An IFL (Image File List)
file is an ASCII file that constructs an animation by listing single-frame
bitmap files to be used for each rendered frame. When you assign
an IFL file as a bitmap, rendering steps through each specified
frame, resulting in an animated map.
(In a similar way, if
you assign an AVI file or MOV file as a bitmap, rendering steps
through each frame of the animation.)
For example, if you assign
a 10-frame animation of a blinking red "Danger" sign to a material's
diffuse component, apply the material to a cube, and then render
a 30-frame animation, the cube displays the blinking red Danger
animation three times.
The .ifl file lists
the bitmap files to be used with each frame. You can append an optional
numeric argument to each file name to specify the number of frames
of rendered animation on which it is used. For example:
; Anything after a semicolon is a comment, and is ignored.
The IFL file listed above
specifies sand.tga to be used for the first
20 frames, pebble.tga to be used for the
next 40 frames, stone.tif to be used for 20 frames,
and boulder.tif to be used for 20
Specify only the
file names in your IFL files. The file paths can be derived from
the map paths established in your preferences. See
External Path Configuration
IFL files with path names can be used only on the system on which
you create them.
Sequentially Numbered Files
You can use incrementally
numbered bitmap files (for example, frame001.bmp, frame002.bmp, and
so on) to construct an IFL file. Either use the
Manager Utility, or use the Sequence check
box in a file selector dialog, as described in the following procedures.
- If the IFL generator has a name conflict
with an existing IFL file, it will increment the new file's name
to avoid overwriting the existing file.
- If the IFL generator has any problems
with write access while trying to create the IFL file, the process
will fail and the IFL file won't be created. Therefore, automatic
IFL generation won't work when reading bitmaps from a CD-ROM. You
need to copy them to a directory on your hard disk first. Likewise,
automatic IFL generation won't work on network drives to which you
don't have write access.
To construct an IFL file from sequentially
- In the file selector dialog, navigate
to a directory that has a sequence of incrementally numbered bitmaps.
- Choose the name of one of the sequential
files (for example, image01.bmp).
The Sequence check box
- Turn on the Sequence check box.
The Setup button becomes
- Click Setup to display the
File List Control dialog.
- In the Image File List Control dialog,
choose the options you want, and then click OK.
TipUse the Browse button to set the Target
Path to a directory on your hard disk. Do not set this path to a
CD-ROM drive, because you cannot save the file there.
The Image File List (IFL)
file is saved to the target directory.
- In the file selector dialog, click OK.
This assigns the newly
created IFL file as the bitmap.
Example: To select a set of still images
as a viewport background:
- Activate the viewport where you want
the animated background.
- Choose Views menu Viewport Background.
- In the Background Source group, click
A Viewport Background
dialog is displayed.
- On Select Background Image dialog, use
the Look In field to navigate to the directory containing the files
you want to use for the sequence.
If necessary, change
the file type to match the file name extension of the sequence,
or choose All Formats.
The Select Background Image File dialog
uses the last location where a bitmap was chosen, rather than the
default bitmap path defined in Customize menu
Configure User Paths.
- Construct an IFL file as described in
the previous procedure.
- On the Select Background Image dialog,
The IFL file now provides
the background for the viewport.
TipThe viewport background does not render.
To render the IFL file's animation, assign the IFL file as a rendering
environment. (See the following procedure.)
To render the frames in an IFL file as
a movie (AVI or MOV format):
- Choose Rendering Environment.
- On the Environment dialog, click Environment
- On the Material/Map Browser, choose Bitmap,
and then click OK.
- On the Select Bitmap Image File dialog,
choose the IFL file, and then click OK.
- Click (Time
Configuration), and use the Time Configuration dialog to make the
animation length match the number of frames specified in the IFL
- Render a viewport to a movie-format file.
TipThe aspect ratio
of the rendered movie should match the aspect ratio of the frames
in the IFL file.
- Image File List Control Dialog
The Image File List
Control dialog provides controls for creating an
List (IFL file), which lists sequential
still image files for rendering into backgrounds or materials. It
is particularly useful if you are choosing a sequence of files that
are on a CD-ROM, because you can redirect the IFL file to a different
directory on your hard disk.
- IFL Manager Utility
The IFL Manager utility
file list (IFL) file from an image file
you choose from a numbered file sequence.