# 7. Trajectory transformations¶

The transformations submodule MDAnalysis.transformations contains a collection of functions to modify the trajectory. Coordinate transformations, such as PBC corrections and molecule fitting are often required for some analyses and visualization, and the functions in this module allow transformations to be applied on-the-fly. These transformation functions (transformation_1 and transformation_2 in the following example) can be called by the user for any given Timestep of the trajectory,

u = MDAnalysis.Universe(topology, trajectory)

for ts in u.trajectory:
ts = transformation_2(transformation_1(ts))


where they change the coordinates of the timestep ts in place. However, it is much more convenient to associate a whole workflow of transformations with a trajectory and have the transformations be called automatically. One can add a workflow (a sequence of transformations) using the Universe.trajectory.add_transformations method of a trajectory,

workflow = [transformation_1, transformation_2]


or upon Universe creation using the keyword argument transformations:

u = MDAnalysis.Universe(topology, trajectory, transformations=workflow)


Note that in the two latter cases, the workflow cannot be changed after having being added.

A simple transformation that takes no other arguments but a Timestep can be defined as the following example:

def up_by_2(ts):
"""
Translate all coordinates by 2 angstroms up along the Z dimension.
"""
ts.positions = ts.positions + np.array([0, 0, 2], dtype=np.float32)
return ts


If the transformation requires other arguments besides the Timestep, the transformation takes these arguments, while a wrapped function takes the Timestep object as argument. So, a transformation can be roughly defined as follows:

def up_by_x(distance):
"""
Creates a transformation that will translate all coordinates by a given amount along the Z dimension.
"""
def wrapped(ts):
ts.positions = ts.positions + np.array([0, 0, distance], dtype=np.float32)
return ts
return wrapped


An alternative to using a wrapped function is using partials from functools. The above function can be written as:

import functools

def up_by_x(ts, distance):
ts.positions = ts.positions + np.array([0, 0, distance], dtype=np.float32)
return ts

up_by_2 = functools.partial(up_by_x, distance=2)


See MDAnalysis.transformations.translate() for a simple example.

Examples

Translating the coordinates of a frame:

u = MDAnalysis.Universe(topology, trajectory)
new_ts = MDAnalysis.transformations.translate([1,1,1])(u.trajectory.ts)


e.g. create a workflow and adding it to the trajectory:

u = MDAnalysis.Universe(topology, trajectory)
workflow = [MDAnalysis.transformations.translate([1,1,1]),
MDAnalysis.transformations.translate([1,2,3])]

workflow = [MDAnalysis.transformations.translate([1,1,1]),