Movie Recorder captures image frames from Chimera and
assembles them into a movie file.
Movies of trajectories can be recorded with
tips on preparing images
There are several ways to start
Movie Recorder, a tool in the Utilities category.
It is also implemented as the command
Any desired adjustments in the window size or
should be made before recording is started. The window size is reported as
Resolution in the status area of the dialog.
The window can be resized manually or with the command
On certain platforms, other windows should not overlap
the Chimera graphics window during recording
This is not an issue when raytracing is used.
On the Movie Recorder dialog, clicking Record initiates
frame capture and changes the button to Stop.
Clicking Stop halts frame capture.
Frame capture can be restarted by clicking Record again.
This can be repeated until the desired segments have been saved.
Reset resets the frame counter to zero and
(unless Save images on Reset
has been set to true) deletes the frames.
Clicking Make movie initiates
encoding the saved frames into a movie file.
During encoding, the button changes to Cancel movie, which
can be clicked to halt the process.
When the movie is fully assembled, a reset
will occur unless Reset after encode has been turned off.
- Output format - output movie file format
- H.264 [.mp4]
- VP8/WebM [.webm]
- Theora [.ogv]
- Quicktime [.mov]
- AVI MSMPEG-4v2 [.avi]
- MPEG-4 [.mp4]
- MPEG-2 [.mpg]
- MPEG-1 [.mpg]
- WMV2 [.wmv]
- APNG [.png] - animated PNG
(lossless, bit rate options do not apply)
- Output file - output movie file name and location
- Directory - image file location
- Filename pattern - string for naming image files
- Format - image file format
(however, PNG will be used regardless of this setting if
raytracing is done):
- JPEG [.jpeg]
- PNG [.jpeg]
- PPM [.jpeg] (default)
- screen grab (default)
- capture the Chimera window contents; render onscreen.
This rendering option is the fastest, but image quality is no better
than the display. The graphics window must be kept completely visible:
not overlapped by other windows or menus, moved offscreen, or blanked
out by a screensaver.
- Chimera rendering, normally offscreen
Images can be supersampled, that is, initially generated at a
higher resolution and then sampled down to the final size.
- Supersample (1x1/2x2/3x3/4x4)
- how many pixels to sample in the X and Y dimensions for each pixel in
the final saved image; thus, 1x1 corresponds to no supersampling.
Higher values increase the smoothness of edges in saved images and
increase calculation time with little effect on file size.
3x3 is generally recommended when supersampling is done.
- raytrace with POV-Ray.
This rendering option is the slowest but includes fancier effects
such as high-quality shadows.
The POV-Ray Options button opens the corresponding
- Save images on Reset
- whether to keep individual image files when a reset
Close dismisses the Movie Recorder dialog.
Image Tips shows the tips
on preparing images, and
Help opens this manual page in a browser window.
- Bit rate controls quality and file size
- a higher bit rate corresponds to higher quality (better appearance)
but also a larger movie file, assuming the same window size and
frame rate. A movie can be encoded to play back at a
constant or variable bit rate.
- Variable bit rate (default on); Quality:
- Constant bit rate (Kbits/s)
(default off but set to 2000)
- Frames per second (default 25)
- movie playback rate in terms of image frames
- Play forward then backward (off by default)
- whether to include the frames in reverse order as the
second half of the movie
UCSF Computer Graphics Laboratory / December 2021