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Shooting ones?

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Shooting ones?

I'm not yet an animator but I'm just wondering, because I always hear that traditional animation is shot on twos. If you were to shoot on ones, what are the advantages and disadvantages? does it have the potential to have a more fluid and real look to it? tanx in advance :D

Generally it is shot on twos because generally that is all that is needed, and generally that is all that can be afforded. (Cost-benefit analysis: Is the change in appearance really worth the added cost of twice the work?)

Shooting on ones can smooth out animation, but in my learning the only times it gets used unless you're talking about feature film or perhaps zany-billionaire-producer material is when it has to be. Sometimes given a fixed frame rate (24 fps, for example) an action you're trying to do won't read as well if too much is going on either too fast or with too distant of spacing. Too properly pull off all that motion you'll need more specific elaboration of it, in terms of the quanitity of drawings, and that's where ones come in handy.

Ones allow you to smooth the speed and spacing with intermediate drawings, so it reads better. For example, if I have my whole arm waving like I'm asking a question, and in a single second it goes from way over on one side of my body to the other side and -then back again-, it could get confusing on twos. One drawing per frame would allow me to do posititions between those I already have (say more middle frames vertically aligned with my head) and thus be able to more effectively lead my eye from the extreme positions. It will also look less choppy.

Of course, where it happens in real life the motions are far more complicated, like characters grappling or someone doing several takes while darting around or slipping on something. Interaction with other characters/forces. Timing has a big influence. Also from what I've learned, you almost always NEED ones in order to do camera movements without flickers or strobing. Think too, about planting/placement of feet in a run across the screen in profile, with a cycling background. You're going to want to get that right less you lose the immersive escapist quality of the piece on the grounds of a technical improficiency.

However, if you're doing a moderate speed march, or some lady walking out of JC Penney's from a long day of shopping, unless you have fierce characterization skills, adding more frames to the pot -will- often look smoother, but will not necessarily add to the overall animation quality in terms of entertainment or realism.

In short, yes it is a good idea, if you have the talent and stamina, because even if it isn't more realistic (if you can notice a change at all) it certainly has a higher chance of being more fluid if done right. The real question here in the context of the production process is practicality.

Make sense?

Yep, thanks! Just because sometimes I'll watch something and see how choppy it looks, just wondering if shooting on ones would've helped in such a situation, thanks for your help!

Anything specific? I myself might be able to learn something from it if I had an idea of what you were talking about. Maybe I could see a good example of bad decision-making lol

Also consider if the piece was online (I'm assuming it wasn't) connections and screen refresh rates and graphic card fill rates can butcher the viewing quality of even the best animation.

I never really consider the quality of any online animations, simply because my computer stinks, so I can't really judge it fairly. But nothing comes to mind really off hand, and it's not so much I see something that's choppy and I can't stand it, but just subtle things, which shouldn't really be a concern for most TV shows anyhow. I'm just asking moreso how it all works, and now I know. But I suppose if you look through looney tunes shows you can find some examples, but those are so old anyway, we're not even using cels anymore, so it's almost completely irrelevant. It kinda sounds like I'm going in circles now, contradicting everything I originally said eh? ;) I'm really tired!! So I'm just going to make it quick while I'm mildly coherent. I now have the answer I was looking for thank you. I will see if I can find more recent examples.

Generally, ones are used for fast motions and complex actions. Twos are usually fine for "average" movements (walks, reaching for a box of cereal, etc.)

Even on twos, though, spacing is important. Ones won't improve a motion that is timed or spaced badly. Make sure the issue is with the action and not the spacing before you commit to ones.

Even on twos, though, spacing is important. Ones won't improve a motion that is timed or spaced badly. Make sure the issue is with the action and not the spacing before you commit to ones.

Great point. It's something I would tackle personally before getting that far, and it might not be clear by implication alone, so I'm glad someone said it because it's really a main point concept behind this all.

Okay excellent, thank yous, and keep in mind I haven't started animation yet, so I'm not putting any of this to use yet, but it's all very helpful to know.

Effects and dialog too


Don't forget that most effects and dialog use ones too. Actually, dialog can be ones and twos.

For effects - because they move so fast, they are shot on ones. It helps the clarity and to smooth out the movements/actions.

If something is moving fast it helps to use ones so the movement doesn't strobe.


Quick question; not sure if this is common practice or not.

In my (limited) experience, I've found that I never consistently animate on ones, twos, fours, or anything else. Each cut uses a different rate of animation, and often the rate changes within that cut.