[Rd] SWF animation method
Mike.Lawrence at DAL.CA
Wed Aug 8 15:52:59 CEST 2007
Just thought I'd share something I discovered last night. I was
interested in creating animations consisting of a series of plots and
after finding very little in the usual sources regarding animation in
R directly, and disliking the imagemagick method described here
discovered that if one exports the plots to a multipage pdf, it is
relatively trivial to then use the pdf2swf command in SWFTools
(http://www.swftools.org/download.html; mac install instructions
pdf2swf seems to generate swf animations with a slow frame rate, but
you can increase the framerate using 'swfcombine -r 30 --dummy
myslow.swf -o myfast.swf', where the value passed to -r is the
Unfortunately, this method seems to have limitations with regards to
the number of plots it can convert. For example, on my system (17"
macbook pro, 2.33GHz, 2GB ram, OSX 10.4.10, R 2.5.1) the maximum
number of single point plots I can do is about 5400 (i.e. for(i in
1:5400) plot(runif(1),ylim=c(0,1)) ). Complexity of the plots might
matter as well, but I only have rather convoluted examples of this.
Also, pdf2swf throws up a lot of errors ('ERROR Internal error:
drawChar.render!=beginString.render'), the origin of which I know
not, that might be slowing things down.
Now, if only someone could wrap this process into a single R command
(I'm a little too newb to do this myself I think).
Graduate Student, Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University
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Err and err and err again, but less and less and less."
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