This question is from Kevin: In my 3D animation classes that I have taken so far, I have had different instructors require different frame rates to use when working on shorts or even when doing exercises. Some have said 24 fps, while others have told me 30 fps, citing the fact that since we are not animating for film, there is no reason to use the frame rate native to film (24).
As an aspiring 3D animator looking to do work for film, telvision, or games, what frame rate should I use from now on? Does animation done for television have a different frame rate than animation done for film?
Your instructors are correct that those are the two most common frame rates that animators would work with, and honestly it's up to each studio to decide which frame rate best fits their workflow and is most appropriate to the medium they are working in. I would say that the majority of animators I know work at 24fps, even if they are animating for television, but I'm sure there are plenty of animators out there working at 30fps. Truthfully, there's really no right or wrong, though 24fps seems to be a bit more common in my limited experience, and would probably be the better rate to get used to. Most modern DVD players and TV's play recorded films back at their native 24fps, and for film and TV, 24fps is a bonus for animation/fx work because it's less rendering time.
The most important thing, though, is that it doesn't matter one bit which framerate you are working in! Your poses will be the same, and your timing/spacing will be the same, only with slightly different frame numbers. The end result of a scene done at 24fps vs 30fps should pretty much look exactly the same to the naked eye. The 30fps scene might look slightly smoother, but it'll be a small difference.
As for your demo reel - you can just convert your 24fps clips to 30fps through quicktime pro (I'm pretty sure?) or any major video-editing package such as Premiere, Final Cut, or even iMovie.
Hope that helps! Thanks for reading the blog!