Convert images to a single animation file (typically GIF) using ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick

Yihui Xie & Lijia Yu 2017-04-04

This function opens a graphical device (specified in ani.options('')) first to generate a sequence of images based on expr, then makes use of the command convert in ‘ImageMagick’ to convert these images to a single animated movie (as a GIF or MPG file). An alternative software package is GraphicsMagick (use convert = 'gm convert'), which is smaller than ImageMagick.

This function calls im.convert (or gm.convert, depending on the argument convert) to convert images to a single animation.

The advantage of this function is that it can create a single movie file, however, there are two problems too: (1) we need a special (free) software ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick; (2) the speed of the animation will be beyond our control, as the interval option is fixed. Other approaches in this package may have greater flexibilities, e.g. the HTML approach (see saveHTML).

See ani.options for the options that may affect the output, e.g. the graphics device (including the height/width specifications), the file extension of image frames, and the time interval between image frames, etc. Note that ani.options('interval') can be a numeric vector!

## make sure ImageMagick has been installed in your system
  for (i in 1:10) plot(runif(10), ylim = 0:1)

## if the above conversion was successful, the option 'convert' should not be
## NULL under Windows
## like 'C:/Software/LyX/etc/ImageMagick/convert.exe'

  brownian.motion(pch = 21, cex = 5, col = "red", bg = "yellow")
}, = "brownian_motion.gif", interval = 0.1, nmax = 30, ani.width = 600)

## non-constant intervals between image frames
  brownian.motion(pch = 21, cex = 5, col = "red", bg = "yellow")
}, = "brownian_motion2.gif", interval = runif(30, 0.01, 1), nmax = 30)