I'm trying to create animation of some discrete process using Manipilate:

Manipulate[**Some graphics based on very slow computations, each step is calculated slowly then the previous**], {Step, 1, 1000, 1}]

It works fine if I move Step slider with the mouse.

But if I click the 'Play' button, animation starts but a lot of steps are missing. For example, I see the picture corresponding the 1st step, then the 13th, then 51st... And sometimes I even get '$Aborted'.

Manipulate options like ContinuousAction -> False don't make any change.

How can I make Manupulate display all the steps, one by one, with "Play' button?

  • $\begingroup$ Short way should be to adjust AnimationRate: {step, 1, 1000, 1, AnimationRate -> 1, Appearance -> "Open"}] $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Jan 15, 2014 at 9:53
  • $\begingroup$ But as I said computation time is different for each step, so it's impossible to find proper constant AnimationRate. $\endgroup$
    – Epik17
    Jan 15, 2014 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ Better use Animate here and let it calculate all steps in advance $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2014 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ @SjoerdC.deVries Thanks, it will work for sure, but in this case we need a lot of memory to store each step data :( $\endgroup$
    – Epik17
    Jan 15, 2014 at 11:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Converting the graphics to a bitmap may help if the number of graphical objects is high. $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2014 at 11:47

1 Answer 1


You are looking for the option DisplayAllSteps -> True in Animate:

(* plot with a random lag *)
plot[r_] := (Pause[RandomReal[]]; Plot[Sinc[r/10 x], {x, 0, 10}])

Animate[plot[z], {z, 1, 50, 1}, DisplayAllSteps -> True]

This code fails with an $Aborted if the rendering takes more than five seconds, because of the default Dynamic timeout. Michael explained how to use DynamicEvaluationTimeout to solve this as follows:

(* plot with a longer lag *)
plot[r_] := (Pause[6]; Plot[Sinc[r/10 x], {x, 0, 10}]);

  Animate[plot[z], {z, 1, 50, 1}, DisplayAllSteps -> True],
  DynamicEvaluationTimeout -> 100
  • $\begingroup$ In this case I get $Aborted when Step is rather big. The problem was discussed here groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica/… $\endgroup$
    – Epik17
    Jan 15, 2014 at 11:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Epik17 I believe that only happens when the rendering lag is quite high; if it is that high this won't really count as an "animation" at that point. Nevertheless there should be a work-around for that; let me see if I can find it. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Jan 15, 2014 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ I will be grateful if you find it. $\endgroup$
    – Epik17
    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ FYI: It's there in V7, perhaps: reference.wolfram.com/legacy/v7/note/… $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Feel free to incorporate it. DisplayAllSteps is your contribution. I've got to take my daughter to school now and start my day. I'll think about other ways. $\endgroup$
    – Michael E2
    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:40

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