Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Technical Note #25

April 2017
By Laura Torres, Sergi Pujadas and Emmanuel Bert

There are various ways to output results from an Aimsun model but one of the most accessible for non-technical audiences is a video recording of a simulation. Here are some tips for using the recording tool to make your videos as impressive as possible.


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Record


Before you even start recording anything, it is important to set your preferences in the “Project Preference Editor”.


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Click to enlarge: Project Preference Editor


Recording size

Use standardized screen dimensions for showing your video in public using different screens. Most videos are filmed in either 16:9 (panoramic, see picture below) or 4:3:


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Click to enlarge: Screen dimensions


To choose the best screen size for your requirements, follow one of the two options:


Adjust the size of your Aimsun view by dragging the menu to the left to adjust width and upwards to adjust height and choose the option “View Size” in the Preference Editor, Microsimulator tab. This is an easy way to know which part of the Aimsun view is included in your video:


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Click to enlarge: Choose the best screen size


Choose one of the standard sizes provided in the Recording Size drop-down menu in the Project Preference Editor.


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Click to enlarge: Recording Size drop-down menu


Video resolution and frame rate

It is not easy to find the perfect balance of quality and file size. Keep the file size down by avoiding saving videos with a frame rate higher than 40 frames per second (anything over 40 fps is imperceptible to the human eye). The frame rate is defined as how many unique consecutive images are displayed per second in the video to give the illusion of movement; the frame rate can be calculated as follows:


Frame Rate=(Recording Speed)/Smoothness

where Recording Speed can be specified in “Edit | Preferences | Microsimulator”:


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Click to enlarge: Specify recording speed


(Quarter Speed= 0.25; Half Speed= 0.5; Real Speed= 1; Double Speed= 2; Quadruple Speed = 4; Octuple Speed = 8)


Simulation smoothness is set in the display bar:


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Click to enlarge: Set simulation smoothness


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Very fine = 0.05


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Fine = 0.10


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Very low = 0.40


For example:


Play at double speed, very fine –> Frame Rate = 2 / 0,05 = 40 fps (OK)


Play at quadruple speed, very fine –> Frame Rate = 4 / 0,05 = 80 fps (too high, select “Fine” instead of “Very fine”)


Once you have selected the smoothness and recording speed, set the speed as ∞ in the display bar:


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Click to enlarge: set the speed as ∞ in the display bar


Define the compression code

Select the video compression in the Codec: MPEG-4 is an industry standard that is compatible with different operating systems and provides a good ratio of quality to file size.


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Select the video compression in the Codec


Define compression quality

Compression quality also influences file size. Try using the “Very high” or “High” quality setting for a good quality video: it will define the number of bits used to represent each second of material.


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Click to enlarge: Define compression quality


Add a time reference, background color and your company logo

In the “Project Properties Editor | 2D” you can choose to show the clock (in either absolute or relative time), add their own company logo to the video or change the background color.


Make great videos with the Aimsun recorder

Click to enlarge: Add a time reference, background color and your company logo


Related tips

Importing decoration from OpenStreetMap to Aimsun

Building a 3D model from OpenStreetMap decoration

Aimsun: import objects from SketchUp 3D modelling software

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Aimsun Next 23

Aimsun (2023). Aimsun Next 23 Manual del usuario, Aimsun Next Versión 23.0.0, Barcelona, España. Acceso: 19, 2023. [Online].
Disponible en: https://docs.aimsun.com/next/23.0.0/


Aimsun Next 20.0.5

Aimsun (2021). Aimsun Next 20.0.5 Manual del usuario, Aimsun Next Versión 20.0.3, Barcelona, España. Acceso: May. 1, 2021. [En software].
Disponible: qthelp://aimsun.com.aimsun.20.0/doc/UsersManual/Intro.html

Aimsun Next 23

@manual {​​​​​​​​AimsunManual,

título = {​​​​​​​​Aimsun Next 23 User’s Manual}​​​​​,
autor = {​​​​​​​​Aimsun}​​​​​​​​,
edición = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Aimsun Next 23.0.0}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
domicilio = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Barcelona, Spain}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
año = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​2023. [Online]}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
mes = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Accessed on: Month, Day, Year}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
url = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​https://docs.aimsun.com/next/23.0.0/}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Aimsun Next 20.0.5

@manual {​​​​​​​​AimsunManual,

título = {​​​​​​​​Aimsun Next 20.0.5 User’s Manual}​​​​​​​​,
autor = {​​​​​​​​Aimsun}​​​​​​​​,
edición = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Aimsun Next 20.0.5}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
domicilio = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Barcelona, Spain}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
año = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​2021. [En software]}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
mes = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Accessed on: Month, Day, Year}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
url = {​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​qthelp://aimsun.com.aimsun.20.0/doc/UsersManual/Intro.html}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​,
}​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Aimsun Next 23

TY – COMP
T1 – Manual del usuario de Aimsun Next 23
A1 – Aimsun
ET – Aimsun Next Version 23.0.0
Y1 – 2023
Y2 – Acceso: Mes, Día, Año
CY – Barcelona, España
PB – Aimsun
UR – [En software]. Disponible en: https://docs.aimsun.com/next/23.0.0/


Aimsun Next 20.0.5

TY – COMP
T1 – Manual del usuario de Aimsun Next 20.0.5
A1 – Aimsun
ET – Aimsun Next Version 20.0.5
Y1 – 2021
Y2 – Acceso: Mes, Día, Año
CY – Barcelona, España
PB – Aimsun
UR – [In software]. Available: qthelp://aimsun.com.aimsun.20.0/doc/UsersManual/Intro.html