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FreeFlyer can generate movies of any 2D or 3D Mission View. There are two approaches to creating movies:
After a Mission Plan has stopped execution, the user is given the option to render a movie of one of the output windows in the workspace using the "Render a Movie" button located next to the "Stop" button.
Note that in order to control the perspective of the "camera" used to create the movie, you must use FreeFlyer script to set the desired view. As shown in the syntax example below, ViewWindow.InstantaneousCameraRadius, InstantaneousCameraRA, and InstantaneousCameraDec are the primary properties used to adjust the view during the Mission Sequence. Manipulating the output view with the mouse will not have an effect on the movie.
When the "Render a Movie" button is selected, the "Create a Movie" dialog will be shown. From this screen, you can set the following properties for the movie:
"Create Bitmap Movie" and "Bitmap Movie Window" Switches
When generating movies from the command line, the -cbm (Create Bitmap Movie) switch is used to specify the desired Mission Plan, instead of the usual -mp switch. The -mp switch is used to specify the desired Mission Plan in all command line applications other than movie generation. When the -cbm option is specified, the regular FreeFlyer interface will not appear. Instead, you will see a dialog detailing the activity of the process, as seen below.
The -cbm switch should be used with the -bmw (Bitmap Movie Window) switch, which has two input arguments. The first input argument to the -bmw switch specifies the title of the output window to be rendered, and maps to the ViewWindow.WindowTitle property. If the WindowTitle has not been set, the default value of "MissionView 1" should be used. The second input argument specifies the output filename for the movie.
The syntax for creating a movie from the command line is shown below. Note that:
In this example, the ViewWindow has the default window title:
Note: If a Mission Plan contains multiple ViewWindows with the default title, the identifying number will be incremented: "MissionView 2", "MissionView 3", etc....
The following switches can be used to adjust the format of the movie:
The following syntax example shows how to generate a movie with a frame rate of 30 seconds and a resolution of 600 x 450, and output the movie to the user's Desktop.
Creating Multiple Movies
It is possible to generate multiple movies from the command line with a single command or batch file. You can the specify following switches multiple times in order to change the format options for each movie. When the -bmw switch is encountered, the last specified format options will be used.
The following syntax example shows how to generate two movies with different frame rates and resolutions. The first movie shows a ViewWindow with the title "Spacecraft View", and the second movie shows a ViewWindow with the default title of "MissionView 1". The text is color-coded to make the example easier to read: red text corresponds to the first movie, and green text corresponds to the second movie.
When rendering multiple movies, the progress dialog will show status updates as each movie is generated:
You can use the Export Settings button in the "Create a Movie" interface shown above to generate a movie options file. This file will be saved with the extension ".FFMovieSettings", and will contain data in the following format:
Sample "WMVsettings.FFMovieSettings" file:
The data in this file defines the output path, file name, resolution, and frame rate of the movie, and can be used with the -bmof switch when generating movies from the command line. Once an options file has been created using the Export Settings button, you can edit the file in a text editing program such as Notepad in order to define different settings. The syntax for using a movie options file when generating a movie at the command line is:
The -bmrq (Bitmap Movie Render Queue) switch allows you to specify all the command line options for generating a movie in a file called a render queue. A sample render queue is shown below.
When this switch is used, the command or batch file is very simple and uses only one switch:
You can generate a log of the movie generation progress using the -bmsl switch. It is highly recommended to use this feature in order to easily identify why movie generation may have failed. The save log of a successful movie generation will contain the same information as that shown above in the "Rendering Movies" windows.
The syntax for creating a movie and a save log is shown below.
Common error messages written to the save log include: