Facebook invents a new time unit called ‘Flicks’

Flicks could be a big boon for programmers or developers working on visual effects or post-production.

| Updated on: Jan 23 2018, 17:19 IST
Flicks is slightly longer than nanosecond
Flicks is slightly longer than nanosecond (REUTERS)
Flicks is slightly longer than nanosecond
Flicks is slightly longer than nanosecond (REUTERS)

Facebook has just invented a new unit of time, called Flicks. The unit is slightly larger than a nanosecond and is aimed to help content creators working on visual effects for film, television or any other media.

Flicks is 1/705600000 of a second which makes it slightly longer than one nanosecond which is equal to 0.000000001 seconds.

"This unit of time is the smallest time unit which is LARGER than a nanosecond, and can in integer quantities exactly represent a single frame duration for 24hz, 25hz, 30hz, 48hz, 50hz, 60hz, 90hz, 100hz, 120hz, and also 1/1000 divisions of each," says Facebook on in a post on Github.

"This makes it suitable for use via std::chrono::duration and std::ratio for doing timing work against the system high resolution clock, which is in nanoseconds, but doesn't get slightly out of sync when doing common frame rates."

Engadget in its report explains that movies run at 24 frames per second which means each frame is .04166666667 seconds long.

While one can round the number to 0.416, it's not really accurate. This makes it difficult for developers or programmers working on visual effects or post-production work to sync everything.

Flicks, on the other hand, makes all of these units with unending decimals into round figures, ensuring these frame duration are in sync and available for all developers. For instance, movies with 24 frames per second will now have 29,400,000 Flicks whereas 60fps games will have 11,760,000 flicks, the website added.

When 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 social networking company.

Facebook says its new unit covers the majority of digital audio formats including 8kHz, 16kHz, 22.05kHz, 24kHz, 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz.

"While humans can't hear higher than 48kHz, the higher sample rates are used for working audio files which might later be resampled or retimed," it added.

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First Published Date: 23 Jan, 17:18 IST