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PGZ Animation - Creating video animations usng Pygame Zero

PGZ Animation is a library for creating animations in Pygame Zero, which can then be exported as png image files. These can then be combined into a video animation.

It uses object oriented approproach, where you create an object representing a Actor (sprite), a shape / line or Text. You can then manipulate the object based on keyframes with tweens between the keyframes.

This is different from the Animation feature within Pygame Zero. This is specifically created to support the keyframes and tweens between them. It still runs as a pygame zero application and can be used in conjunction with any other pygame zero objects and methods (including Pygame Zero animations). This handles all objects in an object orientated way and adds additional features things such as tween scaling and tween rotation.

Introduction Video

This video introduces some free animation tools and then shows how PGZ Animation compares.

Project status

This is currently in an early development. It includes some basic functionality which will be expanding in future. The interface and object names may change significantly in future.

Features / limitations

There must be only 1 movement happening at a time. This makes sense as otherwise there may be confusion on what should happen eg. if a tween should still finish at it's current target position or whether that should be relative.Having multiple movements at the same time is unpredictable and my result in strange behaviour.

It is possible to have different types of transformations at the same time. You can for example have a scale tween or a rotate tween happening at the same time as a move tween.

Getting Started

I'm in the process of creating documentation to explain how to use PGZ Animation. In the meantime the best way to understand the code is to read through some of the examples provided.

Understanding the methods

Some methods and attribute changes are intended to have a direct effect, the tween methods are all designed to happen between certain frames. It is important that these are called on every frame within the start and end keyframes. Where a method refers to goto then that is absolute, where it refers to a delta then that is relative to the current value. Where this is applied to a tween then it is relative to the position at the start of the tween (see limitations about possible conflicts). It is not possible to use position relative to original position if that has already changed (unless you record the position yourself). Rotation angles are in degrees and are normally absolute angles from the original orientation, but can be relative for some methods. The rotation of angles is anti-clockwise to be consistant with the Pygame Zero Actor.

Converting from png files to a animation

Animation output files are saved as png files. These can be converted to an MP4 animation using the below command line (Linux system with ffmpeg installed).

ffmpeg -framerate 25 -i animation-%04d.png -c:v libx264 -profile:v high -crf 20 -pix_fmt yuv420p output.mp4

Alternatively if you would like an animated PNG file then you can use the following:

ffmpeg -framerate 10 -i animation-%05d.png -vf scale=720:405 -plays 0 output.apng

In this example I've gone for a slower frame rate and scaled the image down to a smaller size. The -plays option is how many times to loop the video, in this case infinte. I have given the extension apng, but for most browsers then you will need to rename that to .png aftewards.

Source Code / Download

The PGZAnimation code is provided on gitub.

Future plans

Currently extending the different objects that can be created and adding additional features.

All tweens are currently linear, but a future feature may include adding the tween parameter similar to the Pygame Zero animation.

More information

See my other programming guides at:

Blog links and videos on programming

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