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Frame Rates

Frame rate refers to the number of individual images (frames) displayed each second in a video, film or live image stream. This is referred to as frames per second, abbreviated to fps. You may also see other abbreviations, including:

p Progressive frames, e.g. 24p
i Interlaced frames, e.g. 50i

Creating Movement

Motion is created by displaying a series of still images quickly in succession. At lower frame rates (first example below) there are fewer images per second which means a bigger jump between images. This tends to result in a noticeable "choppy" movement. To some extend this can be overcome with motion blur.

Doubling the frame rate

The higher the framne rate, the more images are shown in the same amount of time. This results in smoother movement as well as increased detail as there are more total pixels presented overall (more images = more pixels).

Common Frame Rates

PAL 25 fps
NTSC 29.97 fps
Film Traditionally 24 fps, but 48 fps, 60 fps and even higher frame rates are now being used.

Higher Frame Rates (HFR)

In 2012 Peter Jackson's The Hobbit became the first big-budget film to be released in the higher frame rate of 48 fps. In the video below, Dave Owen explains a bit more about frame rates and discusses the pros and cons of HFR.