Animation shot in 2s?

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Animation shot in 2s?

Postby kori » Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:17 am

I have read that most animated movies are shot in 2s, that is, the same animation frame is shot two times. This is why animation appear a little bit choppy. So for every second of film (24 frames), the animation has 12 drawings.

I was studying scenes in an anime movie by advancing my DVD player one frame at a time. What I expected to happen was that I would need to advance 2 frames for each bit of character movement, but that was not he case. The animation moved every time I advanced it one frame. Something is not right here. What have I missed?
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Postby dm » Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:34 am

Animation done in something like Anime Studio generally has 'inbetweens' calculated by the software. So, it's not done in 2's. 3D, and many other types of vector animation fall into the same category.

Watch something like Bugs Bunny, and you'll see this-but not always. Fast action is often done frame by frames (1's).

Furthermore, if you're watching an NTSC DVD, you'll notice that many frames are repeated three times or more. This is part of changing the original 24 fps material into 30 fps.

Choppy, huh? More likely that's shot on 3's or 4's. Done well, the motion of most animation should look fine on 2's.

Does it matter somehow?
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Postby kori » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:31 pm

I own Anime Studio, but I'm not talking about it. I'm talking about traditional animation without software that does tweens. Most of the animation on DVDs were not done with software that does tweens, so it should be made in 2's.

I understand that film is 24 fps and that video is 29.xxx fps, but it seems to me that if the animation was made under the 2's rule, there should still be 2 static frames most of the time.

I’m just trying to understand the process of 2's, or 12 frames per second. I was under the impression that when you made your animation, you planned your scenes under the 12 frames per second rule, and that the software automatically created 24 frames per second by making 2's. (not Anime Studio software, but traditional animation software that does not create extra frames) I would expect the DVD to have this same pattern of frames in 2's.

It’s the planning of character actions (at what speed) that confuses me. If I understand it correctly, I can speed up or slow down a character’s action by completing that action in more or less frames. If I plan the action over 12 frames, that equals one second. If I play the action over 6 frames, that equals ½ second. As I try to study animation on my DVD using the one-frame-advance, it does not match up correctly. The character sometimes moves every frame, and at other times the character is static several frames. I would have thought that there would always be 2 frames that have the same static shot, but this is not the case.

I guess the only way it matters is in studying the ‘timing’ of animation. I wanted to study character animation on my DVD and count the frames to get a understanding of how many frames equals what speed in character movement.
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Postby rylleman » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:40 pm

kori wrote:I’m just trying to understand the process of 2's, or 12 frames per second. I was under the impression that when you made your animation, you planned your scenes under the 12 frames per second rule, and that the software automatically created 24 frames per second by making 2's.
...
It’s the planning of character actions (at what speed) that confuses me. If I understand it correctly, I can speed up or slow down a character’s action by completing that action in more or less frames. If I plan the action over 12 frames, that equals one second. If I play the action over 6 frames, that equals ½ second.
...

You shouldn't confuse framerate, which is dictated by the medium you're creating for and animating on two's. The framerate is static and should not be changed on working with the timing.
When you work on two's you manually create an image on every other frame. When the motion gets faster you need to work on one's, creating one image every frame. And if the motion is very slow you can sometimes even use three's.

What DVD's are you looking through? What actions?, what material?
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Postby kori » Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:20 pm

[What DVD's are you looking through? What actions?, what material?]

It's not really important. It's an anime called 'Last Exile' on DVD. I am looking at head turns, walking, sitting ... just character body movements. I am counting frames to understand timing of movements, trying to see where the fast and slow parts are, and about how many drawings it takes to complete the action.
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Postby AmigaMan » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:36 pm

If it's anime you are looking at and it was shot on film and not created with software such as Anime Studio then I'm confident in saying there is no way it would be shot on 'ones'. It's more likely your DVD player advance is not accurate enough to display each frame and is sometimes jumping a frame? All drawn animation I have been involved with and most stop-motion has been shot on 'two's'. An exception would be very fast movement or characters such as vehicles with lots of perfect vertical lines that would strobe if shot on two's.

If you are creating your animation in Anime Studio then all you need to be concerned about is how many frames there are in a second of video. Luckily AS produces the inbetweens for you so the need to work on 'two' is not relevant. Work out your timings based on the frames per second. Even if you get it wrong first time you can adjust it afterwards. Fantastic! If only I could have had that freedom to experiment on my first animations :D
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Postby Rudiger » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:00 am

Most of the Animes I looked at were shot on 3s, but I'm sure some of the more recent higher quality digital ones would be shot on 2s. They often do tricks like blending alternate frames together to make it look smoother, so don't let that fool you. I disagree that it's a non-issue with Anime Studio though. The higher the frame-rate you use, the harder it is to hide flaws in the timing. Sometimes it's easier to get a more convincing result if let you leave some of the inbetweening work to your audience's brains instead. I really wish AnimeStudio had an animatable frame hold setting per layer so you could switch at any time during the animation.
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Postby dm » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:15 am

Are you planning on animating in AS? I think you're already seeing that 2's isn't a rule. It's possible that you're seeing the fast action 1's and the normal action 3's on your disk. Or maybe it's something else. If you're watching it in your computer, it may be frame blending, deinterlacing, and otherwise processing the picture.

You might want to do a little searching for X-sheets (aka Exposure sheets, or dope sheets). That's what the animators use to tell the camera operator how many exposures to do of each cell, as well as moves and background changes.

I think you probably need to read a little more about animation processes. You seem to be in the "a little information is dangerous' zone right now.
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Re: Animation shot in 2s?

Postby tonym » Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:13 pm

kori wrote:The animation moved every time I advanced it one frame. Something is not right here. What have I missed?


Are you sure you are actually advancing the cartoon only "one frame" at a time? Perhaps each advancement is actually one-twelth of a second, so you would see movement for every advancement of the cartoon. Each advancement might even be 1/10th of a second, or 1/5th.

Watch the timer and count how many times you have to "advance" to move forward in time 10 seconds, then divide that number by 10 to get the number of frames displayed per second when using the "advance a tiny bit forward" button. I bet you are are actually jumping forward each time and skipping a frame or two or three.
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Postby kori » Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:13 pm

tonym

You may be correct. I am playing the animation DVDs on my computer, using a DVD player program. (the kind you use to play movies)

I have found is useful to slow down character movements to study animation. The books I have read do a good job describing the animation process, but nothing works better than studying the 'real thing' in time slices.

But, you are probably right. My DVD player program is probably not showing me all the frames. It is probably skipping a few frames here and there.

It would be great to see every frame if it was possible. The information must be on the DVD.


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Postby Patmals » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:01 am

Kori, did you download the Retas trial? there are sample files which you can view in realtime.

that will give you a good idea how THEY do it.

Of course, each to their own eh?
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Postby kori » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:10 pm

Yes, I did download it, but I have not looked at it yet. I didn't know about the sample files.

I have been learning FlipBook which I purchased, but I'm still interested in Retas as a vector drawing program. I wish it didn't cost so much.

Thanks for the info on Retas.

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Postby dpolcino » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:07 pm

Also the compression method for the DVD could be a factor. MPEG2 makes its own "intra frames" and parts of the shot that don't move are combined with the adjoining frames.

You could convert part of the DVD with mpeg streamclip to Quicktime Animation codec or similar, then go frame by frame.
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