Chimera Commands Index

movie action options

Movie is the command-line implementation of Movie Recorder, which captures image frames from Chimera and assembles them into movies. See Making Movies for information on developing movie content (often in the form of command files) and troubleshooting problems in PowerPoint. On certain platforms, other windows should not overlap the Chimera graphics window during recording (details...). This is not an issue when raytracing is used.

One of the following action keywords must be specified:

The action keyword cannot be truncated, and case is important. Actions may have specific options.


All specifications are optional, and the order of specification is not important. Option keywords can be truncated, and their case is not important. Default values are indicated with bold. A vertical bar "|" designates mutually exclusive values.

Options for record:

directory image-directory
Where image files should be saved; the default varies by platform.
pattern filename-pattern
The filename-pattern is a string to use when naming the image files; the default is chimovie_xxxx-*, where xxxx is replaced by random characters and * is replaced by the frame number (for example, 00001, 00002, etc.). Any specified filename-pattern should include one and only one *, which will be replaced by the frame number.
fformat jpeg|png|ppm
The format of saved image files. Regardless of which format is specified, however, frames are always saved in the png format when raytracing is used.
supersample N
Whether to increase the image quality over what is displayed on the screen. N is the number of pixels sampled in the X and Y dimensions for each pixel in the final saved image; values range from 1 to 6, with 3 recommended when supersampling is used. Supersampling with N>1 entails generating initial images larger than the window and sampling them down to the final size. Using supersample (even with N=1) allows the subdivision quality to be adjusted automatically. Increasing N increases smoothness but also calculation time.
raytrace true|false
Whether to raytrace with POV-Ray rather than saving the contents of the Chimera graphics window. Raytraced images include fancier effects like shadows, but take longer to compute. Raytracing parameters can be adjusted in the POV-Ray Options preferences (see balancing time requirements and results).

Options for reset:

resetMode clear|keep
The default behavior (clear) is to delete the image files when a reset occurs; however, one should keep the files if planning to use them for some other purpose, such as movie encoding with a different program.

Options for encode:

mformat avi|mov|mpeg|mp2|mp4
The mformat option specifies the output movie file format:
output movie-pathname
The movie-pathname is the name and location to use for the movie file (default in the current directory).
bitrate rate
Bit rate controls movie quality and file size. By default, the movie will be encoded to play back at a constant rate of 2000 Kbits/s. Generally, 200 Kbits/s is a low rate, 1000 medium, and 6000 high. Increasing rate increases movie quality and file size for a given resolution (window size) and frame rate. At a given bit rate, a larger window and/or a higher frame rate correspond to lower movie quality.
qscale factor
The qscale option overrides bitrate and indicates that the movie should be encoded to play back with a variable bit rate. The quality factor is an integer that can range from 1 (highest quality and highest data rates) to 31 (lowest quality).
framerate fps
The frame rate is the rate of playback in terms of image frames. The frame rate fps is an integer and defaults to 25 frames/s.
buffersize size
Buffer size defaults to 200 Kbytes.
roundtrip true|false
Whether to include the frames in reverse order as the second half of the movie.
preset vcd|svcd|dvd
The preset option indicates that a built-in set of parameters should be used: Using a preset will resize the graphics window and override other specifications of the listed parameters.
resetMode clear|keep|none
By default, a reset will occur when movie encoding is complete. The resetMode values clear and keep are as described above, while none specifies that no reset should occur; none should be used when one may want to re-encode the movie using the same saved frames.

See also: Movie Recorder, MD Movie, movie-related commands