Impressions so far:
The 48fps footage I saw looked terrible. It looked completely non-cinematic. The sets looked like sets. I've been on sets of movies on the scale of The Hobbit, and sets don't even look like sets when you're on them live... but these looked like sets.
The other comparison I kept coming to, as I was watching the footage, was that it all looked like behind the scenes video. The magical illusion of cinema is stripped away completely.
In the opening minutes, I thought to myself "this looks like the TV department when they turn on 120Hz or TruMotion or whatever they call it". At once, it really doesn’t look like that. The smooth motion clarity is similar, but the 120Hz TV setting is the TV inventing visual information to fill in loads of completely nonexistent frames, creating the bullshit garbage you see walking through most TV departments in stores. Again, there is an element that 48fps and TruMotion share (which is where the comparison comes from), but 48 fps does not simply “look like Korean soap operas” or TruMotion-enhanced TV images. That’s a reductive, sensationalist, utterly bullshit equivocation.
To be honest, it kind of terrified me at first. In his pre-recorded intro, Peter Jackson said that the reason we were seeing 10 minutes of content was that "it takes your eyes a little bit to adjust", and that is absolutely the case. The immersive experience was not immediate, but gradual. I felt much more comfortable toward the end of the presentation, but still disconcerted and outside a comfort zone.
I have major reservations, but at the same time am beyond awed at many elements of what hit my visual cortex. Recalling the sweeping landscape shots they opened with now, I almost feel tears welling, and I can’t explain why. It was overwhelming in the most literal sense. It directly assaults your synapses with twice as much information through your retinas as you have become conditioned to expect. I did not see the digital seams around creatures like Gollum and the trolls, a major benefit over 24fps. The creatures had a sense of mass in the environment, which was disconcerting in a good way.
I felt astonished & amazed...the term is WOWED...and yet a bit uncertain about the 48 fps 3D footage from Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit."
The fact is that 48 fps 3D is the most startlingly "real" 3D I've ever seen in my life. The downside for older types is that it's too real.
In a word, 48 fps 3D looks like high-def video. It doesn't look "cinematic", lacking that filtered or gauzy look we're all accustomed to.
And yet it's breathtaking, especially w/ action scenes and CG stuff. Younger auds will cream in their pants. Older viewers not so much.
Our sense of cnema as we know it changed radically today. Henceforth 48 fps will not just become the norm but we're going to hear calls...
RE: the 48 frames. I think it will take a bit of adjusting our expectations, but I've never a movie that jumps off the screen and immerses you in the film the way this 10 minute piece did.
RE: the performances. On par with Lord of the Rings, with Martin Freeman appearing to be the perfect Bilbo.
48fps examples - Credit goes to bluerei for the amazing footage.
GIF of 24fps
GIF of 48fps