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Highlighting a road on some aerial 'footage'

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Rich Birket
Highlighting a road on some aerial 'footage'
on Feb 12, 2018 at 1:31:06 pm

I have posted a different thread on problems I am facing tracking some Google Earth Pro footage. My gut feeling is that I will not be able to track this properly as it isn't a 'real' camera.

On the assumption that I am right, I wondered what people would suggest for highlighting a roadway on a piece of aerial google earth footage? The idea is that I want a line to grow out along the road showing the route to a building site. Is the only real way to manually rotoscope frame-by-frame? The road has many twists and turns, so it could be very time consuming (not to mention difficult) to do it frame-by-frame.

What do you think?

Here is the sort of shot I'd be using:


Kind Regards,
Rich


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Blaise Douros
Re: Highlighting a road on some aerial 'footage'
on Feb 12, 2018 at 5:29:21 pm

I have done this plenty of times with drone footage to show underground pipelines rather than roads. Check out 01:17 (picture-in-picture) and 02:01 in this one and 03:00 in this one

1. Take your 3D camera shot from Google Earth Pro, and do a 3D Camera Track to get the camera movement.

2. Place a solid into the scene using the 3D tracked points, aligned with the ground. Scale it up so that it covers the entire length of the road.

3. Use the Pen tool to draw a vector path along the road, on the solid. Since the solid is already aligned in 3D space, you can draw it to match the road, and as long as your 3D track is good, it will match the movement of the road.

4. Create a Stroke, and use the path that you've just created as the source. Now you can animate the stroke to go from one end of the road to the other.

If it's a REALLY involved path, you could take an overhead screenshot of the map, place it in the 3D tracked scene, match the placement, and pre-comp to draw a more accurate path.


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Rich Birket
Re: Highlighting a road on some aerial 'footage'
on Feb 12, 2018 at 6:08:13 pm

Hi Blaise. Thanks for your reply.

So you are essentially using the vector path as a mask on the solid layer, right? Or is the vector shape a new 3d layer? I tried the latter, but when I move it to the same 'plane' as the 3d solid, it slips out of position as the camera moves (even though the 3d solid seems just fine).

I was going to try and upload a video, but Creative Cow doesn't seem to let me.

Kind Regards,
Rich


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Blaise Douros
Re: Highlighting a road on some aerial 'footage'
on Feb 12, 2018 at 6:26:09 pm
Last Edited By Blaise Douros on Feb 12, 2018 at 6:27:32 pm

No, it's not a new 3D shape: you use the 3D camera tracker's interface to place a solid along the plane of the ground. Then you draw a path on the surface of that solid, and use that path to generate a stroke. Because the solid is matched to the ground plane, the solid (and thus, the path that you drew on it) will stay in place as the camera moves.

There are a myriad of tutorials on how to place a solid on the ground plane of a scene via After Effects' 3D camera tracker--Google is your friend here! If you continue to have issues and need to make a deadline, PM me and I might be able to help you out for under an hour's worth of work.


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