The discussion of frames per second has been something widely debated in the movie industry as of late. We have all these new resolutions, HD, Ultra HD, UltraSharp, etc… We gave the whole 3D a go for revolutionizing TV. I’d consider that not so much of a success, but then again, not a complete failure. The next evolution may come out of the frame rate at which our media is distributed for us.
Frame rates or Frames Per Second (FPS) are the measurements of singular images that are placed in front of a human eye, one after the other, which create the sensation of motion picture. In the computer world, FPS is related to how much the computer can handle and process, where in the motion picture business, FPS is related to how many slices of frames exist within a single second of viewing a film. The industry standard is 24 / 30 FPS, and it looks like there will likely be a shift to either 48 or 60 FPS.
Our human eye will take in and interpret about 24 frames per second as a perceived motion, which is where the industry standard evolved from. But 24 fps is not the maximum that our eyes can see, it is simply the most acceptable rate at which the movie industry has operated on for 80 years. The move to 30 fps was done in an attempt to remove blurs from quick motion, such as fast pans across landscapes, or quick moving objects on the screen. In reality, our eyes can see well in excess of 200 frames per second. The question is how much do we need? Or maybe the real question is how much will it cost? Read for more detailed info on eye lens light refraction and additional details.
I have read a lot of articles where people are convinced that the human brain can only conceive 24 fps. This is wrong. While between 24 and 30 fps is an acceptable rate for motion, many often forget about the concentration on quickly moving parts of the screen and the placement of when the view begins. Doubling the rate to 60 frames per second allows the human eye to jump into a scene at a frame twice as quick, allowing for the reduction of blurs and attention to detail. The first frame that an eye jumps into will always be skewed.
Think about this: Rotating a view of a landscape a complete 90 degrees in a single second at 30 fps, there will be a 3 degrees per frame, doubling that will allow for 1.5 degrees per frame. Whether we can interpret it or not, the detail will be greatly enhanced.
Think about this: Watching live Television sports, pausing and watching things in slow motion at 300 fps would allow the utmost clarity on precision of how a play can be made. Broadcasters have been known to use this, but there are still many hurdles in the way.
It seems that the change is coming soon. It seems that with the upgrades in resolution, we will soon have a bump in the rate of frames being displayed. Mark this one on your calendars, the big movies have started to talk about it, and The Hobbit just did 48 fps.
Another good read on motion picture and frame rates: http://www.es.com/Products/60Frames.html
Btw… I am not a huge LOTR fan, but The Hobbit was a good movie.