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Strategy for making and saving animations?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg35779] Strategy for making and saving animations?
  • From: AES <siegman at>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2002 07:22:40 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

My overall objective is to create and store on HD a sizable number of 
medium-length animations -- maybe 50 or more such animations, with maybe 
100 frames each, each frame consisting of a not too complex 

These are intended for later playback or projection as a full screen (or 
near full screen) slide show on a Mac (OS 9.1, Mathematica 4.1), with forward 
and backward single-stepping under arrow key control and ability to 
restart from the first frame being important.

I'm lookng for advice on the best strategy for doing this.

1)  I can generate each of the individual animations "by hand" -- run a 
notebook containing a module that's iterated 100 times to generate the 
100 frames, select the 100 graphics cells by hand, use the "Save 
Selection as QuickTime" menu option to save to a QT movie, play this 
move back later as a QT movie.   

This is tedious, however, and I'm not that fond of the QT Movie Player 
(can't get rid of the surrounding frame for example, at least AFAIK).

2)  I can just save the notebook after evaluation -- presumably with 
Editable->False for all Cells -- then use ^A and ^Y to animate the 
graphics, and the up/down arrow keys to step forward and back through 

A not so minor annoyance, however, is that the animation starts off 
running and you have to use the up/down arrow keys to stop it, then step 
frame by frame back to the first frame.   

In addition, AnimationDirection seems not to work as advertised, and as 
a result restarting the animation from the beginning if you're up 
somewhere around the 90th frame is a problem.  

Inputting "?AnimationDirection" yields "Forward".  Stepping forward 
using the arrow keys or the ">" button on the control strip at the 
bottom takes you to the end of the animation, but then stops and does 
not loop around to the first frame (and the ">>" and "<<" buttons on the 
control strip are grayed out).

If you move backward too rapidly by holding down the back arrow or "<" 
button, however, you can overshoot the first frame and jump again to the 

Any better ideas for all this?

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