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noatom

How many frames for a running animation?

9 posts in this topic

For the last hour I had this question in mind: If I want to make a simple running animation,how many frames should I have? 60? because that's what every gammes wants? 60fps What if they want more?

 

Some help?

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for most types of character animations, generally between 10-20 fps is sufficient for it to seem like full motion, and much more than this is likely to be overkill.

 

granted, we may want the overall framerate to be higher, but this doesn't necessarily mean everything in-world needs to operate at a high frame-rate.

Edited by cr88192
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If I want to make a simple running animation,how many frames should I have? 60? 60fps

The question doesn't make a lot of sense.

 

 

There is the renderer.  The renderer displays stuff to the screen "as fast as possible".  On low-end hardware it may run at a framerate of 20 frames per second or 10 frames per second.  On very high end hardware it may be 60 or 75 or 120 frames per second.

 

The renderer should interpolate animations between keyframes.  

 

The animation keyframes are often done at 30 keyframes per second.  Different games specify different rates, so you may very well have different results.

 

The animation length, or number of keyframes, depends on the action being taken. An animation may be just a few keyframes long or one hundred keyframes. Our build system complains noisily when the 100 keyframe limit is reached by a new animation.  We have some animations that exceed the 100 keyframe limit, but they are rare.

Edited by frob
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I'm talking about an animation drawn by hand.So should it have 20 frames?

 

I did some 2D games in dx,and the way I handled the animation was:

if the one second/60 hasn't passed yet,don't put a new frame,it that happened,add a new frame.Still there were some problems,since I didn't have 60 frames for each animation,so I ahd to repeat them,and on some computers the animation was slower,on some was faster....

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I'm talking about an animation drawn by hand.So should it have 20 frames?

It should have as many frames as you need.  That could possibly be as few as two frames, or any number larger than that.  Take a look at this recent discussion "understanding 2D walking/run animation in games" -- specifically the great second reply from Anthony Serrano lists the number of frames used for a number of different famous characters.

 

Your issue with animation running slower or faster on different computers is another problem you'll need to solve, but you don't necessarily need to add or remove frames from your animation to do so, but instead make sure you're properly interpolating between key-frames for rendering.

 

Does that help? smile.png

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I'm talking about an animation drawn by hand.So should it have 20 frames?
 
I did some 2D games in dx,and the way I handled the animation was:
if the one second/60 hasn't passed yet,don't put a new frame,it that happened,add a new frame.Still there were some problems,since I didn't have 60 frames for each animation,so I ahd to repeat them,and on some computers the animation was slower,on some was faster....

I think you're severely mixing up how often the game redraws with how often an animation changes.

Your animations should be scaled by time, not FPS. Realistically you could get away with having a 2-3 frame walk cycle for a character and having it simply repeat those 2-3 frames over a course of time. To use an example if you had keyframe 0 and keyframe 1 and you wanted a very simplistic walk cycle you could start it at keyframe 0 then after half a second, switch to the other, and so on.

How that works, how many frames you use, is highly dependant on the game. For example a game like megaman x has instant acceleration, so you'll get the same number of animation frames per second if you're walking. A game like super mario world has the run animation scale a bit with how fast mario is going.

There's no hard and fast rule, just because your screen redraws 800 times a second doesn't mean you need a different animation frame every redraw. If anything most of a high framerate should show interpolation of movement, not animation changes.
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for most types of character animations, generally between 10-20 fps is sufficient for it to seem like full motion, and much more than this is likely to be overkill.

No. I can guarantee, that for a 3D game running at 60 fps, if your character has no interpolation for keyframes and just draws those 20 keyframes, it will be very noticeable.

 

From my experience, even nontechnical people will notice that it is not fluid. They might not point their finger on what exactly is the problem, but they will notice it right away.

 

Basic walk cycle may get away with 15 frames (and interpolation). But a complex sword attack may need even 50 frames. This totally depends on complexity of animation.

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for most types of character animations, generally between 10-20 fps is sufficient for it to seem like full motion, and much more than this is likely to be overkill.

No. I can guarantee, that for a 3D game running at 60 fps, if your character has no interpolation for keyframes and just draws those 20 keyframes, it will be very noticeable.

 

From my experience, even nontechnical people will notice that it is not fluid. They might not point their finger on what exactly is the problem, but they will notice it right away.

 

Basic walk cycle may get away with 15 frames (and interpolation). But a complex sword attack may need even 50 frames. This totally depends on complexity of animation.

 

well, yes, but we typically use interpolation, so with interpolation 10-20 fps is generally sufficient...

 

 

but, even without interpolation, usual conventional experience is that usually somewhere between 12 and 16 fps, many people will perceive full-motion, and at roughly 24 fps, "most" people will perceive full motion... (this is sort of how traditional movies work, like with 24 fps for a film projector, ...). (and only a minority of people perceive much faster than this...).

 

above this point, more frames will more just make the motion seem more fluid, but it will still be motion even if the framerate is a little lower than this...

 

drop much below about 10-12 fps though, and things will be very obvious (starts looking more like a slide-show to most people).

 

 

granted, it works better if people aren't paying attention "that" closely... if the character is likely to take up a significant part of the screen, then we probably don't want them at a 10Hz animation, but if they are typically, say, 10-15 meters away, do we really notice or care?...

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There is a big difference between "perceiving motion" and "perceiving a fluid motion" though.

 

How many frames is needed for the motion to appear fluid does not have any fixed and universal frame rate, it entirely depends on the complexity and speed of the motion.

 

For a really slow and simple motion, you could get away with just a couple of fps and it would still look smooth, but for complex and fast motions (like mentioned swordfight), you have to crank it up to way above 30fps for it too feel smooth and fluid.

 

24 fps is just a convention, a sweet-spot between cost to produce the movies and media, and what looks good enough for most normal motions in most normal movies. 

 

Also important to remember when you compare computer animations with movies is that movies use motion blur to a pretty extreme extent, to be able to portray fast motions with only 24 fps

 

Then for animations in games, things get more complicated when you consider interpolation and keyframes.

Number of keyframes only depend of complexity of motion, how many points we need to accurately reproduce the motion.

Take something spinning around in a circle.

You really just need 3 keyframes to accurately reproduce that motion at any rotational speed, and will render it perfectly* in any fps the game will run in.

 

 

*disregarding any alias when the rotational speed is more then twice the fps

Edited by Olof Hedman
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but, even without interpolation, usual conventional experience is that usually somewhere between 12 and 16 fps, many people will perceive full-motion, and at roughly 24 fps, "most" people will perceive full motion... (this is sort of how traditional movies work, like with 24 fps for a film projector, ...). (and only a minority of people perceive much faster than this...).

Although personally I don't have a problem to distinguish between 85, 120 and 160 FPS in some fast-paced game - like Quake3  - where it is very noticeable whether the game runs in mere 85 FPS or 160 (assuming you have a CRT monitor capable of such framerate) - I too, assumed that general population, untouched by complexity of Framerate in 3D graphics would be able to notice that.

 

Well, I was wrong on more than one occasion - e.g. many people noticed that. Even though my game ran at about 100 fps (so it was really silky smooth), I did not have the character animation interpolation coded at that time (~10 yrs ago). And even though the character walk cycle had 25 frames, and I rendered those 25 frames (at a 100 fps), many people could still notice that it is not completely fluid and most pointed out that it is the character.

 

And the character occupied maybe 10% of the screen space, since the distance to camera was, like, 15 meters.

 

 

People don't really have to pay attention that closely. Unfortunately, your brain is very good at telling you what's wrong with the fluidity, even though - on a conscious level, you haven't noticed yet.

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