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Sprite animation: optimal FPS?

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Hi, I am working on the tech spec sheet for my game and I''m not too sure about the FPS I should have for animating sprites. I am aware that people prefer 12 or less, but I was thinking more like 24, to achieve the most smooth animation. Obviously, this will require a lot of power. But if the only drawback with having 24 FPS is the power requirement (besides 2x work), I''d like to go with it. My game will probably take a a few years, so by then computers will much more powerful. If anyone can present me an animation (comparing 12 FPS and 24 FPS for example) to convince me that 12 FPS is enough, that''d be great.

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Disney movies are animated at 12 fps.

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People prefer 12 or less?

Well, anyway Disney movies are at 12, standard movies and TV are around 24 ... you should really be able to get 30+ though unless you''re doing something like redrawing the entire screen every frame.

BTW, I read somewhere that 60FPS is the point at which motion becomes fluid (sounds about right, monitor vertical blanking syncs used to run at 60hz), it was in conjuction with Tekken or some similar game. The human eye can''t determine faster than 120 if I remember my physics classes.

Do you necessarily want to go for a fixed FPS though? You might be better to aim for as fast as possible and do all your animation on distance/time calculations. That way, faster machines can take advantage, and slower machines will still run the game without choking on a too-hig frame rate

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I think he meant the number of frames for each sprite animation. The Game FPS is another thing entirely, normal movies are at 30 fps but because of the nature of the computer monitor, we need 60fps to achive the same effect. Well at least that''s what I remember being taught ^_^

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Movies are shown at 24 fps. Most animated movies have doubled frames, so the actual framerate is only 12 fps.

TV in the US is shown at 29.98 fps; you''ll usually hear it as just "30 fps". TV in Europe (and elsewhere, IIRC) is exactly 30 fps.

Humans are virtually unable to percieve movement as jumpy at 18 fps, although flickering can still be percieved (hence refresh rates of 75 Hz or more).

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dont forget theres a huge difference between tv and game images. tv images are a collection of all the light information within that time period so the images are effectivly blurred. games only show the light at an exact point in time, the images are sharp. we need to display game images at a faster rate so our eyes can do the natural blurring etc...
plus theres also the issue of games being interactive, we notice the lag of us doing somthing and it appearing on screen much more easily at lower fps, also objects moving fast enough will appear to jump across the screen between frames whereas on tv it will have a blurred trail.
If your game is relativly slow paced then you can get away with a low fps but fast action packed game like Q3 etc are better with high frame rates.

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some movies are in 60 fps these days

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
dont forget theres a huge difference between tv and game images. tv images are a collection of all the light information within that time period so the images are effectivly blurred. games only show the light at an exact point in time, the images are sharp. we need to display game images at a faster rate so our eyes can do the natural blurring etc...

This applies to animated movies as well. Our eyes' ability to perform blurring, however, is a function of successive images being close enough together, not of a high framerate. (see latyer for why this distinction matters.)

quote:

objects moving fast enough will appear to jump across the screen between frames whereas on tv it will have a blurred trail.

Animators have developed tricks to get around this. Remember how Fred Flinstone ran? He'd start working his legs ineffectually, building up a cloud of dust, and then suddenly whoosh off. This served two purposes: one, for hilarious comic relief ; and two, to make a sudden transition to the blurry Fred without audiences rubbing their eyes and going "HUH?"

In general, animators (and movie makers in general) avoid having things moving quickly across the screen. We as viewers are just too lazy to track it. (See Fight Club 's 'hidden' imagery for an example of this.) Of course, not all games lend themselves to avoiding fast motion; FPS games in particular can't really do anything about it.

But back to your original question. It's probably okay to have a fairly low framerate for sprite animation, since this is not motion across the screen; you could probably even get away with somethign like 8 fps. Where you need to up the framerate is in sprites moving across the screen. You might update the position every frame, but only update the sprite frame used every two frames.

Edited by - sneftel on September 9, 2001 1:51:42 PM

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Tv only looks smooth due to motion blur. On a computer, for real time graphics, motion blur would be expensive to calculate than it would be to use a higher framerate.

The framerate required for animation to look smooth depends on how fast the object is moving on the screen. If everything is fairly slow, you''ll get away with lower rates quite well. For somthing like a first-person-shooter, where objects can move at any rate onscreen, a much higher framerate is needed than for tetris.

But overall, I agree with taliesin73. Program your game to cope with a variable framerate.

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quote:
Original post by Sneftel
TV in the US is shown at 29.98 fps; you''ll usually hear it as just "30 fps". TV in Europe (and elsewhere, IIRC) is exactly 30 fps.

TV in Europe is 25fps. This is half the nominal AC frequency, which here in Europe is 50Hz.

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quote:
Original post by Sneftel
Our eyes'' ability to perform blurring, however, is a function of successive images being close enough together, not of a high framerate. (see latyer for why this distinction matters.)

Well, yeah, but remember that more frames per second, and a the same amount of distance travelled per second, means that by definition, the successive images will be closer together.