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Chapter 2. Animation Basics > Quicker Than the Eye

Quicker Than the Eye

All cinematic animation, film, and video is made up of many individual frames that leave their unmoving ghosts frozen in the eye until the next image flashes before it, until the brain is tricked into thinking that it is seeing one thing moving, instead of many things standing still. If our eyes were quicker and our brains not so gullible, we'd see movies and cartoons as an endless procession of monotonous freeze frames, with characters chronicled in every imaginable pose like an obsessive-compulsive comic book that never gets to the point.

In some ways, the Web is even more demanding on the eye's and brain's imaginative trickery. Movies and video reliably deliver 24 and 30 frames per second, respectively, to our eye-brains, which are completely adequate for tricking us into believing that we're seeing unbroken motion. Even as few as 15 frames per second can be enough to eliminate the impression of strobing or flicker, which is what you get when you turn a strobe light down to low speeds.


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