Re: [Rd] SWF animation method

From: Romain Francois <>
Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2007 16:11:16 +0100

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(, I
> discovered that if one exports the plots to a multipage pdf, it is
> relatively trivial to then use the pdf2swf command in SWFTools
> (; mac install instructions here:
> 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:
> Public calendar:
> "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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