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30 FPS Any adivse?

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30 FPS Any adivse?

Postby gwastudios » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:23 pm

I've always ran my animation in 24fps and since I started this new game I've got to thinking. 30fps sounds great for an 2D action RPG. The movement the fighting, it would be perfect; but, I have just one problem, does anyone on here have any advise of how I should run my animation? any link details, or anything? I've read in one of Micheal Gagne's forums for his new game, how he created some of his drawings for his new game in 24 fps and he accidentally ran his frames in 30 fps, they ended up running very well once he started them. :mrgreen:
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Re: 30 FPS Any adivse?

Postby JDC » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:21 am

Going from 24 to 30 fps is not that strange. I believe video..(vhs) plays at 30 fps and regular film plays at 24 fps. If you ask me, if it looks better at 30.. go for it.

I have recently started work at a game company myself. I keep getting assignments with very strange parameters. After completing an assignment at 24 fps..(animation cycles, etc) one of the engineers asked me to change to 25 fps. I asked why and the response I got was.. "we just think its an easier number to deal with".. I still don't know what to make of that. I thought software people would be good at math.. after all most computers come with free calculators.

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Re: 30 FPS Any adivse?

Postby Charles » Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:53 pm

The process by which 24 frames per second is transferred to the video rate of 30 fps is called telecine. It's very common and involves the blending of every few frames to create enough extra frames to fill in the 6 that are needed for proper video playback.

Post production houses would normally do this but I'm pretty sure that at least some animation software has telecine included in the package. I recall that Digicel had this feature if I'm not mistaken.

In any case, if you're comfortable animating at the film rate of 24 fps there's an easy way to convert it to 30 fps.

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Re: 30 FPS Any adivse?

Postby Glen Moyes » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:01 pm

Yeah, Telecine works well for NTSC video because it's 60 fields per second (30 frames interlaced). For video games, it'll work in a similar way because most games are capped at 60 fps, and if you are doing a 2D game it'll probably run at that speed anyway.

The thing to remember is this: 24 fps still looks good for animation and it doesn't look choppy because of the 60Hz or more refresh rate of (progressive scan) computer monitors. If you animate at 30 fps, there won't be much of an improvement and you'll be animating 25% more frames. So an animation that would have taken you 12 hours will now take you 15 hours.

Consoles are another animal though, since they are intended to be displayed on TV screens that have interlacing. That's why many console games are capped at 30fps so they don't have to deal with fields and interlacing, which would also mean that you can't do Telecine on 24 fps animations because you only have 30 solid frames to work with as opposed to 60 frames (or fields), making playback of the animation choppier.

But it really depends on the code of your game. If you want your game to be capped at 60 fps, so that the main loop runs at 60Hz, then 30 fps for animation seems like a good idea because then you only have to switch to a new frame every other time through the main loop, instead of having to figure out some kind of frame skipping/repeating algorithm. Or you can cap the game at 30 fps and not have to worry about repeating frames at all, just say that every available frame that gets sent to the computer screen will have a new frame of character animation. Easy peasy to code.

Here's a history lesson: In the original Unreal the lights and animated textures would play back for every frame that was displayed, meaning on fast computers a gentle throbbing of a light would turn into a strobe, and all the water effects would look crazy fast. But the 3D models had code that played back the animations in time using the CPU clock.

I think the reason why the 3D models in Unreal had this ability to tween between frames and the 2D animations did not was because the game used vertex animation. There was no skeletal animation in that game because it was faster to tween vertices than it was to calculate the transforms of bones and the parented vertices, (not even taking into account vertex weights to make joints deform properly). The problem with the vertex animation technique is it requires more RAM, so the animations were shaved to 12-15 fps, and the positions of vertices were tweened linearly. Crude, but it worked.

So they needed the tweening for the 3D model, but they decided it wasn't necessary for the 2D texture animations or lighting effects, probably because it would be too much of a hassle to code.

So again, it depends on how much time you can spend animating (25% more for 30 fps), if you want to code in the ability to skip or repeat frames depending on how fast the graphics are rendering in relation to the CPU clock, or if you are coding for hardware (e.g. a console) that would benefit from having the fps capped at 30fps.

If you are creating an RPG for the PC, then I bet you could cap the main loop at 24 fps and get the best of both worlds.
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