Recording 3-D Video Clips

Rotation Video Clips and Route Video Clips

Introduction

There are two forms of video clips that you can create with Terrain Navigator. A Rotation Video Clip is a quick 360° video that illustrates the terrain spinning on an axis. A Route Video Clip programs the virtual camera to follow a predefined route through the 3-D terrain. These video clips are useful for presentations, web sites, etc.

Videos are created and stored as uncompressed .AVI animations. This is done to provide maximum clarity and resolution. It is assumed that these video clips, once created by Terrain Navigator, will be further edited and compressed before final distribution. There are a number of excellent video editors available; some of the common favorites include CyberLink PowerDirector, Adobe Premere, and ULead Video Studio.

Recording a Rotation Video Clip


To record a 360° video that illustrates the terrain spinning on an axis:
• Find the location you want, and enter 3-D View by clicking the 3-D view button.
• Adjust the viewpoint angle and zoom level to the desired settings.
• Click the video clip button at the bottom of the 3-D control panel or open the File menu and choose Export, Rotation Video Clip.

Assign a name to the video file, and specify a location to save it. Click OK. The landscape will start rotating and recording will begin.

In a few moments, the .AVI animation will be completed and saved in the file name and folder that you specified. Note that these uncompressed .AVI animation files can grow to be significantly large in size. After further editing in the video editor of your choice (if necessary) you may then insert the .AVI animation into other programs, presentations, e-mail, etc.

Recording a 3-D Route Video Clip

Terrain Navigator lets you record 3-D animation files showing the landscape along a route, as seen from an adjustable "camera" height and angle. The imaginary camera will always be stationed on (or directly above) the route line, but you can control where the camera points as it moves along the route.

Open the File menu and choose Export, Route Video Clip. Highlight the route you want and click Select Route. Alternatively you can right-click on a waypoint in the desired route and choose Export Route Video.

Next, set options for camera viewpoint and clip details:

Camera Height
Specify how many feet above Sea Level or Ground. When positioned in reference to sea level, the camera will remain at a fixed height. When positioned in reference to the ground, the camera will move up and down as the contours beneath it change.

Camera Tilt
Tilt adjusts the angle of the camera and determines whether the lens should point up, down, or straight ahead. Specify an angle and select Up or Down.

When the camera height is measured from sea level (see above), the Tilt setting is applied to an imaginary horizontal line (0 degrees). Examples: To look straight ahead, specify an angle of 0 degrees. To look straight down, set the tilt at 90 degrees down. To look down at an angle, set tilt between 0 and 90 degrees Down.

When the camera height is measured from the ground, the camera will automatically be tilted along an imaginary line that follows the contours of the landscape. For example, if the route ascends a 10% grade, the camera will automatically tilt 10 degrees up. The angle that you type here will be applied in addition to the tilt angle already determined by the landscape. If you specify 0 degrees, no adjustment will be made, and the tilt of the camera will match the grade of the landscape. If you specify 5 degrees up, the camera will ascend a 10% grade tilted at 15 degrees (10 + 5 = 15). If you specify 5 degrees down, the camera will ascend a 10% grade tilted at 5 degrees (10 - 5 = 5).

Camera Heading
There are three options for setting the direction in which the camera points:
• Always look in this direction:
Specify a heading in which the camera should face. This is like moving along the route, while keeping your gaze focused in a particular direction. For example, to continually face northeast, specify 45 degrees. To face south, specify 180 degrees.

• Follow route line with offset of:
As always, the camera will travel along the route line, but this option lets you point it in a direction measured from the route line. Examples: To keep the camera pointed straight ahead on the route line, specify an offset of 0 degrees. To point it off to the right, set an offset of 90 degrees.

• Always face specific point with offset of:
Select this option to record progress along the route while keeping the camera focused in reference to a specific point. Type the coordinates of the point in the space provided.

To keep the camera trained directly on the point, set an offset of 0 degrees. For example, imagine hiking on the slopes around a summit. An offset of 0 degrees will keep the summit constantly in view, at the center of the 3-D landscape.

For a 3-D view that shows the summit off to one side, set an offset angle wide enough to move the summit to the edge of the landscape. For example, if you’re following a route that encircles a summit counter-clockwise, an offset angle of 30 degrees would shift the focus to the right of the summit, moving the summit itself off to the left of the display. The effect of an offset angle will vary, depending on the distance between the route line and the point you have specified. You may need to experiment with different offset angles to achieve the view that you want.

Clip Details
There are three options for setting various properties regarding the construction of the video clip:
• Duration:
Set the number of frames contained in the finished clip, the speed of the camera, or the duration of the clip playback.

• Frames per second:
The more frames per second, the smoother the animation. Keep your computer’s graphics capabilities in mind when setting this figure. The default setting is 15 frames per second.

• Frame size:
Determines how much map area to show in the animation. Set this according to your computer’s graphics display capabilities. The default setting is medium.

Options
There are three options for specifying miscellaneous settings:
• Bank camera on turns:
Lean the camera to the right for right turns, to the left for left turns.

• Smooth view when turning/tilting:
Instead of switching the view immediately from one heading to the next, include views from intermediate headings for a smoother visual effect.

• Show route on map:
Include the route line, waypoints, and any visible waypoint names on the 3-D landscape in the animation.

Once you are satisfied with your settings, click OK to assign a name to the video file, and specify a location to save it. Click OK. The landscape will start changing on the screen, and recording will begin. In a few moments, the .AVI animation will be completed and saved. Note that .AVI animation files can grow to be significantly large in size. Terrain Navigator automatically splits the .AVI animation file into smaller portions in cases where the single file size will be unmanageably large (greater than 2 Gigabytes.)

After further editing in the video editor of your choice (if necessary) you may then insert the .AVI animation into other programs, presentations, e-mail, etc.

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