Animation: What is your typical use.

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Animation: What is your typical use.

MichaelAtOz
Administrator
I've been thinking of some changes to help with Animation.

First was just a keyboard shortcut, maybe a button, equivalent to
View/Animate, basically toggle it.

But then you still have to click on FPS & Steps and enter appropriate values
before it does anything.
I like to use the mouse where possible, gabbing the keyboard (unless I'm
already in an editing session) is annoying.
So I though a shortcut could set some default values, so it just starts and
stops.

Then I though maybe a few shortcuts with common FPS/Steps.

If you are an Animate user, what setting(s) do you typically use, and
briefly why?




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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

Troberg
I use animation a lot to present "fly-around" views of an object, and to show
moving parts in motion.

My thoughts on it:

I never use it "live", my renderings are way too slow for that, so I
generate files and put them together to a GIF. This means that, for me, the
FPS is useless, I just want it all rendered as fast as possible.

Instead of having to use FPS to start/stop animation, I'd like to have a
simple play/pause button. A slider to set frame would also be nice, so you
can arrange the viewport in the "largest" frame.

A progress bar or text when exporting. It would be nice to know how many
frames are done when you have a two hour animation rendering.



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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

Whosawhatsis
In reply to this post by MichaelAtOz
I usually set 30 FPS, though mine generally animate much more slowly than this. Number of steps depends on what I'm animating, but when I'm exporting frames, 600 is most common. I never use the GUI for generating these frames though, because I need them generated at a much higher resolution. I generally use a shell script that exports frames at 8K resolution, which I then downscale to 1080p so that they will be nicely anti-aliased.

Doing it this way is slower than it should be, since it can't take advantage of caching from one frame to the next. On the other hand, it allows me to tweak my script to render multiple frames in parallel to take advantage of multiple processor cores, which the animate feature does not.

It would be nice if the animate function could be used to generate and export frames at an arbitrary resolution. This resolution, the default framerate, and the default number of frames should be configurable in preferences. Bonus points if it can output directly to a video encoder, rather than needing to convert from an image sequence. Making an animated gif would be another useful output option.
On Dec 30, 2020, 22:07 -0800, MichaelAtOz <[hidden email]>, wrote:
I've been thinking of some changes to help with Animation.

First was just a keyboard shortcut, maybe a button, equivalent to
View/Animate, basically toggle it.

But then you still have to click on FPS & Steps and enter appropriate values
before it does anything.
I like to use the mouse where possible, gabbing the keyboard (unless I'm
already in an editing session) is annoying.
So I though a shortcut could set some default values, so it just starts and
stops.

Then I though maybe a few shortcuts with common FPS/Steps.

If you are an Animate user, what setting(s) do you typically use, and
briefly why?




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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

nophead
In reply to this post by Troberg
Yes FPS doesn't make any sense as it does an F5 for every frame, so struggles to do a frame a second. For my 3D printer it would be more than a minute per frame, so FPH makes more sense!

On Thu, 31 Dec 2020 at 09:06, Troberg <[hidden email]> wrote:
I use animation a lot to present "fly-around" views of an object, and to show
moving parts in motion.

My thoughts on it:

I never use it "live", my renderings are way too slow for that, so I
generate files and put them together to a GIF. This means that, for me, the
FPS is useless, I just want it all rendered as fast as possible.

Instead of having to use FPS to start/stop animation, I'd like to have a
simple play/pause button. A slider to set frame would also be nice, so you
can arrange the viewport in the "largest" frame.

A progress bar or text when exporting. It would be nice to know how many
frames are done when you have a two hour animation rendering.



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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

TLC123
In reply to this post by MichaelAtOz

Well I use it to visually analyse clearance during complex transformations.
I think it would be use full to have a play/pause button that toggle steps
between 0  and users value
[J][K][L] is commonly used in video editor to  play backwards, pause and go
forwards. i don't know.
Scrubbing a time line by mouse will probably be painful.
But i suppose reset time/go to first fram may be desirable.
Also beyond $t  also expose $fps and $frames /a.k.a. steps.
That's my five cents.



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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

lar3ry
In reply to this post by MichaelAtOz
I seldom use animation, but when I do, I really miss easy single-key or
buttons for step-forward and step-backward.




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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

Whosawhatsis
In reply to this post by Troberg
A timeline running the full width of the preview window would be nice to have. You wouldn't be able to scrub, but at least being able to click around in it would be nice. Of course, it would be great if the caching WAS good enough to allow you to scrub, even if it was only over the range of frames that have already been rendered. Of course, if you don't rotate the view (or if you're controlling the view with the variables like $vpr and $vpt), the frames could be cached as images, which should make scrubbing easy. If you're NOT using those variables, of course, the cached frames would be invalidated as soon as you make any changes to the viewport. They would also be invalidated if you make any functional changes to the code (though edits only to comments and whitespace wouldn't need to invalidate them).
On Dec 31, 2020, 01:06 -0800, Troberg <[hidden email]>, wrote:
I use animation a lot to present "fly-around" views of an object, and to show
moving parts in motion.

My thoughts on it:

I never use it "live", my renderings are way too slow for that, so I
generate files and put them together to a GIF. This means that, for me, the
FPS is useless, I just want it all rendered as fast as possible.

Instead of having to use FPS to start/stop animation, I'd like to have a
simple play/pause button. A slider to set frame would also be nice, so you
can arrange the viewport in the "largest" frame.

A progress bar or text when exporting. It would be nice to know how many
frames are done when you have a two hour animation rendering.



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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

JordanBrown
In reply to this post by MichaelAtOz
I've used it for three basic things:
  • Exploding an assembly into its print form and back again.  (But I think nophead's idea of showing assembled form for $preview and print form for !$preview may be better.)
  • Flythrough.
  • Seeing how moving parts interact.  (I was just animating shed doors opening and closing to make sure I had the hinge geometry right.)

I usually set 10 FPS and maybe a hundred frames.

A keyboard shortcut, mostly shrug.  Once I turn the UI on, it tends to stay on.

Defaults would be nice, though I kind of doubt any one set of defaults would make everybody happy.  Or maybe defaults could be configurable?

A pause button would be nice.  Step forward/back too, but less so.

It would be *really* nice if it cached the results so that the second time through the loop could run at full speed.  But that's probably not compatible with being able to change the view while the animation runs.

It would be nice if it directly generated a video file, rather than a set of stills.  That doesn't need to be a built-in capability; it could operate by invoking an external program like ImageMagick or ffmpeg that you have to install separately.  I've only done video files a couple of times, and I've had to go research how to do it each time.



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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

thehans
As far as usage, I often use Animation to test/verirfy how a WIP module behaves over a wide range of parametric values, or even for a finished module as a demo of how it works and what different parameter values look like.  In some cases the thing I'm working on is 2D-only or requires no boolean CSG operations, in which case 60FPS is not an unreasonable target to set.

The other big use for me is dumping pictures for making into an animated GIF.  This might be to showcase a design from different angles or with moving parts, exploding/assembling animations, illustrating some abstract geometry problem, or even just for fun/artsy GIFs.
I do end up using GIMP to create the final GIF, so a way to export to GIF directly from OpenSCAD would be great (or even better Animated PNG) 

Here's my ideas for improvement:

  - A pause/play toggle button is probably the most sorely missed feature, add a button to the toolbar + assign a keyboard shortcut for it.  The one weird trick I've been using is to keep my text cursor in the FPS box, and append a `-` character to the end of the value, which makes it invalid and pauses the animation, then backspace to resume.

  - Instead of having some default presets of FPS and Steps or tucking the default away into the Preferences menu, I feel like it would be enough to just automatically save and restore those values from their last usage.

  - For more mouse-friendliness, make the FPS and step boxes into spinboxes with up and down arrows, much like the customizer.

  - An interactive timeline slider would also be great, and could possibly replace the "Time" input text box.

  - I could be wrong, but I think that last time I looked at the code, the FPS setting does something like a simple delay of (1000 / FPS) ms, and doesn't subtract the time taken to render the previous frame.  It should be more like delay(max(0, 1000/FPS - time_elapsed_since_last_frame)), that way if your animation can't keep up to target frame rate, at least it won't waste any time sleeping.  Sometimes I set FPS to an absurdly high number like 1e9 to make any added delay negligible, but doing that also can make the view flicker (I think the GLView may be getting cleared and repainted at the start of each frame's preview; would be best to just repaint only when the next frame is ready and don't clear it beforehand).

  - On that note, I've also kinda wanted to be able to see some feedback on the actual effective FPS vs the target FPS, which could possibly be displayed in the bottom status bar next to viewport settings.
  

Hans



On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 3:20 PM Jordan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
I've used it for three basic things:
  • Exploding an assembly into its print form and back again.  (But I think nophead's idea of showing assembled form for $preview and print form for !$preview may be better.)
  • Flythrough.
  • Seeing how moving parts interact.  (I was just animating shed doors opening and closing to make sure I had the hinge geometry right.)

I usually set 10 FPS and maybe a hundred frames.

A keyboard shortcut, mostly shrug.  Once I turn the UI on, it tends to stay on.

Defaults would be nice, though I kind of doubt any one set of defaults would make everybody happy.  Or maybe defaults could be configurable?

A pause button would be nice.  Step forward/back too, but less so.

It would be *really* nice if it cached the results so that the second time through the loop could run at full speed.  But that's probably not compatible with being able to change the view while the animation runs.

It would be nice if it directly generated a video file, rather than a set of stills.  That doesn't need to be a built-in capability; it could operate by invoking an external program like ImageMagick or ffmpeg that you have to install separately.  I've only done video files a couple of times, and I've had to go research how to do it each time.


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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

RevarBat
I would just like a way to configure animation from the command-line, and have it dump a bunch of animation frame PNG files. That way I can generate animations for my documentation generation scripts in a far less time consuming manner. I currently have to generate each frame with a separate OpenSCAD run. 

-Revar


On Jan 1, 2021, at 9:06 PM, Hans L <[hidden email]> wrote:


As far as usage, I often use Animation to test/verirfy how a WIP module behaves over a wide range of parametric values, or even for a finished module as a demo of how it works and what different parameter values look like.  In some cases the thing I'm working on is 2D-only or requires no boolean CSG operations, in which case 60FPS is not an unreasonable target to set.

The other big use for me is dumping pictures for making into an animated GIF.  This might be to showcase a design from different angles or with moving parts, exploding/assembling animations, illustrating some abstract geometry problem, or even just for fun/artsy GIFs.
I do end up using GIMP to create the final GIF, so a way to export to GIF directly from OpenSCAD would be great (or even better Animated PNG) 

Here's my ideas for improvement:

  - A pause/play toggle button is probably the most sorely missed feature, add a button to the toolbar + assign a keyboard shortcut for it.  The one weird trick I've been using is to keep my text cursor in the FPS box, and append a `-` character to the end of the value, which makes it invalid and pauses the animation, then backspace to resume.

  - Instead of having some default presets of FPS and Steps or tucking the default away into the Preferences menu, I feel like it would be enough to just automatically save and restore those values from their last usage.

  - For more mouse-friendliness, make the FPS and step boxes into spinboxes with up and down arrows, much like the customizer.

  - An interactive timeline slider would also be great, and could possibly replace the "Time" input text box.

  - I could be wrong, but I think that last time I looked at the code, the FPS setting does something like a simple delay of (1000 / FPS) ms, and doesn't subtract the time taken to render the previous frame.  It should be more like delay(max(0, 1000/FPS - time_elapsed_since_last_frame)), that way if your animation can't keep up to target frame rate, at least it won't waste any time sleeping.  Sometimes I set FPS to an absurdly high number like 1e9 to make any added delay negligible, but doing that also can make the view flicker (I think the GLView may be getting cleared and repainted at the start of each frame's preview; would be best to just repaint only when the next frame is ready and don't clear it beforehand).

  - On that note, I've also kinda wanted to be able to see some feedback on the actual effective FPS vs the target FPS, which could possibly be displayed in the bottom status bar next to viewport settings.
  

Hans



On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 3:20 PM Jordan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
I've used it for three basic things:
  • Exploding an assembly into its print form and back again.  (But I think nophead's idea of showing assembled form for $preview and print form for !$preview may be better.)
  • Flythrough.
  • Seeing how moving parts interact.  (I was just animating shed doors opening and closing to make sure I had the hinge geometry right.)

I usually set 10 FPS and maybe a hundred frames.

A keyboard shortcut, mostly shrug.  Once I turn the UI on, it tends to stay on.

Defaults would be nice, though I kind of doubt any one set of defaults would make everybody happy.  Or maybe defaults could be configurable?

A pause button would be nice.  Step forward/back too, but less so.

It would be *really* nice if it cached the results so that the second time through the loop could run at full speed.  But that's probably not compatible with being able to change the view while the animation runs.

It would be nice if it directly generated a video file, rather than a set of stills.  That doesn't need to be a built-in capability; it could operate by invoking an external program like ImageMagick or ffmpeg that you have to install separately.  I've only done video files a couple of times, and I've had to go research how to do it each time.


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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

tp3
On 02.01.21 12:35, Revar Desmera wrote:
> I would just like a way to configure animation from the
> command-line, and have it dump a bunch of animation
> frame PNG files.

See https://github.com/openscad/openscad/pull/3280

ciao,
  Torsten.

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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

Whosawhatsis
In reply to this post by RevarBat
It's a fairly trivial shell script to write, though it doesn't seem to be possible without an additional time (or frame number) variable in the code (assuming you're doing more than just incrementing one of the existing variables). I've started writing mine to render every fourth frame, so that I can have four copies of the script running in parallel, to make use of all of my processor cores. Simplifying this would be a welcome addition, though.
On Jan 2, 2021, 03:36 -0800, Revar Desmera <[hidden email]>, wrote:
I would just like a way to configure animation from the command-line, and have it dump a bunch of animation frame PNG files. That way I can generate animations for my documentation generation scripts in a far less time consuming manner. I currently have to generate each frame with a separate OpenSCAD run. 

-Revar


On Jan 1, 2021, at 9:06 PM, Hans L <[hidden email]> wrote:

As far as usage, I often use Animation to test/verirfy how a WIP module behaves over a wide range of parametric values, or even for a finished module as a demo of how it works and what different parameter values look like.  In some cases the thing I'm working on is 2D-only or requires no boolean CSG operations, in which case 60FPS is not an unreasonable target to set.

The other big use for me is dumping pictures for making into an animated GIF.  This might be to showcase a design from different angles or with moving parts, exploding/assembling animations, illustrating some abstract geometry problem, or even just for fun/artsy GIFs.
I do end up using GIMP to create the final GIF, so a way to export to GIF directly from OpenSCAD would be great (or even better Animated PNG) 

Here's my ideas for improvement:

  - A pause/play toggle button is probably the most sorely missed feature, add a button to the toolbar + assign a keyboard shortcut for it.  The one weird trick I've been using is to keep my text cursor in the FPS box, and append a `-` character to the end of the value, which makes it invalid and pauses the animation, then backspace to resume.

  - Instead of having some default presets of FPS and Steps or tucking the default away into the Preferences menu, I feel like it would be enough to just automatically save and restore those values from their last usage.

  - For more mouse-friendliness, make the FPS and step boxes into spinboxes with up and down arrows, much like the customizer.

  - An interactive timeline slider would also be great, and could possibly replace the "Time" input text box.

  - I could be wrong, but I think that last time I looked at the code, the FPS setting does something like a simple delay of (1000 / FPS) ms, and doesn't subtract the time taken to render the previous frame.  It should be more like delay(max(0, 1000/FPS - time_elapsed_since_last_frame)), that way if your animation can't keep up to target frame rate, at least it won't waste any time sleeping.  Sometimes I set FPS to an absurdly high number like 1e9 to make any added delay negligible, but doing that also can make the view flicker (I think the GLView may be getting cleared and repainted at the start of each frame's preview; would be best to just repaint only when the next frame is ready and don't clear it beforehand).

  - On that note, I've also kinda wanted to be able to see some feedback on the actual effective FPS vs the target FPS, which could possibly be displayed in the bottom status bar next to viewport settings.
  

Hans



On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 3:20 PM Jordan Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
I've used it for three basic things:
 • Exploding an assembly into its print form and back again.  (But I think nophead's idea of showing assembled form for $preview and print form for !$preview may be better.)
 • Flythrough.
 • Seeing how moving parts interact.  (I was just animating shed doors opening and closing to make sure I had the hinge geometry right.)
I usually set 10 FPS and maybe a hundred frames.
A keyboard shortcut, mostly shrug.  Once I turn the UI on, it tends to stay on.
Defaults would be nice, though I kind of doubt any one set of defaults would make everybody happy.  Or maybe defaults could be configurable?
A pause button would be nice.  Step forward/back too, but less so.
It would be *really* nice if it cached the results so that the second time through the loop could run at full speed.  But that's probably not compatible with being able to change the view while the animation runs.
It would be nice if it directly generated a video file, rather than a set of stills.  That doesn't need to be a built-in capability; it could operate by invoking an external program like ImageMagick or ffmpeg that you have to install separately.  I've only done video files a couple of times, and I've had to go research how to do it each time.

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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

MichaelAtOz
Administrator
In reply to this post by Whosawhatsis

Whosawhatsis, I get the timeline & clicking around, but what is 'scrub'?

 


From: Discuss [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Whosawhatsis
Sent: Fri, 1 Jan 2021 07:11
To: [hidden email]; OpenSCAD general discussion
Subject: Re: [OpenSCAD] Animation: What is your typical use.

 

A timeline running the full width of the preview window would be nice to have. You wouldn't be able to scrub, but at least being able to click around in it would be nice. Of course, it would be great if the caching WAS good enough to allow you to scrub, even if it was only over the range of frames that have already been rendered. Of course, if you don't rotate the view (or if you're controlling the view with the variables like $vpr and $vpt), the frames could be cached as images, which should make scrubbing easy. If you're NOT using those variables, of course, the cached frames would be invalidated as soon as you make any changes to the viewport. They would also be invalidated if you make any functional changes to the code (though edits only to comments and whitespace wouldn't need to invalidate them).

On Dec 31, 2020, 01:06 -0800, Troberg <[hidden email]>, wrote:

I use animation a lot to present "fly-around" views of an object, and to show
moving parts in motion.

My thoughts on it:

I never use it "live", my renderings are way too slow for that, so I
generate files and put them together to a GIF. This means that, for me, the
FPS is useless, I just want it all rendered as fast as possible.

Instead of having to use FPS to start/stop animation, I'd like to have a
simple play/pause button. A slider to set frame would also be nice, so you
can arrange the viewport in the "largest" frame.

A progress bar or text when exporting. It would be nice to know how many
frames are done when you have a two hour animation rendering.



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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

thehans
Its and audio/video editing term: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrubbing_(audio)

Basically dragging a cursor forwards or backwards along the timeline and seeing the frames immediately as you move over them.  It's not practical for us since preview of a single frame could take several seconds or more.
I would say that if such a timeline slider is made, it should be draggable, but only "commit" the new time value and update the view when the slider is released (on mouse button up event).


On Sat, Jan 2, 2021 at 8:27 PM MichaelAtOz <[hidden email]> wrote:

Whosawhatsis, I get the timeline & clicking around, but what is 'scrub'?

 


From: Discuss [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Whosawhatsis
Sent: Fri, 1 Jan 2021 07:11
To: [hidden email]; OpenSCAD general discussion
Subject: Re: [OpenSCAD] Animation: What is your typical use.

 

A timeline running the full width of the preview window would be nice to have. You wouldn't be able to scrub, but at least being able to click around in it would be nice. Of course, it would be great if the caching WAS good enough to allow you to scrub, even if it was only over the range of frames that have already been rendered. Of course, if you don't rotate the view (or if you're controlling the view with the variables like $vpr and $vpt), the frames could be cached as images, which should make scrubbing easy. If you're NOT using those variables, of course, the cached frames would be invalidated as soon as you make any changes to the viewport. They would also be invalidated if you make any functional changes to the code (though edits only to comments and whitespace wouldn't need to invalidate them).

On Dec 31, 2020, 01:06 -0800, Troberg <[hidden email]>, wrote:

I use animation a lot to present "fly-around" views of an object, and to show
moving parts in motion.

My thoughts on it:

I never use it "live", my renderings are way too slow for that, so I
generate files and put them together to a GIF. This means that, for me, the
FPS is useless, I just want it all rendered as fast as possible.

Instead of having to use FPS to start/stop animation, I'd like to have a
simple play/pause button. A slider to set frame would also be nice, so you
can arrange the viewport in the "largest" frame.

A progress bar or text when exporting. It would be nice to know how many
frames are done when you have a two hour animation rendering.



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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

Parkinbot
In reply to this post by MichaelAtOz
I mainly use it to produce frame sequences showing movement cycles and pseudo
3D impressions of designs based on camera movements. Instead of the latter I
would prefer a 3D PDF format allowing to communicate designs that are not
easily to grasp in 2D images.

However it would be a great progress, to be able to choose a more convenient
output format like *.gif or *.mp4 for animations.  
I wrote a Matlab script that composes all pngs in a selectable folder into a
gif (and deletes the pngs). The results are prefect, but, obviously this
process is a bit clumsy and I'd prefer a native solution in OpenSCAD.



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Re: Animation: What is your typical use.

Whosawhatsis
In reply to this post by thehans
Unless the frames are being cached (as images), in which case scrubbing should be possible, and would be useful, for example, to check the frames before exporting them as a video/gif.
On Jan 2, 2021, 19:44 -0800, Hans L <[hidden email]>, wrote:
Its and audio/video editing term: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrubbing_(audio)

Basically dragging a cursor forwards or backwards along the timeline and seeing the frames immediately as you move over them.  It's not practical for us since preview of a single frame could take several seconds or more.
I would say that if such a timeline slider is made, it should be draggable, but only "commit" the new time value and update the view when the slider is released (on mouse button up event).


On Sat, Jan 2, 2021 at 8:27 PM MichaelAtOz <[hidden email]> wrote:

Whosawhatsis, I get the timeline & clicking around, but what is 'scrub'?

 


From: Discuss [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Whosawhatsis
Sent: Fri, 1 Jan 2021 07:11
To: [hidden email]; OpenSCAD general discussion
Subject: Re: [OpenSCAD] Animation: What is your typical use.

 

A timeline running the full width of the preview window would be nice to have. You wouldn't be able to scrub, but at least being able to click around in it would be nice. Of course, it would be great if the caching WAS good enough to allow you to scrub, even if it was only over the range of frames that have already been rendered. Of course, if you don't rotate the view (or if you're controlling the view with the variables like $vpr and $vpt), the frames could be cached as images, which should make scrubbing easy. If you're NOT using those variables, of course, the cached frames would be invalidated as soon as you make any changes to the viewport. They would also be invalidated if you make any functional changes to the code (though edits only to comments and whitespace wouldn't need to invalidate them).

On Dec 31, 2020, 01:06 -0800, Troberg <[hidden email]>, wrote:

I use animation a lot to present "fly-around" views of an object, and to show
moving parts in motion.

My thoughts on it:

I never use it "live", my renderings are way too slow for that, so I
generate files and put them together to a GIF. This means that, for me, the
FPS is useless, I just want it all rendered as fast as possible.

Instead of having to use FPS to start/stop animation, I'd like to have a
simple play/pause button. A slider to set frame would also be nice, so you
can arrange the viewport in the "largest" frame.

A progress bar or text when exporting. It would be nice to know how many
frames are done when you have a two hour animation rendering.



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