Bike tour route animation with google earth and shotcut

Hi all,

i have made a little video to show one of my favorite bike routes here in the Odenwald with the help of Google Earth (Studio) and Shotcut:

I have tried to animate the tour via a red dot where i keyframed the position according to the route. This was quite a tedious job, as i had to generate a few hundred(!) keyframes. I had to spread them over several copies of the “dot” (which is a red color with a circle crop and a chroma key mask) so to stay at least a bit responsive. SC slows down quite a bit when you add more than 10-20 keyframes along a clip. As you can see, the job wasn’t easy and i am looking for a better way to illustrate the route curves. Ideal would be a growing red line instead - but i have no idea how to achieve that in SC. I could do it in 3d applications (like cinema 4d e.g.) but this is also tedious and difficult to mix with the 3d in google earth. Unfortunatly the route covers 3d area and some 2d area in google earth, as you can see.
Suggestions for improvements welcome!


You didn’t give way at that junction!


Hi @RilosVideos - This is an interesting and original use for Shotcut and a demonstration of what can be done with keyframing the SPR filter. Well done for your patience - it paid off!

I think you will be interested in this thread from two years ago:

I’d forgotten about this technique - two years ago I actually tried it out and it worked really well, but it took ages to generate the short demo I made…

One more point - did you intend your text to fade in and out to white, through grey to black? If you want to fade it in and out to transparent, choose “adjust opacity instead of fade with black” in the fade in/out filters panel. If you wanted the grey/black effect, please ignore this!

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Thanks jonray, your tips are much appreciated.

Will look at that tool as i often do route animations. I used to use 3d animation tools (like cinema 4d) for that task where you can define a spline for the route and let an 3d object grow on the spline according to the tour.
You watched carefully: indeed, i wanted to fade the text in and out from transparent - i saw the problem but didn’t find the right solution right away! Thanks for that advice!

P.S.: i took a look into the tool and it generates a growing path on a STATIC map. I have a moving animated 3d contryside and want to animate a path through while moving on the GES side. So this task would be much more complicated and cannot be achieved with that tool i guess. Its even easier to animate a point through the video than a growing path as you always have to adjust the path for each frame exactly. For now i only see a 3d animation tool doing that, but you have to combine the GE information with the path in that tool, which is also complicated. I know there are other external KML-based tools that are more appropriate for that task. I think for now i stick with the quick and dirty solution :slight_smile:

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That is impressive work. I can imagine the dot movement had to be a pain.

Can I ask how you did such smooth Google Earth animation? I have made recordings flying around manually. Did you create a list of viewpoints and then Google Earth moved between them?

Hi Mike,

i used Google Earth Studio here. In general you have 3 options to use Google Earth: GE web, GE pro (external tool) and GE Studio. For the last you have to apply, but thats not a problem. In GES you can animate your path and flight hight as you like with keyframes. You can even opt for sun position, daytime, nighttime, viewing angles and some parameters more. You need some practice to really get a smooth video. The key is there are bezier handles at the spline points of the path you can adjust to make the path smoother. If you change something it can happen that the bezier curves go wiered and you have to adjust them. You can open a keyframe line for each parameter and adjust the curves manually. There is also a google earth forum for discussions and hints for improvements. The whole tool is still in development and will be improved over time - but it is already amazing!


Ah yes - 2 years is a long time and I forgot it only worked above a static image. It’s a handy little tool to know about though!! :smile:

I’m very impressed how you made this with Shotcut! I read through the other comments, and will give Google Earth Studio a try - thanks for the suggestion!

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