Play recorded movie frames




The movie function plays the movie defined by a matrix whose columns are movie frames (usually produced by getframe).

movie(M) plays the movie in matrix M once, using the current axes as the default target. If you want to play the movie in the figure instead of the axes, specify the figure handle (or gcf) as the first argument: movie(figure_handle,...). M must be an array of movie frames (usually from getframe).

movie(M,n) plays the movie n times. If n is negative, each cycle is shown forward then backward. If n is a vector, the first element is the number of times to play the movie, and the remaining elements make up a list of frames to play in the movie.

For example, if M has four frames then n = [10 4 4 2 1] plays the movie ten times, and the movie consists of frame 4 followed by frame 4 again, followed by frame 2 and finally frame 1.

movie(M,n,fps) plays the movie at fps frames per second. The default is 12 frames per second. Computers that cannot achieve the specified speed play as fast as possible.

movie(h,...) plays the movie centered in the figure or axes identified by the handle h. Specifying the figure or axes enables MATLAB® to fit the movie to the available size.

movie(h,M,n,fps,loc) specifies loc, a four-element location vector, [x y 0 0], where the lower left corner of the movie frame is anchored (only the first two elements in the vector are used). The location is relative to the lower left corner of the figure or axes specified by handle h and in units of pixels, regardless of the object's Units property.


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Use the getframe function in a loop to record frames of the peaks function vibrating. Preallocate an array to store the movie frames.

Z = peaks;
axis tight manual
ax = gca;
ax.NextPlot = 'replaceChildren';

loops = 40;
F(loops) = struct('cdata',[],'colormap',[]);
for j = 1:loops
    X = sin(j*pi/10)*Z;
    F(j) = getframe;

To play the movie two times, use movie(F,2).


The movie function uses a default figure size of 560-by-420 and does not resize figures to fit movies with larger or smaller frames. To accommodate other frame sizes, you can resize the figure to fit the movie.

movie only accepts 8-bit image frames; it does not accept 16-bit grayscale or 24–bit truecolor image frames.

Buffering the movie places all frames in memory. As a result, on Microsoft® Windows® and perhaps other platforms, a long movie (on the order of several hundred frames) can exhaust memory, depending on system resources. In such cases an error message is issued:

??? Error using ==> movie 
Could not create movie frame

You can abort a movie by typing Ctrl-C.

movie is not a built-in function. Therefore, you cannot call movie using the builtin function.

Limitations with Renderer on Windows Systems

Setting the figure Renderer property to painters works around limitations of using getframe with the OpenGL renderer on some Windows systems.

Introduced before R2006a