Monthly Archives: December 2012

Everything you ever wanted to know about HFR and The Hobbit

An editorial by Tim Dashwood

Hobbit HFR 3DThe Hobbit has finally been released in 2D and 3D at the traditional 24 frames per second (fps) as well as 3D High Frame Rate (HFR) at 48 fps. If the posts on social media are a fair indication, it seems that audiences have not reacted as positively to the 3D HFR version as the industry had hoped. Why not? Industry leaders like James Cameron, Douglas Trumbull and Peter Jackson have been been telling us why HFR is a better choice for 3D (and 2D) by overcoming one particular technical issue that may cause viewer discomfort, and they are absolutely correct in that respect. However, HFR will not solve all the potential eye-strain problems associated with a 3D presentation, and the film-going public has become accustomed to the aesthetics of 24 fps as a key contributor to the cinematic look of their favourite films. To most, the hyper-realism of 48 fps seems like a strange intruder in the context of an epic fantasy film like The Hobbit. Battle-lines are being drawn between the technical improvement of HFR and the aesthetic “feel” of the traditional 24 fps film standard.