TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am right now writing my master thesis in computer science about a visualization topic. Since the core stuff of my thesis is a complex 3D visualization that only quite sends its message through user interaction (click/drag/turn to view from different angles), my only option to get this message across on paper would be a bunch of screenshots.

30 screenshots side by side or spread across a couple of pages should be ok, but I thought it'd be rather nice to have some kind of flipbook where the screenshots are in a specific spot spread on consecutive pages.

Is this a good idea at all?

For now this is what I am using:


since there are less screenshots than pages of my thesis I would start these on some specific page in the middle of the thesis (is that even a good idea, I'm starting to doubt this whole thing...) like this:

\raisebox{-40mm}{\includegraphics[trim = 40mm 40mm 40mm 40mm,clip,height=40mm]{s\thepage.png}}}{\raisebox{-40mm}
\raisebox{-40mm}{\includegraphics[trim = 40mm 40mm 40mm 40mm,clip,height=40mm]{s\thepage.png}}}{\raisebox{-40mm}

So as you see I was putting the screenshots in the footer, which is also not ideal ( ideal would probably be an area on the lower right of the page where the screenshots would go and the text would wrap around, but I don't know how to do that).

So with this in place I can not really control the footer. the \pagemark jumps lower or highter when the pages start with the screenshots in the footer compared to those without screenshots, and also the sceenshots will end up very close to the text - I'd like to see a larger space there but I can't control the footer height.

What to do? I'm thankful for every input, also for people telling me: "don't do this!" ( or the contrary)

EDIT: just so you know what I'm talking about:

grain interface

These are microstructures. The thick brownish/pink lines represent grains in copper. the greyish thing in the middle is the separating interface between the two grains. The thinner lines form a grid representing the crystal orientations. This output is quite customizable, I could change colors, switch of either grid, change the grid density and obviously change the view.

I was just now thinking of including for each grid one set of 3 thick Arrows that the eye could make out easier on paper. I'll probably do this. Also, I'll probably not go this way of doing the flipbook somewhere in the footer or margin, but actually put just a few of these shots consecutively as figures in the appendix.

share|improve this question
Just my personal comment: I love the idea! I don't know how conservative your reviewers will be (aaah... academia...), but if they are just a tiny bit open-minded, they should enjoy it. I don't know if placing the figure in the center (?) with \cfoot would be ideal... Also, then you could place the page number in the header. And maybe this will be of help: http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/36591/fancyhdr-with-image-and-flowing-te‌​xt – Count Zero May 31 '12 at 11:46
Depending on the size of the image, I think that an image in the outer margin will be better (this means that you'll need a double sided layout). That way, the "reader" can easily flip through the pages to see the animation. – Aditya May 31 '12 at 12:50
thx for the comments so far. If I place the page numbers in the header, won't the pages without a screenshot look awkward as there's nothing at the bottom? I'm still trying to figure out how large the images need to be, but it feels like the outer margin would be quite too small. Also I'd rather not differ too much from a standard layout (because, you know ... academia...). Also: why centered? If text doesn't flow around it, putting this in the footer not centered would leave a whole lot of space at the other side, which also seems not right – Markus Hütter May 31 '12 at 14:03
Interesting! Is this some type of "metallography" so to speak visualization? – Yiannis Lazarides May 31 '12 at 20:35
I really like this idea, but I must confess it's not my cup of tea when producing academic documents. Please don't get me wrong on this. IMHO the best option is to provide textual representation of your image. I once had a colleague who was visually impaired and she used some sort of assistive technology to enable access to printed texts. Sadly, those technologies cannot render images without a proper textual representation. I know it's difficult to describe 3D objects, but I think it's more accessible. Maybe you could provide this feature as an appendix and not alongside the thesis. :) – Paulo Cereda Jun 1 '12 at 15:26

When I had acne on my face and was still in High School, I took a subject left over in the syllabus from the century before the last called spherical trigonometry. Now the interesting part of this course was its textbook. In order to read it, you had to wear a pair of paper glasses with a transparent red plastic color sheet and supposedly, when you looked at some figures they would spring into life and be transformed to 3D. They never did; even when we moved our heads into all sort of strange positions. The worst you couldn't read the figures with the naked eye either, as they were specially printed to be used with the glasses.

Your suggested embellishments to your Thesis margins or running heads reminded me of this. I don't think it is a good idea, especially in a Master Thesis. You can communicate the idea of motion of your visualizations perhaps on a page of 6-8 figures that have been drawn time-lapsed.

Think the equivalent of a microbiologist illustrating for example the growth of an amoeba over two days in a flip-book versus some time sequenced photos or diagrams. Now if anyone could come up with a flip-book that explains quantum mechanics that's another story.

share|improve this answer
This is pure genius! I'll just put some stereoscopic images of my visualization side by side and ask my reviewers to cross their eyes!! While I appreciate your tale of acne, you never seemed to miss the green plastic sheet in you paper glasses. So of what worth is this to me? This is not really comparable to amoeba growth, as you can easily distinguish details over a sequence of photos. If I show you one of my screenshots you'll be left asking what in the world you're supposed to make of a bunch of lines. Thinking about this I get the idea I have to improve my visualization-technique for paper – Markus Hütter May 31 '12 at 20:02
@MarkusHütter Here is an idea, post some screenshots and some explanatory details and see if the community can come up with some ideas. – Yiannis Lazarides May 31 '12 at 20:07
I was about to do this, please see my update. – Markus Hütter May 31 '12 at 20:27
You should definitely look at Dror Bar Natan's work on perceived depth images. He has written free software to generate them, and they seem to be exactly what you need: math.toronto.edu/~drorbn/papers/PDI – Benjamin McKay Nov 13 '13 at 9:05
@BenjaminMcKay thanks will have a look. – Yiannis Lazarides Nov 13 '13 at 11:57

You already have a solution for making a flipbook, but let me take this opportunity to point out that there now exists a LaTeX package for making flipbooks: http://www.ctan.org/pkg/flipbook .

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.