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From the early 1930s until the more recent advent of digital video and digital cinema all or most motion pictures were on 24 frames per second. So let me show you what 24 frames per second looks like. This is as simple as it comes. It's just a sphere moving across the screen from left to right. There's one frame, or one drawing rather, for every frame, and this is in animation terms, called animating on ones. That means there's one drawing per frame.
Well, fortunately for us, sometime in the 1930s, the animators realized that you didn't have to animate on ones. You can animate on twos, and this meant they would do one drawing and hold that drawing for two frames. Let's see what that looks like. But this is how it feels. If you notice it might feel a little bit jaggier, and the weirdest thing will happen to you once you look at enough cartoons on twos or on 12 frames per second. After a while this jagginess will disappear. It's something that your brain simply adjusts to. You get used to seeing 12FPS, or on twos.
A lot of Japanese animation and lower budget TV animation is on threes. So these different frame rates exist, and they're very useful. And it's good to know what people are talking about when they say, it's on ones, it's on twos, it's on threes. It has a quite specific meaning. So that said, let me show you an extension of this and show you what these different frame rates look like and what they feel like. So here I've created a little animation, and it's the same ball that we've already seen, and I've created six versions.
On the top, eight frames per second, or on threes if you are on 24FPS, the kind of thing you would see on a lower budget TV cartoon. Below that a 10FPS. Below that 12, then 15, then 24, then 30. Now as you can see, 30 at the bottom is smooth, 24 just above is pretty smooth, and 8FPS you can almost feel it clunking across the screen. So I like to avoid 8, I think 8 is often pushing it. The tighter your drawings are, the closer spaced they are, the more you can get away with slower frame rates.
And in general, though, the more space between the drawings, the, the more urgently you're going to need to do it on 24 or 30. So again, this is something to watch and feel. And you'll rapidly develop a sense, if this is ever a factor in your work, of what you might or might not be able to get away with. Most of you are probably working on computer programs now and it's, you're already working on 30, this isn't relevant. But, there are those strange little jobs that come down the pike from time to time, they do exist and somebody will say, yes, the framing on this is 12FPS or 10FPS, so heads up and be warned for just exactly what that looks like and what it means to you as an animator.
There's one other small thing to be aware of when you're working at 24 or 30FPS. Even though most projects now are 30, again, you will occasionally encounter 24. So what this means is if you ever have an animation that has to hit specific beats there's some things that are better in 30 than in 24, and vice versa. Because you can only divide certain numbers into 24 and certain numbers into 30, that's just mathematics. So let's say you have a scene that has a, a specific beat, four times a second.
Not a problem at 24. It can be divided with absolute precision. But you can't do that at 30. You can't divide four into 30. You'll get 7.5. So if you want to do an animation that has a four beats per second animation, and you're working in 30, you have to cheat one of those frames. You got to move one of them from frame eight to frame seven. It won't be precise but nobody will really notice. But it might be a slight nuisance factor when you're animating. If I had a project that was entirely built around somebody animating walking on a one quarter second or four beats per second animation, I would want to animate that on 24FPS just for the ease.
But you know this is just one of the small things to keep in mind. And it really only comes up for me as a nuisance factor when I'm doing walk cycles, because when I do walk cycles I like to put my contact position here, that's when the foot first hits the ground, and then the opposite contact position here, and the passing position exactly between them. It's just really easy. And so when I work in 30 I have to cheat it. I have to cheat my passing pose onto frame seven or frame eight. It's not a big thing, but it's just one other thing just to be conscious about when you do start working with cycles at these different frame rates.
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