Christopher Nolan Declares War on Motion Smoothing, Other Crappy TV Settings

Megalith

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Directors Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Jonathan Mostow are spearheading an effort to convince television manufacturers to turn off motion smoothing/interpolation by default, which should not be applied for 24p films. The setting essentially adds artificial frames to video content, resulting in what is commonly described as the “soap-opera effect,” whereby motion appears wildly unnatural.

The problem is that TV manufacturers have made it the default setting for most televisions, likely so they can display sports footage on the show floor at stores like Best Buy and Target. The average consumer may buy a TV, take it home, think there may be something slightly off about the picture quality, and shrug their shoulders and go on with their lives, dooming themselves to countless hours of watching motion smoothed entertainment.
 

Zepher

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Some people can't see the difference apparently.
Many years ago I was setting up my friends 55" LG, got everything hooked up and tested it out. First thing that popped on the TV was the movie Coyote Ugly. I didn't know it was the movie at first, I thought that they had made a TV show of it since it looked like a TV show.
I told my friend that the TV has the smooth motion feature enabled and if they preferred to have it off or on, so I started toggling it off and on and she couldn't tell a difference in the image.
I can't stand that feature myself, just looks so unnatural to me.
 

focbde

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I can't stand it... first thing I turn off.

Really annoying that it has to be turned off for every channel/input source as well... and tends to turn on again with major software updates...
 

halcyon

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Can't agree enough with this, this effect is totally awful for non sports, and I end up being the one that has to turn it off anytime Im at someones house where it has defaulted to on
 
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Can they just spearhead getting rid or crappy 60htz input pcbs that manufactures clearly misrepresents the way LCDs work. 120htz shouldn't be a thing unless it accepts a signal from a device at that rate. It's marketing BS and a racketeering charge waiting to happen.
 
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exiled350

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What a garbage setting. Same with 'VIVID!', both need to burn in hell. At least you can shut them off though. Unlike DLP and the bullshit rainbow effect, there was a couple times I had to leave the room where people had one running with an action movie or sports event.
 

Araxie

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I agree, years ago in 2012 i bought a cheap samsung UN40EH5300F for my mother.. one of those fake "120hz" CMR .. she was never able to notice any difference in the image, but damn I hated it A LOT, it had some kind of flicker effect too much perceptible to my vision used to a true 120hz monitor.. I was never able to watch a full movie there, was worse the fact that in that TV that feature can't be turned off..
 

IdiotInCharge

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And here I find that I like it with the effect turned down a bit.

Now turned all the way up, I can't stand it of course, makes everything look like soap opera.
 

homernoy

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I actually love this feature for old (80's on back) movies. It actually makes them come alive without a remaster. As far as newer content, yeah, motion smoothing is way over the top.
 

Dermen

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Smooth motion is terrible, first thing I do when I setup a TV is disable it. Who thought up the idea to make shows and movies look weird and call it a feature? and how did it become standard on most TVs?
 

STEM

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I may be the only one who actually likes it, makes movies look like video games :woot:
 

IdiotInCharge

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I may be the only one who actually likes it, makes movies look like video games :woot:
That's two of us, we must be younger. There's a clarity to it that's nice when it's not overdone.

Buddy had one of the first Samsung LCD TV's with it; turned all the way up was awful, but with the setting buried- but still on- it fell into 'just right' range.
 

quiktake

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Personally, I like smooth motion typically. The real problem is that film is still shot at 24 frames per sec. it makes panning shots incredibly stutters.
 

Alphawoolf

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I'll raise my hand (sheepishly) and say I like the effect. It only effects slow shots mostly, and I like it :)
 

[Spectre]

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Directors Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Jonathan Mostow are spearheading an effort to convince television manufacturers to turn off motion smoothing/interpolation by default, which should not be applied for 24p films. The setting essentially adds artificial frames to video content, resulting in what is commonly described as the “soap-opera effect,” whereby motion appears wildly unnatural.

The problem is that TV manufacturers have made it the default setting for most televisions, likely so they can display sports footage on the show floor at stores like Best Buy and Target. The average consumer may buy a TV, take it home, think there may be something slightly off about the picture quality, and shrug their shoulders and go on with their lives, dooming themselves to countless hours of watching motion smoothed entertainment.
TIL what this is called. I have always hated when I have experienced it because it looks weird and it gives me a headache but I didn't now what it was actually called. Let's hope it dies.
 

Dead Parrot

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Wonder if this is what Samsung calls 'Film Mode' on my TV? Something to experiment with once the football game is over. Has 3 settings, off, Auto 1, Auto 2.
 

pendragon1

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Wonder if this is what Samsung calls 'Film Mode' on my TV? Something to experiment with once the football game is over. Has 3 settings, off, Auto 1, Auto 2.
film mode usually locks to 24fps to give it accurate film reproduction, less/no stutter from a mismatch.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Why not start filming with 60fps cameras like the soaps do?
Just to throw it out there:
  • Filming at higher framerates isn't easy; I know cell phones can do it, but for cinema cameras it can be an issue, not all are up to the standard
  • Lighting requirements are different; increasing the framerate, and thus the shutter speed, by 2.5x from 24FPS to 60FPS means increasing the noise by 2.5x if it isn't compensated for elsewhere
  • Many filmmakers are stuck on 24FPS as looking 'cinematic'; to an extent I agree with them, but at the same time I find the look to be ill-suited for action or even fast panning and the age of videogames has really changed how we look at reproduced (or generated) video motion
Now, soap operas and shows like them are generally on very controlled sets where the lighting can just be bumped up, but cinema doesn't really work that way consistently. Further, on the other end, you have distribution issues with projectors and so on.

Realistically they'd need to make 120FPS viable for common shooting scenarios and just blend it down for older equipment or if they want to retain the 'cinematic' look.
 

ChadD

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24p is going to be the go to standard for a long time. Most people prefer it... and I would say the majority of people making movies prefer it. Nolan is hardly alone.

Peter Jackson is the only director that has really bucked the establishment and tried shooting a few movies at 48p... and it was generally panned. People where not a fan of 48p showings of the Hobbit. Same complaint it looked like TV.

The only thing I could ever really see working would be some sort of on demand higher frame rate tech. Sort of like how Nolan himself blends imax footage into many of his films with different aspect ratios. I think a tech that runs 24p standard with a flag that can bump specific scenes up to 48p would work really well. It would give directors like Nolan another tool they could use when they say have a car chase or something where they want to do an ultra smooth matrix like effect on purpose, and then drop back to 24p.
 

afropuff

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For me, smoothing makes the movie/tv show look TOO real! It seems like I'm on set watching them make the movie/show. It doesn't feel like a movie. I love 60fps for Youtube 'real' videos, but movies/tv shows the 24fps I think helps separate it from 'reality'.
 

UrielDagda

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If it were 25 years ago I'd probably agree. But I seem to get headaches with it off now, so.. I don't recall my TV having that setting on by default though.
 

Sonicks

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I've helped various friends and family pick out TVs based on their budget and when I set them up for them I always turn this shit off for them.

In fact, I turn off most post processing BS on these TVs like dynamic contrast and de-noising, and whatever else they got going on if I know they'll be doing any amount of gaming on them.

I also recommend a sound bar because, lets face it, every modern TV has built-in pieces of shit for speakers. A sound bar is the bare minimum to make it borderline decent.
 

cyclone3d

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I didn't even know this was a thing. Going to have to see if my TV has it or not.

I see single frames even in the theatre unless I just relax and don't think about it. 24fps is horrible.

And I see stuttering on TVs as well. Bugs me a lot.
 

Ur_Mom

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I may be the only one who actually likes it, makes movies look like video games :woot:
BS. Some companies sell that 30FPS garbage and say it has the "Cinematic Effect" . ;)

I like it for some movies, but hate it in others. Some movies have too much motion blur and it turns me off. Others are just perfect and the higher frame rate makes it look like shit. I don't like the stutter on the 24FPS on some movies and it's very apparent. Other movies (similar action movies) don't have that stutter on the fast action scenes. So, some do benefit from it but I'm wondering if some of it is caused by filming.

It does make it look more 'realistic' and detracts from the film feel. It's different, but I don't know if it's really bad. Almost looks fake, but it's the opposite. Looks too real when you want the fake movie experience.

BUT - film at what you want. 24FPS, 60, whatever. Just let the consumer decide on their own TV what they want to do. Some like the effect, others don't. Create the best movie you can with the frame rate you want. Push that frame rate as a recommended one. If someone chooses to view it at something else, that's on them. Most film fans will watch it at 24FPS for the closest to the directors recommendations.
 

KazeoHin

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Honestly, Play anything by Neil Blomkamp regularly, then play it on SVP, the difference is incredible. I love being able to track motion properly.
 

funkydmunky

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Friends had me hook up their first HD flat screen a decade ago. They wanted me to pack it up to be returned because all of their DVD's looked like crap because of bad TV soap-opera ascetic. I checked through all the settings and switched form default 120Hz to 60Hz. They loved it.
Jump forward 2-3 TV's and I am over at their house watching a movie that looks like shit and they don't care or have any clue what I am talking about. They are just used to it now.
 

Trimlock

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My parents purchased "high end" LCD's way back when everyone thought they were really buying a 240hz screen. This was during the time when manufacturers were trying to kill off the idea that Plasma wasn't better than LCD in every aspect and was throwing marketing gimickery every where. That's exactly what smoothing is, marketing, its not actually making your TV watching experience better its ruining it. I told my parents I wasn't any movies on their TV as it gave me a head ache and then they allowed me to turn it off.
 

velusip

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Proper frame interpolation is an extremely intensive process, so whatever these tvs are doing is certainly a cheap hack.
 
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