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Let’s Talk About Frame Rate For A Video

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

Be it our summer holidays or winter, be it a Sunday or any other weekday, be it just Netflix and chill all day. What's that one thing that makes our holidays fun? I think you got it right! MOVIES and TV SHOWS!!. We love watching movies and TV series all the time but what do we actually do? We watch it, discuss the storyline, how the actors were, how was the dress, set and the list goes on. But do we actually know how the movies are made? No I don’t mean direction or production. I mean how we see the scenes or effects. How do we see all these actors and places moving in a Movie? These are actually possible due to the frame rates.

Remember during our childhood years, we had those flip books, where each pad of paper contained an image and when we flipped through the pages in a go, it’d appear as if the pictures were moving. Similarly Frame rate is actually the number of individual images that are displayed per second in a film. In a movie series of still images are viewed in order at a certain speed (at which one wants to show them) known as the frame rate and represented as FPS. Each image represented as a frame so if a video is captured or played at, say, 24 fps, it means each second of the video shows 24 distinct still images, all at once.


30 FPS: 30 distinct still images in a second

Now one may wonder why to use frame rate? Well frame rate not only impacts the style and viewing experience but it also determines how realistic one wants his video to look. There really isn’t a best frame rate, it as I mentioned, it depends on how you want your work to look but exclusively Movies and TV shows are projected at 24 fps as it is how we see the world around with our personal projectors( our eyes!). It creates a more cinematic aura in the movie and helps us to connect well! Too much high frame rate gives an unrealistic touch to the movies also called Soap Opera Effect (since everything from a falling plate to a man sized serpent in a TV serial is unrealistic). On the other hand too low frame rate can make the video appear blurred and choppy and then Hello Magnifying Glasses because I can’t even see my favourite actress!

But if we are recording sports and action scenes we need to use high frame rate as lot is happening and we need to capture it clearly. Say in a movie scene, Flash's (Barry Allen) first 1 km only takes up half fps!!

30 FPS: 30 distinct still images in a second

We all now know 24 fps is the standard rate to project the video but earlier the standard rate was 30 fps. There was a complicated reason to choose it which was related to some electrical standards and other mundane reasons that I won’t bore you with. You may ask how many should one use? Well in this case the more isn’t really merrier because the more framed you use, the more time you’d be needing to wrap up! So Tick Tock!!

60 FPS: 60 distinct still images in a second

Who doesn’t like a good slow action scene in action movies? Here the director uses high frame rate and a fortune and a Mind! To carefully capture each and every stunt and move.

So next time you blink between the movie, you’re missing hundreds of frames!


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