November 24, 2015

How to Make a Time History Animated Video

Time history analysis solves for normal analysis results (joint displacements, member forces, code checks, et cetera) based on loading that varies with time.

For some analyses it may be useful to view an animation of the deflected shape of the structure as a function of time.  This blog topic serves as a guide for users who doing this for the first time.

Steps 1: Applying the Load and Solving:

In this example, we’ll start with TH_Seismic_frame.r3d from the RISA\Examples folder (Load Combination 3) which applies the North – South ground motion from the 1940 El Centro earthquake.

Step 2: Viewing the Deflected Shape

Open up the Model Display Options (formerly known as Plot Options) and select the deflection tab.

First choose the Load Combination and then click the button which says “Animate This Deflected Shape”.

Note: The static deflected shape can be plotted by selecting the load combination and then choosing the Time Step.

TH Video2

Step 3: Controlling the Animation


The new screen that pops up shows the animation of the deflected shape as a function of time.   At the top of the screen you’ll find all the controls for this animation.

Note:  The Speed Slider bar also controls the total duration of the movie if the user decides to export it to a WMV or MP4 file.

Step 4: Adding a Trace to the Animation

Adding a trace of the deflection or input force to the image can be informative.  The trace is very useful because the user gets a visual feel for where the plot is within the overall time history motion and when maximum values can be expected.

TH Video3

  • Click on the Picture3 button on the upper right side of the screen.
  • Type Joint Label “N1” in the X direction with the Input Function as the basis for the trace.
  • Select OK and a trace similar to that shown below will show up at the bottom of the screen.


Step 6: Exporting the Animation to a Movie File

Clicking the movie button Picture2 allows the user to choose between exporting the animation as an MP4 or a WMV file.  Click on the video below for an example of what the Time History animation looks like.

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This entry was posted by RISA News on Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 at 11:20 am and is filed under Technical Solutions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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