JavE - JMOV Ascii Animation Player



JavE player is an open source project in combination with my free ASCII Editor JavE.

The JavE player is a small Java applet that can play Ascii animations. Those animations have to be stored in the JavE movie format (JMOV). I have developed this new file format when I wrote JavE. It contains compressed frames of Ascii, along with informations about the tool currently used, the selection area and others.

The intention of this movie format and player project is to give Ascii artists the ability to show others how they draw Ascii images.

Have a look at the examples to find out more.


December 23rd, 2001

JavE Player 1.2 released
  • Now with basic sound support. Have a look at my example movie.
  • Supports 3 modes for playback: play once, loop, event triggered.
  • You will find more information about it in the updated jmov specification (See applet parameter SOUND and SOUNDSTART).

    Here is all (I think) you have to know about sound support:

    • The sound file must be in *.au format, recorded at 8 KHz, mono, in mu-law encoding. If your audio clip is in a different format (e.g., .wav) or a different frequency it must be converted to the exact specifications above before Java can play it. To convert files from different formats search your favorite for GoldWave for Windows, sox for Unix and similar conversion utilities for other systems.
    • To add the sound file to the applet add an applet parameter, for example:
      <param name="SOUND" value="waltz.au">
    • To specify the way to play the audio file specify another applet parameter:
      <param name="SOUNDSTART" value="EVENT">

      Valid values are:

      • "EVENT": To start the sound file event driven (at a certain frame - one or more)
      • "ONCE": To start the sound file right when starting the animation
      • "LOOP": The same as ONCE, but the sound file will be played looping endlessly.
    • For the event-driven sound playback you have to manually (at the moment) add a line containing only # in the jmov file right after the frame(s) where you want to play the sound file at.


      J:A61 8 %0%10 /\%0%7 __/ \._%21 .%3-.%0%7 \
      J:A61 8 %0%10 /\%22 .%3 .%0%7 __/ \._%20 .- .
      J:A61 8 %0%10 /\%0%7 __/ \._%0%7 \ ,-,-.\
      Playing the sound file will start when showing the second frame.

November 8th, 2001

New Demo movie online: The making of Nerd Boy episode 50. Have a look at it!

September 9th, 2001

JavE Movie Player 1.1 released. I finally had time to fix the well known speed bug and release the new version of the JavE Movie Player.

Open Source

The JavE player software is Open Source. You are allowed to change anything, but there are some minor limitations:
  • You must always include the source code with any release
  • You have to add a link to http://www.jave.de so people know where to find the original version and information about it
  • You have to let me know about new releases

Download the source code.

Download binaries

To use the JavE player on your homepage you have to download the JAR-archive: javeplayer12.zip (do not forget to unpack the ZIP). Suppose your JavE movie has the name "movie.jmov" the source code for your html document should look like that:
<applet code="JavePlayerApplet.class" archive="javeplayer.jar" width="570" heigth="497">
<param name="FILE"       value="movie.jmov">
<param name="BACKGROUND" value="#000000">
<param name="FOREGROUND" value="#FFFFFF">
<h3>!!! Your browser is not not configured or able to run Java Applets !!!</h3>

You can use several parameters to configure the JavE Player Applet. Have a look at the section about the paramaters in the JMOV file format specification to find out more.

Creating JavE Movies

There are three ways to create/edit JavE movie files using the freeware editor JavE.

  • In the image2ascii converter there is a batched conversion option where you can convert multiple files into a JMOV.
  • Making ofs: Draw an Ascii Art image usind JavE. Then choose menu->file->Save as JavE Movie. The resulting file is a movie showing all the steps of editing you have performed.
  • Since release 1.1 there is also a movie editor (and this viewer) integrated into JavE. This one will be improved in the next releases.

Writing Software

Creating JMOV files by software is quite easy.

You loop through all the frames and write each of them to a text file. Each frame will be written to a single line. This is done by using the compression algorithm from the file AsciiPacker.java. At the beginning of the line you have to write J:. That's all.

Here is an example in Java:

//this piece of code writes a single frame of Ascii characters
//to the file test.jmov:
//                       char[][] ch 
// (However in your code you will have to loop through a set of
//  Ascii frames to create a movie or animation).

  BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(new FileWriter("test.jmov"));
}catch (IOException e){
  System.err.println("An exception has occured: "+e);

You can also use other commands. Have a look at the JMOV file format specification to find out more.


I want to thank all the people who supported my work on the JavE Movie Player and the JMOV file format.

Most of all I want to thank Andreas Freise who has had the idea to this project.
Also many thanks to MikeChat for his animations and an interesting conversation about compression.

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© Markus Gebhard (markus@jave.de), 2000 - 2009
last modified: Apr 10, 2009