Why Quality Animation Isn’t What It Once Was


Analysing 12 FPS Versus 24 FPS Animation

In the world of animation frames are money. While this is true for most forms of visual entertainment, it is especially true for traditional hand drawn animation. Simply put, each frame has to be drawn, which takes a great deal of time. Thankfully there are techniques available to reduce necessary frames, thereby greatly reducing cost. There are, however, significant downsides to the time saving techniques used in traditional animation. Namely; the overall quality of the final product.

As time has passed many have noted a dramatic reduction in the quality of hand drawn animation. A glance back at the anime powerhouse Akira makes it all too clear that, back in the day, quality was held above all else. Akira is an astonishingly well animated film, with 24 individual pictures drawn for each second of character animation. More to the point, Akira was released in 1988, meaning that no computer assistance of any kind was used.

Shooting On 2s And Lower

Today the average hand drawn animation isn’t even in the same league as Akira. Although some films do still showcase impressive animation, such as Attack On Titan, even these gems use shortcuts. Shooting on 2s refers to drawing 12 frames per every second, which although still looks acceptable, is not as smooth as 24.

These days animation will often use even less than 12 drawings per second. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for just a handful for drawings to be used for seconds, or even minutes of animation.  This reductionist approach obviously dramatically decreases the quality. But time saving techniques aren’t always necessarily a bad thing.

Every entertainment industry looks to balance cost while still delivering an acceptable final product. In online blackjack real money software, for example, it isn’t necessary to animate the dealer. The focus is on the cards, not on the entity dealing the cards. Animating the dealer would be a waste of resources.

Maximising Impact

Modern reductionist animation focuses on pushing animation quality only in scenes that really need it. As such, it isn’t uncommon for episodes of Attack On Titan to be largely static, only for a single minute of explosive, well directed action to dazzle viewers. Viewers tend to remember the explosive action, while disregarding the majority of otherwise static scenes.

The truth is that most animation these days is handled almost entirely by computers. The last remaining traditional animations are few and far between, which isn’t at all surprising. While it is a shame that hand drawn techniques are fading, computer animation is simply the far easier choice. Computer animation is faster, cheaper, and can produce equally as entertaining final products. More to the point, computer animation is always technically 24 frames per second, given the nature of the technique.

Akira is a cult classic, not only due to the incredible animation, but also the gripping story. Sadly, it is unlikely that a film of the same calibre will ever be made again. Unless, perhaps, Disney decides that the novelty value of hand animation would be worth investing in.

About the Author: TigerWebs

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