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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » Tom Cruise urges viewers to disable motion smoothing TVs

   
Author Topic: Tom Cruise urges viewers to disable motion smoothing TVs
Leo Enticknap
Film God

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From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 12-06-2018 08:00 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: BBC
Tom Cruise gives lesson in TV settings and 'motion smoothing'

In an impassioned video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, the Mission Impossible star warned that a default setting on many high-end televisions "makes most movies look like they were shot on high-speed video instead of film".

Taking a break from filming the new Top Gun film, he appeared alongside director Christopher McQuarrie, who pleads with viewers to do a quick internet search and find out how to change the correct settings.

“If you own a modern high-definition television," he said, "there’s a good chance you’re not watching movies the way the filmmakers intended, and the ability for you to do so is not simple to access."

Motion smoothing, or interpolation, is a technique that artificially adds additional frames to the moving image in order to prevent blurring - most effective when watching sport.

But many in the film industry hate it, however, as it can degrade the image quality of the original film, and alter colouring.

"It takes the cinematic look out of any image and makes it look like soap opera shot on a cheap video camera,” wrote American director Reed Morano, who started a petition calling for TV makers to turn the setting off.

"It is unbelievable that this is a default setting on all HDTVs because essentially what it is doing, is taking the artistic intention away from filmmakers.”

She suggested manufacturers could work with broadcasters to detect when sports coverage was being watched, and change the TV settings accordingly.

In the video posted on Tuesday, Mr Cruise added: “Filmmakers are working with manufacturers to change the way video interpolation is activated on your television, giving you easier access and greater choice on when to use this feature.”

Mr McQuarrie, who directed the most recent Mission Impossible film, said in the meantime people should search “Turn off motion smoothing [your TV brand here]”.

So 24fps is now the new retro chic, it seems...

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Denver, CO, USA
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 - posted 12-06-2018 01:18 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Based on the "success" of HFR movies, it appears the motion blur of 24 fps is part of what makes a movie "cinematic."

Harold

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Mike Blakesley
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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 12-06-2018 01:24 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
“If you own a modern high-definition television," he said, "there’s a good chance you’re not watching movies the way the filmmakers intended, and the ability for you to do so is not simple to access."
It is actually quite simple to access a film the way the filmmakers intended....just encourage people see it in a theater, TOM!

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 12-06-2018 07:16 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Harold Hallikainen
Based on the "success" of HFR movies, it appears the motion blur of 24 fps is part of what makes a movie "cinematic."
Yes, I'm pretty convinced right now that it is primarily the lack of motion blur and not the frame rate alone.

I've been experimenting with frame interpolation for a while now, using some Blu-Ray content projected on a rather big screen. The idea was to get rid of the "judder" in e.g. panning shots at 24 fps.

So, if you increase the amount of motion blur in those shots and even if you interpolate to 60 fps, the result is rather stunning: absolute smoothness without the loss of cinematographic looks.

I don't know exactly how the frame interpolation on the current Samsung televisions works, but I recorded it with a high frame-rate camera, nowadays to be found on any modern smart phone... I guess it does some advanced edge finding and interpolates between them, but it effectively removes motion blur in the process.

The result is an image that simply looks too real and therefore like a modern-day soap opera, shot at either 50 or 60 fields per second...

Movies really are a work of art. The distinct visual divergence from reality seems to be important for our suspension of disbelief.

Although 24 fps has been the fabric of Hollywood movies, I don't believe it's just the frame rate anymore. In the past, the suspension of disbelief was coupled to flicker, but flicker on TV was already much different than in the cinema, yet movies looked "cinematic" on TV, even when converted to 60 fields per second, the cinematic feel generally was well-preserved. Digital Cinema eventually ended the shutter, at least for anything 2D.

When The Hobbit came along and HFR made its debut, it made 48 fps look bad, but in the end, it came down to simple lack of motion blur. There are other movies, shot in 24 fps with fast shutters, that have a distinctive soap-opera look all over them.

Now, when filming in 60 fps, the exposure time simply won't cut it and you'll never get sufficient motion blur to make anything look cinematic. But just like color grading, this can be solved in post, by simply adding some digital motion blur to it.

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Harold Hallikainen
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 - posted 12-06-2018 10:07 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Speaking of shutters and flashes per frame, what is the duty cycle of the flash? If we do two flashes per frame at 24 frames per second, do we do this?

ON for 1/96 second
OFF for 1/96 second
ON for 1/96 second
OFF for 1/96 second

This puts the flicker frequency at 48 Hz and the frame rate at 24 Hz. But, the screen is only lit half the time. If we increase the duty cycle to the maximum, the screen would be lit for the full 1/24 second, which would give excessive flicker.

So, when we do 2 flashes per frame, whether film or digital, is the duty cycle 50%?

Harold

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Marcel Birgelen
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 - posted 12-07-2018 02:22 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The effective duty cycle may vary a bit between projector designs but should be around 50%. The 50% duty cycle seems to be important for people's perception, if you would only blank the screen during film transport, thus increasing the duty cycle of the flash, the resulting motion would be very unnaturally looking.

Most modern film projector use 3-blade shutters though, which flashes the image 3 times instead of twice. The duty cycle of the flash is the same, but the flash rate is much closer to the flicker fusion threshold for most people and therefore far less annoying than the traditional single blade (2 flashes per frame) shutters.

Digital projectors usually don't have shutters as they don't need to blank the screen to advance to the next frame. That's also the main reason why digital projectors in 2D mode, need less light to achieve the same perceived brightness.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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From: Annapolis, MD
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 - posted 12-07-2018 03:39 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Most mechanical shutters had an 84-90 degree blade (speaking of dual wing shutters) so yes close to 50%. When it comes to flicker, there is another factor and that is angular-velocity. That is, how fast you transition from closed to open and open to closed. Small shutters will have a more pronounced flicker (e.g. Christie P-35) due to their very slow angular velocity. Eventually, they addressed it by going to a single wing shutter and spinning it twice as fast.

Some, like Century, tried to get a faster velocity by going to a double-shutter (counter rotating system) however, with that you introduce artifacts since the center of the image is the last to close and the first to open, it inherently creates a brighter image in the center. Furthermore, any mechanical slop (gear lash) in the system will give the false impression of a wandering arc since the two blades will "bounce" with respect to each other. The mass of the blades will dictate the speed at which the "flicker" moves up/down.

I think a problem that people that have tried HFR (e.g. Hobbit and Billy Lynn) is that they couple it with 3D. They are two different tools to telling the story.

The vast majority of 3D installations use a single projector single lens system. So, with The Hobbit, you double flash both eyes and, as a consequence, introduce a motion artifact. This, I believe, gave the "sped up" look of The Hobbit in HFR. While the same would be true at 24fps (triple flash) I think the motion artifact gets absorbed in the motion blur of the slower 24fps material.

Another oft complaint with The Hobbit HFR was it ruined the suspension of disbelief because people felt like they were "on-stage" with the actors rather than being a mere observer to their actions. The "realism" actually emphasized that they were merely actors on a set rather than characters living out a story. I suspect that like all new technologies, it will take a while before people master how to utilize it properly.

I've shown Oklahoma! in 70mm 30fps and it doesn't have the Soap Opera look at all and nobody complains about it.

I think if directors want to use HFR, they should but stop tying it to 3D. 3D has its own very annoying problems. Every DCI compliant server out there can handle 48fps so use it, if you want. But keep it 2D. If people like 48fps, then worry about faster frame rates like 60 and higher. But once you go beyond 48fps, you will have some cinemas that cannot play it and that may be too much hassle for distribution.

To me, the 24fps "look" is part of the movie's look just like color saturation and frame composition. I don't believe in messing with it. So, in my house, motion interpolation is turned OFF. I dislike the plasticy look of it. I'm not against HFR but shoot it that way and I'll play it that way (home or cinema).

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Emiel De Jong
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 - posted 12-07-2018 03:48 AM      Profile for Emiel De Jong   Email Emiel De Jong   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Back in the 1990s when there were only tube tv sets an authority in film school explained an important difference between television and film in this -maybe not entirely true but I think very amusing- way: film is like a stroboscope: it activates your brain, while the scanning beam of television gives you a continuous rolling motion: meant to put you to sleep.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

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From: Annapolis, MD
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 - posted 12-07-2018 08:13 AM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In my post above, change all of the "angular velocity" statements to just velocity (or linear velocity). The angular velocity is the same for all double-wing shutters (in mechanical projectors) of 24 revolutions/second (1440 RPM). The Velocity is that multiplied by the radius of the shutter. So to cut the transition time in half, one can make the shutter twice as large in diameter or spin it twice as fast.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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 - posted 12-07-2018 11:24 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have completely disabled the motion interpolation functions in every TV set I've owned. And I've turned off those functions in several TV sets owned by friends and family. I just hate how it looks, even at "mild" settings. It not only makes a movie look like a soap opera on videotape, it really does make it look like playback from a VTR in an edit bay stuck in fast forward mode.

Aside from the soap opera effect style issue, these interpolation functions effectively reduce image resolution. At high settings any textures take on a smoothed out plastic look. When the TV set is trying to create extra in-between frames it's literally trying to create something out of nothing. For a 24fps Blu-ray played on a 120Hz TV set we're talking 4 fake frames in between each real actual frame of material. The TV set cannot perfectly guess where all the grain, texture detail and other important data is going to be on all those fake frames. The end result during playback is an image scrubbed to a more plastic-looking sheen, topped off with the soap opera effect. Grain, texture detail, etc is all gone.

I've heard people say the "motion enhancement" stuff is great for sports. Even there I disagree. Most sports networks broadcast in 720p/60. Why "enhance" that if it's already playing at 60fps? Additionally, the imagery is at a lower 720p resolution. So turning on the motion flow crap is going to dump the image detail down even lower, maybe even to SD levels if the setting is turned on to "high."

quote:
It is actually quite simple to access a film the way the filmmakers intended....just encourage people see it in a theater, TOM!
The reality is no one is going to watch every movie in a commercial movie theater. They'll watch a few at the cinema but watch most of them at home. It's too damn expensive otherwise. So, yeah, I applaud Tom Cruise for putting out that PSA about motion interpolation in TV sets. My only criticism is high profile actors and directors should have been saying this stuff over 10 years ago when the first 120Hz TV sets were hitting the market.

quote: Steve Guttag
I think a problem that people that have tried HFR (e.g. Hobbit and Billy Lynn) is that they couple it with 3D. They are two different tools to telling the story.
That's a good point. I've seen plenty of movies broadcast in 30fps that still looked like film. Using 2D and sharp 4K imagery I think it's still possible for a 48fps to not look like a soap opera. But at really high frame rates and good image quality levels the imagery stops looking like a film and just looks real. That was kind of my reaction from watching a Showscan 70mm ride film.

Movie makers have all sorts of color correction and effects tools they can use in post production to make a high frame rate movie not look like it's a dinner theater stage production.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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 - posted 12-09-2018 11:00 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have not watched a TV in going on 8 years. Who has time for that shit?

Mark

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Jarod Reddig
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From: Hays, Ks
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 - posted 12-09-2018 05:30 PM      Profile for Jarod Reddig   Email Jarod Reddig   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I keep all frame interpolation turned off on my televisions and the projector I use in my home cinema that has the feature.

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