4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2015 1:22 AM by Rick Gerard

    Frame rates above 99 fps?

    A.I.1 Level 3

      In After Effects CS5.5 when you start a new composition, if you set the frame rate to a figure above 99.0 it sets it to 99.0 fps. Is there a way to create compositions and video higher than 99.0 fps? eg. 100 fps, 120.0 fps (and fractional frame rate), higher (eg. 150?). eg. with the UHD-Phase 2 specs featuring higher fps, and 120 fps being used on productions, computer monitors supporting 120Hz, shouldn't After Effects be allowing compositions and video at these sorts of frame rates (perhaps more). Also while creating .mov at the current max of 99 fps seems to work, H264 doesn't (it changes it to 60 on output of video), yet H264 itself isn't limited to 60 fps but it is in the program. Perhaps H265 (HEVC) is more relevant to this (whenever it gets released) - but that's not an option yet for the program is it?

        • 1. Re: Frame rates above 99 fps?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          No. AE is stuck at this limit. I wrote some thoughts about this 2 years ago, BTW.


          Decapitated Cap | Mylenium's Blog



          • 2. Re: Frame rates above 99 fps?
            A.I.1 Level 3

            Your blog says in the cons bit "The human eye never sees anything more than 80fps, the average is much lower at around 50fps. The rods and cones in our eye don’t respond that fast, our nerves can’t forward the impulses that fast, our brain can’t process the data that fast.".


            Yet in subjective tests at the EBU, viewers even noticed statistically significant improvements of 240 fps content over 120 fps content according to the ITU.


            See page 24 of the above document.

            The results show that the scores increase as the frame frequency becomes higher while how much the picture quality improves differs from material to material. The range of score improvement between 60 and 120 Hz extends from 0.14 to 1.04. The average scores

            are shown in Fig. 17. The improvement in scores between 60 and 120 Hz, and 120 and 240 Hz are 0.46 and 0.23 respectively. Both differences are statistically significant. It is anticipated that the increase of frame frequency will be more effective for UHDTV that has much more resolution than HDTV.

            See this from the EBU about the test:



            Page 12 in the link above showing the statistically significant quality improvement from going even from 120 to 240 fps. The quality improvements were (unless I'm mistaken) more significant than those for increases in spatial resolution.Yet AE allows higher spatial resolution (even though that improvement in the tests caused less of an improvement) but not the frame rates tested that gave those visible, statistically significant quality improvements. Also in your blog you mention that not everyone will see every single frame. That may be so but like in the EBU tests above, they were able to see 240 fps, and even if some can't see every single frame what matters is they will get the ability (if shot that way) to see natural looking video - as they would in real life. Though the BBC have calculated approx 700 fps may be needed to counter all motion issues. That may be too much to realistically provide in the program but it shows how far off the program currently is (including the limits of 60 fps out for things like h264). 


            Also others are already doing this, and I'm even more will. Surely Adobe will want to keep up to date with the latest standards being used. As well as it would be nice if they would enable even higher to be used should people wish to.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Frame rates above 99 fps?
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              I'm sure if I look long enough in the night sky I can see an "Enterprise" flying around there flying at Warp 9... Sure, since the human eye uses a pseudo-ordered/ random sampling, higher framerates would result in more evenly distributed "hits" across your photo-sensitive cells and improve perception, but there is only so much you can get out of it. You have to differentiate the technical facts from the limitations of your human body and of course there is any number of perceptional issues associated with this just as well. "Natural looking video" is an oxymoron in the first place. That and of course the relevance just isn't there for many people. To my 89 year old grandma all that UHD HDR stuff would still look like a soft pastello moosh just like children up to a certain age are victims of their not fully developed vision and see squat. And we don't even need to get into the finer points of visually impaired people's problems. That would be the same tiresome discussion as why Stereo 3D doesn't work for everyone. So with all respect to you and the ITU scientists - abstract tests and statistics only tell you so much. That Fig. 17 could be based on a bunch of 20-year-olds in their prime and of course they would have better vision than me, my mum, my grandma and a whole lot of other people. So for what it's worth, I may agree that AE needs to allow more than 99 FPS for a) avoiding awkward workflows and improving temporal sampling precision e.g. with time-remapping and b) support some of that new-fangled bling-bling stuff, but otherwise I maintain that the practical relevance will still cap off somewhere just like I maintain that bad movies will always remain bad movies, even in full HDR at 240 FPS or whatever. Or in other words: Beyond the initial enawement in a suitably outfitted cinema all of this doesn't do much for me. I could prop the latest 8k TV in my crammed flat and get nothing out of it.



              • 4. Re: Frame rates above 99 fps?
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Bleeding edge stuff for sure but the fact is that the FPS of the ae comp doesn't matter one bit, it is the fps of the playback device that is the limiting factor. The only thing a comp at a higher frame rate would give you is the ability to easily check the duration in seconds and preview by skipping frames during playback due the limitations of current hardware a short sequence in real time. The fundamental way that AE plays back a cached render would have to change to accommodate playback at high frame rates. This does not keep you from working with footage that was shot at very high frame rates.

                I have worked on several projects shot at 20,000 and 30,000 fps in AE. You can't preview the footage in real time because the max frame rate for footage is 98 fps but you wan work without dropping any frames. The footage will just playback faster than normal. Let me propose a workflow to view the footage in real time in a ram preview then render every frame so you can put the footage in a container that will play it back in real time at a higher frame rate.


                Let's say you have some 240 fps footage. Bring that into AE and AE will interpret that footage as 99 fps. Let's change the frame rate to an even multiple of 240. Let's say 60 fps. That's 1/4 speed. Now drop that footage in a 60fps comp and work your magic. You will have every one of the original frames to work with. The only problem is that your ram previews will be at best 1/4 speed if you can get AE to playback at a consistent 60 fps. To view your comp in real time create a new comp at a frame rate that you know will playback smoothly in AE like 30 fps that is 4X longer than the 60 fps comp. You now nest the 60 fps comp (with preserve frame rate when nested checked) in the 30 fps comp and enable time remapping. The last step is to grab the last keyframe and move it to the end of the comp. Your footage will now preview in real time giving you a reasonable preview of how the footage will look when viewed any media player capable of real time playback. When the project is done you render the main comp as an image sequence and load that image sequence into software that will encode the images for playback on a device that supports high frame rate playback.


                Until AE or Premiere Pro is up to the task of real time playback at high frame rates this will give you the ability to work with high frame rate footage without loosing any frames, add effects, and preview the result in real time, then send the project to the render cue where every frame will be rendered and ready for delivery to software that will render and or playback at high frame rates.