Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Google Earth as AnyMation Tool?

Am I off in thinking that Google Earth would be a pretty useful tool for some anymation projects?  Pretty cool camera control, path creation and the ability to import sketchup models (your own or someone elses) into your local version of the software.  The free version could be screen captured for use in a host of scenarios from flying (superhero, plane, ect) to boating to perhaps a fly in intro (greenscreen or video textures).  The level of detail for some of the larger urban areas is fun and impressive (see Manhattan as an example).  The pay version (300$) allows you to record as wmv.  Oh, and theres a fun flight simulator built into the free version.  Admittedly, you probably wont be doing any walk-throughs as it often loses its effectiveness up close (though the topography for natural sites is pretty solid).  

And even if you dont come up with any movie ideas, its a very cool tool to explore locales you might never otherwise see in 3d (Grand Canyon for example).  Might want to be careful about the TOS though if your using it for a project.


Vegas Baby!  Vegas!

Hoover Dam

The Grand Canyon

London Eye


  1. You can use FRAPS with Google Earth.

  2. I also noticed another pretty cool feature yesterday which is the ability to model the sun based upon the day and time. This allows for some nifty time lapse footage. Installed GE on my home machine and I'm thinking I might actually work up a short demo in the near future as a break from MotAA.

  3. Yeah, I've wondered about Google Earth for establishing shots and aerials. How permissive is their EULA, I wonder, for captured imagery / footage when you're using your own assets? Hmm...

  4. Admittedly, its not so permissive...

    "Unless you have received prior written authorization from Google (or, as applicable, from the provider of particular Content), you must not:
    (a) access or use the Products or any Content through any technology or means other than those provided in the Products, or through other explicitly authorized means Google may designate (such as through the Google Maps/Google Earth APIs)"

    However I wonder (and doubt) if the google folks might be more responsive to a specific request.