EDCF Technical Support Group White Paper on High Frame Rates

By EDCF Technical Support Group

Background

The initial requirement from DCI was to support a 2K frame Rate of 24 frames per second or 48 frames per second (thereafter called fps). For 4K systems the frame rate was set at 24 fps only. As a result of lobbying from IMAGO (the European Federation of Cinematographers) and the EDCF with support from many in Europe a SMPTE study was performed on the need for frame rates additional to 24fps and 48 fps. This study then migrated into workgroups studying mainstream 2D frame rates and specialist archive frame rates. The additional 2D frame rates established were 25, 30, 50 and 60 fps.

These optional additional frame rates are supported by many of the servers and projectors in the market but not all.

3D systems were initially specified to use the existing 2K 48 Fps infrastructure with very minor modifications but 24fps per eye 3D is not very satisfactory. Even after the success of Avatar James Cameron was still unhappy with the judder in 3D presentations caused by the low frame rate. He then instigated a series of private experiments with certain of the manufacturers to explore 48 fps per eye and 60 fps per eye.

His material has been demonstrated at several trade shows at both 48 fps per eye and 60 fps per eye. Also, Peter Jackson is shooting the Hobbit at 48 fps per eye. 48 fps is seen as a compromise which allows easier generation of 24 fps per eye to be compatible with existing installations. Following on from the Cameron initiative, SMPTE has initiated a study group to access the need for high frame rate 3D. If this group identifies the need, a working group will be formed to actually generate the standards documents needed to provide a uniform approach in Industry and thereby compatibility between vendors. [more...]

Source: EDCF (European Digital Cinema Forum)

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