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Key Frame Animation

Key Frame Animations allow you to easily animate a smooth progression through two or more specified views (key frames) and export them as an animation. You can zoom, rotate, and translate in these animations. In addition, you can create “fly around” movies or first-person animations. The animation you see here explores a “fly-around” of air flowing through a duct.

Create a Key Frame Animation

  1. Select Animate > Key Frame Animation. Note that the Key Frame Animations can be used only in the 3D Cartesian plot type. Rotate and/or zoom the plot to the initial view for the animation and then select the [Append] button in the dialog. Change the name of the view (key frame) by selecting it (“View 1”) in the Key Frame box and editing the name in the View Name field.
  2. Rotate and/or zoom the plot to the next view you wish your animation to include and select the [Append] button to add that view to the end of the animation. Or you can select the [Insert] button to insert a view above the selected one in the list. These key frames are snapshots of the view in Tecplot 360, so limit the rotations to 180 degrees or less between key frames, or else the animation may not rotate as expected.
  3. Continue to rotate and/or zoom and select [Append] or [Insert] to add additional key frames to your animation. If you want to replace a saved key frame view with the current plot view, click the [Update] button.
  4. Because this is also a transient data set, you can animate the solution time concurrently with the key frames by selecting Options>Animate Time Concurrently. Time Animation Options lets you select from multiple time animation operations.
  5. When finished adding key frames, select [Animate All] to perform a complete animation of your views, or [Animate Selected] to animate only the views selected in the Key Frame box. Tecplot 360 will interpolate between the saved views to create an animation.

Export an Animation

To export an animation, change the Destination from “On Screen” to “To File”. Then select the [Animate All] or [Animate Selected] to open the Export Options dialog. We recommend exporting to MPEG-4 format as it offers a high quality to file-size ratio, and it can play-back on many media players.

Saving and Reloading a Key Frame Animation

Key Frames are not saved with the layout, so to save your key frame views, go to File > Save Animation File, to choose a location to save your *.keyframe.

To reopen your plot after restarting Tecplot 360, open your saved layout and then in the Key Frame Animation dialog, click File > Open Animation File and select the saved key frames.

The Key Frame Animation tool can also be helpful for users that want to save and return to multiple different views. Instead of creating an animation, you can simply append any important views you want of your layout and save them in a *.keyframe file. In the Key Frame dialog, to get back to a saved view, select the view and click [Apply]. This will snap the selected frame to your saved view.

Learn More

For more details, especially for concurrent time animation, check-out the documentation in the User’s Manual.

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