Exporting a Simulation as a Movie - MapleSim Help
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Exporting a Simulation as a Movie

The Export Movie feature allows you to export a computed simulation as a movie file for users who may not have MapleSim.  When activated, the Export Movie feature automatically switches MapleSim into Playback mode and the Playback toolbar speed controls are ignored for the duration of the movie export.

To export a movie:


Create a model containing multibody components and run the simulation.


Select File > Export Movie. Alternatively, from the 3-D Playback window, select  Change 3-D Settings ( ), and then select Export Movie.


The Export Movie window appears where settings can be adjusted.

Export File: After you have specified what directory to save in, this displays the file's saved location.


Click Browse.  The Choose file window appears.


Navigate to the desired directory and specify a file name and type for the movie.  

Note:  Supported export formats include: .avi, .flv, .gif, and .webm. Select the export format that is compatible with your video player. For example, while GIF and WEBM movies can be played in HTML5 enabled web browsers, the AVI format will be playable in many desktop applications, such as Windows Media Player on Windows or VLC on Linux.


Adjust the following settings prior to exporting a movie:

Show Time Value: By default, this check box is not selected. Selecting it displays the time stamp from the legend located in the top left corner in your exported movie file.

Time Range: Specifies what time segment of the movie is saved and exported.

Movie Size:  Displays the width and height of the exported movie. Tip: The saved exported movie takes on the window size dimensions when you save it.  To adjust the dimensions of the viewing area, drag the edges of the window or click the icon.  The Change Export Size dialog appears:

To maintain the current aspect ratio, leave the check box Keep Aspect Ratio selected and modify the values.  If you want to customize your own width and height dimensions, clear the check box and specify numbers that are divisible by four.

Tip: Dimensions that are divisible by four are strictly enforced. Any number that is not divisible by four will be converted to a number divisible by four when you click OK.

Playback Time: The amount of time the exported movie will play for.  The value and units of time can be modified.

Sampling Rate: Represents the number of frames per second (fps) used in the exported movie.

Note:  The 3-D Playback Time value determines the length of the exported movie regardless of simulation end time (t__d).  The Playback toolbar speed controls are ignored for movie export.

For cases where a model has very short or very long simulation times, such as a fraction of a second or many minutes, you may need to make the exported movie shorter or longer than the actual animation.  Specify the required duration in the 3-D Playback Time field.  For example, if the animation is 0.1 second long, specify the 3-D Playback Time as 3 seconds to ensure that during playback you can see what is happening in that very short time period.  In another example, if the simulation runs for 2 minutes, but a certain component's motion is subtle and slow, then in order to better present that component, specify the 3-D Playback Time as 10 sec.  This effectively speeds up the exported movie by a ratio of 12:1.



To make the movement of multibody components appear smoother in the exported movie, you can enable Interpolate Intermediate Frames before the export.  After simulating your model in the 3-D Playback window, select  Change 3-D Settings ( ), and then select Interpolate Intermediate Frames.  Interpolation provides intermediate values for positions and orientations between the actual simulated frames.  If the sampling rate is set to a lower number, the animation may be visually 'choppy'.  By default, Interpolate Intermediate Frames is turned on and the 3-D sampling rate is set to the minimum movie algorithm requirement of 24 fps.


Using the Export Movie feature uses the default Perspective View.  For more information about common 3-D toolbar controls and orthographic views, see Toolbar: 3-D Toolbar.


Lastly, any customizations, such as the color or legend, must be done prior to the export process. For more information about customizing a 3-D visualization color, see Choosing a 3-D Visualization Color.  For more information on visualizing a 3-D model, see Chapter 4: Simulating and Visualizing a Model in the MapleSim User's Guide.  In addition, to change whether the legend is displayed on the exported movie, click  Change 3-D Settings ( ), and then clear Show Legend to turn it off. By default, Show Legend is on and a label appears on the exported version of the video.



Click Save.  MapleSim automatically begins recording the individual animation frames, displaying the Export Movie Progress window.

Tip: Always ensure that you have adequate disk space because at any time during the recording, the Export Movie process may be canceled.  For long animations you will not immediately see the movie file in the specified directory while it is generating. 

To record a shorter animation click Save NOW, then Exit at the desired time using the progress indicator as a guide. The animation is recorded and exported as the selected file type.

Maplesoft recommends that Ubuntu [Linux] users use VLC for playing movies.  See http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-ubuntu.html.


See Also

Playing an Animation

Animating a 3-D Model with Interpolated Frames

Toolbar: Playback Controls

Exporting an Animation Frame to an Image File

Adding Attached Shapes from the MapleSim Component Library

Adding Attached Shapes from an External File

Multibody Overview

Running a Simulation

Visualizing a 3-D Model