General Question

windex's avatar

What is the shortest time you can animate and loop without it looking like a loop?

Asked by windex (2932points) February 24th, 2011

I’m guessing it all depends on the total length of the loop itself and the complexity of the shapes/animation. But on average, lets say for a 2 second loop, at 24 ftps, how many frames can I animate and duplicate and not have the human eye detect it was the same thing repeated.

Ex. this is done all the time in animation (at least on tv) in scenes where someone is running, driving and the background is a bunch of trees/bushes/building just looping. I notice that some are done well so that the second you’re about to recognize and match the previous frames to the upcoming ones, the shot ends.

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6 Answers

markferg's avatar

About 2 seconds sounds reasonable. I’d call this the ‘Wankel Modulus’, as per the rotary engine.
Not anything else that might pop into your filthy mind.

jerv's avatar

It depends on the attention span and memory retention of the viewer, which is variable. Another variable is other distractions. For instance, in a TV/movie driving scene, people’s attention is on the characters and not the background, so you can get away with a shorter loop.

Nullo's avatar

A lot has to do with the complexity of what’s being looped. The old-school fluttering Windows logo comes to mind.

Zyx's avatar

What comes to my mind is a two frame propellor that somehow seems realistic.

windex's avatar

thanks all

@Zyx ROFL, this is true!

anartist's avatar

depends on whether it is a naturally repetitive action.
In one of the WWII propaganda movies a famous director reran footage of airplanes taking off several times consecutively to imply great military might when he had only a few planes taking off as original footage.
Hitler’s jig was also an amusing bit of propaganda

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