Animation engine for explanatory math videos
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active_projects np.linalg.norm -> get_norm Aug 16, 2018
animation np.linalg.norm -> get_norm Aug 16, 2018
camera np.linalg.norm -> get_norm Aug 16, 2018
container Added simple TODO May 9, 2018
continual_animation ContinualUpdateFromFunc -> ContinualUpdate Aug 13, 2018
files Added various svg files to files directory (not usually where they li… Jan 12, 2018
for_3b1b_videos np.linalg.norm -> get_norm Aug 16, 2018
mobject np.linalg.norm -> get_norm Aug 16, 2018
old_projects np.linalg.norm -> get_norm Aug 16, 2018
once_useful_constructs np.linalg.norm -> get_norm Aug 16, 2018
scene np.linalg.norm -> get_norm Aug 16, 2018
utils np.linalg.norm -> get_norm Aug 16, 2018
.gitignore ContinualUpdateFromFunc -> ContinualUpdate Aug 13, 2018
Dockerfile adds support for docker Sep 5, 2016
LICENSE Create LICENSE Mar 30, 2018 Updated README post python3 conversion Aug 13, 2018 Name animation script Apr 13, 2018 Updated example scenes Aug 13, 2018 Reduced to a single tex_template file Aug 13, 2018
example.png After running 2to3 Aug 10, 2018 Updated example scenes Aug 13, 2018 Updated extract_scene to use importlib Aug 12, 2018
requirements.txt Reimplented svg rendering using cairo, and changed vmobject color mod… Aug 10, 2018 After running 2to3 Aug 10, 2018
tex_template.tex Reduced to a single tex_template file Aug 13, 2018


Animation engine for explanatory math videos.

For those who want to play around with this tool, I should be upfront that I've mostly had my own use cases (i.e. 3b1b videos) in mind while building it, and it might not be the most friendly thing to get up and running. In particular, I have not done a great job tracking requirements, writing tests, and documentation, to put it euphemistically, almost exclusively takes the form of naming conventions.

For 9/10 of math animation needs, you'd probably be better off using a more well-maintained tool, like matplotlib, mathematica or even going a non-programatic route with something like After Effects or even Keynote. I also happen to think the program "Grapher" built into osx is really great, and surprisingly versatile for many needs. My own reasons for building this tool and using it for videos are twofold, and I'm not sure how well they apply to other people's use cases.

  1. If I wish to work with some new type of mathematical thing (e.g. a fractal), or to experiment with a different type of animation, it's easier to work it into the underlying system and manipulate it the same way as more standard objects/animation. Admittedly, though, part of the reason I find this easier is because I'm more familiar with the underlying system here than I am with others. This keeps me from shying away from certain video topics that I would otherwise have no idea how to animate.

  2. Having my own tool has been a forcing function for having a style which is more original than what I may have otherwise produced. The cost of this was slower video production when the tool was in its early days, and during points when I do some kind of rehaul, but I think the artistic benefit is a real one. If you wish to use this tool and adopt the same style, by all means feel free. In fact, I encourage it. But the tricky part about anything which confers the benefit of originality is that this benefit cannot be easily shared.

Install requirements

Manim works with Python 3.7, and many of the older projects from the python 2.7 days of manim will not be supported.

Manim dependencies rely on system libraries you will need to install on your operating system:

  • ffmpeg
  • latex
  • sox

Then you can install the python dependencies:

pip install -r requirements.txt

How to Use

Try running the following:

python SquareToCircle -pl

The -p is for previewing, meaning the the video file will automatically open when it is done rendering. Use -l for a faster rendering at a lower quality. Use -s to skip to the end and just show the final frame. Use -n (number) to skip ahead to the n'th animation of a scene. Use -f to show the file in finder (for osx)

Set MEDIA_DIR environment variable to determine where image and animation files will be written.

Look through the old_projects folder to see the code for previous 3b1b videos. Note, however, that developments are often made to the library without considering backwards compatibility on those old_projects. To run them with a guarantee that they will work, you will have to go back to the commit which complete that project.

While developing a scene, the -s flag is helpful to just see what things look like at the end without having to generate the full animation. It can also be helpful to use the -n flag to skip over some number of animations.

Scenes with PiCreatures are somewhat 3b1b specific, so the specific designs for various expressions are not part of the public repository. You should still be able to run them, but they will fall back on using the "plain" expression for the creature.


All files in the directories active_projects and old_projects, which by and large generate the visuals for 3b1b videos, are copyright 3Blue1Brown.

The general purpose animation code found in the remainder of the repository, on the other hand, is under the MIT license.

Docker Method

Since it's a bit tricky to get all the dependencies set up just right, there is a Dockerfile provided.

  1. Install Docker
  2. Build docker image. docker build -t manim .
  3. Run it! docker run --rm -v "$PWD/files":/app/files manim WarpSquare