This page covers the installation of the MotionClouds library.

This library depends on a number of dependencies, among which numpy is the only that is mandatory.

There is a dedicated page describing instructions oriented toward psychophysicists

MotionClouds: installing and running the python scripts

MotionClouds are parameterized stimuli with controlled motion content and no spatial coherence. They are precisely tuned in the frequency space.


  • to get the latest version, download the current state from the repository:
    git clone

installing and running the python scripts

This package consists of:

  • : the API with all the math and display routines,
  • test_*.py : different types of stimuli are tested,
  • experiment_*py : different experiments.
  • fig_*py : different scripts used to generate wiki pages.
  • figures : resulting figures of tests and experiments (as set in the variable MotionClouds.figpath.
  • Makefile : a GNUmake file to edit files make edit, generate figures make figures or compile the documentation make doc.


  • MotionClouds consist of a one-file python script: Installation consists simply in downloading the file which contains all routines to compute and use the MotionClouds textures. This script uses python ( which comes (pre-installed / easy to download and install) on many operating systems.

  • MotionClouds may easily be installed using

      pip install MotionClouds
  • Other solutions consist to simply grab this file at: and to use it along with the examples.

  • Installation has some dependencies:

    1. mandatory: numpy is the core library used to compute textures,
    2. optional: vispy is used to visualize envelopes,
    3. optional: ffmpeg is used to generate movies.
    4. optional: matplotlib, scipy (with PIL support) and imagemagick are used to generate figures in the documentation.
    5. optional: progressbar for displaying progress of encoding.
    6. optional: texlive-latex-recommended latexmk latexdiff to compile the documentation
    7. optional: ipython, jupyter-notebook, pymovie to test MotionClouds within an ipython notebook (recommended)
  • These dependencies may be easily met using the dedicated scripts:

    • For MacOsX, first install command line tools by typing the git command in the terminal (a pop-up message should happen if these tools are not installed). Then I recommend using a python toolchain such as that described in

    • For Debian-like systems, use the package manager to install missing dependencies (most likely, everything is already installed)

Again, these line of code may be copy-and-pasted in your terminal.


  • To test the basic functionality of Motion Clouds, try in the terminal:

    python -c'import MotionClouds as mc; fx, fy, ft = mc.get_grids(mc.N_X, mc.N_Y, mc.N_frame); z = mc.envelope_gabor(fx, fy, ft)'
  • other sources exist to get a stable release, such as ModelDb (

  • This was tested on several MacOsX/Mavericks 64bit machines and on ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Debian squeezy 64bit machines.

  • If that fails, we will be happy to help out, so send an e-mail to