3D Fly-through Videos

The Fly-Through feature creates videos where the viewer travels over the 3-D data. This can be done in 4 easy steps:

  1. Import 3-D data
  2. Define the flight path
  3. Preview
  4. Save to video file

Defining or Editing a Fly-through Path

Saving or Importing a Fly-Through Path

A Fly-through path definition requires saving multiple attributes for each vertex of the line feature, rather than just for the feature as a whole, therefore the fly-through data is not able to be stored in all vector file formats. Global Mapper does recognize the fly-through attributes from Google Earth, and can generate them from GPS tracks.

The supported formats for saving or loading a fly-through path are:

For more information on importing existing data, see Timestamp Attributes

Fly-through Tools

The Fly-through tools allow previewing, rendering and saving 3D Fly-though videos.

 Preview Fly-through

Launch the 3D Viewer. Click on the 'Preview Fly-through' toolbar button. This will bring up a dialog that will step through each key frame. The view parameters for each frame can be altered.

Use the path drop down to select which fly through path to preview. If the fly through path has a feature name, that will be displayed following the number. Otherwise multiple paths will be numbered.

Use the slider or the arrows to step through each key frame in the video. Use the Edit Frame button to modify the attributes of the current frame. The video parameters will smoothly transition between the key frame values.

Edit Fly-through Path

Use this option to preview and edit Fly-through data and to generate Fly-through data from selected path. The path must be selected with the digitizer tool to enable this option.

In the 3D window, the fly through path may be hidden by the 3D view properties setting. Check the Show Fly Through Paths options in the 3D View settings, or select the path in 2D to enable the edit button.

Play Fly-through

To view the fly-through video, click on the Play Fly-through toolbar button. The play button will run a video showing the fly-through. This is a quickly generated video that is not as detailed as an exported video file may be. For the highest quality video, save to a video file.

Select Path

If multiple fly through paths are defines, the fly through options dialog will display to select which path(s) to render. The all paths option will play the fly through paths sequentially.

Play as loop (automatic repeat)

Check this option to continually loop through the preview playback.

These dialog selections will be remembered if fly through is paused. Press the Cancel button to select a different fly through path to play, or to disable the loop option.

Pause Fly-through

Pauses a fly-through video currently in progress, this button replaces the Play Fly-through button when the video is playing.

Cancel Fly-through

Cancels the fly-through video currently in progress.

Save Fly-through

Saves the selected Fly-through path to a video file. The fly-through video will render at the export speed while saving. The rendering while exporting in 3D may be slowing or less smooth than the final video result. For video export settings, see more information below.

Creating a Time Synced Fly-Through

After saving the fly-though video to a video file, the Fly-Through Video can be synced with the defined flight path. A Time Synced Fly-Through video can be created from any point features with recognized timestamp attributes or line features with per-vertex times.

A Time Synced Fly-through video can be created from a saved Fly-through video using either the Feature Info tool in the 2D workspace, or the Digitizer tool in the regular 2D workspace. With a 3D line, the Time Synced Fly-through can also be accessed in the 3D View, using the Digitizer tool.  

In either the 3D or 2D workspace, select the generated Flight Path with the Digitizer tool. Right-click and select the option to Play Video Associated with Feature...

To use the Feature Info Tool, activate the Feature Info Tool Right-click in the Feature Information window (below) for the selected flight path.

Choose the option to Select Layer Video File.. from the right-click menu. Navigate to where the video file is located on the machine and click Open. Then select the option to Show Movie File at Specified Time....

Once the Time Synced Fly-through video has been created, a cursor will follow along the selected flight path in the Global Mapper workspace, indicating the time-synced location displayed in the Video Playback window.