Animation video of rgl in action

December 21, 2009
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(This article was first published on R-statistics blog » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Duncan Murdoch just posted a youtube video presenting an animation clip of a 3d rgl object.

Duncan even went further and wrote an explanation on how he made the video:

here are the steps I used:
1.  Design a shape to be displayed, and then play with the animation functions to make it change over time.  Use play3d to do it live in R, movie3d to write the individual frames of the movie to .png files.
2.  Use the ffmpeg package (not an R package, a separate project at http://ffmpeg.org) to convert the .png files to an .mp4 file.  The individual frames totalled about 1 GB; the compressed movie is about 45 MB.
3.  Upload to Youtube.  I’m not a musician, so I had to use one of their licensed background tracks, I couldn’t write my own.  I spent a lot of time picking one and then adjusting the timing of the video to compensate.  Each render/upload cycle at full resolution took about an hour and a half.  It’s a lot faster to render in a smaller window with fewer frames per second, but it’s still tedious.   It’s easier to synchronize if you actually have a copy of the music locally, but Youtube doesn’t let you download their music.  So the timing isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for me!

Wonderful work Duncan, thanks for sharing!

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