2 Replies Latest reply on May 27, 2016 3:35 PM by ethandale

    What Frame Rate?

    ethandale Level 1

      Hello! I am just starting to begin video editing, at least, on a larger scale than lightworks and Movie Maker. Once I can afford AE or the creative cloud, I plan on making the switch to Adobe. With the various tutorial videos I have been watching, I have seen many people alter the frame rate, and say that when I am using it, I should "just do that. You don't need to know why, just know that this is better." Multiple videos have said that for multiple contradicting values, and I want to find out what exactly I should be doing with frame rate, how it is affected by the video in the first place (for instance, lightworks wouldn't let me combine two videos because one was shot on a "60 FPS" camera and the other was shot on a "30 FPS" camera), what changing it to various amounts will do, and what amounts I should be using in various situations. I thank you in advance for your help and responses, as I am very excited to move into advanced digital editing!


      Ethan Dale

        • 1. Re: What Frame Rate?
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Think of frame right as slices in time. The more slices the more action you can capture. In most of the world electricity runs at 60 Hz and the rest of the world runs at 50 Hz. Broadcast television and most of the world is classified as an TSC and the signal is broadcast most universally at 29.97 frames per second interlaced.


          What does all this mean to you? Most modern devices that will record video will shoot at 23.976, 24, 29.97, 30, 59.94 or 60 frames per second. Some will shoot at any of these frame rates, some will shoot at all of them.  Some will shoot interlaced or progressive, but don't worry about that for now. I won't go into too much detail but it is easier to make nice looking video at 29.97 or 30 fps then it is at 24. Until you really understand how movies work I would stick to the higher frame rate unless you live in a country that uses PAL as the standard (Europe). If you are in a PAL country then use 25 frames per second.


          Any professional and most amateur editing apps will let you mix frame rates with no problem. All professional editing and compositing apps will let you override frame rate and set it to anything you want within reasonable limits. If you have decided to use 29.97 or 30 frames per second as your default frame rate for your finished productions but you have shot your footage at 60 frames per second you can still add your high frame rate footage to the 30 frames per second timeline and the footage will play back in real time. The only thing that will happen is half of the frames will be missing.  Visually this has no real disadvantage. The advantage of shooting at a high frame rate is that you can't tell the editing application that the footage is 30 frames per second and end up with slow-motion footage. In other words one second of real time will take two seconds of screen time to play back. So if you want to have some slow-motion footage in your project sheet at the highest frame rate you can.


          Do you like to watch Bugs Bunny cartoons? Back in the days before digital projection all sound movies in most of the world were projected at 24 frames per second. That is an awful lot of animation cells to draw by hand.  What the animators did was draw 12 animation cells per second of screen time and then just photograph each cell twice so you had pairs of identical slices in time. It turns out, especially with animation of that style, that 12 slices in time per second  when play back at 24 frames per second looked just fine. The difference between interlaced and progressive footage when you watch it on television is basically the same thing. 29.97 fps interlaced is 59.94 fields per second, with each field being a separate slice of time. Interlaced footage only draws every other line. That means the even numbered fields will be one slice of time and the odd numbered fields will be another slice in time. If you should or watch aggressive footage on television then they are still sending the set 59.94 fields per second but they are sending identical pairs of 29.97 slices in time. I hope you can wrap your head around that one.


          Bottom line – most likely your best option is to shoot at 29.97 progressive or 30 p and make that the standard for most of your productions. If you want to add slow-motion effects shoot at a higher frame rate.

          • 2. Re: What Frame Rate?
            ethandale Level 1

            Holy cow, that was an amazingly detailed answer! Thank you so much for your input!