Hi, I'm really new to stop motion and have been trying out various frame rates but am mostly sticking to 24p for no particular reason. after my first couple of attempts I switched to shooting in/on twos (1photo for 2 frames) as I have read that a lot of animators recommend this.
mainly I want to know if there are any advantages to shooting in 24 frames per sec on 2s or would it be just the same as 12 frames per second shooting in singles, I'm assuming it would be the same but I might be missing something?
Perhaps this a good place for someone to explain when and why you would use exactly 30fps instead of 29.97?
I find that 30fps on ones can look sort of sped up if you're used to 24. Conversely, 24 can look slowed down if you're used to 30fps. When Coraline was in production, someone commented that it took a bit of timing adjustment mentally to get back into the zone when switching from features work to television and back again. I suppose the more experience you have as an animator, the less time it takes to readjust. So in that sense, it's somewhat akin to getting jet lag after a long flight.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you're traveling around and every studio uses a different frame rate, it helps to number an X sheet on two's for whatever project you're doing, with the base rate written at the top of it. Then you can literally see the difference in timing (8 "two's" is roughly a half second at 30 and 6 "two's" is exactly a half second at 24). It takes about a day to get used to a slower or faster rate, so shooting pop-thru's or tests before the hero shot will sort it out.
If you want to animate at 30fps exactly, you can do that, but you will lose sync with audio because there will be a slight mismatch between 30 and 29.976. Going the other way, if you shoot 29.976 and your project timeline in the editor is 30 exactly, you will see frame mixing as the software attempts to maintain the sync with audio by interpolating frames across their neighbors.
In fact, I actually just realized a benefit to animating at 24fps. Larger spacing on both ones and two's for any given motion! It just so happens that a 7 inch tall puppet with a wire armature generally will be easier to physically control at 24. It seems that any way you slice it, 30 is more work and more disk space (not to mention wear and tear on the camera) with no real benefit other than a modicum of added smoothness and the ability to shoot some motion that wouldn't work at 24 (faster whip pans and overall camera movement without it falling apart visually). The biggest benefit of 30fps is that it goes to DVD more easily, but even then each frame is going to be compressed more temporally to make it all fit. The result of that is more artifacts.
In the days of telecine machines and 2 inch tape, the standard practice in Europe was to simply speed up films made at 24fps to 25fps (50 interlaced fields/second) for broadcasting. This meant the clocks ran 4% faster and all the sound was raised in pitch by about 2/3 of a semitone. Now you know why your piano or guitar was never in tune with those cheesy American musicals! I'm assuming this is still done to give the smoothest motion.
In countries using (approx.) 30fps (60 interlaced fields/second) the telecinies used the 'three/two pulldown' system to show each alternate frame for three of the interlaced fields instead of two, thus spreading 24 film frames over 60 interlaced fields. To be precise the film will be slowed down to sync with 29.97fps broadcasting (a result of complications when colour (or color for my US readers) was added to the truly 30fps monochrome TV system used in the Americas). This is too small a change in pitch for anyone to notice so playing along with Elvis is less of a problem.
Broadcasting must still comply with it's national standards and be compatible with all the old TV sets still out there so these issues won't be going away soon. DVDs will continue to be produced in one or other format depending on their intended geographical audience.
And all this trouble comes about because of the Euro/USA battles over patents and other rivalries when the electric light was first marketed back in the days when 'television' was just an idea in a few foreward looking minds!