Camera paths

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Camera paths options

There are currently two ways of doing camera paths in manta. The simplest is integrated into the default UI (X Window UI). To use it, press 'k' (lower case k) at each camera view you want to record. At the end, pressing 'K' (capital K) will write out a camera path file containing a list of all the camera points. Pressing the space bar will start and stop the animation. After writing out the animation, you can then reuse the path with future invocations of Manta by adding the following command when launching Manta:

-ui "X(-path out.path)" 

The other method of doing camera paths, explained below, offers some more control but is more difficult to use. Eventually these should be merged...

Camera paths dialog

Use the "Camera Path" dialog in the "Camera" menu either in the wx python front end (


Here is an email describing how to make high resolution screenshots:

Here are instructions for using the camera path functionality to output fixed screenshots:

-- Run dm_demo with the full 777 dataset (this example uses the smooth-cockpit dataset):

> bin/dm_demo -np 8 -scene "lib/ -file /scratch/abe/smooth-cockpit.v3c1 -np 8 )"

-- Adjust the surface alpha value and the camera position. (Estimate the actual alpha value since it isn't saved by bookmarks.) Add a bookmark at the desired camera position which matches the middle image in figure 1.

-- Next before exiting dm_demo, select "Save Bookmarks" from the file menu. This will place the bookmarks in a text file:

Title 1
pinhole( -eye 220.482 -17.0626 198.513 -lookat 235.602 -62.4486 199.92 -up -0.0021845 -0.00759397 0.999969 -fov 60 )
Title 2
pinhole( -eye 224.113 -20.9505 281.942 -lookat 223.314 -20.705 281.393 -up 0 0 1 -fov 60 )

Now create a camera path file, first by removing the titles and changing the keywork "pinhole" to "control" in the bookmark file. Also replicate the first and last control points (this is necessary due to the support of the interpolating spline used). For example, to produce two screenshots I actually need a five line path file:

control( -eye 220.482 -17.0626 198.513 -lookat 235.602 -62.4486 199.92 -up -0.0021845 -0.00759397 0.999969 -fov 60 )
control( -eye 220.482 -17.0626 198.513 -lookat 235.602 -62.4486 199.92 -up -0.0021845 -0.00759397 0.999969 -fov 60 )
control( -eye 224.113 -20.9505 281.942 -lookat 223.314 -20.705 281.393 -up 0 0 1 -fov 60 )
control( -eye 224.113 -20.9505 281.942 -lookat 223.314 -20.705 281.393 -up 0 0 1 -fov 60 )
control( -eye 224.113 -20.9505 281.942 -lookat 223.314 -20.705 281.393 -up 0 0 1 -fov 60 )

Now run bin/manta with the camera path file and a file image display. By default manta supports .tga output files. This will create an output file for every frame rendered. It will take the renderer 4-5 frames to produce the desired output (first several warmup frames are output). Wait until the last desired camera position is output before terminating bin/manta. At 4kx4k or higher resolution, the frames will be quite large. There is a bug that terminates manta before the frame is fully output if you use "-behavior exit" with the camera path.

bin/manta -res 4096x4096 -np 8 \
-scene "lib/ -file /scratch/abe/smooth-cockpit.v3c1 -np 8 -alpha 0.5 )" \
-ui "camerapath( -delta_t 1.0 -file teaser-path.txt -sync 1 )" \
-imagedisplay "file( -type tga -prefix teaser-ao )"


Image/Pixel type not supported

This exception is throw if the selected file image display "-type" doesn't support the current pixel format. Choose another pixel format (for example rgb8). In bin/manta image pixel types are selected with -imagetype [string]