Figure to play and analyze videos with custom plots on top

A figure ready to scroll through and play videos. You can also draw any custom graphics on it.
Updated 12 Dec 2010

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Editor's Note: This file was selected as MATLAB Central Pick of the Week

VIDEOFIG(NUM_FRAMES, @REDRAW_FUNC) creates a figure with a horizontal scrollbar and shortcuts to scroll automatically. The scroll range is 1 to NUM_FRAMES. The function REDRAW_FUNC(F) is called to redraw at scroll position F (for example, REDRAW_FUNC can show the frame F of a video).

This can be used not only to play and analyze standard videos, but it also lets you place any custom Matlab plots and graphics on top.

Jiro posted a great example on the Pick of the Week blog, along with a nice GIF animation so you can see it in motion:


Place this in a file called "redraw.m":
function redraw(frame)
imshow(['AT3_1m4_' num2str(frame, '%02.0f') '.tif'])

Then from a script or the command line, call:
videofig(10, @redraw);

The images "AT3_1m4_01.tif" ... "AT3_1m4_10.tif" are part of the Image
Processing Toolbox and there's no need to download them elsewhere.


Change the redraw function to visualize the contour of a single cell:
function redraw(frame)
im = imread(['AT3_1m4_' num2str(frame, '%02.0f') '.tif']);
slice = im(210:310, 210:340);
[ys, xs] = find(slice < 50 | slice > 100);
pos = 210 + median([xs, ys]);
siz = 3.5 * std([xs, ys]);
imshow(im), hold on
rectangle('Position',[pos - siz/2, siz], 'EdgeColor','g', 'Curvature',[1, 1])
hold off

The keyboard shortcuts are:
Enter (Return) -- play/pause video (25 frames-per-second default).
Backspace -- play/pause video 5 times slower.
Right/left arrow keys -- advance/go back one frame.
Page down/page up -- advance/go back 30 frames.
Home/end -- go to first/last frame of video.

See HELP VIDEOFIG for more options.

Cite As

Joao Henriques (2024). Figure to play and analyze videos with custom plots on top (, MATLAB Central File Exchange. Retrieved .

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2008b
Compatible with any release
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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Version Published Release Notes

Added a link to Jiro's example, and rearranged the file's description a bit.