Before you jump right into animating, take a few minutes to get familiar with the Earth Studio interface. It has a lot of different elements, but it's easy to understand if you break it into its three main areas: the Viewport, the Editor, and the Top Bar.

Viewport

The Viewport is your main portal for interacting with Earth Studio. It serves as both the primary means of navigating the Earth, as well as a live preview of your animation output.

Exploring the Earth

Navigation is simple: simply click and drag the globe to pan your view.

Zoom in and out by clicking and dragging with the right mouse button, or by scrolling.

You can hold while dragging to orbit around the center of your viewport. This gives you fine-tuned control of your camera's heading and tilt. Alternatively, you can use to change your heading, and to adjust your tilt.

If you want to jump directly to a location, enter it in the Search field in the top bar.

Searching in Earth Studio

View Options

The View menu (in the filebar at the top of the screen) offers a few options to adjust your viewport.

View menu options

Multi-View

Change the number of viewports. This allows you more advanced camera control; for example, you can edit your camera path while the Camera view is visible. More on this in the Multi-View section.

Preview Quality

Lower or raise the quality of the renderer in the viewport.

Guides

Show or hide guide lines in the viewport with G. Choose between three types of guides: Safe Margins (helpful for broadcast), Thirds (for ideal composition), and Center. Cycle between these options with G.

Viewport Mask

Adjust the opacity of the side overlays in the viewport, which denote the width of your composition when rendered.

Available 3D Cities

Toggle on / off the Available 3D Cities map overlay. Note that playback performance can suffer when the Available 3D Cities overlay is enabled.

Track Points

Show or hide the Track Points panel, where you can view and edit your existing track points.

Editor

Beneath the viewport is the editor, our primary workspace for animation. The editor contains the Attribute List on the left, and the Timeline on the right.

The Editor in the interface

Attribute List

"Attributes" are elements of the globe that can be animated, like the camera's position or rotation. Each attribute is displayed next to its current value, and a keyframe button. Attributes are arranged into groups based on function.

By default, Earth Studio displays two attribute groups: Camera Position and Camera Rotation. You can't view the Earth without a camera position and rotation, so these attributes are required in every project.

Add Attributes

Additional attributes can be added from the Add Attributes menu. These enable exciting effects, like Time of Day to animate a sunset, or animate zoom with Field of View. More about special attributes.

The attributes menu

Timeline

Earth Studio uses a traditional linear timeline to represent animations. The timeline is subdivided horizontally by frames, and vertically into tracks.

Frames are distributed evenly across the top of the timeline. You can change from frames to seconds in the project settings. Tracks correspond to their neighboring attribute. When a keyframe is added for an attribute, it appears in the track.

Scrolling up and down will scroll the timeline tracks and the attribute list together. Resizing the scrollbar at the bottom of the timeline will horizontally zoom your timeline view to a particular frame range. Double-click the scrollbar to zoom out to the whole timeline.

Playhead

The playhead marks the project's current active frame. On playback, the playhead moves left to right through the work area, at the framerate defined by the playback controls.

The Playhead

You can click and drag the playhead to change the frame, or you can move it frame-by-frame with . Use and to step by backwards or forwards five frames at a time.

Work Area

The work area defines the frame range in which playback is restricted. You can drag the yellow handlebars to set the work area, or you can use the B and N keys to set the work area beginning and end (respectively) to the current playhead position.

Use and to jump to the first or last frame of the current work area.

Top Bar

The top bar contains the playback controls, output tools, and search.

The Top Bar in the interface

Playback Controls

Once you have an animation in place, the playback controls will give you a live preview in the browser.

Playback Mode

Cycles how playback is handled once the playhead reaches the end of the work area. Playback loops by default, but can also ping-pong (play in reverse) or stop.

Frame Counter

Displays the current frame. Clicking on the frame counter toggles between frames and seconds.

Snapshot

You can save your current view as a snapshot at any time while navigating the Earth.

Render

Once you're happy with how your animation looks, it's time to render. We cover rendering in depth here.