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How do you make professional animations in Arc? Synchronizing and layering animations? Animating only the active space in Layout View (eliminate white space)?

Question asked by AK_Ever on Nov 29, 2016

The following is a description of the issue(s) I am encountering with ArcMAP. I hope these are descriptive enough for them to simulate similar conditions.



  1. Initial files types are shape-files of approximately 17,000 polygons with Water Depth and Stage as fields.
  2. Each polygon is 400 x 400 m.
  3. I convert each shape-file to a raster using Feature to Raster Conversion and these rasters (one for Water Depth and one for Stage for each date) are sent to a file geodatabase.
  4. From the Stage rasters I create slope and aspect rasters which I am using to create vector fields (Slope = Magnitude and Aspect = Direction) through the symbology tab for the Slope rasters. (I am interested to find if there is an alternative to this or a way of automating this process using Python scripts)
  5. I then apply a consistent "stretched" symbology with set Min/Max and statistic values to each Stage raster for a calendar year.
  6. These rasters (in ascending date order) are then animated using the Animation toolbar and "Group Animation". The same animation steps are taken to create a Water Depth Animation as well.


So far the preferred window for animation is the "Layout View" because it allows me to create a default background with a visible legend and additional site information. The issue with this window for animation is the large amount of "dead" or "white" space surrounding the actual map document. Is there a way of eliminating this white space?


When I am animating the Stage rasters, is it possible to display both a vector field and stage raster for each frame of the animation? Meaning: each daily stage raster would have an accompanying vector field describing the slope and aspect of the stage values. I would like to animate these pairs simultaneously. Is this possible within ArcMap or any other Arc product? If so, how? If not, what would be a method or program for doing this type of animation?


A separate option would be to animate two data frames. In this I would have the two frames side-by-side, one with stage rasters and the other with water depth. is there a method in any Arc product to animate these two rasters so the animations would be synchronized, specifically as one animation? Is it possible to animate multiple data frames at the same time?


I have a few scripts written for processing the initial files and creating the rasters, but need help in processing the animations.