Peter Jackson's The Hobbit is preparing to leave the Shire.
The director of the Oscar-winning Lord Of The Rings trilogy has previewed 10 minutes of assorted footage from his forthcoming prequel.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, was filmed in New Zealand using more frames per second than the Hollywood standard. Jackson said in a video introduction that using 48 frames per second produces a smoother image.
The movie could usher in a new era of filmmaking and require film houses across the globe to embrace digital technology.
Jackson said the human eye no longer sees individual pictures under the faster speed, but a steady stream of clear images.
"The movement feels more real," Jackson said while introducing his film at the CinemaCon convention for cinema owners on the Las Vegas Strip. "It's much more gentle on the eyes."
Indeed, the footage was vivid, with grass blades, facial lines and soaring mountains appearing luminous and pronounced. The actors looked almost touchable, as if they were performing live on stage.
It is unclear what the final product will look like when it is released in December as Jackson said he is still editing the movie.
British actor Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit who acquires the evil ring that sets the action of The Lord Of The Rings in motion. The footage showed Bilbo lost in Gollum's cave. Other snippets showed Orlando Bloom, as the elf Legolas, and Sir Ian McKellen as the wizard Gandalf touring an ancient tomb.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first chapter in Jackson's two-part adaptation of JRR Tolkien's fantasy classic. The two films were shot simultaneously in 3D, with the second one, The Hobbit: There And Back Again, due in cinemas in December 2013.