10. Animation

This chapter discusses how to use VisIt to create animations. There are three ways of creating animations using VisIt: flipbooks, keyframing, and scripting. For complex animations with perhaps hundreds or thousands of database time steps, it is often best to use scripting via VisIt’s Python command-line interface. VisIt provides Python and Java language interfaces that allow you to program animation and save image files that get converted into a movie. The flipbook approach is strictly for static animations in which only the database time step changes. This method allows database behavior over time to be quickly inspected without the added complexity of scripting or keyframing. Keyframed animation can exhibit complex behavior of the view, plot attributes, and database time states over time. This chapter emphasizes the flipbook and keyframe approaches and explains how to create animations both ways.

Scripting is the recommended method of producing animations. Scripting is more difficult than other methods because users have to script each event by writing a Python or Java program to control VisIt’s viewer. One clear strength of scripting is that it is very reproducible and can be used to generate animation frames in a batch computing environment. For in-depth information about writing Python scripts for Visit, consult the Python command-line interface. Scripting for purposes of animations is not described further here.