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How to Save an Animation in Abaqus

Posted by Ebbe Smith

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    The TECHNIA Simulation technical team were asked for advice in how to create videos for PowerPoint presentations with Abaqus/CAE. As this information can prove useful for more users, we’ve decided to publish it as a quick blog post.

    Steps to Save an Animation in Abaqus

    It is always helpful to consider what information you want to present and then find a visually intuitive way to convey this information with regards to geometry and loading:

    1. Select a viewport size and an appropriate aspect ratio for the assembly. 
    2. Prepare the content; instances, contour plots, legend limits, deformation scale factor.
    3. Annotations to help describe the animation

    Follow these two steps to save the animation as a video file:

    1. Select animation type in the visualization toolbox. Time-history is most used. video-abaqus-1
    2. File > Animate > Save As… Select Format: AVI and Codec: “Microsoft Video 1”.video-abaqus-2
    3. This will create an animation that can be imported and played in a PowerPoint presentation.
      If you only wish to review the animation Windows Media Player: The codec (RLE 8bit/pixel) offers better compression. Please note that the default “Film & TV” does not support these formats, select Windows Media Player to view the animations on a windows system.

    Animation Tips in Abaqus

    Here are some tips on how to make your animations really shine.

    Viewport Annotations
    Reduce clutter and redundant information by Viewport > Viewport Annotation

    Overlay Plots
    Great Feature to focus attention on specific components whilst providing context of

    Follower Node
    Set View Camera to 'Move with A Node'video-abaqus-4a.
    This allows you to give the perspective of a specific part of the assembly.Follower

    High-Quality Export

    In order to achieve the best quality and compression we can export the animation as uncompressed video and re-compress it using third-party solutions. Please be advised, uncompressed files easily become very large!video-abaqus-6

    Personally, I prefer to use the opensource tool ffmpeg to convert these videos into videos:

    • ffmpeg -I Uncompressed.avi -b:v 16000k powerpointFriendly.wmv
    • ffmpeg-i Uncompressed.avi compressed.mp4

    Conversion to .mp4 uses h.264 as default and gives great compression rates.




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