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Christopher Bull

Aspiring Oceanographer at the British Antarctic Survey. Big data python enthusiast. Outdoor adventurer.

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Update 10.10.2016. MkMov 0.4 now supports a bunch of other outputs, see usage for details.

MkMov is a Python package that creates a movie from a netCDF file with a single line, interface is command line (no python knowledge needed)!

I reguarly find myself making movies for sanity checks on model runs, other times I’ll want a movie for a talk or perhaps to look at how some diagnostic plot varies over time. Suffice to say a few people have asked me how I create movies from netCDF files, such questions spurred the development of…

MkMov, a python package for making movies. In can be used in two ways:

  1. from a netCDF file
  2. from a list of png files (use –stitch option)

Examples tell a thousand words, here’s a movie (AVISO global allsat madt, output is daily and variable is adt)

Created with a single line command, namely

python 2d adt --lmask -214748 --cmap Set3 -o /srv/ccrc/data42/z3457920/mkmovmovies4/ /srv/ccrc/data42/z3457920/RawData/AVISO/RawData/dt_global_allsat_madt/*/*.nc &>  /srv/ccrc/data42/z3457920/mkmovmovies4/15.log &

More examples with their respective run commands here. Official docs are here. Contributions are most welcome.

You might be wondering what this tool offers over something like ncview and a screen grabber program.


  1. bash scriptable
  2. customisable output (e.g. –clev, –cmap etc)
  3. can take multiple files as input
  4. can wrap ffmpeg to stitch together any png files


  1. slow in comparison to ncview
  2. need to install dependencies
In category: python