The web series Video Game High School (VGHS) is pioneering high frame rates online: every episode of the second season, which premiered July 26, has been shot and released in 48 fps 1080p.
Described as “an action/comedy web series about best friends, first loves, and landing that perfect head shot”, VGHS uses 48 fps for the scenes that take place within the game world, and 24 fps (with each frame shown twice) for the “real life” parts.
“There’ll be a reason to come to our site. What 48 (frames per second) brings is a gritty realism to it. It feels hyper-real.”
The show has become quite popular– the first episode of the second season has so far drawn 3.6 million views on Youtube (which still cannot play videos at high frame rates) and 300,000 views in the first two days alone on Rocket Jump, which Wong co-owns.
Wong and his co-creator Matt Arnold had to invent their own embedded video player in order to display their show in HFR. So far, that player only exists on Rocket Jump.
What’s especially interesting to me is that Wong and Arnold employed various techniques to counteract the negative elements of the HFR in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. From StarTribune:
Some movie critics who saw “The Hobbit” said the format revealed too many details, exposing the fakery of costumes, makeup and props.
Actors can appear to move at high speed unintentionally in what co-creator Matt Arnold calls the “Benny Hill” effect, referring to the sped-up scenes common to the British comedy TV show.
To address these issues, the creators of “VGHS” added back some blurriness that high frame rate recording had eliminated in some scenes. “VGHS” actors also wore less makeup than actors in “The Hobbit,” so there’s less chance that the format’s extra detail will be distracting, Arnold says.
I’m eager to hear something official regarding the rumored tweaks made to The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug‘s HFR 3D post-production pipeline. It’s also quite possible that Jackson, like the VGHS creators, optimized the makeup, and perhaps set design and lighting as well, during this past summer’s shoot for Desolation and There and Back Again.