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Determining the "Correct" framerate for Sonic CD's ending videos

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by RibShark, Jun 24, 2022.

  1. RibShark

    RibShark

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    Sonic Origins has finally given us a source for the Sonic CD ending that doesn't have awful frameblending (for the most part). Unfortunately, it also seems to run much too fast compared to other versions from past releases. At first, I thought this was simply because the framerate in the video file was set wrong (29.97fps), but on attempting to fix this, I noticed that the speed of the Origins video compared to that of the 2011 release was inconsistent. The closest I could get to it syncing was 18fps, but this caused it to drift in and out of sync, being ahead of the 2011 video sometimes and yet behind at others, flip flopping between which was further ahead.

    This made me wonder, what *is* the correct framerate. The part before the credits shows seems to vary between syncing at 16-20fps, and the part that plays while the credits show seems to sync best between 20-24fps. 24fps is pretty standard for anime, so perhaps this was the original framerate which was then sped up and slowed down to match the audio? But then why is the syncing also inconsistent in the credits part? *Is* there even a "correct" framerate that could be used to create a "definitive" ending video?
     
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Was hunting down the Sonic Jam video to make a point, but found something better:



    Toei Animation probably did both the intro and ending with 24FPS in mind, and doesn't work well in a 30FPS or 60FPS container. You're always going to get either judder as a frame is shown multiple times, or some wonky frame blending - it's inevitable, unless you speed up or slow down the footage to ensure each frame is on screen for the same amount of time.

    This is absolutely fine though for the original Sonic CD. Sega knew they'd have to re-draw the art (or at least trace over it), and that they were going to have to drop frames. There may also be technical reasons why the footage runs slower on the Mega-CD - I wouldn't know, but it was never going to be a 1:1 match and nobody expected it to be.

    Every other version is working with the original film, and then you're left with a dilemma - do you make exactly the same cuts as the Mega-CD for authenticity's sake, or do you try and present more of what was originally created? Were choices made on the Mega-CD to keep the footage in sync with the music, or was Toei's footage already in sync? Was it never actually in sync and we just thought it was?

    If that video above is correct, it looks like Gems Collection made an effort to emulate the Mega-CD timings (but included bits that the Mega-CD dropped). The Origins version looks like it's aiming for the original 24FPS cut, the 2011 version is somewhere in the middle (maybe that one's actually running at 24FPS while Origins is at 30? idk).


    The irony is, one of the benefits of this re-release in Europe is that it runs at 60Hz instead of 50Hz. But if it was 50Hz, you could have the videos play at 25FPS which would be much more accurate to what was originally intended. It's in the HD standard and most TVs can handle it, but no modern console supports a 50Hz refresh.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
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  3. Snub-n0zeMunkey

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    Wow, when I finished CD in Origins my first thought was "wait is this animation sped up?" Glad to know I wasn't just imagining it lol

    I kind of prefer the 2011 remaster version, probably because I'm so used to that one. Also found it a bit weird that the sound effects were removed from the cutscene in Origins and it just goes straight into the ending song.
     
  4. DefinitiveDubs

    DefinitiveDubs

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    Also worth noting the music starts differently depending on the version.

    The Mega-CD original has all the sound effects and doesn't start the music until right as the second chain link falls to the ground and Little Planet lifts off. The 2011 version does the same. Jam has the original sound effects at the start, but then a few seconds later, fades into the rap part of the music, with the slow beginning part cut out, as Sonic is jumping with Amy. Gems and Mega Collection have the music start immediately at the beginning with no sound effects, and Origins does the same, although Origins seems to fade the music in on the first note.

    With the music in mind, I think CD 2011 and Origins were timed that way for a reason. Both of them have the orchestra hit right as Sonic strikes his pose, right before the credits. Because CD 2011 kept the original sounds, it had to slow down the framerate considerably in order to make this happen. Since Origins doesn't do that, it could afford to speed the framerate up a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
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  5. Brainulator

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    I do wonder if the American soundtrack had anything to do with these changes - its inclusion in the 2011 port, for example, was a last-minute thing.
     
  6. Chimes

    Chimes

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    Ok so im gonna nerd out here for a bit as I've become more acquainted with this era of japanese animation but I think the faster framerate was what the clips were actually supposed to be animated in. My reasoning for this is that the presence of impact frames, smears, and general timing hubbub in Sonic's locomotion and when things explode mesh easier in motion at the faster framerate, but look... "mushy" when it's on the sega cd framerate.

    I know this because other animators who KA'd Sonic CD's cutscenes have also done other work, giving us more reference in regards to effects animation timing and impact frames.
    Compare this Anpanman clip presumed to be animated by Itiro Huruiti, with a clip done by the same animator in the Sonic CD ED:

    When comparing the motion of the two, it's clear judging from the direction of the Anpanman clip and its effects animation and impact frames combine together and how Baikinman and Sonic move with smearing that the faster clips are how it was originally intended. It just flows better. Contrast that to the low FPS versions, and it feels very... wrong. Sluggish, even. Sonic feels like he's in the Moon with ash with how he glides so slowly to the Sasori.

    The sound effects and music are another matter, where they seem to have been made for the slower FPS for the Sega CD in mind. My guess is that streaming graphics data from the CD in the way Sonic CD did (with a 1x disc drive, mind you) meant that having the original FPS wasn't feasible without compromise. This leads to a somewhat strange debate: do you watch the ending on mute with the animation's original 24FPS, or do you watch it with sound that's synced to a slower FPS?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  7. muteKi

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    I don't have a huge dog in this fight but notice how in the origins intro Sonic's footsteps in the first scene match up with the pace of the piano.

    Do we know what kinds of framerates were common for Sega CD FMV games? Cursory googling suggests 10 or 15 FPS.

    EDIT: possibly an even better question -- does anyone know what the pencil test framerate is? I'd presume it's 30 FPS. If the footage wasn't designed to run at exactly 60 FPS I could see them still targeting it because it's effectively the console's native framerate and you can get down to 10-15 by dropping everything but specific multiples of frames. Pencil test may be mostly of the intro but it doesn't have as much of a VDP bottleneck due to the fact that it's much simpler data and at least looks to me like it's supposed tk be 30FPS
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  8. MastaSys

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    I thought they sped it up because they cut the sound effects while playing the JP soundtrack.
     
  9. Chimes

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  10. Harper

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    An interesting thing to note is that the opening video file shares the same frame rate as the ending in Origins, that being 30FPS.
     
  11. I don't mind the "faster" speed. It gives the animation more fluidity and since Sonic is supposed to be fast, it doesn't seem super out-of-place.

    That said, I would like the sound effects back.
     
  12. HEDGESMFG

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    I think others are correct here that the sped up version is actually the original intended framerate, and it makes sense as to why they changed it.

    Sonic Jam was the first time we got this footage in "proper" quality, if I recall, and the fact that it matches that release is rather notable, as Sonic Team oversaw that entire collection themselves.

    Having said all that, man, I miss the slower version for the JP sounds and Extended Boom Soundtrack theme... that final acoustic guitar bit hit me in the feels every time. (3:08)

    I really do hate the removal of Taxman's remixed OST Loops for both tracks.

     
  13. Brainulator

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    Weirdly, the 2011 PC release speeds up the US ending track so the JP sound effects at the end can play.
     
  14. Ch1pper

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    I see some people saying they like the sped-up version -- which one?

    The comparison video has half of them play at different speeds from one another. The only consistent thing seems to be that each version has some footage that looks roughly 24fps and other footage with increased speed. Like, I'd have to go through each one scene-by-scene to stitch together one with a consistent framerate throughout.

    Which I'd love to do, but then I'd have to track down each oneā€¦
     
  15. Mastered Realm

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    The version from Jams/Mega Collection/Origins is consistently the fastest.
    The one from original Mega CD/PC release is consistently the slowest.

    Other versions are in-between but I don't think it matters much?

    The person who made comparison video didn't change the speed of the videos being compared, they just cut them into sections so it's easier to follow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2022
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  16. Tjoeb123

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    Personally, I think the PC/2011 versions are "correct". Because Mega Collection is a combination of both endings, and the other versions have both songs playing at full length alongside the credits, which is not the case at all in Origins where some of it is cut off (while missing the JP SFX in the US soundtrack; the SCD/PC versions had Sonic Boom continuing in the Try Again/You're Too Cool screens; while Origins stops it at the end of the credits as in the 2011 release) from being sped up.
     
  17. Ayu Tsukimiya

    Ayu Tsukimiya

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    The Mega CD/2011 versions of the ending really don't make sense when compared to either the opening *or* the animators' other work. Hisashi Eguchi in particular is really great at high speed action sequences and if he was going to make his cuts slower, he probably wouldn't have made them look so stilted compared to the smooth, well-timed opening. I don't think the JP SFX track at the beginning is an indicator of the animator's intended speed, since Sega most likely made it.

    Maybe there was some sort of miscommunication between Toei/Studio Junio and Sega about the length of the ending or they didn't compose Cosmic Eternity yet, so they tried slowing down the footage to synch it up to the song.
     
  18. Kyro

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    Yeah im in the same boat, im not sure the songs should really determine which one is the true speed. I think for the most part the higher framerate makes the ending scenes look much nicer and have better flow, though with that said, there are a couple specific scenes like the one in wacky workbench which actually look way better at the slower speed

    Its very odd, i kinda wish there was slme middle ground where most kept the speed up framerate while a couple other scenes such as the ones mentioned kept the 2011 speed. I dont really care about keeping the sound effects or making either ending song line up perfectly, the animation is the main thing I enjoy from the endings anyways when actually playing
     
  19. Brainulator

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    I figured it might be helpful to put every relevant version of the ending here that has not been posted already (i.e. skipping the 2011 US and Origins versions).

    Japanese version:
    You'll have to skip ahead a few seconds, but...
    The US soundtrack is excluded here.
    Skip to 1:00:58 for the actual video (this is the best I could find).
    Instrumental version:
     
  20. Kushami

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    Sorry to necro-post, but in preparing the Origins HD video, what I learned is that the cuts on the MegaCD version were manipulated quite a bit. There's no "one size fits all" speed adjustment that would work on the animated footage to match the MegaCD version. If you try to slow down every scene to match the MegaCD version it would look extremely jittery and awful. Some scenes would run at 50% speed, some at 12% speed. There were extra pauses added, a lot of stuff like that. It was just not a viable solution to recreate the MegaCD version from the film footage. The 2011 version kind of tried to replicate this as well, but it didn't come out that good because the footage was heavily frameblended.

    For the characters in the MegaCD version, it's obvious that they're traced over and sprited out to look better on the MegaCD. There's also extra details, such as Amy's skirt wobbling when Sonic runs away in the ending. So you're stuck with either trying to match the MegaCD version which would look awful, leaving it alone, or trying to find a happy medium. For Origins they opted to leave it alone.

    I actually created a version of the endings myself that retimes all the footage to the music to try to come up with my own happy medium. I actually wonder if someone knows how to mod Origins or 2011 to add it? I imagine for Origins you'd have to edit when the credits start to roll, for how long, and their position. Here's an example of the bad ending. To note, the credits on this version are quickly yanked from the 2011 version and are just an example; I know the credits are jittery.

     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2024
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