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Frames Per Second (FPS) [Scribble Kibble #33]

September 21, 2019


And you’re back to another episode of Scribble
Kibble, this time all about Frames Per Second. That’s right, FPS, your old nemesis, the
thing that makes your videos look choppy or soupily smooth. If you’ve never worked with videos before,
all FPS means is how many images per second the video is playing. As far as animation goes, these are the typical
frame rates you will see: 12 frames per second
24 30
60 (independent 3D animation) 90 (virtual reality)
120 (video cameras like Go Pro, gaming) 240 is about the limit of perceptible smoothness There is a big, noticeable difference in smoothness
between 12 frames per second and 30 frames per second. The jump from 30 to 60 is less noticeable,
but it’s still there. And if you ever get the chance to see 120
versus 240 frames per second, you are baaaaarely going to notice a difference. Well, the difference is that watching a character
moving with that many images every second will give you a headache if it doesn’t have
motion blur added to it. To be clear, your eyes do not see in frames
per second, so I can’t tell you what FPS your eyes see in, because they don’t see
in FPS. A single eye actually perceives motion in
different speeds at the same time, your brain adds motion blur to things moving too fast,
and your brain can fill in gaps for you if it recognizes a pattern. Or it can mess with you and make you see an
optical illusion – like the fact a tire rim can spin in such a way that it looks like
it isn’t moving at all, or even that it’s moving backwards. Plus, tons of other factors like how old you
are, how hard you’ve trained your brain to see minute movements, and how much light
is coming into your eye can change the number of individual images you can perceive. So, your eyes do not see in frames per second. And! And, the amount of frames per second you can
see on a computer depends on your monitor. Many cannot play more than 60 frames per second. So maybe you think your video game is playing
at 120 fps, but your monitor could limit you to 60. You need to get a monitor with a 120 refresh
rate. Hint hint. Back to the little chart here. The standard for animation today, even those
3D animated Disney movies, is 24 frames per second. Yep. That’s it. In fact, lower budget animations don’t even
draw 24 pictures for every second, they only draw 12. That’s called “drawing on twos.” “Drawing on ones” means you are drawing
every single picture for your chosen FPS. “Drawing on twos” means you only draw
half of the pictures and make each picture last for two frames. Heck, you can even draw on fours, and only
make six drawings per second. Go you, you incredible time saver. Personally I draw on twos as much as I can
to save time, but there are some motions that I need to animate at 24 frames per second
because they happen so fast or are very drastic pose changes. I want the motion to be fluid so I need to
draw a lot of pictures. For a very short time I was animating at 30
frames per second, but the difference between 30 and 24 was not noticeable. Why should I draw a few hundred more pictures
if I don’t need to? So I went back to 24. It’s a good place to be. I would never make hand drawn animation in
60fps. The precision you would need to draw your
in between frames would have such a miniscule margin of error that it would be a stupid
waste of time. However, 3D animation can easily be processed
in 60fps. It might look bizarrely smooth at first, but
eventually your brain gets used to it and the 60fps doesn’t look strange anymore. But again, you’ll only see that kind of
frame rate online right now. When you go to see an animated movie in theaters,
it’s only 24 frames per second. Due to the way broadcasting on television
evolved, technically most movies are 23.976 or 29.97 fps. Those weird numbers are still the standard
today. The reason the frame rate is strange is because
once color TV was invented, the old monochrome TVs that people already had couldn’t play
both the color channel and the sound channel at the same FPS. So the solution was to lower the frequency
of the color channel. That’s the end of today’s lesson. And I just remembered what cartoon I wanted
to feature next week. I’m going to get to work on that.

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