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[O] [OT] Generate animations (programmatic)

From: Torsten Wagner
Subject: [O] [OT] Generate animations (programmatic)
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2012 12:05:39 +0900


its a bit OT (well maybe there is a babel solution ;) )
I am looking for a way to generate small animations for educational
purpose. I know many here did/do/plan to do similar things, thus I
would like to ask here.

Those animations need to follow some underlying algorithms (I would
need a correct physical, chemical, biological behavior).
I'm not an art person (so please don't tell me to get pen and paper)
and do not have the time (well the animations should help me but they
are not my daytime job) to spend hours or even weeks in getting
Blender and Co creating (superb) animations.

Thus I am looking for:

* Possibly a programmatic way to create animations
* Something with a good balance of effort vs. output
* Possibility to either inject results from other programs (scilab,
python, matlab, etc.) or to include the necessary behavioral model
* The output should be readable on many different platforms (Linux,
Mac, Windows, Android, IOS, etc)
* An open and well described output format
* An open and well described workflow

Well, the last two points are important to me, since I might use the
animations for longer time (course material) and I would like to have
a chance to open and modify them even in 3, 5  or even 10 years.

My ideas so far

* Processing language (seems interesting and fast to get results,
however, not really an open output format, can't see the future of it
* ProcessingJS (this solves the problem of having a easy to read
output format, other problems are still the same)
* Adobe flash (violates several of the above requirements, plugins on
different platforms are a mess)
* SVG + HTML5 (this looks promising as many web-browser would be
capable to open it without plugin, but I can't find a programmatic
easy way to start with this, any authoring tools, libs or APIs?)
* TIKz + animation (I use Tikz already and really like it. Never used
the animation package. However, animated PDFs are only readable with
the Adobe Reader)
* Python (well Python as a general language might work nice, however,
which package could be used for animation? I used once pygames but
this seems to be graphically disadvantaged)
* Inkscape (there are modules to do animation, but how to get my
behavior model into it?)
* Blender, Gimp (steep learning curve, many many ours of work to get
an animation)
* Synfig, Pencil, ktoon, etc (maybe faster results compared to
Blender, but again, how to get my behavior model into it?)
* Powerpoint, Libreoffice Presenter (well, as soon as it comes to a
bit more complex animations this becomes fast a nightmare)

Ideally, I would love to see something like TikZ with a good way to
add animations and to finally generate a SVG-based animation readable
by almost all webbrowsers.
This embedded in a language which allows me to perform the behavioral
modeling too and I would be quite happy already.

I would be glad if some of you could share there ways, ideas and
workflows to do this kind of animations.

All the best


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