ArcGlobe Animation Tips
ArcGlobe 9.0 is a cool program that provides very quick and easy 3d modeling of very large landscapes for analysis of views and rough massing scenarios. It is a new program -- any software releasr that ends in .0 should be suspected of having a few kinks that need to be worked out. Here are a few that we have learned about:
- Tips for making animations and embedding them in pdf documents
- ArcGlobe Crashes or behaves very strangely.
- Three dimensional symbols fail to show up after setting properties
- Three dimensional symbols fail to export to image when exporting pictures of your scene
Tips for creating Animations in ArcGlobe
It is very easy to ask ArcGlove to make an animation file that takes for ever or even longer to render. The art of making animations is not to create the most elaborate animation possible, the real art, once you have experience, is to make an animation that is is simple, that expresses what you want to say and actually renders in a reasonable amount of time! Here are some tips for making animations in ArcMap.
The ArcMap 3D Analyst Extension Manual has very brief explanation of how to make animations in Chapter 8. Somewhat more inspirational is this Article from ArcUser Magazine More in-depth coverage can be found in this supplementary document: Advanced Animation in ArcScene
For some reason, none of these sources tell you the following:
- Keep your ArcMap Window SMALL! The size of your animation file and the amount of time it takes to render is proportional to the area of your arcmap window. The Options at the bottom of the Export to Video dialog would let you set the ressolution of your animation independently but it is most straightforward to just adjust your arcglobe window to be as small as you want your animation to be. And keep it as small as possible! Keep in mind that you will be placing these in letter sixes documents, so a 3"x4" animation should be fine.
- Also in the the Options panel at the bottom of the Export to Video dialog you will see the option to Enable Off-Screen Recording this will prevent things like your email browser from turning up in your animations should they cross your arcmap window.
- Use Quicktime in my experience, the quicktime video capture has more useful options and seems to be quicker. This reqires that you have quicktime installed on your computer see www.quicktime.com.
- Make a Trial Run with SIimple Layers and Low Quality YOur first goal; should be to get an animation that renders quickly, then add detail and quality in controlled steps so that you can understand the cost of each individual tweak. So befin by turning off layers like high-resolytion photos or very detailed 3d buildings or 3d symbols) extruded buildings ona simple globe surface would be a good place to start. Then make your window very small, and make a quicktime animation with low quality and a low frame-rate -- like 10 frames per second. Incidentally, the length of your animation is set in the Duration dialog on the Animation Options panel that is part of the animation player in ArcGlobe.
- Oddly enough, ArcGlobe seems to get slower each time you run a big animation. For best results, save your arcglobe project, quit and restart before saving a large animation file.
See How to put animations in a pdf document for tips on putting your animation into a pdf document.
If you have any odd behavior with arcglobe, you should start by turning down the hardware acceleration of your graphics card.
- Go to Start->Settings->Apearance->Display Settings
- Click on the Settings Tab
- Click Advanced button at the lower right of the settings panel.
- Click the Troubleshooting tab
- Slide the Hardware Acceleration slider almost all the way to the left (one stop up from the bottom (see picture below.)
Three dimensional symbols fail to show up after setting properties
Though it seems to make sense to try to set the height of 3d symbols such as trees, by setting a value ini the layer's extrusion properties, doing this will make your three dimensional symbols disapear! Set the height of three-D symbols by adjusting the Size for the particular symbol within the Symbology Properties.
Three dimensional symbols fail to export to image when exporting pictures of your scene
I have seen it happen that you may have trees or other 3d symbols on your screen that fail to export to an image when using Globe Export. This is still a mystery. I think that the fix for video display settings, above may fix this. I also suspect that this may happen when saving the display to an .emf file, but shoud work when saving to a .jpg file. But there is always this sure way of capturing an image of anything that appears on your screen:
- Make your ArcGlobe window your active window.
- Hold down the Alt button on your keyboard and then press Print Screen
- Open photoshop or some other image editing program and open a new image document
- Press Edit->Paste
- YOu now should have an image of whatever was in your active window. YOu can crop it and then embed it into your documentation.