From: Samir Unni (
Date: Thu Jul 17 2008 - 21:18:24 CDT


That character resulted from an issue with the email formatting; it was not
actually part of the command that I used. The command I used was:

::MovieMaker::makemovie /Users/srunni/dev/vmd_tests/1fas 1fas ppmtompeg
snapshot 10

Also, I sent an update a few hours after my initial email, but it seems not
to have made it onto the mailing list. I will repost it here:

I've got a small update. I slightly changed vmdmovie.tcl, so that the
framerate can be passed to the 'makemovie' method. When I did this, defined
'framerate' as the extra variable being passed now, and defined 'numframes'
as the product of the framerate and the duration, a working movie was
created. Though it would seem that only 2 of these 3 variables need to be
defined for the program to be able to determine the 3rd, when I eliminated
any one of them, the movie was not generated correctly. I have attached the
working version of vmdmovie.tcl, if anyone wants to look at it.

I would still like to know if there is a way to generate a movie from the
command line without modifying any files that are a part of VMD, if

I still have not found a workaround for this issue. The command I am using
now is:

::MovieMaker::makemovie /Users/srunni/dev/vmd_tests/1fas 1fas ppmtompeg
tachyon 5 40


Samir Unni

On Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 5:02 PM, John Stone <> wrote:

> Hi,
> The ">" character you have in your example below shouldn't be there,
> that would cause some trouble for sure.
> Here's a proper example command sequence to make a movie from text mode:
> package require vmdmovie
> mkdir /tmp/mytmpdir
> ::MovieMaker::makemovie /tmp/mytmpdir example ppmtompeg snapshot 10
> This worked fine for me.
> Try that and let me know how it goes.
> Cheers,
> John Stone
> On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 09:32:37AM -0500, Samir Unni wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'm trying to create a Tcl script that will use output from APBS to
> create a
> > video file, with no user interaction. So far, I have managed to manually
> > create a state file, to which I can then add a few lines of code for the
> > Movie Plugin, to automatically generate the video file and then exit VMD.
> > However, I can't seem to get VMD to properly generate the video file when
> I
> > use the script. It creates a file, but it doesn't seem to contain any
> actual
> > data (it's only about 20 KB), and doesn't play correctly when I open it
> with
> > MPlayer. This is the line of code that seems to be the problem:
> >
> > ::MovieMaker::makemovie /Users/srunni/dev/vmd_tests/1fas 1fas ppmtompeg
> > > snapshot 10
> >
> >
> > When I load this exact same state file, but with that line removed, and
> > manually use the Movie Plugin, there are no problems. I figured out the
> > syntax for the above code by taking a look at vmdmovie.tcl, and imitating
> > the calls made when the Movie Plugin is launched from the GUI. As far as
> I
> > can tell, I have made no mistakes in the syntax. Does anyone know why
> this
> > isn't working correctly?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Samir Unni
> --
> NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
> Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
> University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
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