I recently wanted to view an animation of a vehicle routing optimisation algorithm I have been working on.
The algorithm uses a two phase optimisation approach. The first phase is a construction heuristic. The second phase is guided local search meta heuristic. The algorithms primary focus is to produce a visually attractive solution. Visually attractive solutions are usually synonymous with compact, non-overlapping routes with little or no intra-route cross over.
A colleague suggested I have a look at pygame. I hunted around to try and find an existing script that did something similar to what I wanted and found the fracture simulator. It is always easier to modify something than to start from scratch!
I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it turned out to be. I am very much a python novice, and had never heard of pygame before, but have been programming for a number of years. I was able to get the basics of my animation up and running in one evening! This far exceeded my expectations!
The python script can be viewed here
The input file used to create the uploaded animation can be viewed here