Simple API for creating gif animation using matplotlib and imageio.

Gif maker class definition

import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import imageio, os

class Gif_maker(object):
    def __init__(self, buffer_folder='./buffer-gif-maker', fps=10, palettesize=256):
        if not os.path.exists(buffer_folder):
            os.makedirs(buffer_folder)
        self.image_list = []
        self.image_index = 0
        self.buffer_folder = buffer_folder
        self.palettesize = palettesize
        self.fps = fps
        
    def snap(self, figure):
        image_name = f'{self.buffer_folder}/temp_img_{self.image_index}.jpg'
        figure.savefig(image_name)
        self.image_list.append(image_name)
        self.image_index += 1

    def save(self, output_file='./animation.gif'):
        images = [imageio.imread(file_path) for file_path in self.image_list]
        imageio.mimwrite(output_file, images, fps=self.fps, palettesize=self.palettesize)
        for file_path in self.image_list:
            os.remove(file_path)
        if '.ipynb_checkpoints' in os.listdir(self.buffer_folder):
            os.rmdir(f'{self.buffer_folder}/.ipynb_checkpoints')
        if len(os.listdir(self.buffer_folder))==0:
            os.rmdir(self.buffer_folder)
    
    

Usage


gm = Gif_maker()

fig, ax = plt.subplots(1, figsize=(5,5))

for i in range(10):
    
	## PLOT HERE USING THE AXIS ax

    gm.snap(fig) # take the snapshot of the figure
    ax.cla() # clear the axis for the next gif frame
plt.close()

gm.save(output_file='./my_animation.gif') # save the gif

Example

Here we show how to create a gif of a rotating 3d object.

from mpl_toolkits.mplot3d import Axes3D
from scipy import ndimage
from matplotlib.patches import Rectangle
import mpl_toolkits.mplot3d.art3d as art3d

################## CREATE NICE LOOKING FIELD  #########################
np.random.seed(0)
X_SIZE, Y_SIZE = 50, 50
field = (np.random.uniform(-0.5, 0.5, size=[Y_SIZE*10, X_SIZE*10]))
field = ndimage.gaussian_filter(field, 25)
field = field.reshape(Y_SIZE, 10, X_SIZE, 10).sum(3).sum(1) #binning
yx = np.mgrid[:Y_SIZE, :X_SIZE]
x, y, z = yx[1].flatten(), yx[0].flatten(), field.flatten()
#######################################################################

fig = plt.figure(figsize=(8, 6))
gm = Gif_maker(fps=10)
ax = fig.gca(projection='3d', proj_type='ortho', azim=-20, elev=40)

for angle in np.linspace(0, 360, 60):
    ax.plot_trisurf(x, y, z, linewidth=0, antialiased=True, cmap='Greens_r',
                    shade=True, alpha=0.6, zorder=3, vmin=-1, vmax=1.5)
    ax.set(xlim3d=(0, 50), ylim3d=(0, 50), xticks=[], yticks=[], zticks=[])

    # Set spines colors (alpha channel to remove)
    ax.w_xaxis.line.set_color('none')
    ax.w_yaxis.line.set_color('none')
    ax.w_zaxis.line.set_color('none')

    # Set panes color
    ax.w_xaxis.set_pane_color((0,0,0,0))
    ax.w_yaxis.set_pane_color((0,0,0,0))
    ax.w_zaxis.set_pane_color((0,0,0,0))

    ax.yaxis.pane.fill = False
    ax.xaxis.pane.fill = False
    ax.grid(None)

    ax.view_init(30, angle)
    gm.snap(fig)
    ax.cla()
plt.close()

gm.save()

Finally we can show the result in a jupyter notebook or a Google Colab notebook:

from IPython.display import Image
Image(open('animation.gif','rb').read())

3d animation