Archive for June 4th, 2007

Gimp vs Photoshop

I was reading this thread at Slashdot tonight and someone had a link at Wikipedia’s Gimp page. I laughed when reading the lists of “missing features and benefits”. Basically, the missing features list is a number of missing software features, and the benefits include nothing but politics. Interesting. That would really make me wanna use Gimp.

NOT.

60 fps: A can of worms

If it’s one piece of technology that I get very excited about even if I have no idea how to use it (much like getting excited about NASA’s Atlantis control panel) that’s the RED ONE camera. The camera, still in beta, is expected to revolutionize the film and TV industry and fully digitize the process with the help of Apple and its Final Cut Studio (although some of AVID’s tools are better than Apple’s). Nevertheless, at just $1300 for the Apple software, $23,000 for the camera+extras, $3000 for a PowerMac and $2000 for a big monitor, you can create a small professional studio for just $30,000 (and you can quickly make your money back if you rent your equipment). Consider that to do the same until recently you would need $150,000– maybe more.

So, I thought, what would be more enlightening but to ask about 60fps video to the RED ONE forum, where all the beta tester directors are hanging out. So, I popped the question as to when we would see some high frame rate movies.

Originally, each and everyone of the people replied were against the idea mostly because it would make a movie look “like video, and therefore look cheap”. Then, some others replied wishing that we didn’t have to stay stuck at 24fps. Needless to say that within 10 hours, there were over 85 replies from professionals debating the issue, thus making the thread one of the most active ever in that forum! Apparently, the 60fps issue is a can of worms, a thorn, in the industry. An issue that no one wants to address out of fear of alienating the viewer, for losing the “look” of a 24fps movie. It’s a legacy matter mostly, even if there are some technical reasons not to go there yet (e.g. makes the life of stuntmen harder, special effects will take more time to be done, more hard drive storage required etc)

Thankfully, towards the end of the thread someone replied that if 60fps is done the right way, it can still retain the movie look & feel, and look smooth at the same time: “Shooting wide open with digiprimes on a 2/3″ chip camera is about the same as T4 on 35mm. Its been done many times. The important part IMHO is that the camera should have no digital sharpening, that’s what screws up the Bokeh.

Apparently the RED ONE does not do digital sharpening, so it would be an ideal camera to experiment with 60 fps, without losing the ideal “look & feel” that you are used to.