Next Blender Studio open movie announced: Pet Projects


Latest production recap blog post has landed.

Looks like they are going to shot it on 2s again, just like Sprite Fright.

Really wish they wouldn’t, most of the time I found Sprite Fright a jerky mess as everything mostly stuttered from one movement to the next.

One could mostly get away with the old cartoons being shot on 2s, but it was flat 2D drawings being shown on interlaced CRT TV’s.

But modern 3D shaded animation on a 4K OLED TV at 120Hz doesn’t work so well when every frame is repeated.


The first animation test is amazing, it it really on 2s ? it looks super smooth and yet very snappy !!
So much level up in every project !!

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Yeah, I’ve tried to somewhat step through that a frame at a time, but the video player has limited options. Even so, I actually don’t think that test animation is shot on 2s, since as you say, its smooth and looks great.

But as per the blog post: “it was decided that most of the animation would be on 2s”, so I think that was decided after the test animation was done.

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The test animation is on 2s. There are subtle smears on just about every frame (look at the way the hand stretches during the walk cycle), not just the big movements, which is why it looks so smooth.

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No it’s not. I was just able to find a away to download the animation and on stepping through it frame-by-frame it is totally shot on 1s.

There are no smears at all, but yes, on a couple of frames the hands are stretched, while for the big jump movements, everything is massively squashed and stretched, but it is all 1s, with no real smear or blur at all.

Guess that is not going to be the case once final animation is done.

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That frame is what is known as a ‘smear frame.’ Smears don’t necessarily have blur, and many in fact don’t.
Like this classic Bugs Bunny smear:

I was wrong about it being entirely 2s, but it’s a mix of 1s and 2s. Frame 49 repeats until frame 51, then pops into a smear at 52, which holds for two frames, then it’s back to 1s (with multiple smear frames until the dog is on the right side of the frame)

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OK, I tended to think of that as more just extreme squash and stretch and I wouldn’t expect old Bugs Bunny to have blur, given it wouldn’t have been all that easy to do back then (without some double exposure, etc and its not like they had the time or budget for all that), compared to now in 3D, where you can check a box and let the renderer do it, or do it in post in the video editor.

Either way, terms aside, the test animation is pretty much all shot on 1s and based on the blog post that is not how the final short is going to be done, it will be on 2s, just like Sprite Fright and as I said, I found that to be rather jerky and stuttering and as such, I wish they wouldn’t do Pet Projects on 2s.

That test animation pretty much just proves how good it can look on 1s, with the odd hold.


Why they decided to animate on 2 ?
Indeed this shot is awesome, I bet there is a good reason to switch to 2 since they obviously know what they are doing …

I have no idea, I guess it’s easier/cheaper/quicker to only animate every second frame.

I guess in the old days of 2D only having to draw every second frame is a huge saving but apart from maybe render time (only have to render half the frames and let the video editor just duplicate them) then for 3D you’d think it’s much less of a deal, since any animation gets auto interpolated across frames anyway.

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Interesting !

Given their movies I’m pretty sure it’s an artistic decision !
My theory is, since they go for a cartoony / slapstick style, having the animation on 2 allows the animation to read better, and therefore allowing more fast paced action.

I agree that in sprite fright this has bothered me , in fact mostly in the first shots where the action was quite slow, like people walking quietly.

But once the action is fast, like people running and do crazy exaggerated stuff I think it works pretty well.

Maybe it was too complicated to have both ?

But that’s just me, could be cool to have insight from a seasoned animator !