Resolution + Frame Rates, any investigation of tech specifications seems to inevitably lead back to frame rates, and any discussion of frame rates seems to lead so some kind of bizarre arms race.

Or, I have more frames than you.

For the longest time – since the 30s – animation’s worked at a steady 24 frames a second, and for the most part, in 2D, that’s still the case. Mathematically, it fits. 24 divides out nicely, it’s neat, it’s simple, and that’s probably the reason we couldn’t help but poke at it.

So some places started fiddling around with 25 fps – thankfully this seems more a european thing (though unfortunately guess where a large amount of the remaining 2d jobs are!) and that it also seems limited to the final render versus the actual animating side.

Then there’s the people messing around with 30fsp, which is marginally better than 25 in ease of divisible-ness. It’s also rapidly becoming the standard for a huge amount of video work, causing a few problems for those of us working at 24 frames. Do we work at 30 frames a second and damn the mathematical fuss, or do we render out at 30 frames and risk all kinds of … funky results that probably come from doing that.

And then, if that’s not bad, and confusing enough, then we have the likes of James Cameron and Peter Jackson messing about with 48fps and muddying the waters further.

Thanks guys! I mean, I guess 48 is better than the alternatives solely from a mathematical perspective, but the amount of work that would entail from an animation perspective is just terrifying.

(Of course, that’s just from a person drawing all those frames perspective. I’m pretty sure there’s a bunch of animators animating for games laughing their butts off at me right now, given that games are beginning to regularly run at 60fps, and naturally everything has to look good for that)

Once you’ve got over the fps hurdle (because for 99% of the stuff you’re doing? 24 is still standard, thank whatever deity you prefer), we hit the resolution problem.

I have it lucky as someone who messes about in illustration – I’m already used to working in ludicrously large resolution files. Working in 1080p – literally 1920 by 1080 is child’s play. I don’t even have to fuss about the dpi!

(or worse, whether to go CMYK during painting or RGB. Working for print is a pain in the arse, let me tell you)

It will be interesting to see how fast everyone starts moving into Ultra HD or 4k/8k. At this stage at least, 4K seems to be the latest 60fps, something that everyone likes to bandy around and talk about wanting or having, but not really being that necessary. Working at UHD at 3840 × 2160 isn’t going to be a problem, but once we start getting up to 4K’s 4096 x 2160 or worse, 8k’s 7680 × 4320, things are gonna start getting ridiculous.

I don’t even want to think about the storage space that’ll be needed.



Why movies like The Hobbit are moving from 24 to 48 fps


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