Reanimate is:

  • An animation library - a system for turning code into movies, similar to 3b1b's manim of YouTube fame.
  • User friendly - extensively documented with example animations covering the entire API.
  • Cross-platform - works on Linux, Mac and Windows.

Getting started

Reanimate offers stack templates for getting started with a minimal example and automatic code reloading. Running the commands below will put a one-line animation in the 'animate' folder and then display the animation in a browser window. You can then edit the animation source code and watch the animation update in real time:

$ stack new animate github:reanimate/plain
$ cd animate/
$ # both 'cabal repl' and 'stack repl' can be used here:
$ cabal repl
:cmd reanimateLive

Running examples from the repository

$ git clone
$ cd reanimate/
$ stack build
$ stack ./examples/doc_andThen.hs

Running the above code should open a browser window containing this animation:

Toggle doc_andThen.hs source code.

  #!/usr/bin/env stack
-- stack runghc --package reanimate
module Main(main) where

import Reanimate
import Reanimate.Builtin.Documentation

main :: IO ()
main = reanimate $ docEnv $ drawBox `andThen` drawCircle

Checking dependencies

If something doesn't work, you can run a check for run-time dependencies like this:

$ stack ./examples/doc_andThen.hs check
reanimate checks:
  Has ffmpeg:                        4.1.3-0ubuntu1
  Has dvisvgm:                       /usr/bin/dvisvgm
  Has povray:                        /usr/bin/povray
  Has blender:                       2.82
  Has rsvg-convert:                  2.44.10
  Has inkscape:                      0.92.4
  Has imagemagick:                   6.9.10-14
  Has LaTeX:                         /usr/bin/latex
  Has LaTeX package 'babel':         OK
  Has LaTeX package 'preview':       OK
  Has LaTeX package 'amsmath':       OK
  Has XeLaTeX:                       /usr/bin/xelatex
  Has XeLaTeX package 'ctex':        OK

None of these dependencies are vital but the functionality of reanimate will be reduced if they are missing. For example, without 'ffmpeg', you won't be able to generate stand-alone video files (but can still view animations in a browser window). Without 'LaTeX' and 'dvisvgm', you won't be able use LaTeX for typesetting.

Obtaining the dependencies on Windows

The easiest way to obtain the FFmpeg, rsvg-convert and ImageMagick dependencies on Windows is to use the MSYS2 installation that comes with stack and is on the path in the stack exec environment, and its package manager pacman. The MSYS2 librsvg package provides rsvg-convert.exe.

> stack exec -- pacman --sync --refresh
> stack exec -- pacman --sync mingw64/mingw-w64-x86_64-ffmpeg
> stack exec -- pacman --sync mingw64/mingw-w64-x86_64-librsvg
> stack exec -- pacman --sync mingw64/mingw-w64-x86_64-imagemagick

However, readily-available versions of FFmpeg on Windows have not been built with the --enable-librsvg option. So, the Has ffmpeg(rsvg) dependency will be no on Windows.

Windows versions of POV-Ray, Inkscape, and Blender can be downloaded and installed and the folders containing the executables added to the PATH environment variable.

The MiKTeX project provides a modern TeX distribution for Windows, which also includes the dvisvgm tool. The folder containing the executables must be added to the PATH environment variable. The ctex package (for Chinese typesetting) requires the SimHei font, which is provided by the Windows Language Pack for Chinese (Simplified, China).

Rendering animations

reanimate has builtin support for rendering animations to video files and gifs. To render an animation with default options, use the 'render' command:

$ stack ./examples/doc_andThen.hs render

For computationally intense animations, use the --compile flag to compile your animation script and run it using all available cores:

$ stack ./examples/doc_andThen.hs render --compile

If the defaults are too aggressive for you tastes, change them directly or use a different preset:

$ stack ./examples/doc_andThen.hs render --preset high --fps 10

Rendering to gifs automatically does two passes and uses a color palette to improve the quality and size of the gif. GIFs are, by default, rendered at 24 fps with a resolution of 320x180:

$ stack ./examples/doc_andThen.hs render --format gif

Learning resources