Quickstart

This document will lead you step by step through the necessary procedure to get started with manim for the first time as soon as possible. This tutorial assumes you have already installed manim following the steps in Installation.

Start a new project

To start a new manim video project, all you need to do is choose a single folder where all of the files related to the video will reside. For this example, this folder will be called project,

project/

Every file containing code that produces a video with manim will be stored here, as well as any output files that manim produces and configuration files that manim needs.

Note

In case you like to work with Jupyterlab / Jupyter notebooks, there is good news: Manim ships with a %%manim IPython magic command which makes it easy to use in such a setting as well. Find out more in the corresponding documentation.

Your first Scene

To produce your first scene, create a new file in your project folder called scene.py,

project/
└─scene.py

and copy the following code in it.

from manim import *


class SquareToCircle(Scene):
    def construct(self):
        circle = Circle()  # create a circle
        circle.set_fill(PINK, opacity=0.5)  # set the color and transparency
        self.play(Create(circle))  # show the circle on screen

Then open your command line, navigate to your project directory, and execute the following command:

manim -pql scene.py SquareToCircle

After showing some output, manim should render the scene into a .mp4 file, and open that file with the default movie player application. You should see a video playing the following animation.

If you see the video and it looks correct, congrats! You just wrote your first manim scene from scratch. If you get an error message instead, or if do not see a video, or if the video output does not look like this, it is likely that manim has not been installed correctly. Please refer to the Troubleshooting page for more information.

Explanation

Let’s go line by line over the script we just executed to see how manim was able to generate the video.

The first line

from manim import *

imports all of the contents of the library. This is the recommended way of using manim, as usually in a single script you will be using quite a few names from the manim namespace. In particular, this line includes all of the names used in the script: Scene, Circle, PINK and Create.

Now let’s look at the next two lines.

class SquareToCircle(Scene):
    def construct(self):
        ...

Most of the time, the code for scripting an animation with manim will go inside the construct() method of a class that derives from Scene. Inside this method, you will create objects, display them on screen, and animate them.

The next two lines create a circle and set its color and opacity.

circle = Circle()  # create a circle
circle.set_fill(PINK, opacity=0.5)  # set the color and transparency

Finally, the last line uses the animation Create to display the circle on the screen.

self.play(Create(circle))  # show the circle on screen

Tip

Every animation must be contained within the construct() method of a class that derives from Scene. Other code, for example auxiliary or mathematical functions, may reside outside the class.

Some bells and whistles

Our scene is a little basic, so let’s add some bells and whistles. Modify the scene.py file to contain the following:

from manim import *


class SquareToCircle(Scene):
    def construct(self):
        circle = Circle()  # create a circle
        circle.set_fill(PINK, opacity=0.5)  # set color and transparency

        square = Square()  # create a square
        square.flip(RIGHT)  # flip horizontally
        square.rotate(-3 * TAU / 8)  # rotate a certain amount

        self.play(Create(square))  # animate the creation of the square
        self.play(Transform(square, circle))  # interpolate the square into the circle
        self.play(FadeOut(square))  # fade out animation

And render it using the following command:

manim -pql scene.py SquareToCircle

The output should look as follows.

This example shows one of the most basic features of manim: the ability to implement complicated and mathematically intensive animations (such as cleanly interpolating between two geometric shapes) in very few lines of code.

You’re done!

With a working installation of manim and the bare basics under your belt, it is now time to start creating awesome mathematical animations. For a look under the hood at what manim is doing when rendering the SquareToCircle scene, see the next tutorial A deeper look. For an extensive review of manim’s features, as well as its configuration and other settings, see the other Tutorials. For a list of all available features, see the Reference Manual page.