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Facebook invents a new unit of time: the flick (frame-tick)

by Mark Tyson on 23 January 2018, 14:11

Tags: Facebook

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Facebook has devised a new time unit called the flick. Flick is a portmanteau word for frame-tick and is the smallest unit of time which is larger than a nanosecond. Amounting to 1/705600000 of a second, exactly, there is an interesting reason behind that specific duration. Facebook and Oculus, which provided the impetus behind the new unit, reckon that the flick will be of great utility in the content industry due to its mathematical qualities.

The motivation behind the flick unit is the problem of slight variances in sync introduced in frame rate conversions between media files. Those who work in visual effects for film, television, and other media, for example, often face divisions of time that result in very long floating point numbers. With a multitude of such operations audio/visual inaccuracies can accumulate.

If you think about all the common frame rates and audio frequencies used by content creators, the majority will be a full integer divisible from 705600000. The following important numbers can divide 705600000 to give a full integer answer: 8, 16, 22.05, 24, 25, 30, 32, 44.1, 48, 50, 60, 90, 100, and 120 for example.

Using flicks as the time unit, a frame in a 24fps movie takes 29,400,000 flicks. In seconds the same frame is 0.041666666666666666-recurring, usually rounded up to 0.04167.

If developers are interested in integrating flick units to their applications then they can head on over to the Github C++ source page and dig deeper into the readme files, source files, and so on.



HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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Flick is a portmanteau word for frame-tick

And where, exactly, in “frame-tick” did they get an ‘L’ from?
If it's really a portmanteau, surely it should be “frick”? It's fake news, I tell you…
It's a quantum ‘L’ - it gets disrupted if you try and observe it. :juggle:
The Article
smallest unit of time which is larger than a nanosecond

That sentences really got my pedantic side going nuts as a microseconds is the next smallest unit of time that's larger than nanoseconds. :)