Animation Frame Rates: Understanding "fps" | Anne Beal | Skillshare

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Animation Frame Rates: Understanding "fps"

teacher avatar Anne Beal, Animation Filmmaker

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Animation Frame Rates: Understanding "fps"


    • 2.

      Procreate Tour: Setting up Animation Workspace


    • 3.

      3 ways of Explaining "fps"


    • 4.

      Animating on "1's and 2's"


    • 5.

      Hearts at 24, 12, 8fps. End.


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About This Class

This 15-minute class is packed full of information to help you understand how frame rates work in animation. What does it mean to animate at 24fps, as opposed to 12fps? In this class, I give several visual metaphors (and a few animated doodles) to help explain this sometimes tricky concept. I'm working in the handy iPad app, Procreate, to animate the concepts for you in real time. However, you don't have to use Procreate or any animation program to understand the lessons.

Throughout the class, I'll give tips about using Procreate for animation.

Meet Your Teacher

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Anne Beal

Animation Filmmaker

Level: Beginner

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1. Animation Frame Rates: Understanding "fps": Hey, everybody. My name is Anne Beal and I'm an animation artist and director. Welcome to my studio. Today, I'm going to talk to you about animation frame rates. Have you ever been working on a project and wondered what exactly does 24 frames per second mean? Well, that's what we're going to talk about today. I'm using Procreate here just for demonstration purposes because it's a great way to show the animation workflow, and I can show you the timeline right onscreen. However, you don't need to be using Procreate right now or any animation program. You can just sit back and watch. All right, so let's go. 2. Procreate Tour: Setting up Animation Workspace: I've just open Procreate and I drew a little intro for you here. I'm going to briefly go through how Procreate works, and this will help us understand frame rate too. Right now all I have is one layer and that's where these words are. I'll turn it on and off, and the background is white. This is how this is normally setup, which is more like an illustration project than an animation project. I'll go ahead and show you in a different color how it works and I've created a new layer. I'll draw the 1 on this one, there we go. Two, I'll draw. Let's make another layer, and now we've got Layer 3. I'm going to do 4. As you can see, we can see all the layers at the same time, so it just looks like one drawing. That's because we're set up how you might be familiar with Photoshop being setup, if you're doing a drawing, you can see everything at the same time. Well, I'm going to change that because I'd like to work in an animation workflow. I'm going to go up here to the top left and click on this wrench icon. It's going to bring up actions, and Canvas is what I want. I'm going to turn on animation assist. Now my layers have turned into a timeline, down here at the bottom. I'm going to tap it again to make it go away. You'll also see that I'm on the last frame here, the opacity is low and that's because I must have Onion skins turned on. I'm going to go to settings down here on the timeline. I've Onion skins on to the max. Onion skin is just an animation tool that simulates traditional drawing on a light box where the frame just under where you're at is slightly lower because you've got paper on top of it. Then as you keep adding papers, as you go along, the frames you're looking at get dimmer, and that's the same concept as what onion skin means. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and turn it down because I only want to be able to see one. This is telling me I'm on frame 4, which is darker, and frame 3 is lighter, which is the one before. If I had 5, you would also see 5 on a light opacity. I'm going to actually turn down the opacity of the Onion skin because I don't want it to be quite so pronounced, so I turned it from 60 to 40 percent opacity. Now right now the project is animating at 15 frames per second. The first thing I'm going to do is show you 24 frames a second, so I'm going to change it here to 24, there we go, 24 frames per second. I'll click settings to make it go away. When I press "Play," you're going to see it's going pretty rapidly, but this is 1, 2, 3, 4 and you can see them all separately. It looks the same, but the way that it's playing back is one at a time. I'll be able to demonstrate this a little bit better as we go along. I'm going to delete all of these layers, and you can do that by swooshing to the left, and now again, everything is empty. 3. 3 ways of Explaining "fps": Let's first demonstrate 24 frames per second by making 24 frames. We'll try to do this pretty quickly. I'm not going to draw anything too exciting. But I will be using the watercolor brush tool because I like that tool because it's fun. Here we go. I'm just going to make a dot go from left to right. There we go. Again, I can make the layers up here, or I can just do a new layer down here. We'll do the next one like that. As you can see, it's a little bit hard to see because I turned down the opacity, but the onion skin is showing you right there where the previous dot was. There we go. I can add a frame this way, well, boop, add frame, That's a little bit easier and more convenient than doing it up here. But either one works fine. These are not perfect. Now let's just see how many I have. I've got 14 frames and it's going to double-check, started with frame 1. I want to do 24 because 24 is one second if we're going at 24 frames per second. Keep going. 15. Where am I going? 24. Oops, I don't like that one. 24. This is going to get bigger and smaller accidentally because I didn't try too hard to make them all the same. Let's see what we have. First, we'll check. Yeah, 24 frames. Let's check in the settings. It is animating at 24 frames per second. The amount of time it takes going from left all the way to the right is one second because it's 24 drawings or 24 frames and it's playing at that frame rate of 24. Press "Play". One second. Do the one 1,000 thing. one, one 1,000, two 1,000. There we go. Let's look at the same thing played at 12 frames per second. Same exact sequence, but this is half as fast. There's one way that I like to explain frame rate that I think is cool. Some people find it helpful. I'm doing this just as an extra thing, so bear with me. We've got our movie screen over here and we've got our film projector here. This is the lens of the film projector. The film is going around just like this, and boop, boop, boop, boop, boop, those are all. That's so real. As the film goes around and it passes through here, this is going at 24 frames per second, and that's called persistence of vision. Persistence of vision is when our brains are looking at rapidly moving images and instead of seeing them as individual separate photographs, we see them as a moving picture. That's because it's going fast enough that it tricks our eye into thinking, oh, that's a movie. Really, it's just a bunch of animation frames. Settings were at 12 frames per second. Let's watch it one more time. It looks pretty slow. Here's the same thing at eight frames per second. Eight frames is just about as low as I would consider going because your persistence of vision starts to break down at eight frames. But if you're in a hurry to get something done, eight frames per second is fine. I generally stick to 12 frames per second. If I'm feeling very adventurous and have a lot of time on my hands, which is rare, then I'll animate at 24. But this is basically the frame rate I usually go by. When I drew this, I was thinking of 24, thus only thinking of 12, I would have drawn them further apart. Because the closer together you draw things, the slower they move. That's a basic, hopefully, understanding of frame rate. I could stop here, but I'm going to keep doodling because it's fun and you might actually get something out of it. Let's just keep going. Let's keep exploring frame rate. I'm going to draw a film projector on the background. The way to do that is to select the background in the timeline. Then do that and we just turn on the background. That means that this frame is going to be, let's see, the background I think. This is going to be the top of the film reel. I'm going to do a little art because it's fun. There we go. I like this color. I have all those pallets saved in Procreate for some other projects I've done, so that's why they're like that. I'm going to start with the half of the screen. I didn't mean to draw that on the background. I'm going to draw a art going from left to right as if it's going around the film reel. Then I'm going to play it for you at different frame rates to further illustrate the concept of frame rates. One more thing is, I'm going to write some terminology on this background drawing. Why don't I do that? All right then, blue. Frames per second is notated as fps. 4. Animating on "1's and 2's": Another handy thing to know is animating on ones and twos. This is an extra concept here. Animating on ones is animating one drawing each, and we're going at 24 frames a second. Just to rephrase that, traditionally, film was going at 24 frames per second, so if you're animating on ones, that means you're making 24 drawings for one second. If you wanted to save time and animate on twos, then you would animate as if it's going at 12 frames per seconds, so you would draw 12 frames, but then you would photograph each one twice. If you can imagine the film reel, it's still moving at 24 frames a second, but each frame has been photographed twice so it looks like it's going at 12 frames per second. That is a concept that is getting pretty deep into traditional animation terminology, but it'll probably come in handy for you at some point. 5. Hearts at 24, 12, 8fps. End.: Now, I'm going to lock my background so I don't accidentally draw on it. Lock and I've got frame 1. I'm going to go back and get my cool pink color. I'm on frame 1. Here we go. Great. You're just going to see go by that amount of time, it's going all the way around. I've still got this little funny goober in there. That was just from before. Let's look at this at another frame rate. So that was going, the heart is going by at 24 frames per second. Let's look at 12 frames per second. Same exact sequence going at a different frame rate. Let's watch this at eight frames per second. Pretty so. But if you can see the heart, it seems like the heart is moving faster than this little ball, but it's actually not moving faster, it's just that the ball is drawn and much closer together increments. Isn't that funny how it looks like it's a completely different frame rate. It's actually just all about the distance that you draw apart from one drawing to the next. I think that's pretty good as far as just, if I were in my classroom right now, I'd probably say, all right, let's move on to the next thing. So I hope you got something positive out of this tutorial. I look forward to seeing you in my other classes. Thanks so much for being here. Again, my name is Anne Beal and I'm an animation artist. I'll see you around. Thanks.