In basic Earth Studio usage, everything is done through the eye of the lens. Obviously, this has its limits—if you're always inside the camera, there's no way to clearly visualize the path your camera will take between two keyframes.
Multi-View enables an entirely new method of animating Earth imagery. You can see the position and shape of your camera path from an outside perspective, edit that path, and even display multiple viewports at once.
When we talk about Multi-View, we're covering two concepts:
- how to enable and switch to the perspective of non-Camera viewports
- how to work within those viewports to build and edit animations
There are six viewports in all, including the Camera viewport. Multi-View consists of the Top view and the four Side views (North, South, East, and West).
Multi-View can be accessed via the View > Multi-View menu, or through the dropdown in the bottom-right corner of the viewport. Select a number of viewports, and Earth Studio will update to display them. You can use the 1-4 keys to quickly toggle to that number of viewports.
The number of viewports that can be displayed is dependent on the size of your browser window. Earth Studio disables the 3 and 4 viewport options when your browser is too small.
Multi-View will also be activated by default when you set a Camera Target.
Switching Viewport Angles
In any viewport, you can change the angle by using the dropdown in the upper-left corner. This is also an option when only one viewport is visible—you can switch out of the default Camera view at any time.
The settings menu in the upper-left corner of each Multi-View has two options for adjusting the view. Follow Camera on Playback will automatically move and scale the viewport when the camera leaves the frame during playback. Show Full Path on Playback will re-frame the viewport to fit all paths in view on playback. Deselecting both will keep the Multi-View static during playback.
Earth Studio handles navigation differently between the Top and side views.
Moving around in the Top view is similar to navigating in Google Maps. Click and drag the map to move around, and scroll to zoom in. To quickly navigate, hold ⇧ while dragging to create a selection around a set of keyframes. Then press Z to zoom to fit the selection to the frame.
Moving around in a side view is similar to navigating in the Curve Editor. Hold ␣ while dragging to pan your view, and scroll to zoom in.
Multi-View gives you control over every spatial element of your animation. Anything relating to the position of the camera, the keyframes, or the camera target can be edited using a Multi-View.
Adjusting the Camera
All viewports, including the Camera view, are dynamically linked. Any changes to the camera (the red pyramid) or keyframes are reflected by the other viewports in realtime.
This way, Multi-View can be used as a controller for your Camera view. Drag the camera around, and you'll see a live preview of the output.
Unless you keyframe the affected attributes, any changes made to the camera in Multi-View will be erased when the playhead moves off the frame.
When keyframes are added in the timeline, they are placed in the appropriate position in the Top and side views. You can move these keyframes to update their position values on the fly.
Dragging a keyframe will automatically adjust the camera path. If the camera is on the path, it will move with the path and the Camera view will update accordingly.
Adjusting the Camera Target
See Camera Target.
Curved paths are a result of position attributes easing at different rates. Technically, curved paths are possible without Multi-View—just apply different eases to latitude and longitude in the Curve Editor, and your path will curve.
Multi-View makes this process much easier. Keyframes in the Top and Side views can have easing handles, just like in the Curve Editor. These handles can be used to affect the curve of the path.
To create easing handles for a keyframe, hold ⌘ or ⌥ while dragging out from the keyframe. Your path will be dynamically adjusted based on the length and position of the easing handles.
Holding ⌘ while dragging will create easing handles on both sides of the keyframe; holding ⌥ will only create a handle on the side you drag out from. Likewise, you can hold ⌥ while dragging an existing easing handle to unlink it from its pair.
Easing Curved Paths
When you create handles on a keyframe, you'll might notice your camera accelerating into / out of the keyframe on playback. Earth Studio tries to ease your keyframe appropriately to compensate for the curved path, but sometimes the default ease is too little or too much.
To get the appropriate motion, you'll have to adjust the easing curves manually in the Curve Editor. If you're not careful, you'll change the spatial curve of your path, so be sure to follow these rules:
- Hold ⌘⇧ while dragging easing handles to lock them to the x-axis. Any changes to the vertical positioning of the handles will change the curve.
- Be sure that the horizontal position of the easing handles is the same for both latitude and longitude. If you drag an easing handle out 20 frames in one attribute, be sure to drag it out 20 frames in the other.
When you create three or more keyframes, you'll often want to "smooth" the middle keyframes to avoid a sudden lurch in your camera motion. You can do this with the Smooth Path command. Just right-click a keyframe and select Smooth Path from the menu to automatically smooth the path based on the keyframes before and after. You can also simply ⌘ click on any linear keyframe.
You might have noticed that Earth Studio sometimes automatically creates handles to add a smooth curve to your camera path. Auto-Smoothing is applied to any linear keyframes in the path when a new keyframe is created, unless you've explicitly set the keyframe(s) to Linear.
This only takes effect on "middle" keyframes. For example, if you create three keyframes in sequence, only the second keyframe will be Auto-Smoothed.