View Full Version : Frame Rates

01 January 2003, 03:18 AM
This conversation came up in #cgtalk the other day. I'm wondering what the average frame-rate you guys think is best. I"ve been using the default of 12 because my book says that should be standard for web sites. But most other people I talk to seem to be using about double that. Does doubling the frame rate somewhat slow down resources, or what negative impact does it have? I don't get why they didnt make it 24 frames/sec.

01 January 2003, 10:41 AM
12 fps sux! 30 fps rocks!

the difference is offcourse that if a cpu can manage to play your animation @ 30 fps as was intented to be played... your animation will last on that cpu the exact time was thinked to last...

but if you play the same animation on a cpu that cannot playback it fluently at 30 fps but just at 10 fps or so... beeing the number of frames always the same and the playback speed much more slow... your animation will last three times more... and you risk to loose the mood of your artwork... syncronization with event sounds etc

this is the only reason for what you read in your book that 12 fps is correct and this is way that is the default value...

in fact speaking about weight (Kb) of your animation... being flash non frame based it will not increase very much doubling frame rate

however... my personal advice...

1: think about what user target has your animation... if you need high syncronization with sounds (as a speech in a documentary) and it is for business keep fps low...
or better keep the swf X and Y size low... so nearly everything will always be smooth (forget fullscreen) and don't abuse with alpha effect

if it is intended for personal/artistic pure expression do what you want, but best results are always lowres-hifps

you can really notice the difference between 12 fps scary banner-like "animation" or full powered 30-40 fps real animation


Michael Chen
01 January 2003, 11:09 AM
Really depends :)

For example if your into "fast techno" style then use 30fps. Thus you get smoother transitions.

But if your site is for "cartoon animation" use 12 to 15 fps.
Also online video is better with 15 fps.

Hope that helped :)

Yeah I forgot to mention something, sometimes if you use 30 fps in your fla, you may not get the same speed if it was posted online. I think this is due to the speed of different processors.

01 January 2003, 11:39 AM
offcourse... and was what i was telling before... but if you know what can you put in your work so that everything will be smooth on nearly every computer... and OFFCOURSE if you test it online on some test server on at least 5 different machines/cpu/connections before publishing it (as i always do) you will never have bad surprises...

01 January 2003, 01:10 PM
Ok thanks guys. I think from now om i'll double it up to 24 FPS.

01 January 2003, 02:46 PM
a higher framerate will increase your filesize (if you use motion tweens) . you can easily test it. make a swf file and tween something for a second @ 12 fps (12 frame tween) and a swf with the same symbol, but @ 24 fps (24 frame tween). then export both with a size report

if you want to use a framerate of ~ 30 fps you should use 31, cause afaik macs play anything between 19 (or something like that) and 30 at 19 fps

01 January 2003, 04:38 PM
go w/ 30 fps. ive never seen anything that looks smooth in 12.

01 January 2003, 06:28 PM
I think panta covered this pretty much but heres another way of sayign it

The FPS is a speed limit to prevent your movie from running faster than it would on fast machines (i.e. on a quick machine it would zip by)

Flash it's very computer driven(RAM , VGA, Processor and if these things are lacking, it plays slower and worse...slow no matter how high the frame rate is.

If you set movie to very high it may simply crash older machine trying
to get all the resources to run at the specified speed. whcih is never good.

Stick to around 20-24 for high end stuff, it low enough to run fine on most people machine, and high enough to zip by some cool quick animations.

Also keep in mind that lot of text or alpha (or alpha on text :p )

can really kill perfromance, so really plan out what you want to do.

Also I read a while back that on mac (possibly pc as well) that certain FPS just start rounding off when you go above 24 fps...I think I read it on mook's site or maybe were-here. anyone have any info on this?

sorry I just read your reply about 30 being 19 and such...thats exactly what i was talking about...


01 January 2003, 09:18 PM
here are the exact values:
Rob Penner:
Here are the special frame rates for the Mac:
Flash FPS / Actual FPS on Mac

16-20 / 15
21-30 / 20
31-58 / 30
59+ / 60

The other issue is that the Flash 4 player on PC will not play above 18 fps. The Flash 5 player on PC can handle pretty much any framerate.

could be that the problem has been fixed in the F6 player

Ian Jones
01 January 2003, 12:21 PM
There's some good advice above.

I'd agree with 20fps its a good speed for smoothness and it handles pretty good on almost any machine.

Things that require a faster cpu are as already mentioned overuse of alpha fading. Basically the more of the screen that has to be rendered as a change of state, eg... a blank flash movie with a red dot moving the red dot pixel has to be processed as a change by the cpu whenever it moves, the more pixels or area that has to be rendered as a change or movement each frame the more demanding on the cpu it will be.

Hope that helped.

Ian Jones
01 January 2003, 12:31 PM
As an example if you are familiar with Anthony Kyriazis of you will notice that when you go to view an image the whole left and right side of the interface moves apart and on slower machines this looks particularily jerky. He uses a low framerate perhaps even 12fps as far as I can tell and this probably has a lot to do with the jerkness aswell. The point I'm trying to make however is that he probably would have done better to optimise his flash movie by designing around the problems of having to render a large area each frame by changing his design concept to perhaps work with one fixed side so that only one of the sides slides out. This would mean less pixels and area to render each frame and thus less cpu usage.

It's perhaps a difficult concept to explain over a forum, but I hope you got the jist of it.

01 January 2003, 02:58 PM
One thing I did NOT expect, is that a faster frame-rate gives a larger file size? I had assumed that frame rate is just changing speed, and since your not changing anything else, or even keyframes, how can this result in a larger file-size?

01 January 2003, 04:39 PM
i guess that flash makes every frame a "keyframe".
make a movie (simple tween) and export it.
then make another movie and import the first one (every frame will be a keyframe).
export both with a size report.

in both cases every frame had 12 bytes when i tried this, and the overall filesize was almost the same

if you use AS to script your motion the framerate shouldn't make a difference, but i didn't try it

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