Real-time color-frame animation for visual psychophysics on the Macintosh computer

Scott B. Steinman, Mark Nawrot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Psychophysical experiments involving moving stimuli require the rapid presentation of animated sequences of images. Although the Macintosh computer is widely used as a color graphics computer in research laboratories, its animation capabilities are generally ignored because of the speed limitations of drawing to the screen. New off-screen color graphics structures help to avoid the speed limitations so that real-time color or gray-scale visual motion stimuli may be generated. Precomputed animation frames are stored in off-screen memory and then rapidly transferred to the screen sequentially. The off-screen graphics structures may also be saved to disk in "Picture" form as "resources" for later retrieval and playback, allowing the experimenter to build in advance a collection of moving stimuli to use in future experiments. Code examples in the C programming language are provided, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of Macin-tosh color-frame animation for psychophysical experimentation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-452
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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