Keyframe Animation

Earth Studio provides a wealth of animation tools based on industry-standard practices. If you're new to animation, don't let that scare you! The basics are easy to learn, and incredibly powerful.


Like most digital animation software, animation in Earth Studio is built around the concept of keyframes. We use a keyframe to define the value of an attribute saved to a particular point in time (in our case, a frame).

When we set two keyframes, Earth Studio automatically tweens between them, calculating all of the in-between values to create a smooth transition from one keyframe to the next.

There's a few different ways to set keyframes in Earth Studio, and you'll find yourself switching between them depending on the situation.

Using the Keyframe Buttons

The most straightforward method of keyframing is to orient your camera in the viewport, and then click the "keyframe all" button at the top of the attribute list. This will save the exact view of the globe to the currently active frame. Move the playhead to a new frame, do it all over again, and you'll have created a keyframe segment: your first animation.

To give you more fine-grained control, attributes can be individually keyframed using their respective keyframe buttons. The only exceptions are the Position attributes (latitude, longitude, and altitude)—these attributes are linked together. (Read about Logarithmic Adaptation to find out why.)

Unsaved Changes

You'll notice that keyframes must be added manually. Any changes to your globe view won't be saved until you click the keyframe button. This lets you move around the globe without ruining any existing animations.

When your current view of the globe hasn't be saved to a keyframe, the affected keyframe buttons will turn yellow. Then you can either set a keyframe to add / update the value, or just move your playhead off the frame to snap back to the saved values.

Entering Values Directly

Next to each attribute is its current value, which updates dynamically to match your view of the globe. If you click on the value field, you'll be able to type in a new value. Once you hit enter, a keyframe is automatically generated for that attribute at the current playhead position, and the viewport is updated to reflect the changes.

You can also click and drag left or right over the value field to "scrub". Holding will scrub faster. Holding will scrub slower. Scrubbing a value will automatically create a new keyframe, or update an existing one.

Keyframing and the Playhead

You might have noticed that all of these methods rely on the placement of the playhead. To make changes more quickly, you can jump your playhead to the previous / next keyframe using the J and K keys, respectively.

There's one exception: double-click on a keyframe to directly change its value, even if the playhead is on a different frame.