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How to make animations/pictures for physics?

  1. Jun 17, 2008 #1
    How do you make animations or descriptive pictures for physical models? They're not hand drawn and I'm pretty sure it's not done in photoshop. Is there special software for this? Here's a few pictures of what I mean:
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ae/Stokes_sphere.svg/403px-Stokes_sphere.svg.png" [Broken]
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/Pendulum_animation.gif" [Broken]
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/N-body_problem_(3).gif" [Broken]
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/45/Double-compound-pendulum.gif" [Broken]
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/imgmec/icyl3a.gif" [Broken]
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/imgmec/amp1.gif" [Broken]

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2008 #2
    Flash is perfect for physics animations and models.
  4. Jul 1, 2008 #3


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    I also suggest using Flash to demostrate animations.
  5. Oct 28, 2008 #4
    Flash is great for that, and you can save it as an animated image within the publish settings. Another program that can animate GIFs is Fireworks. In fact it can even be done in Photoshop.

    Plus with Flash, you can add user interaction.
  6. Oct 28, 2008 #5
    For 2-D still images like the first one on your list Inkscape would be a good candidate.

    For 2-D animations Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, or Sun JavaFX, or if you want to be standards-oriented SMIL. These are also good for the purpose of creating some interactive simulations or exhibits.

    For 3-D stills and animations there's POV-Ray, Blender3D, Wings3D and a variety of other options out there.

    And there are special pieces of software for special applications: Celestia, for example, for some types of scenes in space.
  7. Oct 30, 2008 #6
    All those images/animations are done with different programs. First one is hand drawn, probably adobe flash. Second and fourth one is from a kinematic analysis/demonstration program like "working model". I saw somebody do similar stuff using excel macros but i dont know how exactly. Third one is might be from a plotter like "sigma plot" or "origin", multiple plots have been merged to a gif animation using another program, flash can do that. The most flexible platform is matlab where you can do all this stuff with code.
  8. Oct 30, 2008 #7
    Mathematica can do all of this.
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