Exporting Animation Path to Google Earth Studio

  • Hi!

    I have not posted here before, but the firm I work for have been using Enscape for several years now and I would say that it has been the best change in our design process since transitioning from AutoCAD to Revit. So - to the development team - thank you! While we have Lumion 9, the integration of Enscape in our application workflow means we use Enscape much more frequently, and are beginning to utilize it for animations in addition to stills, panoramas, and standalone models.

    Concurrently, we are also beginning to explore Google's new Earth Studio tool, which provides After-Effects level control for creating animations in Google Earth, and does a far better job of rendering Earth content during the animation process compared to the desktop application since it is not limited to 1gb of RAM and 2gb of disk cache as the Google Earth Pro desktop application was. Importantly to my question here, the content generated when creating an animation with Earth Studio is an image sequence, which is then assembled in After-Effects or similar. Also important to note is the fact that that this tool does still retain support for KML/KMZ files, which can include flight-path data and camera settings.

    What I would like to do, and what I am soliciting ideas or improvements for, is the ability to somehow export my Enscape animation path and camera settings to KML format (or vice-versa from GES KML to Enscape animation path) so that - at the end of the day - I can generate the same animation in GES and Enscape, and superimpose the Enscape content on top of the GES content for each frame using After-Effects or a script/action in Photoshop.

    This sounds like a tall order, but given the ability of each of these platforms to utilize detailed numbers for setting latitude, longitude, and altitude, as well as data for camera settings like pan, tilt, and focal length, (plus the ability of GES to generate 3D tracking points for After-Effects) I am hopeful that this workflow might be a possibility, either now or in the near future. If it is, it would be of huge benefit for us, as - in the business of designing airports - we would love to do more aerial animations without having to invest the significant amounts of man-hours that it takes to develop site context which can sometimes be spread out over hundreds of acres.

    I would love to hear any suggestions from the developers or ideas from other users about how to go about making this workflow a reality.



  • +1 This would be amazing for all architecture and our Urban Design Projects! Not sure if it will happen but would be extremely useful if it does.

    I think if the movements were identical in Google Earth Studio and Enscape you would also need a video alpha layer (and video depth layer if you use depth of field) to drop the model into the scene.

    I think the hardest part would be shadows. Does the Google Earth Studio model cast shadows onto the Escape Model or vice versa?

  • Personally I would love for google earth to be integrated into Enscape, but I know from a dev. perspective its very pricey to get a partnership with google to implement their software. I would much rather see Google earth in Enscape, but I know open street maps could be a placeholder until a deal can be worked out with google. Other similar rendering programs like eyecad have open street already integrated in their program so it can be done.

  • Personally I would love for google earth to be integrated into Enscape, but I know from a dev. perspective its very pricey to get a partnership with google to implement their software. I would much rather see Google earth in Enscape, but I know open street maps could be a placeholder until a deal can be worked out with google. Other similar rendering programs like eyecad have open street already integrated in their program so it can be done.

    Just to be clear, we are talking about Google Earth Studio, not Google Earth. And I don't think the original poster wanted a partnership, but instead a file that exports the same moment, kind of like a translation from Escape path to Google Earth Studio paths since in the end, they are all just text files.

    I may be wrong, but that's how I understood it (not saying it's any easier)

  • I know they are two different things, but they are both owned by google, making it expensive to implement both. If the Op only wants the video editing tools of Earth Studio I see no reason Enscape cant emulate something similar. If the OP was instead wanting integration into Earth studio or the use of google earth/studio as a location and scene service, that's going to cost a significant amount of money on Enscapes side to integrate. I'm not on Enscapes budgeting team but from the other app developers I know, that use Googles services, it is expensive and Open street maps might be a better options for a short time (because OSM has its downfalls) until something can be worked out. If the OP just wants a text file path of the Enscape video I agree I think that could be a great addition.

  • Hey thomasvick , thanks a lot for your kind words, welcome to our forum and I'm glad to hear you're satisfied with Enscape. :) I'll gladly file your inquiry as a dedicated feature request accordingly.

    Beforehand, could you kindly also give me an answer regarding the following question which was already asked by Tyler, regarding if you want to have a dedicated implementation into Google earth/studio or make use of earth/studio as a location and scene service, or if you just want to be able to export a dedicated video-path file from Enscape which would be compatible for earth/studio? :)

  • I will chime in, since I have experience with this and would like to also make a request.

    Google earth studio exports camera information to After Effects in .jsx or JSON format. (I can send an example if useful) If Enscape could import this information as a camera path, we should be able to the render a sequence that matches Google Earth Studios.

    We would need to composite the output from Enscape, but that is currently doable with the tools you provide. Ideally we would also get the ability to export a Material ID pass for animation, but we have workarounds for that currently. The main point is to be able to import camera path data in (and ideally also export camera data out if possible)

    Other formats to consider if you are going to provide camera path import (and possibly export) are alembic (abc), fbx, dae, 3ds. By allowing us to import at least one of these standard formats in addition to the Google Studio format, we would then be able to animate our cameras elsewhere and import them into Enscape. Many users are already familiar with animating in Blender, 3dsMax, C4D, etc,. Allowing them to use that knowledge for animating cameras rather than forcing them to learn Enscape's animation system would be both a welcome addition to Enscape, and would avoid animation tech support and feature requests for those users.

    I will also say that one of the reasons I never went with Lumion is that I could not effectively composite work from my other software such as 3dsMax. Lumion was not interested in allowing camera import or export. Enscape has seemed to have a more open approach which appealed to me.... this type of compatibility of camera information would be welcome to MANY advanced rendering users.

    Examples of how exporting camera path data would be useful to both users and enscape is allowing composting of animated tectures, animated people, cars, etc. If a workable method for this type of compositing were to it exist it would allow for users to make it happen outside of enscape and take pressure off you guys on requests for a variety of festures.

  • Apologies for the slow follow-up on this. I appreciate what others have added to the discussion, but I will elaborate a bit more on what my request pertained to here. Having an inherent understanding of what Tyler points out in his comment, while I would love for some type of scene integration with GES to become a reality, I realize that there are a mountain of different factors that would seem to make this almost completely out of the question. Vincent's and renderwiz's comments are pretty much spot-on. The camera paths and their keyframes, and - importantly - the software's interpolation of movement and smoothing in-between those keyframes, would need to match up perfectly in order for this to work. As mentioned, shadowing would be difficult, but would be left to the user to overcome as needed. The workflow, as I see it, would be to simply overlay rendered content (with a transparent background) on top of GES content for each frame of the animation before assembling these frames into the finished animation. Having the ability to do this would be tremendous, and doesn't seem terribly far-fetched as long as there is some way to reliably and accurately match up the 'starting point' for the animation in GES and Enscape.