Moved from this discussion ( http://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthr...ok-audio/page3 ) as it fits better here:
It's pretty obvious why RA's intro appears "smoother" at a glance: the source animation is mostly doen at quite low framerates with animation style catering to that.
Sonic CD's source animation OTOH, is extremely fast and smooth at high framerates, so it takes a much bigger hit in the conversion. (the Wolf Team logo is an evenmore extreme example of this -though personally, it looks very choppy to me, though a nice looking animation sequence overall)
Just look at them:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2LMxG_dq9U (not technically Road Avenger/Blaster, but the same animation -and the best quality one on YT)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKMC1x5pU0o (from Sonic Gems)
There's also the Sonic Jam version, though that's lower quality (looks like it may be Cinepak, not sure).
And some better quality examples of the Sega CD versions:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V0XIJOhgUA (this one's good for comparing the unscaled -square pixel- aspect ratio, and for not being zoomed in)
(I can't seem to find a good recording from real hardware though)
Plus this one for Sonic CD off real hardware:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BTvTKkBnwM (though the color saturation is too high, I can't seem to find any better examples)
Anyway, it's nothing to do with Wolf Team's skills and Sonic CD would look no better (at least in terms of motion) if presented in Wolf Team's format; in fact it would be slightly worse, but the difference between 7.5 and 8 FPS is almost negligible.
The significant differences between the 2 video formats is that RA uses a lower res output (so it's stretched wider on the TV) and moderately larger screen size (208x176 vs 256x112) at the expense of considerably lower audio quality (16kHz vs 32 kHz -granted, most FMV opts for 16 kHz with a few using 22 kHz and maybe 11 kHz, I think Sonic is actually the only one with 32 kHz).
OTOH, one could argue (in total speculation) that Wolf Team (or someone else in general) would have made different compromises for Sonic CD's animation that would cater better to the animation in question. (like dropping the screen size much below that in RA along with the 16 kHz audio to allow a more reasonable framerate -even 10 FPS would be a major improvement, but 15 FPS might be preferable)
The format used for Night Trap and Sewer Shark (not identical, but very close) probably would have catered quite well to Sonic CD's intro (and obviously, such animation could be optimized better for much less dithering -but still have more color than RA or Sonic CD since you're using all 4 palettes rather than 1).
Or if you wanted large screen size but low resolution was OK, you could drop the resolution in one or both directions (H/V) and scale up to double the height and/or width of the pixels for a large size and reasonable framerate (without compression) at the expense of blockier pixels. (and/or you could just use compression, especially since heavily posterized images like used in Sonic CD and RA would cater very well to simplistic run length encoding)
Bus this is all really tangent to the argument of Sonic CD and Road Avenger in particular. (both could be done far better, though Sonic obviously has more still to gain due to the much greater content of its source animation)