i recently animated at 24 fps shooting in twos. But now, it gives me a snappy playback animation. when i shot in ones, the playback animation was to fast. is there something im doing wrong? and also, how do i get smooth playback at 24 fps?

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If you want your animation to play back smoothly and at the same speed it moved on two's, you  need to make the animation in smaller movements twice as small with gradual speed changes (ease-in, accelerate, decelerate, and ease out). It helps to plan it all out on paper, frame by frame with a dope sheet so you can see where you need more or fewer frames for a specific action. 

9 times out of 10, the reason that smooth animation is impossible to achieve at 24 FPS is because the spacing of the increments of movement are irregular. This creates a "hiccup" in the animation when you play it back. One other detail, is that even on ones (and especially on two's), if there is not a good solid middle position (also called a breakdown), the animation will be jerky.

If the playback animation is too fast, that means you didn't have enough pictures to get the puppet from A to B.  Make smaller moves, shoot more frames.

Suppose the puppet is walking, and you want each step to take 1/2 second.  (Slightly fast for a full sized human, but not ridiculously fast.)  At 24 fps, on ones, that means you need 12 different poses to get from where the puppet's left foot is just starting to lift off the ground, up to where it is back on the ground again and the right foot is about to lift off.  If you took only 6 frames, and play it back at 24 fps, it will be too fast.  Stretch your shot out to twice the length in After Effects or your editing programs, so each frame is repeated, and it will be like you had shot it on twos.    

If you shoot on twos, so you only move the puppet 6 times but you shoot each frame twice, it will play back at the right speed, because 12 frames will play back in each second.  But it will look slightly less smooth.  

If you shoot on ones at 24 fps, and make the right number of moves, it can play back smoothly and at the right speed.

Like Don says, there are other things that make animation look jerky.  

Ease-In and Ease-Out:  If you go from standing still to full speed, that looks too sudden, because in real life things don't move that way.  They accelerate first, to get up to speed.  You need to Ease In.  That means make the first move really small - I often do a move of only 1mm or 2mm to start.  Then a little bigger, gradually easing in to the full speed of the move.  You can make even a really fast move, like a puppet doing a karate chop, swinging his arm down to break a brick in only 1 or 2 frames, if you do a tiny ease-in move to start it off.  (Maybe 1mm, 3mm, 8mm or 1/3rd of the way down, then all the way down.  That's now 4 frames, but only 2 of them are big moves, the other 2 are tiny.)  It gets the brain ready to accept this as movement, instead of a series of still photos which it really is.   Ease Out is the same thing, only slowing down at the end of a move instead of stopping suddenly.

Consistent movement.  At a constant speed,  the puppet moves in the same direction, the same amount each frame.  Actually  you do want to vary the movement (see Ease-In) but do it smoothly.  Make sure the puppet doesn't accidentally move backwards one frame, or you forget to move it one frame, or it moves twice as much for one frame.  Make sure it doesn't move forwards the right amount, but also move sideways for one frame.  If you change direction, do it in a curve, not a sudden 90 degree turn.

In the old days, shooting on film with no framegrabber, I got my speed wrong a lot, and sometimes my wire armature puppets bounced back and didn't move at all, or even moved backwards a bit, or to the side, and I didn't realise it.  So I know these mistakes from personal experience!  But using Dragonframe, you can see the move before you take the shot, so you can fix all these things and learn much faster.  You move the puppet, click back to the last frame and the frame before that, and see how much it has moved.  If it isn't right, adjust it before taking the shot.  It slows you down - I was a faster animator when I first started, because I just went ahead clicking off frames not knowing they were crap since I was shooting blind - but taking a little longer is so worth it.  

This was shot on film, not quite when I was a beginner but clearly I still had a lot to learn.  You can see the moves are much less smooth than my later stuff done with a framegrabber, and often a bit too fast.  I would probably reject every single stopmotion shot in this doco if I were making it today.   If I load it into my editor and go through it a frame at a time, I can see exactly where I went wrong.

 

I do not know how you guys do your pre-production but I first scetch out an approximation. Once I have done that I will take it a step further by making a 3D animatic with the same lens settings. (you can do a 2D animatic if you are very skilled in drawing)

There after I go to production.
If you do the an animatic, you will know how fast you need to go.

I start by building a lot of things that will never get used. :) Lots of sketches, too. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, stick figures can work. Maybe you could come up with some sort of drawing model that can be dashed out quickly, like a stick figure that is fleshed out just enough in shape to indicate which character is which, kind of like a wireframe. I'm not very skilled at drawing, and am always looking for ways to shorten the preproduction time. Haven't made a film in awhile, but started one and hope to get back to it when there's time again!

Blackshore said:

I do not know how you guys do your pre-production but I first scetch out an approximation. Once I have done that I will take it a step further by making a 3D animatic with the same lens settings. (you can do a 2D animatic if you are very skilled in drawing)

There after I go to production.
If you do the an animatic, you will know how fast you need to go.

I start by building a lot of things that will never get used. :) Lots of sketches, too. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, stick figures can work. Maybe you could come up with some sort of drawing model that can be dashed out quickly, like a stick figure that is fleshed out just enough in shape to indicate which character is which, kind of like a wireframe. I'm not very skilled at drawing, and am always looking for ways to shorten the preproduction time. Haven't made a film in awhile, but started one and hope to get back to it when there's time again!

Blackshore said:

I do not know how you guys do your pre-production but I first scetch out an approximation. Once I have done that I will take it a step further by making a 3D animatic with the same lens settings. (you can do a 2D animatic if you are very skilled in drawing)

There after I go to production.
If you do the an animatic, you will know how fast you need to go.

Yeah, stick figures will work for simple characters and objects. If you have camera movements and complex characters that might be a problem.
If you feel comfortable, you can use a digital 3d application such as blender or maya etc. It would not need to be a fancy 3d application, just so that you can get the perspective you want and the movement. All 3d applications have fps settings. I normally set it to 24 fps and render out a sequence as frames and then check if I can run them at lower speeds.
You can skip every other frame and sometimes even chose to animate it on threes or fours to get a choppy/dynamic feel to it. The frame ratio is depended on the speed of the movement and how one like to perceive it.
The reason 3D applications are popular in preproduction is the reduction of time to draw perspective lines and lens distortion.

ok i have been eyeballing at the Canon EOS Rebel 1200d or canon eos rebel t5 for dragonframe. will that work?  and also, what are some helpful tips on getting smooth animation at 24,15,12.5, and 12 fps?

Yeah that should work. 1200D have the same sensor size as 700D &550D.APS-C vs Fullframe: https://nicolecwhite.com/2013/11/14/full-frame-vs-aps-c-a-photo-gui...

Smooth animation requires high framerate, so 24+.
But it does not necessary mean that you will get the feeling you want simply increase frames. You can increase impact of movement by decreasing frames at quick moves.
Check out the following link.
It will provide you with an comparison between frame-rates:
http://animationpuppetry.com/perception.html

There is no right and wrong in this, it's simply about how you want the final product to look.
Remember that you can not increase frames in post, so it's better that you take in more frames during production and reduce them in post rather than taking in to few frames during production and then regretting it later in post.

Canon 1200d  -  

An18 megapixel camera, 5184 x 3456 pixels at Large size.  That's the same as the 7d that I use.  Enough to shoot 4k animation if you need to, or shoot for full HD with plenty of spare resolution to zoom in and pan around the frame in post if you need to.  So that's good.

Listed on the Dragonframe site as a compatible camera with Dragonframe 3.6.    That's good too.  Live view 1056 x 704 pixels, also good.   http://www.dragonframe.com/cameras/canon_eos_1200d.html

As with all DSLRs, an AC adapter is recommended for animation.  I also recommend a lens adapter and other brand of fully manual lens.  I use Nikon AI and Olympus OM mount lenses.

Price at Amazon, with 18-55mm kit lens, is US $399.  I use my kit lens for general photography, but not for animation.

I already gave my tips for smooth animation in an earlier reply, so I won't repeat all that.  

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