How many of you use stopwatch?

A serious question, how many of you use a stopwatch during animation to time their frames? I have read somewhere or maybe I saw a video about animation mentioning the use of stopwatches. So I would like to know if its a good idea to get one?

I don’t see why you would need a stopwatch. Most animation programs let you set the FPS of your animation ( can’t remember if pencil2d does, but it should )

@sumit_makwana @spark Actually using a stopwatch / metronome is a great way to act the actions of your character and time out how your keyframes are laid out. This may seem like an “ancient” tradition or something, but I assure you it’s a great way to do it. animators nowadays film reference, sure, but they still act it out while measuring the time it takes to perform certain actions and the exaggerating / transforming that time to suit their needs.

Remember that animated motions are a bit faster than real life unless you want naturalistic motion. Not everything can be done in a computer program timeline. For example TVPaint has a stopwatch /metronome panel feature but to me it’s almost as useless for complex physical motions.

When I measure time, I use my old nokia cellphone which has a digital stopwatch with miliseconds, since it’s portable and “real” I use it a lot, besides I can’t be bothering to be near the computer everytime i act the motions.

@spark I don’t mean to use it for setting the fps(12/24). I mean to use it to time the important key poses at the right time.

The problem in Pencil is that I have to actually add a keyframe far ahead, or actually add another frame, so that the cursor will move when I hit the Enter key. If it would move ahead without needing another keyframe, that would be nice.

@morr What would you suggest, a dedicated mechanical stopwatch? digital stopwatch? or a stopwatch app on the smartphones/computer?

@sumit_makwana To be honest, that choice is as personal as what brand of toilet paper you purchase. I can only point out that whatever stopwatch or means you use to time out your actions should allow you to capture the time of multiple “beats” or important moments in the action.

For example say you want to time out an action where you fail hitting a baseball with a bat. You would start counting, click and record to where you finished your anticipation, then you record again when you put your foot closest to your body after that, then when you twist your body, etc. Or maybe you just record the strongest poses. Like resting with the bat, holding the bat with a leg up, spreading your legs and the bat hitting the ball at the exact moment.

It depends on what you want to show. Sadly this is one of those things that can’t be taught, so you’ll have to “feel” it, of course understanding what you need to communicate with your action and how you will draw it ‘best’ will help to nail down those immaterial things that make your choice as informed as it can be.

If you’re short on cash, and you already have a tablet or a smartphone, get a stopwatch app that can record multiple entries, and start from there. Once you get the hang of it, and if you think you’ll become more efficient with a digital one, then get it. But first understand why you’re getting it and how you are going to use it.

@morr ‘But first understand why you’re getting it and how you are going to use it.’ THIS! :smiley:

THank you for the insight.