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After reading Senshin's question about why Sidonia no Kishi has such low framerate, I wondered: is there not a way to improve an anime's frame rate on our end, similar to the way HDTV's do?

What are some ways to improve the frame rate of a low FPS anime?

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Personal soapbox time: I don't think it makes sense to use SVP for anything besides maybe full-CG anime (Sidonia, Arpeggio, etc). It's not as severe with drawn animation as with live action, but you still get a healthy dose of soap-opera-ization. (Japanese) animators have refined their techniques over the past half-century to look good despite limited frame rates; interpolation kind of kills that, IMO. – senshin Feb 29 at 17:19
up vote 6 down vote accepted

As mentioned, HDTV's achieve this effect as described by using Motion Interpolation to generate intermediate frames, reducing the choppiness of the movement. If you are streaming the show to your TV, ensure you have such a feature (Motion Plus, TrimensionDNM, Motionflow, etc.) on and you should notice an increase in frame rate.

In case you're wondering if there is really a difference, here is a video showing 24 FPS and 60 FPS anime side-by-side. Ensure that you set the YouTube player to to 1080/60FPS to be able to notice the difference.

https://youtu.be/kHPVDXwMxiA

This video highlights Motion Interpolation generated by Smooth Video Project on a Windows computer. The free version of their software will allow us to increase the frame rate of our shows from 8/12/24 to 60FPS.

It is important to note in general, anime production companies do a good job at creating smooth action scenes without the need of more frames. The cases that SVP is useful is generally limited to computer generated imagery. Anime that consists of mainly CGI and 3D visuals benefit from this interpolation especially well in cases where the background imagery is rendered in 2D, as it will make the character movements appear much more fluid. While maybe anecdotal, I personally tested it on Sidonia no Kishi and feel like it did a nice job to resolve the choppy animation in that show.


For information on setting this up, refer to their manual. SVP requires the installation of additional software, ffdshow and LAVFilters in order to process video. SVP is not a video player, this page has a list of compatible video players.

Additional reading on FPS in anime: What does it mean for animation to be done “on ones” or “on twos”?

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Wow! I'm not that into anime, but SWP is awesome! – Tomáš Kafka Feb 29 at 20:47
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I have to agree with senshin here, motion interpolation does not actually constitute an "improvement" of the work. The comparison above is rather silly, since (a) the left side pretty clearly has higher contrast, brighter individual frames, as you can tell simply by pausing the video, and (b) the sample in question is a high-quality OP segment with a fairly large amount of CGI and a high starting framerate, which is where SVP ought to perform best... – Logan M Feb 29 at 23:18
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When applied to a more typical anime scene with low framerate, you won't see much difference, and where there is a difference the interpolated video will typically look worse (even ignoring noticeable artifacts, which can and do occur unless you spend a lot of time tuning the settings). Of course, that's a personal opinion, but it's clearly shared by most animators, since animation studios themselves could easily use this technology but deliberately choose not to. – Logan M Feb 29 at 23:18
    
@LoganM In order to cover all sides and form an objective answer, I've updated my answer to include the points you and Senshin bring up. Feel free to let me know if you feel that this information is incorrect. – Michael McQuade Mar 1 at 4:29
    
I used SVP before, and well.. since I seldom watching CGI-rendered anime, I usually just enjoy the smooth background panning (usually on OP/ED), but other than that, nope. Also, you probably forgot to include SVP settings for watching anime. – Aki Tanaka Mar 2 at 3:50

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