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MGHGRMOVIEFILE__DEFINE

MGHGRMOVIEFILE__DEFINE

Class


  MGHgrMovieFile

Purpose


  This class generates an animation file from a sequence of image arrays.
  The MGHgrMovieFile class is modelled on the IDLgrMPEG class. It stores
  images on disk in a sequence of PPM files (Put method) then combines them
  into a multiple-image file (Save method) by spawning one of the following
  programs:
    - The ImageMagick "convert" command (http://www.imagemagick.org/)
    - Klaus Ehrenfried's program "ppm2fli" for generating FLC
      animations, (http://vento.pi.tu-berlin.de/fli.html).
    - The Info-Zip "zip" command (http://www.cdrom.com/pub/infozip/)
  The user is responsible for ensuring that the command names as
  specified here invoke the command in the shell spawned by
  IDL. This can be done in a variety of ways depending on the
  operating system and shell.
 
  On Windows, best results are achieved by invoking Cygwin versions
  of the commands. This is best done via a batch shell that
  initialises the PATH variable appropriately.
  In the current version, frames can only be added at the end of the
  sequence.

Properties



  The following properties (ie keywords to the Init, GetProperty &
  SetProperty methods) are supported
    COUNT (Get)
      The number of frames that have been put into the object.
    DIMENSIONS (Get)
      A 2-element integer array specifying the image dimensions in
      pixels. This property is determined from the first frame added
      to the object. It is used by the Save method when generating
      FLC files, otherwise it is for information only.
    FILE (Init, Get, Set)
      A string specifying the name of the output file.
    FORMAT (Init, Get, Set)
      A string (converted internally to upper case) specifying the
      output file format. See FILE FORMATS section below.
  FILE FORMATS:
  With the exceptions noted below, the FORMAT property is
  interpreted as an ImageMagick descriptor for a graphics-file
  format supporting multiple images. Possible values include:
    GIF
      ImageMagick can produce multi-image GIFs. For several years,
      LZW compression was missing from the binary distributions
      so they produced only uncompressed GIFs. However as of
      2004-04 it appears to have been reinstated.
    HDF
      The CONVERT documentation claims that it can write multiple
      images to an HDF file, but messages on the ImageMagick
      mailing list say that HDF is no longer supported.
    MNG
      MNG (Multiple-Image Network Graphics) is an image format based
      on PNG (Portable Network Graphics) but supporting multiple
      images, animation and transparent JPEGs. It's not widely
      supported at the moment. See http://www.libpng.org/pub/mng/
      and http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/.
    PDF, PS
      Images are written to a PDF or PS file, one image per page.
      This could be used for printing, I guess.
    TIFF
      This is a handy format for holding a sequence of images with
      no loss in quality, though there are no players offering
      speedy playback. Compression is an issue, because the normal
      LZW compression is unavailable in ImagMagick by default
      (cf. GIF above). I have found Zip compression the best. It is
      supported by ImageMagick and also by my preferred TIFF viewer,
      Xnview (http://perso.wanadoo.fr/pierre.g/xnview/enhome.html).
  The following are handled by applications other than ImageMagick:
    FLC
      The FLC animation format (http://crusty.er.usgs.gov/flc.html),
      originally developed by Autodesk is generally less
      resource-hungry than MPEG. It is limited to 256 colours, which
      are assigned in an optimal way by PPM2FLI.
    ZIP
      If this format is selected, the PPM files are gathered into a
      ZIP archive.
###########################################################################
  Copyright (c) 2000-2013 NIWA:
  http://www.niwa.co.nz/
  Licensed under the MIT open source license:
  http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php
###########################################################################

Modification History


  Mark Hadfield, 2000-02:
    Written.
  Mark Hadfield, 2003-10:
    Updated for IDL 6.0.
  Mark Hadfield, 2004-04:
    Location & names of the temporary PPM files have been
    changed. This has been done to make the ZIP format more usable,
    as the base name for the PPM files inside the ZIP file is now
    based on the output file name.
  Mark Hadfield, 2006-05:
    Deleted code specific to MPEG. I don't use this class to create
    MPEG files any more.
  Mark Hadfield, 2009-10:
    Fixes in the Save method to the spawned commands so that they work
    on Windows and Unix.
  Mark Hadfield, 2013-01:
    Another fix to the Save method to make it more Cygwin-friendly on
    Windows.



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