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I mainly use chemapps.stolaf.edu to get the 3D structure of a molecule from the SMILES. It renders the molecules as:

enter image description here

I have the option to rotate the image by specifying the $x$, $y$, and $z$ spin rates:

enter image description here

However I can't seem to find a way to save a spinning image as such. I can only save .png files. I need spinning images to demonstrate 3D images. Can anyone help me get a spinning image?

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    $\begingroup$ You can download Jmol, the Java applet that is hosted on that website. With it you can export to an animated gif. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Jungers Jun 13 '17 at 6:10
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    $\begingroup$ @ThomasJungers Thanks for your input, but what does "Java applet" mean(I'm not good with computer terminologies)? Can you point exactly where it's hosted? $\endgroup$ – Pritt says Reinstate Monica Jun 13 '17 at 6:14
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    $\begingroup$ A Java applet is basically a software for websites, written in Java. There is a standalone version of Jmol (that you can run directly on your computer) that you can download here : jmol.sourceforge.net $\endgroup$ – Thomas Jungers Jun 13 '17 at 6:17
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    $\begingroup$ You should preferably use JSmol as its the latest version and does not need java as it runs in a web browser. See also www.molecule-viewer.com for a large number of examples rotatable molecules comprising all point groups also written using JSmol via javascript. $\endgroup$ – porphyrin Jun 13 '17 at 8:39
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As of now, Java applets only work with Firefox ESR 32-bit. Assuming that OP is using Chrome and Windows 10, in my opinion the best solution would be to use a screen capture software, like ScreenToGif, which is FOSS, has nice interface and is also quite intuitive:

enter image description here

And here is the result:

enter image description here

I must remind though that the major limitation of GIF is that you are stuck with 256 colors. Structures displayed with GIF will never look as slick as those demonstrated in browser with JavaScript.

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  • $\begingroup$ Excellent! Where do I download this? $\endgroup$ – Pritt says Reinstate Monica Jun 28 '17 at 6:16
  • $\begingroup$ Ehmm... I thought I left a link to the GitHub repo. Anyway, here it is again: github.com/NickeManarin/ScreenToGif/releases $\endgroup$ – andselisk Jun 28 '17 at 6:19
  • $\begingroup$ If you are using Chocolatey package manager on Windows, choco install screentogif and you are good to go. $\endgroup$ – andselisk Jun 28 '17 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ Ok now I got it downloaded, and I got a gif ready (I think I did). But I can't seem to save it, it keeps telling "The output folder doesn't exist", even though it does. $\endgroup$ – Pritt says Reinstate Monica Jun 28 '17 at 6:39
  • $\begingroup$ Let me remind you that there is a great FAQ/Help section: github.com/NickeManarin/ScreenToGif/wiki/Help which I pointed to in my answer. I have no idea what the problem is, I've never faced this problem myself. $\endgroup$ – andselisk Jun 28 '17 at 6:45

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