Example applications of Flowtrace to various data sets. If you would like to share a cool video generated using our code, please send us a link through GitHub or via email.

Vortex arrays generated by starfish larvae. Our winning entry into the American Physical Society’s 69th Annual “Gallery of Fluid Motion” competition. Portions of this video also won the 2016 Nikon Small World in Motion Grand Prize, and the 2017 NSF “Vizzies” Visualization Challenge Grand Prize.

Behavioral transitions in a school of swimming minnows (golden shiners). Video shown at 16x true speed, with projection time 5.333 s. Data taken from Tunstrøm et al. PLOS Computational Biology, 2013.

The unsteady feeding currents generated by the veliger larva of a moon snail

A zoomed-out view of the feeding current of Stentor sp., collected from a pond. The entrainment of large particles is apparent, as are many smaller algae and protists that are able to escape the flow. Video shown at 8x true speed.

The feeding current of the protist Stentor sp.

A stagnation point in the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in a mouse brain ventricle. Movie shown in real time, projections correspond to 0.6s traces with median subtraction applied. Video taken from Supplementary Video 2 of Faubel et al. Science 2016

The result of running Flowtrace with a 333 ms projection window on video of swarming insects. The original video of midges is taken from Attanasi et al, PLoS Comp Bio, July 2014

A sea anemone pumps water into its body cavity, entraining particles suspended in the water.

The flow fields that moon jellies create. Pathlines correspond to 1 s exposures. Video shown at 2x true speed.

A swarm of army ants in the rainforest, processed using flowtrace with a 1 s projection window (both videos shown at 2x speed). Original video of ants taken by Manu Prakash. Flowtrace can be obtained from

Swimming brine shrimp, with pathlines color-coded by timepoint. Video sped up 24x