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How-To Fledermaus - Create a flightpath for movie making

This article describes an alternative method using mouse navigation for creating a flightpath for a movie.  It is possible (and often easier) to create a flight path by using the "geopicking" selection mode available in Fledermaus.  This workflow is geared towards users without access to a 3D Space Navigator.

Step-by-step guide

1 - Make a flightpath from surface points 

Enter "Select" mode or hit the "S" hotkey

Pick the points along the path you wish to create in your scene

From the Geopick tab (near the Object Attributes window),  export your geopick table as ASCII


2 - Import the flightpath created

From the "Create" menu, add a Camera.  In the Object Attributes window, select the "Time" tab

From the "Options" button, select "Import XYZ Flightpath"

Import the XYZ that you created when you exported your geopick table.  Set your start time to 0:00:00 and your end time to however long you'd like your fly-through to be (for example, 00:02:30 for 2.5 minutes).  Select an appropriate z-offset for your data (this is in whatever unit your data is in), and set a downward facing camera angle.  This may require some playing around- if you import your flight path and find that your offset is much too large or small, it only takes a second to re-import and try a different value.

The keyframe window under your time tab for your camera will now be populated with the x,y, and z locations from your geopick table.

3 - Work with the flight path created

Use the edit tools to smooth camera angles, rotate camera, and change camera positioning.  You can move from keyframe to keyframe in the "time" tab and change the position of the camera at each point.

When you've finished creating your flight path, you can press "play", or render a movie to be viewed outside of Fledermaus.

Make sure you work within the time frame specified in the import. Do not attempt to edit time on the keyframes, as this is not yet supported and can corrupt the flight path.

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