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Google earth terrain ANIMATED!

Most of us are still having online classes or remote jobs. While we are still having some covid restrictions, maybe being at home will be the new normal in the future. Anyways, having said that, it is important to have different ways of architecture representation methods for our projects, to avoid those boring presentations or our teachers falling asleep haha. 


We found this cool way of using some minor but effective animations using After Effects on a google earth terrain. See the video tutorial here, or get access to the long video and files here.

Google Earth Terrain Animation

Edit in Photoshop

Remember you can change the resolution of the image you want to save from google earth. After doing this, import the image into photoshop. 

After having your image, create a new document and google search an “axonometric grid”. 

We then take our google earth image, import it, then using the transformation tools, (ctrl+t) using the corner arrows, we are going to adjust it to the grid to make it have a perspective. 

Lowering the opacity down of the image, we create a new layer, with the lasso tool we are going to create a square, and we create a mask. 

Adobe Premiere Pro

In Premiere we are going to create a new sequence.

Now in project, we right-click, choose new item and select “color matte”.

In the new color matte layer, we name it and we adjust the length of the animation. After doing this, we right-click and choose “replace with after effects composition”

After Effects

We are going to drag the PSD file to the after-effects projects, we select editable layer styles, composition, and OK. 

If we make any changes in Photoshop, for example, disabling the mask, you will see the changes made in after effects. In the layer panel, after right-clicking, we are going to choose the pre compose. This will make a folder within a folder, this will make the animations independent from the outside. 

After changing the position and the scale of the base image. We are going to add a layer of analysis. we are going to select the area of the airport. Clicking on the pen tool, we start selecting the area that the airport occupies. 

In the panel below, we choose content, then trim path. We go to stroke, we add a dash. In the trim path layer, we drop down the menu, so we move it to the 4 sec mark, we click on the end time watch, then we go back to the 0 sec mark and drag it.

After that animation, we duplicate this layer and we are going to fill it, eliminate the stroke and trim path. Then pressing T for opacity, we do the same process. Drag it to the 4 sec mark, turn it to 100% opacity, then in the 0 sec mark we turn it to 0%. 

We also wanted to analyze some important places, so we decided to make a stroke with the pen tool of the river.

You can change the color of the line. Then in content, we add the trim path, we drag it to the 4-sec mark (or the sec that works for you) and where we want it to start we drag it to the 0-sec mark. 

Before we continue with the animations, we go to the photoshop file, we copy the background image, also the grid image. We paste them in the after-effects composition.

In effects search for auto-scroll vertical (this will add a slight movement to the background image, in this case the grid)

Standing on the composition layer and base image layer, with the pen tool, we start selecting around the borders of the image. If we make it a little bit imperfect, it will make it have a 3d effect. 

Not only we made animations for the analysis, but we also made zoom-in and out animation of the whole base image. It is the same process, using the start and end stopwatch, we drag it to the second mark we want it to be and we either increase or decrease the zoom of the image. 

We can also add some extra objects. So we imported a plane, we added a drop shadow effect. It works the same as photoshop. And we also add the animation to the position of the plane. So clicking on the time watch, select the 20-sec mark, move the airplane where you want it to land, then move it back to the 0-sec mark and move where you want the airplane to start. 

If you want to have text in your analysis. You can do the same thing, once you have added your text, you can decide what type of animation you want, if you want to change the position, change the opacity and scale, or if you want to do them all at the same time. 

Final Google Earth Terrain Animation

Watch the video tutorial below! If you liked the way we did these animations and you want more detailed steps, get access to the file and the full-length video here on our Patreon page. 

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