The announcement by TCL, the world’s second largest television manufacturer, of their intention to bring the TrueCut Motion platform to their TVs in North America, made Eugenia Loli’s pea-sized brain misfire, prompting her to blurt out:
Seriously? Of the 2,700-odd movies produced worldwide each year, 99.99% are shot at 24 frames per second – yet according to you, a couple of filmmakers who’ve dabbled in HFR are what home theater enthusiasts should be concerned about? It’s morons like yourself who talk shit about other filmmakers that are the real problem!
There is no visual perception reason whatsoever associated with 24 frames per second and when we watch a film being projected, we’re actually seeing 48 frames per second. You know what doesn’t produce good vibes? Judder and nausea-inducing slow panning shots, according to countless film lovers. While judder has many contributing factors, it is ultimately determined by how fast the camera pans from one side of the screen to the other. While not carved in stone, the rule of thumb for traditional 2K 48-nit theatrical presentation has been to pan no faster than a full image width every seven seconds, otherwise judder will become too distracting.
The chart by Pixelworks (the creators of TrueCut Motion) above illustrates how changes in display brightness alter the perception of motion blur in terms of an equivalent shutter angle.
Paradoxically, the higher contrast, resolution and brightness of today’s televisions that contribute immensely to making the viewing experience so thrilling also exaggerate motion artifacts like judder, making the picture look jerky, particularly in panning shots, to the point of making some content all but unwatchable. Black frame insertion (BFI), used on TVs to reduce judder, can make the picture noticeably darker. Another method, all too prevalent in the industry, is to reduce content brightness in the grading suite, a situation that is detrimental to picture quality. TrueCut Motion’s synthetic shutter software enables adjustments to sharpness, motion blur, and judder after capture, allowing TV viewers to experience motion the way it was intended to be seen, without having to change any settings on their television.
It’s unclear exactly how technology that puts control over the appearance of motion in the hands of filmmakers can be boring, but haters gonna hate. Meanwhile, here’s a lovely short film shot by Bill Bennett, ASC, captured using high-frame-rate techniques to showcase TrueMotion, another motion grading solution by RealD.