Sample animations made with partiview

(see also: Flypaths in Partiview)
Fly from the solar system towards and through the Orion constellation, and see how Orion's 3-dimensional shape establishes itself (animated GIF, about 946k, xanim will consume about 70MB). The data is the standard Hipparcos bright star catalogue that comes with partiview. In standard speed this movie (400 frames) runs 40 seconds, which corresponds to a speed of almost warp 1000 (Roddenberry's old formula, with the Hollywood corrected version it would be around 9.9999999 which is certainly is well above the maximum boosted subspace radio speed quoted in the Startek Encyclopedia [17 lightyears in 45 minutes, or warp 9.9999]) You can also download a bigger version here (1.2MB), you really don't want to know how much memory this will consume in xanim.
Now orbit Orion, around the middle belt star. Notice it's much further away (about twice) from the other two belt stars. (animated GIF, about 2.5MB). You can also download a bigger version here (3.6MB). A C-shell-script, orion5.csh contains instructions how this animation was created (you will also need the awk script wf2movie.awk). You can look a the finally produced script.

Here's a moviemaking tip: (thanks to Stuart Levy) Screendumps in partiview are taken very literally, and you would record any action on your desktop. This is often interfering with you other work, as partiview goes through its work. So, here is another approach: though graphics performance won't be as good as with a hardware graphics card, you could use "Xvfb" as a software rendering system that wouldn't affect your display at all. (If you don't have Xvfb installed, it should be available; for example in Fedora, the package is called "xorg-x11-server-Xvfb".). Run it using

    Xvfb :1 -screen 0  1600x1200x24  &
and in your shell set the display to this:
    setenv DISPLAY :1.0
    partiview ....
Of course you cannot see the resulting partiview window, or twiddle its controls -- it only exists in memory -- but if you ask partiview to take snapshots, they seem to work. You could also use Xvnc instead of Xvfb (you might need to add options "+extension GLX" to the above command line if partiview then complains that there's no OpenGL support). With VNC, you could control partiview's GUI using a VNC client. In either case, you should be able to run your moviemaking scripts by just setting the DISPLAY environment variable to ":1.0". This will render images using the GLX extension of the Xvfb server, which should use the Mesa pure-software OpenGL library.