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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. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13, 2017 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? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13, 2017 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 $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13, 2017 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
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 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? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 28, 2017 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
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 6:19
  • $\begingroup$ If you are using Chocolatey package manager on Windows, choco install screentogif and you are good to go. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 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. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 28, 2017 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
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 6:45

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