The Hobbit has been one of the most eagerly awaited films of the last few years, by the fans of “middle earth”. I have recently seen the Hobbit in 3D HFR format (High Frame Rate) something which probably was of greater interest to me than the film itself. Directors Peter Jacksons and James Cameron have been for many years pioneers in the development of computer-generated imagery (CGI) particularly in the use of 3D imagery. With increased competition from home theatre setups and internet streaming. One of the areas where cinemaplexes still holds a distinct advantage is with the development of CGI 3D imagery which provides its audience with a sharper, more realistic image and lifelike experience not possible on a TV screen.
For the Hobbit Peter Jackson selected to shoot the film with dual RED Epic cameras on a 3D rig – and probably the most discussed aspects of the film was that he chose to shoot it at 48 frames per second rather the industry norm, film projection rate of 24 frames per second. Some cinema goers attending 3D HFR screenings have claimed that they have felt dizziness or car sickness during the action scenes. The only bad experience I encountered was when the MGM logo appeared all fuzzy on the screen and that was probably my eyes adjusting to the 3D glasses, and the other would be the cost of the cinema tickets (€14.65).
For me The Hobbit was the first film I really felt like CG characters were in the actual setting, as opposed to being layered on top of the image. The New Zealand scenery was perfectly blended into the world of middle earth. With all technology, some people will hate it on principle if nothing else, 3D HFR is yet another step on the way towards creating an even more realistic film experience. 3D HFR is not going to benefit every film maker but is a very useful tool for giving a story such as The Hobbit a more convincing cinema experience. Overall I found The Hobbit a entertaining film despite being a little too long, and my eyes did feel the strain by the end of almost three hours using 3D glasses.
For those of you who would like to see the Hobbit in the more traditional formats, Peter Jackson filmed it in six different formats. 2D, 3D, and 3D IMAX, all of them in both 24 fps and 48 fps, just check your local cinemas for your format of choice.
Categories: Film and TV