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mma animation summary

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: mma animation summary
  • From: Chengi Lin <cl50 at>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Apr 92 17:35:31 EDT

Thanks for everyone's replies to my mathematica animation problem.  The oririnal posting is followed and also the method that solve the problem.  I have also include other's replies since they may refer to other plateform.   

> From: Chengi  Lin <cl50 at>
> To: mathgroup at
> Subject: mma animation
> Please someone out there help me with mathematica animation.  I am using
> NeXT Mathematica 2.0.  I followed careful the example on page 175 of 
> Mathematica by S. Wolfram, but don't see the animation?  I think I
> am missing something but can not figure what I am missing.  
> Any help is greatly appreciated. 
> ---cl

The following method works fine for me.

From: tj at (Thomas J. Willis)

I generally use the mac front end, but once did an animation
on the spur of the moment on a NeXT.  Try doing In[1] on p. 175
without the DisplayFunction->Identity and the //Short.  Then select
the cells and look for a menu option "Animate Selected Graphics."

I can't imagine how I could have done the animation without that
menu item existing, but it was a beta version...

Just for curiosity's sake, could you let me know if this works?

good luck--

The following methods are different approaches, but the finals keep me away from trying them.  I still include them as others may find them more useful.  
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 92 18:56:08 PDT
From: nick at ccrma.Stanford.EDU

Here's  a quick answer:

        1) Create a bunch of plots (like a sine wave with
            a Pi/8 shift in each plot)

        2)  Select all the plots (use shift-click to select the 2nd-Nth plot)

        3)  Hit Command-y

        Good  Luck!!

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 92 21:43:17 GMT-0500
From: gbol at (Gregory Lampshire)

In Mme 2.0 on the NeXT you might see one of two things.  You might

1) Some error about standard output already being open and Mme can't
open it again, or

2) Just a sequence of plots.  This is the expected output.  

To animate in the case of 2), double click on the bracket 

surrounding all of the frame cells.  Then select Animate from
the menu.

In the case of 1), you must get an update from Wolfram to version
2.0.4 or above.

Gregory Lampshire 

Virginia Tech NeXT CC
Bradley Department of Electrical Engineering
laural at
gbol at (preferred) NeXTmail welcome
My opinions are my very own and do not reflect the opinions of any  
employer at any time is my life whatsoever.

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1992 03:04 CDT
From: Robert Villegas <VILLEGAS%knox.bitnet at UICVM.UIC.EDU>


     Since you say you carefully followed the example on page 175 of the
Mathematica book, I will guess that you typed the command given as In[2] at
the bottom of that page.  In the marginal note to the left of In[2] the author
implies that if the command "ShowAnimation[%]" were given as In[2] _instead of_
what is printed in the book, then the animation would be displayed.  In
version 2, ShowAnimation is one of those commands which is undefined in the
Mathematica session unless it is actually used in input, in which case the
animation package is automatically loaded to define the various animation
supplements.  So if you type "ShowAnimation[%]", you should get nine pictures
under the input cell, and you can group these together and animate the cell
group.  At least, this is what I did on the Mac IIci.  I haven't tried it on
the NeXT yet, but I believe it will work the same way.

                                              Robby Villegas
                                              Knox College
                                              (Villegas at Knox.Bitnet)

From: richard%runner.uucp at (Richard Ruth)

On page 175 of MMA by SW.

Enter the stuff by In[1] except do not enter the DisplayFunction  
line.  This should give you nine separate plots.  Select all of the  
plots and use the animate selection from the MAA menue.

From: jkc at keller.Mines.Colorado.EDU (Jack K. Cohen)

The crude idea is:
1. Select the graphics to be animated.
2. Type Command-y to start the animation.

Send further mail if you need detailed
instructions and/or examples.

From: Jay Bhagat <jay at>

I have brought this problem to the attetion of Wolfram Reseach and was
told this is a bug that needs to be fixed, however, todate I have not 
heard anymore about it. I ran into the problem while running the example
on a hp unix workstation.


From: ags at (Dave Seaman)

Assuming you have installed in the /LocalApps  
directory, look at the file  
/LocalApps/, locate the  
line that says

        $RasterFunction = Identity

and change it to read

        $RasterFunction = $DisplayFunction

and then re-launch Mathematica.  Your animations should then work.


Date: Fri, 17 Apr 92 02:48:12 PDT
From: pmartin at (Pat Martin)

here is some info that I received when I posed the same Q:

Date: Thu, 27 Feb 92 18:03:14 EST
From: Tom Marchioro <tlm at>
Subject: Animation in Mathematica
To: pmartin at
X-Envelope-To: pmartin at


I had some very similar problems with Animation routines on my NeXT when
I first upgraded to 2.0.  There are some quirky things about it,and unfor-
tunately it has been long enough since I worked them out that I cannot 
remember exactly what the solution was, but your error messages are
*extremely* familiar.  

One thing I do remember is that the "Animation Notebook" which works with
1.2 *will not* work straightaway with 2.0. The reason is that certain of the
1.2 notebooks apparently contain header files which are not read properly
by 2.0.  If you want to use functions like MoviePlot what you need to do
is open the old Animation notebook, use select all to copy all its contents, 
and then paste that into a new notebook (which will have the new correct
header files).  You may find this necessary with some of your old personal
notebooks as well, sometimes not, it seems to depend on what the notebook

For doing animation I generally find it far easier to follow the 
instructoins which come with the NeXT specific documentation.  In par
ticular, make a table of plots, select their group cell bracket, and
hit command-y to animate them.  

For example, using the example you gave, use

Table[Plot[Sin[x t], {x, -3, 3}, PlotRange -> {-1,1}], {t, 0, 1, .05]]

This will generate 20 plots in a row, which will be grouped at the second
cell nesting.  Select that cell nesting, hit command-} to "compress" the
nesting, then hit command-y

I've generally found this works far better. In fact, I had a NeXTdimension
on loan last week and made a fiarly nice full color Mathematica animation
movie using a variety of things which I either invented myself or had supplied
to me by some nice people at WRI.  I would be glad to send you soem of the
Mathematica code for you to plug into a notebook and run these same movies.

Hope this is helpful, (1) write back if your problems are not solved and 
(2)  feel free to post any/all of this information to the mailgroup if you
feel it woudl be worthwhile.


PS:  Landau, great name for a computer!  Mine is Feynman because my specialty
is path integrals.

Dr. T. L. Marchioro II                  
Departments of Chemistry and Physics
McMaster University

Date: Fri, 28 Feb 92 11:38:02 EST
From: ags at (Dave Seaman)
To: pmartin at (Pat Martin)
Subject: Re: animation
Cc: mathgroup at

>I am trying to utilize the animation package distributed with MMA 2.0. I am
>running a NeXT. When I load the package it is fine but when I try to use it
>I get back this:
>Animate[ Plot[ Sin[x t], {x,-3,3}, PlotRange->{-1, 1} ], {t,0,1} ]
>General::aofil: stdout already open as stdout.
>OpenWrite::noopen: Cannot open stdout.

This is at least a partial fix -- you still get annoying error
messages, but the animation will work.  Assuming you have installed in the /LocalApps directory, look at the file
/LocalApps/, locate
the line that says

        $RasterFunction = Identity
       and change it to read

        $RasterFunction = $DisplayFunction
       and re-launch Mathematica.

Dave Seaman


bon voyage

From: Robert Campbell
Subject: Re: mma animation
Keywords: mma animation, Mathematica, graphics
Date: 18 Apr 92 21:27:28 GMT
Organization: The Great Beyond
Lines: 22

There are several problems with using the animation example on page 175
of the Wolfram book. The first problem is that he is using the command
ShowAnimation, which comes from the Graphics`Animation package.
        The second problem is that this package will not work on systems
with notebook front ends (NeXT, Mac, Windows). For a system like your
NeXT you would use a command like:
to create a series of plots on the screen. Select all of the plots
with your mouse and use the item "Animate Selected Graphics" from 
the "Graph" menu. At the bottom of your screen you should see several 
buttons which look like tape recorder controls to control the speed 
and direction.
        On a non-notebook machine you should load the Animation package 
with the command:
(On an MS-DOS PC you use the command Needs["Graphics`Animatio`"] 
because of the 8 character filename limit.) The new commands can be
examined with the command Names["Graphics`Animation`*"] - one of
them will be ShowAnimation.

Once again many thanks to everyone. 


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