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Animations to match in with Google Earth zooms

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John McMullin
Animations to match in with Google Earth zooms
on Oct 10, 2016 at 8:19:06 pm

I've been asked to animate some route paths on Google Earth animations. I need to do it whilst the maps is zooming out, from very close to country wide.

We want to use a simple animated dotted lines, rather than the solid line that Google Earth gives you. The problem is that the change in image is so extreme that Mocha can't handle the track. The shape layer that I'm using for the route, especially when we are close-up, looks like it's sliding around on the top of the map.

I was wondering if it is possible to redo the camera move exactly in AE using a kml file to bring in the route. Trouble is I can't see any information anywhere on doing this and I don't think it's possible.

Thanks for any information on the best way to do this.

Kind regards,

John


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Animations to match in with Google Earth zooms
on Oct 10, 2016 at 9:33:47 pm

I have been doing google earth animation for many years for different news and educational broadcasters. we do this to insert our graphics over the google earth images. in my experience, tracking of google camera (google earth video) can be very tricky. only if we are planning to use some perspective we track the footage using the 3D camera tracker. we use crosses to help it track (plant them as layers in google earth in different zoom stages). but I usually don't bother with any of that and just composite my layers as flat high resolution stills at different zoom levels and this way I can use the AE camera and get much more control.




this is an example of compositing of different high res images one on top of the other at different zoom levels.


Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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John McMullin
Re: Animations to match in with Google Earth zooms
on Oct 10, 2016 at 9:59:49 pm

Thanks Roel. You've answered my question perfectly. I'd had half a thought of using that method but thought that it might be time consuming. My zoom is much more extreme than that example. But it probably simplifies things at the end of the day. Is the motion blur necessary to hide the edges of the stills as they zoom or are they really seamless?

I'll give it a go tomorrow.

Many thanks,

John


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Roei Tzoref
Re: Animations to match in with Google Earth zooms
on Oct 10, 2016 at 10:34:00 pm
Last Edited By Roei Tzoref on Oct 10, 2016 at 10:35:32 pm

I sometime use motion blur. more for the text and graphical elements and not for the seaming because that works fine. I just use an elipse mask with some feather for the stills to blend them better. with the movement and the fact that it's aligned perfectly there should not be any problem. I have made much more extreme zooms. it just means you use more levels of zoom. to make it easier I work in precomps sometimes so if I scale one layer to 7% and need another zoom level, I just precomp it - now I can place another 7% scale layer inside it easily. at the end I press the collapse switch for all the precomps. all the layers are 3D of course. I use the "front" view to zoom with the camera and not affect the Active camera. it's a setup worth investing in because once you are done you are free to control the movement and timing anyway you want and not bound to time remapping with video of google earth, tracking, and all the complications that may result from it.

2 assets I use constantly and would like to share with you:

1. for far away high rez flat maps:: chengfolio google map customizer: http://www.chengfolio.com/googlemap.html#satellitemap. I can set it to any width and height (I would not go overboard) and use fireshot chrome extension to capture it to a jpg. this will give me completely flat maps from far distance (what google earth does not do because it's a sphere). when you zoom in you are going to see the google watermark - that's when I take the maps out of google earth.

2. for reference for flat maps: this is the site I use for reference for google earth flat maps http://www.nearby.org.uk/google/nolabels-map.php

Roei Tzoref
After Effects Artist & Instructor
♫ Ae Blues Tutorials


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John McMullin
Re: Animations to match in with Google Earth zooms
on Oct 12, 2016 at 9:58:13 pm

Great Roei,

That's all really helpful.

I've done a version like you suggested and now my route sticks to where it should. I decided to use selected frames of a Google Earth movie maker zoom as the basis of my composition build, as it gave me a nicely centred zoom and was less manual than me making snap shots out of the browser. I then used the same mask for each layer to cut off the Google Earth logo.

I'll need to attribute Google and the relevant satellite provider but I can put that bottom of frame later.

Many thanks for the really clear advice.

Best wishes,

John


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