If you’ve watched recent action movies, you may have noticed a slightly disorienting jerkiness to the video. No, it’s not because of shaky cam and excessive jump cuts. Many modern (and some older) movies have an effect called “strobing” that makes action scenes look less fluid than the others. Today, we’re going to explain why this happens.
Strobing or jerkiness occurs when the frames of a movie don’t quite blend together well enough, creating an effect that’s a bit like looking at a moving object under a very fast strobe light. This can occur because each frame doesn’t have enough motion blur (which we’ll explain later on) to blend each frame to the next, or if there aren’t enough frames to make smooth motion to begin with. Depending on the severity of the effect, some people may not notice it, but if it’s really bad, it can be distracting. (This is not to be confused with judder from 3:2 pulldown, which is a separate thing entirely—and usually far less noticeable.)
To see what strobing looks like in a movie, we’ll use Captain America: Civil War as an example. Take these two scenes, both of which show Tony Stark moving his head around as he talks to Steve Rogers. We’ve reduced the film clip to a GIF, so it won’t be as detailed as your Blu-Ray at home, but you can still see that Tony and Steve’s movement as they talk is pretty smooth.
Compare this to a later scene where Steve and Tony are arguing yet again. However, this one takes place just before the big airport action scene. Once this scene starts, the motion starts to look choppier. The motion as Tony turns his head and shouts at Steve looks just a bit less smooth. Again, since this is a GIF, it may not be as detailed, but the choppiness of the video is still noticeable.Read More...
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