04 September 2008

Temporal Resolution

In my very first post to this blog I complained about the limitations of video frame rates (temporal resolution). I was reading more on the products offered by Geometric Informatics and it seems their GeoVideo Real-Time Motion Capture Camera runs at a frame rate that begins to make things interesting on the road towards what I will call Granular Motion Synthesis.

Granular Synthesis in reference to video has been inaccurately co-opted for some years by Kurt Hentschlaeger and Ulf Langheinrich when in fact they are only breaking down the video signal into frame-lengthed grains; 1/25th of a second or 40 milliseconds. The microsound time scale makes this claim to Granular Synthesis more poetic than truthful;

"Microsound includes all sounds on the time scale shorter than musical notes, the sound object time scale, and longer than the sample time scale. Specifically this is shorter than one tenth of a second and longer than 10 milliseconds"

GeoVideo claims to acquire "absolute coordinates at 180 fps" - this equates to 7.2 times more temporal resolution than standard 25 fps PAL video. These GeoVideo "frames" are therefore each 5.5 milliseconds in duration. To give this some context on the microsound time scale, 5 milliseconds is the duration of a honey bee’s wing flap.

Of course the problem lies in a lack of real-time playback systems for 180 fps video. No DVD player, tape player, celluloid projection system or means which doesn't involve custom hardware or a computer is capable of playing this kind of content back to an audience at its full temporal resolution. Even IMAX HD is only 48 fps.

So put plainly, even if I could make a composition of a honey bee dancing wild patterns through spacetime using Granular Motion Synthesis, I would only have the satisfaction of watching it on my laptop. Showing it to a large theater of people seems to still be a ways down the road.


Gabriel Shalom said...

I want my
I want my honey bee

Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon your post by accident. I just wanted to say that a typical LCD screen only runs at 60hz, so 60fps is the maximum "temporal resolution" you will be able to reach on your laptop.

Gabriel Shalom said...

Regarding the anonymous comment about LCD refresh rates, are monitors in gaming systems built with higher refresh rates? How do video games accelerate their framerates if the monitors displaying their graphic cannot show the results?