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I'm creating a bunch of maps with TimeManager in QGIS in order to create an animation. In order to overcome some of the limitations of TimeManager for dealing with raster files, I'm creating animations 30 frames at a time, which I can export and later combine the frames to make a longer animation. The problem with this approach is that it becomes important that the extent and scale of the map is identical for each of the 30 frame projects. So far, the only way I know to set the extent of a map in QGIS is to select the hand tool and drag it around, setting the scale numerically at the bottom of the map window. It would be far preferable if I could set the extent numerically as well, so that I could ensure that it is the same each time. Is there a way to do this?

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Use bookmarks: View -> New Bookmark. The extent and the scale of the current view will be saved. Then you can access it by View -> Show Bookmarks.

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I never used Time Manager and have no data able to test, so i don't know if this will work: When you use the Atlas plugin for printing a map, you can set a layer defining the canvas. Normally you use a polygon layer for this, and Atlas is iterating through the polygons and prints maps from these polygon extends.

In your case, when you only draw one polygon in your canvas layer to define your desired extend and execute map printing through Atlas, it will only generate one map at a time from the map template you prepared before. Repeating this might lead to your frames with identical extend and scale. The default output is pdf, but you can change that to .png etc.

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I'll check that out, as it might work for me since I'm not interested in the on-screen animation from directly within QGIS, but rather I'm just using it to create the frames that I'll assemble with some other tool like ffmpeg. –  pyrogerg Mar 23 '13 at 18:55

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