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24.17.3 Saving an Animation Sequence

Once you have created an animation sequence, you can save it in any of the following formats:

Note that, if you are saving hardcopy files or an MPEG file, you can modify the view (e.g., translate, rotate, zoom) in the graphics window where the animation is displayed, and save the modified view instead of the original view.

Solution Animation File

If you selected Metafile or PPM Image under Storage Type in the Animation Sequence panel, then FLUENT will save the solution animation file for you automatically. It will be saved in the specified Storage Directory, and its name will be the Name you specified for the sequence, with a .cxa extension (e.g., pressure-contour.cxa). In addition to the .cxa file, FLUENT will also save a metafile with a .hmf extension for each frame (e.g., pressure-contour_0002.hmf). The .cxa file contains a list of the associated .hmf files, and tells FLUENT the order in which to display them.

If you selected In Memory under Storage Type, then the solution animation file ( .cxa) and the associated metafiles ( .hmf) will be lost when you exit from FLUENT, unless you save them as described below.

You can save the animation sequence to a file that can be read back into FLUENT (see Section  24.17.4) when you want to replay the animation. As noted in Section  24.17.4, the solution animation file can be used for playback in FLUENT independent of the case and data files that were used to generate it.

To save a solution animation file (and the associated metafiles), select Animation Frames in the Write/Record Format drop-down list in the Playback panel, and click the Write button. FLUENT will save a .cxa file, as well as a .hmf file for each frame of the animation sequence. The filename for the .cxa file will be the specified sequence Name (e.g., pressure-contour.cxa), and the filenames for the metafiles will consist of the specified sequence Name followed by a frame number (e.g., pressure-contour_0002.hmf). All of the files ( .cxa and .hmf) will be saved in the current working directory.

Hardcopy File

You can also generate a hardcopy file for each frame in the animation sequence. This feature allows you to save your sequence frames to hardcopy files used by an external animation program such as ImageMagick. As noted above, you can modify the view in the graphics window before you save the hardcopy files.

To save the animation as a series of hardcopy files, follow these steps:

1.
Select Hardcopy Frames in the Write/Record Format drop-down list in the Playback panel.

2.
If necessary, click the Hardcopy Options... button to open the Graphics Hardcopy panel and set the appropriate parameters for saving the hardcopy files. (If you are saving hardcopy files for use with ImageMagick, for example, you may want to select the window dump format. See Section  3.12.1 for details.) Click Apply in the Graphics Hardcopy panel to save your modified settings.

!! Do not click the Save... button in the Graphics Hardcopy panel. You will save the hardcopy files from the Playback panel in the next step.

3.
In the Playback panel, click the Write button. FLUENT will replay the animation, saving each frame to a separate file. The filenames will consist of the specified sequence Name followed by an animation sequence and a frame number (e.g., pressure-contour_1_0002.ps), and they will all be saved in the current working directory.

MPEG File

It is also possible to save all of the frames of the animation sequence in an MPEG file, which can be viewed using an MPEG decoder such as mpeg_play. Saving the entire animation to an MPEG file will require less disk space than storing individual window dump files (using the hardcopy method), but the MPEG file will yield lower-quality images.

As noted above, you can modify the view in the graphics window before you save the MPEG file.

To save the animation to an MPEG file, follow these steps:

1.
Select MPEG in the Write/Record Format drop-down list in the Playback panel.

2.
Click the Write button.

FLUENT will replay the animation and save each frame to a separate scratch file, and then it will combine all the files into a single MPEG file. The name of the MPEG file will be the specified sequence Name with a .mpg extension (e.g., pressure-contour.mpg), and it will be saved in the current working directory.


next up previous contents index Previous: 24.17.2 Playing an Animation
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