Sunday, April 05, 2009

animated route in Cinelerra

This was fun. I spent the day perfecting a way to automate a line on a map in Cinelerra. You might think that was a somewhat pedantic exercise, but I think the image I used was very pretty and that the moving line, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark, came out great. What would make it even better would be to use an ancient map of some sort.

Here it is:

a line on a map from crazed mule on Vimeo.

Update 2009/04/07
For some reason, this video is not playing as embedded on this page. Please visit my crazed mule profile on Vimeo to view.

*** end update ***

Using Gimp to Spice Things Up
I created the graphics in Gimp:
-the line representing the route and its shadow
-the circle representing the route's start
-the star representing the route's end

The circle and the star were created using Gfig, the Gimp add-on utility that let's you create geometric shapes. Also note that the shadow of the line matches the position of the light source in the photo of the globe.

Note that the circle and the star are not flat, 2D creations, but they look like stickers pasted on the side of the globe. I acheived that effect by using Gimp's Perspective and Shear tools. Here's a resource that discusses Perspective in Gimp:

I created four images to import in Cinelerra:
1) globe with no Gimp object overlays
2) globe with just the circle as start of route
3) globe with the circle and the line
4) globe with the circle, line and star representing the full trip

Assembling the Images in Cinelerra
The tracks in Cinelerra looked like this:
Top Video Track
image 1 (plain globe) at beginning of timeline and image 4 (all objects) at end of timeline
Bottom Video Track
image 2 (globe and circle) and image 3 (globe, circle and line)

Gradient Created for Line's Movement
The key to the movement of the route was a screen wipe that travelled from the upper left corner of the screen to the lower right, mimicking the direction of the line's travel. Since Cinelerra does not have a built in wipe that moves in this direction, I had to create my own gradient using Gimp and plop it in /usr/local/lib/cinelerra/shapewipe. I then used that gradient in the Shape Wipe video transition tool:

In the timeline picture above, you can see the Shape Wipe transition effect that I used between the image of the map with the circle and the image of the map with the circle and the line.

Here are some resources on wipes and making your own wipe in Cinelerra:

I love the way this turned out, because it looks a s*1tload better than most of the other animated routes I've seen out there. In fact, it blows away the lame route create with Photoshop and After Effects that I read about in VideoMaker magazine this month.

the mule


einfeldt said...

Hi Mule,

I read your stuff and I like it a lot! I am producing a movie about how FOSS is changing global culture, using only FOSS tools. It's called the Digital Tipping Point. We are building it the same way that FOSS is built, out of forkable segments that can be grabbed from the Internet. We want to show people how FOSS is made and why it is cool with the way that we make the movie. We have interviewed lots of cool people, like Gilberto Gil (the Culture Minister of Brazil); the Mayor of Munich; Richard Stallman; Nat Friedman; Miguel de Icaza; and lots of others. All the video is available under a cc by-SA license here:

You can see our raw video here, where we currently have 80 hours of raw rough cut video. This video will need to be re-rendered for most applications other than casual watching, as it is our "source code". It has no plot or music or transitions.

Our keyword search index page is located below. It is the place to go to find specific persons or themes for our footage.

So click on that tinyurl link above, and just skim your eye over the alpha index for topics and persons who might be useful for you. We do have lots of beautiful b-roll, by the way.

Since it is cc by-SA, you can commercialize anything you make anyway that you like, as long as you follow the cc by-SA license, which is easy to do.

You can email me at einfeldt at gmail dot com.

c u

Christian Einfeldt,
Producer, The Digital Tipping Point

Cacasodo said...

Hey Christian,
I emailed you back a while ago at your gmail address, but didn't get a response back for some reason. I came upon this old posting and decided to respond to it.

How is the movie making going? Did you finish the Digital Tipping Point?

In any case, thanks for the information.