I have to do a segment in a film I am doing where I start at a global view of a state (say California) and then have to do a quick zoom to a city, say Sausalito. Could be a Google type aerial map or a graphic map...really makes no difference. I just need to establish relative geography. I'd really like to be able to do a zoom like we see on the news when going from satellite view quickly down to birds eye view with no cut...just swoop down.
Does anybody know of a resource or technique to do a little 5 second segment like this?
You don't really need a plug-in, you just set 2 or more key frames to fly your 3-d camera down to the close-up. This works best if your initial image is as high-rez as you can get. If you have to jump from an orbital shot to some lower-altitude aerial shots, to get the detail levels you need, a common technique is to add a layer in-between composed of clouds to cover the jump-cut. Make the cloud layer in photoshop out of actual overhead cloud stock shots, add an alpha channels, bada-boom.
As to sources, you havge to pay Google for their high-rez maps without logo watermarks on them. Or with some legwork, you could get free ones from NASA or the US Geological database. USGS also has elevation data sets for every part of the US, free, so if you know how to import that elevation data into a 3-D CGI animation package, such as Vue D'Esprit, you could create very God-like, cinematic zooms of the kind you want.