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Frame rate debate rages on with 48 fps projection of 3D Hobbit footage

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
April 25, 2012
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With his use of Red cameras, 3ality rigs, and high frame rate 3D technology, no one can accuse Peter Jackson of being stuck in the past. Need more evidence of his anti-luddism? He just gave the first projection of footage from his 3D opus "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" in its full 48 fps glory at the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas. With the public having endured 80 years of 24 fps film-watching, Jackson appealed to viewers to allow their eyes to adjust to the doubled rate during the ten minute screening. But the reaction showed that public acceptance might take a while. One projectionist compared it to made-for-TV fare, and others referenced Mexican soap-operas and TruMotion. The reply to these criticisms by Jackson (and James Cameron) has always been that 3D is better suited to faster frame rates than 2D -- making it more immersive, reducing headaches and improving stereoscopy. We'll have to wait for the film's release this December to find out whether he's right, or if this attempt at high frame speeds will go the way of Showscan.

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