[Rd] SWF animation method

Romain Francois rfrancois at mango-solutions.com
Wed Aug 8 17:11:16 CEST 2007

Hello Mike,

You might want to give "mencoder" a try. It usually comes with mplayer. 
I did play with it a while ago and was fairly happy with the results.
Basically, the idea was to create many jpg files somewhere, which is not 
too hard using the %03d substitution described in ?jpeg.
The rest is described here: 



PS: You might find some links in this (not really maintained) webpage: 

Mike Lawrence wrote:
> Hi all,
> 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(http://tolstoy.newcastle.edu.au/R/help/05/10/13297.html), I 
> 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 here: 
> http://9mmedia.com/blog/?p=7).
> 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 framerate.
> 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).
> Mike
> -- 
> Mike Lawrence
> Graduate Student, Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University
> Website: http://memetic.ca
> Public calendar: http://icalx.com/public/informavore/Public
> "The road to wisdom? Well, it's plain and simple to express:
> Err and err and err again, but less and less and less."
>     - Piet Hein

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