|VCS Hints: Animation Control Panel|
The Animation Control Panel is used to create sequences of raster images in memory or in an output file (i.e., `filename.ras'). Once raster images are created, their animation can be viewed subject to user control.
How to Use the Animation Control Panel
Before the Animation Control Panel is accessed, there must be at least one plot of data having three or more dimensions displayed on the VCS Canvas. (An unlimited number of plots can be animated, but they all must use the same data variable. To create a raster file for animation of more than one data variable, see Hints on the Indices Loop Panel and on the Data Editor Panel.) Once this condition is satisfied, use the Animation Control Panel to select whether to create images in `Memory' and/or in an `Output File'. If the `Output File' toggle button is selected, an input text window will appear below to receive the output file name. Select the yellow `Create Images in' button to begin saving raster images. When saving is completed, this button will turn red and display `Stop Creating:'. Select the `Stop Creating:' button to stop saving raster images at any time.
Moving Raster Files into Memory:
In the `.ras File(s)' scroll window, select the raster file that is desired first in memory by moving the pointer over the raster file name and clicking the left mouse button. Then select raster files 2, 3, etc. in the same manner. The order of raster files in memory will be designated by a `1', `2', `3', etc. that is prepended to each raster file name. To remove a raster file from the sequence list, reselect the raster file name; the prepending number will be removed and the list will reorder itself. After selecting the desired files, press the green `Move Image(s) from .ras File(s) to Memory' button to move the raster file images into memory.
Reading Images from Memory or from Raster Files:
If images are saved in memory or raster files images are moved into memory, the `Read Images from:' toggle is automatically set to `Memory'. To read images from raster files, select the files to be animated in the `.ras File(s)' scroll window, and set the `Read Images from:' toggle to `.ras File(s)'.
Setting the Animation Colormap:
If the `Use Colormap from:' toggle is set to `VCS', then VCS controls the colormap. In this state, the Colormap Editor/Table Panel can be accessed, and color indices can be modified while animation is proceeding. If instead the `Use Colormap from:' toggle is set to `Raster Images', then the colormap stored with each image is used.
Setting the Animation Mode:
If the `Animation Mode:' is set to `Cycle', then the sequence of images will be repeated regularly, as in a loop. If the `Animation Mode:' is set to `Once', then each image is displayed after animation stops. If the `Animation Mode:' is set to `Forth and Back', animation proceeds to the end of the sequence of images, and then reverses direction.
Running or Stopping Animation:
Once the images are loaded into memory or the raster files containing images are selected (see above), the user can select the `Read Images from:' toggle to be either `Memory' or `.ras File(s)'. Then select the cyan `Run Animation' button to start the animation. To stop the animation, select the orange `Stop Animation' button.
Zooming in on Animation:
There are several ways to zoom in on an animation: move the 'Animation Zoom' slider, or select the 'Animation Zoom' up and down arrows, or enter a higher magnification number into the 'Animation Zoom' input text window. (The maximum allowed magnification number is 20 and the minimum is 1.)
Panning an Animation:
There are several ways to pan an animation in the horizontal or vertical direction: move the appropriate 'Pan Horizontal/Vertical' slider, or push the 'Pan Horizontal/Vertical' up and down arrows, or enter the desired number into the 'Pan Horizontal/Vertical' input text window. (The maximun allowed pan number is 100 and the minimum is -100.)
Controlling Animation Position, Delay,
The `Animation Position' input text window shows the image frame that is being displayed. If animation is stopped, the `Animation Position' slider can be moved or the 'Animation Position' up and down arrow buttons can be pushed to view a particular frame. The animation delay is controlled by the `Animation Delay' slider or up/down arrow buttons: the higher the delay number, the slower the speed. The `Animation Speed' indicator shows the number of frames being viewed per second.
Setting Up the Dimensions for Animation Loop:
To select the desired dimension values for animation, move the pointer over the blue Dimension Panel to the `Select Animation Loop' button and click the left mouse button. The Dimension Manipulation Panel will appear, allowing the user to reverse, stride, or select dimension values.
Changing the Animation Directory:
Type the desired directory in the `Directory' input text window. Press the `Return' or `Enter' key to register the end of typing. The `Sub_Dir' scroll window and possibly also the `.ras File(s)' scroll window will change. (If the specified directory does not exist, the current directory will reappear. ) The directory can also be changed by moving the pointer over a directory name in the `Sub_Directory' scroll window and clicking the left mouse button.