7.6  Image Handling - Making Animations


A series of individual image files may be put into a movie file.  The image series may be of a z-series stack, a time lapse series, a set of 3-d renders from different views or even a random sequence of unrelated images.  The only requirement is that the individual images be the same size and color depth and ideally have identical color palettes. 

Movies may be made in several different ways.  The method described here is to use Microsoft's free VidEdit (which works in  Windows3, 95, 98 & NT) to import a series of .bmp bitmap files into an .avi format movie, which can be played in Windows.  For Mac users .avi movie file may be converted into QuickTime .mov files, e.g. using QuickTime (full version) or Adobe Premiere.  An image sequence collected using the LeicaTCS-NT confocal system will be either a mutlipaged tiff file, or perhaps individuals tiff files.  Multipaged or individual tiff files must be converted into .bmp bitmaps files using, for example, tiffsplit4.exe.

The individual tiff image files are converted into bitmaps, which can be manipulated with VidEdit and a number of other command line programs.  Some of these programs can perform other optional operations such as overlaying pairs of images (bmovrlay.exe) into red-green overlay images or pasting together pairs of images or multiplying images (bmproduct.exe) to investigate co-localization.

VidEdit gathers together the bitmap images into an animation sequence.  VidEdit can delete frames or add other frames or sequences.  Animations can also be cropped or resized before being saved full sized or compressed.

Please note that VidEdit does not handle long file names.  Image files should be renamed so that split file names are 8 or less characters long.  Renaming to a suitably short file name before performing tiffsplit will avoid tedious renaming of split files.

The Details:

The example below shows how the dual channel z-series stack sim.tif can be converted into a z-series animation using tiffsplit4 and videdit.exe.command_prompt_on_desktop.gif (1803 bytes)

Note that movies can be made more simply using Quick Time Pro, which can import a series of bitmap or tiff images.  The movie can be exported as an AVI or MOV file.  Use "File -> Open Image Sequence" and export to desired movie format.   No further description of this method is given here, currently.

Convert multipaged tiff image file into individual .bmp bitmap filesOpen a DOS box (command prompt) and select the desired drive letter (e.g. e: enter) and change to the desired path (e.g. cd  \users2\fred enter)

Merge individual image bitmaps into an .avi movie with "VidEdit.exe" VidEdit Help

Last updated 10/24/06

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