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Animating using Seconds or Frames Preference

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Hello Everybody,


I had a question on what everyone's preference is when animating...

  • Do you prefer seconds or frames when animating?
  • Also in what instances do you suggest animating in frames?

I'm trying to get a better grasp of animating with GSAP using frames. In computer animation when animating, for example 24fps.


So in GSAP when animating with frames using the useFrames special property. 

  • What determines the frames per second (FPS)?
  • Does the browser determine the FPS?

Thanks for any help with my questions to better understand using frames with GSAP! :)

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Hi Jonathan,


I've never used frames in the JS version, only the AS version but on counted occasions, always went with time. So because of that I always work with seconds. For the same reason I couldn't tell you when to use frames, perhaps when you need a frame by frame, or update by update control of what's going on with the animation and the code. Maybe when creating games, but that's so not my area.


I can't remember the post but Jack once said that browsers use the RAF event which runs on 60 fps based on modern screens refresh rates for better results.


take a look at this from W3C:




But as far as I know this doesn't depend so much in browser capacities, because things could run faster but bottle necks in terms of rendering would cause big issues in this matter.




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Typically the default FPS is 60. You can instruct GSAP to animate at a different fps with

// higher than 60 won't work with requestAnimationFrame though

( the section on 'Customizing the ticker' in the TweenLite docs has more info )


I feel like time based rather than frame based is going to be the better choice in the majority of cases. Browsers won't always have a strict framerate (e.g. 60 frames isn't always going to be equal to exactly 1 second) so their duration will be somewhat variable. If the framerate of the browser dips, then the duration of your animation will change accordingly.

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