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Bum-Seok Hyun February 13, 2000 06:49

[Q]How to make MPEGs with CFD datas???

I've been involved in a research work on unsteady computations. The results are 3D data, so I need to make an animation for presentations. What my problem is that I don't have any professional post-processors, such as Ensight or FAST. Only TECPLOT is installed in my lab.

I don't think that animated-GIF is enough to make an animation or videos. It seems to me that MPEG format is the only choice I have. I can generate series of data in JPEG formats (I have to make a small program, though.) , but I don't know how to start.

I've searched the websites but they showed only the way to make MPEG from the videos(AVI...)

Is there anyone who has any experience on making MPEGS or can direct me a starting point?

Thanks in advance.

Jonas Larsson February 13, 2000 11:23

Re: [Q]How to make MPEGs with CFD datas???
There is a freeware utility called mpeg_encode which can create mpeg movies - see my post entitled "Generating High Quality Movies" in the Fluent Forum. However, the quality of the mpeg movie will not be that good. From my experience avi is much better at handling CFD movies.

Glenn Horrocks February 13, 2000 19:43

Re: [Q]How to make MPEGs with CFD datas???

I can highly recommend using ImageMagick. It can make animated GIFs and MPEGs (See my posting of 6/2/00). It can be downloaded from

My experience is that when you try to animate line based things, such as vectors, MPEGs loose too much image quality to be useable. You can increase the quality of MPEGs but they then start to get pretty big. I found animated GIFs to be the best as it is not a resolution based compression algorithm, but a colour based one. Animated GIFs retain the full resolution of the original image, but use a reduced colour map so you may loose a bit of colour.

You mentioned you have Tecplot installed in your lab. Tecplot has an excellent set of animation tools including "framer" which is a neat little viewer. Tecplot stores its animation files in a raster bitmap format which I can't get anything else to read (Any suggestions anybody?). However if Framer is OK for you then this may be a good option.

I have already recorded some of my animations to video tape. I did this by generating the complete sequence of the animation including black lead in and lead out frames, title frames etc, making a large animated GIF out of it using ImageMagick, playing the animation using a web browser with the sampling window of the video capture over the browser. It works a treat.

That's what I have found to work for me. A lot of people use MPEG format for their animations,so it obviously can be made to work nicely if you do it right. I'm quite happy with GIF files. If you want some examples see my home page at:

Cheers, Glenn

Bum-Seok Hyun February 13, 2000 21:26

Re: [Q]How to make MPEGs with CFD datas???
Many thanks to Mr.Larsson and Mr.Horrocks!

I didn't know ImageMagick to be such a useful tool. I do use ImageMagick, but only in converting picture formats and doing some modifications.

I'll try now.

Anyway, I've checked Mr.Horrocks' homepage and downloaded all animated GIFs. I think I must say that the quality of animated GIFs are great.

Several years ago, I used DATA VISUALIZER from WAVE FRONT. The program produced series of RGB files to be used to make animations. But, its interpolation ability was very poor in unsteady data. I mean, it uses unsteady data at several time steps to interpolate physical data between time steps. What my conclusion was that I had to make each picture frame, not KEY frames...

Stephane baralon February 16, 2000 19:59

Re: [Q]How to make MPEGs with CFD datas???
Tecplot has its own movie animation program: framer. So far, the best I've used. Unfortunately, you need tecplot on your PC for your presentations An alternative is to use Tecplot and save every time-sequence picture as a tiff file. Then, if you have a Silicon machine, use moviemake to create a quicktime or avi movie. Be careful, only the compression format qt_cvid is recognized by Microsoft multimedia.

Other alternative, use Paint shop 5 (PC) to create a nice animation out of your tiff images.

Good luck

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