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October 19, 2007

million little keyframes

Low Morale :: a nice animation to radiohead's creep :: not sure i buy the claim that there are one million keyframes in the movie :: if it took 3 months...

to create (from the site), and he worked 24 hours a day every day, he would have had to animate 463 frames per hour, or 7 frames per minute. Furthermore, since the final animation is 4 minutes and 35 seconds, a million frames of any kind (keyframes or tween frames) would result in a movie with 3636 frames per second of animation... flash allows embedded objects which would allow multiple clips running at once, but that would still require over 100 objects simultaneously animating on each frame of the movie :: still a nice piece though

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Comments (11)

He made it with Flash. Very many of the 1 million keyframes would be copy and paste jobs. Keyframes doesn't refer to frames on the final animation, it refers to frames for tweening between different states of individual elements of the total animation. So there'd be a bunch of keyframes for each person and all their movements, lots of keyframes for each bit of scenery being wiped in and out, etc.

In any case... I agree, it's a wonderful animation.

Posted by: Jameson at October 19, 2007 9:53 AM

I don't doubt the million keyframes. Every object in a flash animation has a separate timeline, with keyframes controlling every movement, and there are a lot of moving objects in that animation. However, since a lot of the movement is repetitive (fans turning, monitors flickering, people jabbering) he only needed to set the keyframes for a couple of seconds of movement, and then could copy/paste them to make the object movement loop.

That is still a lot of worth though...

Posted by: Mike at October 19, 2007 10:40 AM

I'm with Mike on this one: each object has its own keyframe for every bit of movement it does, even if it's animating at the same time as other objects in the movie. Take a look at the credits on the flash timeline; for every frame of rendered video there could be 100 keyframes underneath it controlling each object that's animating.

Agreed though, still a nice piece :)

Posted by: dave at October 19, 2007 11:41 AM

Makes me want a well-paid, comfortable yet soul-destroying job as a senior designer in a multimedia agency.
Though I doubt that was his intent.

Posted by: Val at October 19, 2007 12:15 PM

Probably could have coded the appearing and disappearing elements on the stage anyway :)
Very cool though.

Posted by: Liam Faulkner at October 19, 2007 1:27 PM

I buy that there are a million keyframes.

I don't buy that he counted them.

Posted by: Rachael at October 19, 2007 3:29 PM

liked it, his personal story made it more compelling. thanks

Posted by: notacreep at October 19, 2007 7:21 PM

That was a great bit of animation. His masking techniques were created using the lasso tool to "peel" away frame by frame on many of the animated objects, but I don't believe that would backup a million keyframe claim. However, I'd be more than happy to believe if someone can find proof, and I'm hoping some can.

Posted by: Jeremy at October 20, 2007 10:08 AM

almost as rad as a radio controlled ducky...

true story.


Posted by: tt mcgigglesberry at October 21, 2007 12:03 AM

In flash, keyframes are only at the beginning and ending of an objects movement. I believe there could be a million frames if you added up all the frames in between all the keyframes on every single track, but it is unlikely that there are a million KEYFRAMES. Or perhaps he doesn't know the difference between keyframes and regular frames.

Posted by: ugtv.org at October 23, 2007 12:08 AM

I used to refer to total frames and character frames when I was an Animation Director. 60 seconds of animation is doable. If, however, there's 5 characters appearing during those 60 seconds that makes for 300 character seconds of animation. If I was crazy enough to keyframe every single frame that'd be 9,000 keyframes.

Principal animation for this piece stops at 4 min. 15 sec. That's 7,650 frames. With 131 characters or animated objects during the entire short, he could make it to 1 million keyframes.

Animating is tedious work. Animating something that emulates 2D work in Flash is a pain in the ass.

I bow deeply in respect of Low Morale.

Posted by: Awed Job at October 23, 2007 2:54 AM

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