messed up the experience for me (I went to Cinemark's HQ theater in the Plano, TX area, saw it on their massive screen, in HFR 3D, with Dolby Atmos sound. It was the "full on" experience, and I enjoyed it much more a couple of days later at a "regular" theater in 24FPS 2D with regular surround sound with my daughter. I want to have that level of enjoyment for DoS.
2) The only HFR theater anywhere near me is about 75 minutes away, and it isn't even on their largest screen, so IF I make that drive, I would rather have it on their biggest screen than HFR.
I have heard that the HFR in Smaug is MUCH improved over the previous Hobbit movie, so it will get better and I am not so anti-HFR that I don't want it to succeed. I do, but I just don't think that it quite there yet. I mean, this is only the 2nd mainstream movie to use it (3rd overall), and in 2014 we will get the 3rd Hobbit movie and rumors of X-Men: Days of Future past as another possibility. James Cameron wants to do the next 3 Avatar installments at 60 FPS, but even then we are only talking a small handful of offerings total. Not enough to really get all of the kinks and mental issues worked out.
Mental issues? Yes, and I don't mean some people's opinion that HFR "dislikers" have mental issues, I am talking about how the human brain perceives motion. When something moves, the mind anticipates some level of blur to it until your eyes catch up to the moving object, refocus on it, and process that it is in motion. This may take just a tiny fraction of a second, but it is there. The brain processes this blur and then focus as acceleration. So now, take a movie displayed with the clarity of HFR, like at the beginning of the first Hobbit movie where "old" Bilbo is digging through a chest of items in his home. He reaches in, and you see zero blur and super clarity.... Since there is no sense of that fractional second of "blur," the brain processes it as "super fast" movement. Even though it is actually taking a "normal" amount of time to do what is being done on screen, and the time is the exact same as the non-HFR version, your brain is fooled into processing it otherwise. This is NOT a "you are just used to 24FPS from years of watching that way." This is just our brains trying to outsmart reality. Scott Wilkenson did an episode of Home Theater Geeks (#182)
about the Room as a video component, and at 20 minutes in, it talks about how the brain gets fooled based off of what it sees. At 23 minutes in, it shows some of the mind created illusions, and even after you KNOW that the colors are what they are, your brain still can't process it correctly. So even though, at least with the first Hobbit movie, people KNEW that things weren't really going at 100 miles per hour, your brain is still fooled by it. Now, I have heard that on the flip side, you CAN become accustomed to this perception if you already were watching movies at home with some sort of "smooth motion" setting turned on that some people like because of their desire for that "soap opera" look or whatever you want to call it. So once you cross that mental "acceptance" line, you are more apt to tolerate the illusion given by not having blur.
So there is actual science behind what all of those "dumb, stuck in the past" HFR "dislikers" are experiencing, and it shouldn't just be discounted. Here is what I think will really improve the whole experience:
1) With increased frame rates, add a touch of blur to the very beginning of motion sequences, this does NOT go through an entire screen, but just aids the brain in processing it and thus makes it actually MORE realistic.
2) With the increased clarity, higher resolution, and higher frame rates, studios need to go that extra step in lighting, make-up, sets, and CGI polish (or unpolish to make it not SO much better than the practical sets).
Again, most of this is just my opinion, however the mental hurdle about the motion/acceleration blur is real and was discussed in length a year ago when the first movie came out.
I would guess that some of these items have been addressed with Smaug, and thus the reason people are liking it more.
I embrace new technology, and look forward to when HFR is just the "normal frame rate," but more-so when we get that super high definition on the big screen (whether that screen is in a theater complex or at home). For now though, I am just one of those "dumb HFR-haters who is stuck in the past" as some previous posters would put it.
Just remember, when you only have mud to sling, you are the one who gets dirty.
(For those of you offering your positive experience with HFR without the name-calling, I am glad that you like it. You will be the one driving this technology to its potential. Thank you for that!)
I just went out and read the article that robnix posted (2nd post in this thread) about 40FPS instead of 48FPS. Good stuff. I am linking it again here:Hobbit High Frame Rate Science 48-Frames Per SecondEdited by nickbuol - 12/14/13 at 9:05am