Frames Per Second (FPS)

Encord Computer Vision Glossary

Frames per second (fps) is a measure of how many still images, or frames, are displayed in a single second of video or animation. The higher the number of frames, the smoother and more realistic the movement appears to the viewer. In general, a frame rate of 30 fps or higher is considered smooth, while a frame rate below 30 fps may appear choppy or jerky.

The standard frame rate for movies and TV shows is 24 frames per second (fps), which is the lowest frame rate needed to produce a level of smoothness that most viewers will find tolerable. This is because the human eye can analyze 24 different images in a single second, which is enough to give the appearance of continuous motion. Higher frame rates, like 48 or 60 fps, may be used in some movies and TV shows to achieve even smoother motion or to more properly record the action that is happening quickly.

The frame rate in video games is frequently higher than in film and television, ranging from 30 frames per second to over 100 frames per second. This is because video games use significantly more processing power and typically have more intricate visuals than movies or television programs. Fast-paced action games can benefit greatly from smoother gameplay and more detailed graphics, which can be achieved with a higher frame rate.

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What affects frame rates?

Frame rates can be affected by a variety of factors, including the capabilities of the device or computer being used to display the video, the complexity of the graphics being displayed, and the available bandwidth for streaming video. For example, a video game may run smoothly on a high-end gaming computer but may experience frame rate issues on a lower-end device. Similarly, streaming video may experience frame rate issues if the available bandwidth is not sufficient to support the video's frame rate.

In conclusion, the number of still images displayed during a single second of video or animation is referred to as the "frames per second" and it plays a significant role in defining how realistic and smooth the motion that is being exhibited is. Higher frame rates often produce smoother, more detailed images, but they may also use more bandwidth and processing power.

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