While walking around the hallways at RIPE59, a couple of people asked me how the movies were made, what tools did I use and such. So here's a short summary on what I did to produce these movies.
Note: this is a repost from an article that was originally published on RIPE Labs.
Mind you, this is not a guide on how to produce art, rather a guide on what the technicalities are behind this gimmick.
Basically, you need to do (or rather, I did) the following:
Make the frames for the movie, ie. the pictures which, when shown in a sequence, will give the feel of an animation:
The pictures themselves are produced by a simple C program (because of efficiency reasons, perl could also do the job). It reads textual input files that contain the data to be shown. The program:
Once a frame is done in PNM, it's converted to PNG using
pnmtopng, which is a part of the
netpbm package. This is not strictly needed but makes life easier sometimes.
Use some free tool to turn the individual picture into a movie. I used
mencoder for this (which is a companion to mplayer). It's also capable of embedding audio if you want.
So basically, following the good old UNIX pholisophy, there are a number of smaller steps, and each step is done by a small and efficient component implementing just that step.
I case you're wondering, the
mencoder command I used was something like:
mencoder mf://some-directory/*.png -mf fps=25:type=png -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=msmpeg4v2 -oac copy -o output.mpeg
Of course you can play around with codecs, frame speeds (fps) if you'd like.
Don't forget the popcorn!