[Chimera-users] making movie with animation utility

Elaine Meng meng at cgl.ucsf.edu
Tue Dec 13 09:23:22 PST 2011

On Dec 13, 2011, at 1:23 AM, Bala subramanian wrote:

> Friends,
> I am using chimera build 34374 (downloaded on 9/1/2011). I opened tools-utilities-Animation and added a number of scenes. I want to make a movie out of these scenes that were added into the Animation panel. When click setting-save. It says the category animation is saved, however i dnt find any animation saved on my system.
> In brief, i want to make a movie out of the scenes saved in Animation panel, Kindly write me how to do it.
> Cheers,
> Bala

Hi Bala,
First I should say that scenes/animation are in early development and should be considered "experimental" -- scenes don't include everything, they can make your session files big, and the animation part is not done.  

The "Save" on the Animation preferences only saves the preferences, not your scenes or a movie.  Scenes are included in a saved session file.  Currently, to make a movie from the scenes, you could either:

(A) use a Chimera command script that includes the "movie" command to start and stop recording and "scene" commands to go from one saved scene to another.
(B) try using the Animation dialog.  In the Animation settings you would need to set "Experimental features" to true to show the Timeline interface in the main Animation dialog.  Unfortunately there is a bug such that this setting does not take effect immediately, so you have to save the settings, save session so that you won't lose your scenes, quit Chimera, restart and restore your session.  Then the Animation dialog should include a Timeline section.  I haven't documented this yet since it is in flux.  You have to click on a Scene in the top part and then click the plus sign in the Timeline section to add it to the timeline.  Then right-click on scene thumbnail in the timeline to edit the Transition (number of frames to reach that scene, etc.) as you wish.  When the Timeline is set up how you want it, then click the Timeline icon on the far right (looks like a filmstrip) to set movie output and other recording options, then the recording icon (looks like a circle with a red dot in the middle) to play/record the timeline and generate the movie file.

Bugs are being fixed continually, so you may want to get as new a daily build as possible to try this feature, and be aware that it may change (improve!) significantly. I hope this helps,
Elaine C. Meng, Ph.D. 
UCSF Computer Graphics Lab (Chimera team) and Babbitt Lab
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of California, San Francisco

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