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Build Status Documentation Status Status codecov % License: MIT DOI conda-forge package version conda-forge download count PyPI package version

A simple way of creating beautiful movies from xarray objects.

With ever-increasing detail, modern scientific observations and model results lend themselves to visualization in the form of movies.

Not only is a beautiful movie a fantastic way to wake up the crowd on a Friday afternoon of a weeklong conference, but it can also speed up the discovery process, since our eyes are amazing image processing devices.

This module aims to facilitate movie rendering from data objects based on xarray objects.

Xarray already provides a way to create quick and beautiful static images from your data using Matplotlib. Various packages provide facilities for animating Matplotlib figures.

But it can become tedious to customize plots, particularly when map projections are used.

The main aims of this module are:

  • Enable quick but high-quality movie frame creation from existing xarray objects with preset plot functions -- create a movie with only 2 lines of code.
  • Provide high quality, customizable presets to create stunning visualizations with minimal setup.
  • Convert your static plot workflow to a movie with only a few lines of code, while maintaining all the flexibility of xarray and Matplotlib.
  • Optionally, use Dask for parallelized frame rendering.


The easiest way to install xmovie is via conda:

conda install -c conda-forge xmovie

You can also install via pip:

pip install xmovie


Check out the examples and API documentation at


High-quality movies and gifs can be created with only a few lines

import xarray as xr
from xmovie import Movie

ds = xr.tutorial.open_dataset('air_temperature').isel(time=slice(0,150))
mov = Movie(ds.air)'movie.mp4')

Saving a .gif is as easy as changing the filename:'movie.gif')

That is it! Now pat yourself on the shoulder and enjoy your masterpiece.

The GIF is created by first rendering a movie and then converting it to a GIF. If you want to keep both outputs you can simply do'movie.gif', remove_movie=False)