MoG Weekend Project: Paper Timelapse
I decided to publish some of my own personal projects on MoG in a new category: MoG Weekend Project. In this first MoG Weekend Project I will publish my paper2movie script.
Back in December I posted Timothy Weninger’s research paper timelapse. At the time I just started writing my master thesis and I decided I would create a timelapse of my thesis as well. Unfortunately, Weninger did not release his software. When I looked through the comments of the video, I found a SVN version of a papermovie script created by Andrew Ferguson. However, this version contained a lot of hard-coded stuff, so I decided to make my own paper2movie script.
The paper2movie script is a bash script that loops through a git repository to create all the intermediate versions of the paper from the Latex source files. It then calculates the dimensions of the images in the video. Next, the images are created from the PDFs using the montage tool from ImageMagick. In the last part of the script, the movie is created using ffmpeg.
The result is a timelapse of your version-controlled research paper:
Creating your own timelapse
Since the paper2movie script is written in Bash, you can only run it on a Unix-based operating system. Furthermore, you need to have ImageMagick and ffmpeg installed. You should note that the movie is encoded with h264. This encoder is by default not available in Ubuntu due to licensing restrictions. You can install the decoder by using this guide. Of course, you also need a Git version-controlled research paper written in Latex.
Before you can run the script, you need to change the input parameters by editing the file. A description is given for each of the parameters. After all the parameters are set you can run the script. The runtime depends on the number of versions and the number of pages of your paper. For my thesis, it took 40 minutes to create the movie (on a Intel Core i5 M480 with 4GB of RAM).