Animation in AutoCAD
Animation in AutoCAD? - no, wait a minute - I was working in
Solid Edge. Solid Edge has got a lot of animation. Not AutoCAD.
So this is going to be a very short article. Thank you
very much. End of article.
Well, it's true there is no animation in AutoCAD. But we can
do something about that. We can create a drawing in AutoCAD and
save that drawing as a BMP file.
You know how you can save your drawing as a BMP file. Click
on File on the menu bar and on Export on the pull-down menu.
The Export Data dialog box shows up. In it you can give the
drawing a name and you can select a file type. Select the BMP
You can create an animation of a 2D drawing. You can also
create an animation of a 3D drawing. That's different. Let's go
for a 2D animation.
We start with drawing an arrow using a polyline. The polyline
gets a width of 2 mm. These are the points of the polyline:
Put a solid hatch in the arrow. When that's done move the
whole thing 120 to the left. The arrow is no longer in the
Save the screen as a BMP file. Give it the name ARROW 01.
When there is asked to select objects enter ALL at the command
Now we're going to move the arrow with the hatch 20 to the
right. Start the MOVE command. At the Select objects prompt you
Keep on moving the arrow and the hatch until it shows up in
the screen. If it does then export it under the name ARROW02.
Keep on moving the arrow and the hatch until you are at the
other end of the screen. Until the arrow and the hatch have
You have been exporting the drawing under the name ARROW.
Every time you made the index number one higher. Very good. Now
we can make the animation.
To make the animation you need a program. You need the
Animagic GIF Animator program. You can get it for free here:
(The free version is not fully functional, but it's good enough
for our purposes.)
Start the Animagic program. And load all the BMP files in the
program. There is a Play button on the toolbar. Click on it.
An animation is occurring. You can save the animation. Click
on File in the menu bar and on Save Anim As. You can enter a
name for the file.
A GIF file is created. All the BMP files are in the GIF file.
Double click the GIF file. And the animation will run in a
Maybe you find the steps too big. No problem. The arrow was
now moved over a distance of 20. Change that distance. Make it
That's nice. But it is a lot of work. All the time we must
invoke the MOVE command. And then we must EXPORT the drawing to
an BMP file.
There is of course a better way: we can do it faster using an
AutoLISP program. You'll get the AutoLISP program soon. I'm
working on it. You'll get it next time.
About the Author
Jos van Doorn is an AutoCAD specialist and AutoLISP
He has published a series of
e-books on AutoCAD and AutoLISP topics, which are available for
downloading at his
He is also publisher of the free ACAD Newsletter. To subscribe,
visit the newsletter's