# 24 or 30 fps?

#1

I know that film is 24 fps, and video is 30 fps. However, which would be safer to work with when it comes to practicing, and putting together a demo reel. If I get used to animating at 24 fps, then if I’m working on a project that requires 30, then my timing might be off a bit. Obviously, I can adjust, and make it work with any frame rate. But which would be safer to get good at?

If this makes any difference, I want to get into animation for video games. Do they animate at 60 fps?

#2

I, too, would love to know this.

#3

We work at 30 FPS at the moment, and I think that’s what you will work with at most game companies. You could always play it back at 60 but I’ve rarely seen any animator work in that frame rate speed.

Erik

#4

I use a stopwatch and think in 100ths of a second, then convert back to whatever framerate I am working at.
The length of a second never changes… so its a safer way to play it.
nobody really animates at 24 anymore though and video isn’t a straight 30fps its like
30.02 or something ridiculous.

#5

I’ve worked at 24, 30, and even at 10fps for some cd rom titles.

I don’t think it about what is “best”. I always just think in terms of seconds, or parts of seconds, and translate that in my head to frames, based on the frame rate I am working at.

Many people work at 24, being less overall work, and do the translation to 30 at the end, as in a film to video transfer.

And if you are on even a very short project, animation takes so much time, that even if you had been working at 24 and had to change to 30 (or vice versa), in a day or two at most you would be automatically thinking in terms or the new rate.

If you are just beginning, it might be easier for you to do the math and write or type out a little guide sheet…10 frames = 1/3 second, 20 fr =2/3 seconds, 30 fr = 1 sec, 45fr= 1 1/2 sec, 60 frames = 2sec, etc.

Best,
Rick

#6

I like to use 24 fps because its easier to divide, useful sometimes to time things evenly on integer frames, 24-12-6-3.

#7

Dont don’t know in other software but in max I’m really careful not changing fps when animating particles. Because many actions happens in absolute frame numbers so if you started at 30 fps and get it to work right and then change it to 24 or something else all gets out of synch. I think it also happens with link constraints.

But for video you can always just animate at 30 fps and in post import your footage at 30 again but do the composition that contains that footage at any rate … It will jump the frames that don’t matter to it and get the desired rate effect

#8

I’ve worked at several game studios that worked at 30, two that worked at 60 and one that even worked at 15 (and interpolated in-engine). Film of course, is 24; I don’t know if anyone still animates at 25(PAL) but they used to. Obviously, you will have to adapt to whatever your studio is using.

Best not to get too attached to a frame rate/numbers but if you’re doing a game reel then I would be working at 30.

#9

we are working on 30 and on 40 FPS when it comes to combat-animation, but the point is, on a demoreel you really want to check every frame. The studio you´re applying will do this too. So it´s less time consuming to check your own animation on 24 FPS

#10

40fps? I’ve never heard of anyone working at 40. What would be the motivation for that? I understand more fidelity for fast motion but why 40 and not 60?

#11

i´m working more on the creatures in our current project, we´re doing alot of mocap, i guess it´s more a performance memory thingy, but i´m not a programmer. We´ve licensed morpheme and for the combat we work with 40

#12

I think it is interesting to note that 30 fps has the natural ability to make ‘natural’ motion blur even when it isn’t on! No long render times.

I don’t know when this first occurs though (24?)

#13

usually i work on 30 frames…but you you are doing some personal work like demo reel or somenthing similar you can work also at 24 fps

#14

I forgot to mention… when you are doing composition work over existing footage you gotta be true to the frame rate you are given… this is specially important when video comes interlaced… if you dont process your footage before animating you’ll run into out of sync animation. i find it works to de-interlace it and just animate at 24… then transform for final output to 30 and just let frame blending do the work…

#15

I don’t know much about compositing but animating at something other than your target, final FPS for animation seems like a bad idea, unless circumstances require it. You want as much control of the final output as you can.

Really, if it’s a game reel, just do it at 30fps. Game studios usually animate on 30fps so you might as well get comfortable with that. If not 30, it’s going to be 60 (unless you work at a weirdo 40fps studio :P) and 30 to 60 is easy math.

If you’re just starting out in game animation, you’re going to have enough hurdles in a new job without having to re-adjust your sense of spacing to a new FPS.

#16

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

What’s the standard output FPS?

#17

I don’t know how you can break down any action into hundredths of a second.

My advice would be to think in terms of a fifth of a second, or a third of a second, half a second, etc. and then do the math to convert to work with your frame-rate.

Best,
Rick.

#18

Not to be contrary, but no it really doesn’t make sense. Feature animation is still done at 24, TV at 25 or 30, games at 10, 15, 30, 60 or whatever. NTSC is 29.97 which is maybe what bonkanailos was referring to (some cameras might capture at 30.02?). I’ve never heard of anyone animating at 29.97 but that doesn’t mean nobody does.

Animation might involve some math sometimes but if you’re that dependent on frame rates to create something worth watching, you’re doing it wrong. A good animator could work at 6 or 600 FPS (with some adjustment).

On the flipside of that, you will typically change your working frame rate no more often then you change jobs so there’s nothing ‘dangerous’ about getting used to one or the other. Certainly not to justify some convoluted equation every time you want to lay out your timing.

Working with the Unreal 3 engine, it gives animation playback in hundredths of seconds rather than frame numbers. And even using that daily for over a year, the only times I’ve done math is when you need to flag an event at a specific time (and even then you can sometimes just eyeball it) or when trying to sync camera cuts between your 3d program and Matinee (UE3s cinematic tool).

Stopwatches (well, their users) aren’t accurate enough to get ‘frame’ information out of and video reference is probably going to be at 30fps anyway.

#19

I just remembered, talking about 24fps and on top of the above reason, if you’re new to animation and still learning the basics, you’re going to find most of the good, old school animation instruction material (Animation Survival Kit, Illusion of Life, Character Animation Crash Course, etc) assume 24 fps. Games are typically done at 30 but learning animation is best done at 24.

#20

I agree, and I’d suggest you go with 24 fps, it’s not only a standard, it’s also a great frame rate that allows enough detail in your motion. 16 fps is an absolute minimum, I’d say, for smooth movement, but it doesn’t allow enough flexibility and detail in the case of fast movement. Basically, a move that would take 3 frames at 24 fps, you’d have to describe it with only 2 frames at 16. It would be less detailed and it may not be enough to read clearly (and nicely ). On the other hand, everything above 24 fps is increasingly more and more work, if you’re going for quality animation, because you have more frames and therefore more room for detail This is because with quality animation ‘each frame is a drawing’, or in other words, each frame is important and has to look its best. For example, a 24 fps animation scaled to 48 fps might look just as good at a quick glance, but for quality animation standards you’d have to polish that new animation so that all the new frames (every other frame in this case) look just as amazing as the old frames Well, in fact, more realistically speaking, you’d have to change a lot and move keyframes around to take advantage of the new fps. It’s like higher sampling, with sound, or like image resolution. A 24 fps animation scaled at 48 fps is like a 2k image scaled at 4k. It’s not OK, and you need to add the extra/missing information. So at 48 fps you can very easily double the time you spend polishing the animation. 24 fps is great