This page used to be a lengthy description how I make an animation, with lots of emphasis on preparing the individual frames and to make sure that the result would have an acceptable smoothness.

In the meantime Peter Katreniak has added a very nice functionality to K3CCDTools2 with a full tutorial so that I suffice with just a reference to his website.

The above animation was realised with K3CCDTools 2 and Animagic.


Another approach is to use the grid pattern in Photoshop and paste the object just right on the canvas, save it and you are ready for the next image etc.
This way you prepare all the frame meticulously and then use a tool like Animagic to create the final gif.

Here follows how I created the animation of the Solar Eclipse of October 3, 2005.

I had 40+ AVIS and processed them all using my Planetary Post Processing method so I wound up with 40+ 'suns'.

Next - in Photoshop - I made a template with a nice border: the frame and I activated the Grid so that I had a nice grid pattern.
I opened my first 'sun' and cropped it so that I had only the sun itself selected.
Next I used the 'move' function to move the sun to my template and by using the arrow key I positioned the sun exactly where I wanted it.
I had selected such a spot on the grid that I would easily remember where I had put the sun, so that the next sun would also get at exactly the same spot on the canvas.
Finally I updated the time-stamp at the bottom and save as .psd and also as .bmp

I did the same for all 40+ 'suns'.

Next I used the batch function of Irfanview to create .jpg's from the .bmp's and I loaded these jpg's into Animagic where I defined the frame rate. (Of course you can use any other tools which allows you to create a .gif)

Final step: again I used the batch function of Irfanview, but now also I reduced the size of the frames to create the thumbnail version and saved as jpg's. After that I created the gif in Animagic.

This animation was realised by using the grid pattern of Photoshop and finalised with Animagic.
Please click the thumbnail to view the larger version.

How to image and construct an animation of a Solar Prominence.

Animation of Solar Prominence: approx. 5 x 3.3 Earth.
[Click the thumbnail to see the full sized version]
November 8, 2008 11:11 - 11:47 UT.
Imaging: Coronado PST piggybacked on LX200 with Televue Powermate 2.5x and Philips Vesta SC3a B/W webcam, Baader Infrared Blocking Filter.
Here is how I made the above animation:
Imaging: I used the Interval Timer of K3CCDTools to automatically image during 15 seconds followed by an interval of 45 seconds.
Processing: the 34 AVIs were aligned and stacked + wavelets in Registax [in Auto mode]; the results were saved as TIFFs.
These TIFFs were imported in K3CCDTools and manually aligned using the Show Difference feature
the results were upsampled 2x, the caption was added using the Text Output Filter and finally saved as GIF.
Hint: this manual alignemnt is a tedious operation, so I use Project/Save when I am tired, and Project/Load to resume.
The final adjustment of the animation was done in Animagic.

REGISTAX: aligning and stacking in Batch mode.
Start with normal manual processing and you will see that in the Batch function miraculously your manual operations have been logged already, like a macro.

Here are the commands I used for the animation of October 21, 2010:

SELECT [with no filename specified Batch will ask you for the file]
LOADRAP align.RAP [alignment point. You MUST use the multiple alignment feature [even when you only use one alignment point] and then save that. I used "align" as name]
ALIGN
LIMIT 74 [stack size]
CREATEREF 25 [reference frame is created based on 25 frames]
OPTIMIZE_STACK
LOADWVS wavelets.rwv [you manually set the wavelets and save the settings; Batch will load and use these settings]
SAVEWAVELET [with no filename specified Batch will ask you for the file. Do NOT use PNG as K3CCDTools>Tools>Expand has problems handling these Registax PNG images. I use JPG instead.]

This BatchMaker Utility makes it even easier as the relevant filenames of the AVIs and the resulting PNGs will already be filled in by BatchMaker, so you get one big list with processing commands. This list must be pasted into the Registax Batch pane and then you hit RUN and processing will go on and on unattended till all AVIs have been processed.

Here are the Generic Commands for Batchmaker that worked for me for the animation of October 21, 2010:
[Note: make sure to use short filenames because BatchMaker and Registack Batch cannot handle line wrapping]

SELECT {$NF}.AVI
LOADRAP align.RAP
ALIGN
LIMIT 74
CREATEREF 25
OPTIMIZE_STACK
LOADWVS wavelets.rwv
SAVEWAVELET {$NF}_rgxstack75.png


Pssst !! Look here for the animation of a crazy factory. No, I did not make this animation but it is fun !