Facebook's Flicks Is a New Unit of Time Created to Help Visual Effect Designers

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Facebook's Flicks Is a New Unit of Time Created to Help Visual Effect Designers
Highlights
  • It has been created to round off figures in FPS, kHz, etc
  • 24FPS is equal to 29,400,000 flicks
  • It is slightly larger than a nanosecond

Facebook Open Source announced the launch of a new unit of time called Flicks. According to the Menlo Park social media giant, Flicks is slightly larger than a nanosecond - precisely 1/ 705600000 of a second. Flicks is not a consumer-facing product and has been created as a solution to help visual effect developers use subdivisions in their simulations.

Inspired by former Facebook employee Christopher Horvath's Facebook post back in 2016, Flicks has been launched to simplify rounding up numbers used in movie production. For instance, Frames Per Second or FPS is a common indicator used in the movie production field. 24FPS is 29,400,000 flicks, 30FPS is 23,520,000 flicks, 60FPS is 11,760,000, and so on. In order to accommodate media playback, Flicks also supports common audio sample rates as well. This list is not exhaustive, but covers a wide range of formats. These include 8kHz, 16kHz, 22.05kHz, 24kHz, 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz.

"When working creating visual effects for film, television, and other media, it is common to run simulations or other time-integrating processes which subdivide a single frame of time into a fixed, integer number of subdivisions. It is handy to be able to accumulate these subdivisions to create exact 1-frame and 1-second intervals, for a variety of reasons," said the Github post detailing the Flicks project.

To install Flicks, visual effect designers need to place "flicks.h" where the C++ header files have been installed, considering this is exclusively a header library. To test out the feature, designers can run the "> c++ -o flicks_test flicks_test.cpp -std=c++14; ./flicks_test" command.

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