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PlantStudio Kurtz-Fernhout Software
Developers of custom software and educational simulations.
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Making numbered animation files

PlantStudio can automatically create a limited animation, with one plant at a time either growing or revolving, by writing out numbered animation files you can read into an animation program. Using an animation program you can create animations of plant growth for the web (as animated GIF files) or for video presentations (as AVI files).

There are several good animation programs you can buy, including Animation Shop (which comes with Paint Shop Pro 5), Painter, GIF Construction Set, and GIF Animator. You can use the numbered animation files PlantStudio creates in any animation program.

You can also make animations with multiple plants yourself (or using some other characteristics, such as colors, Y or Z rotation, or size) by pasting plant pictures into animation frames in your animation software. And you can alter your animation frames using image-editing software (like Painter, Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro) so you get an interesting flickery effect like an old movie.

To make a set of numbered animation files,
Select the plant you want to animate. You can only animate one plant at a time.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Choose Save Animation Files from the File menu.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif In the window that appears, choose whether you want to animate by changing the plant's age or X rotation.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Enter a number of days or degrees to advance the plant between animations.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Choose a resolution and color depth for the files. Pay attention to the total file size reported at the bottom of the window because you might be writing a large number of files.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Click Save, then choose a file name in the save dialog that appears. The numbered files will be named with the file name you chose plus "001", "002", etc.

Using Painter

Painter is especially useful for opening and using PlantStudio animation files because it can quickly read in the numbered animation files PlantStudio writes. You create animations in Painter (versions 3.0 and up) by manipulating images in a "frame stack".

To use your numbered animation files in Painter,
In Painter, choose Open from the File menu.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif In the open file dialog, check the check box labeled Open Numbered Files. Click on the first file in the series ("001") and click OK, then click on the last file in the series and click OK. Painter will import the files and create an animation frame stack (FRM) file from them.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.