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TRACK ANIMATION

Animating the charts is basically straightforward. But, you need a chart system on a PC because I know of no conventional plotter (e.g. Garmin or Raymarine) that allows you to easily extract image data. That is one of the reasons why I use Digiboat's "Software on Board" system on a Dell laptop.


The key technique is taking a screen image. Get the chart picture you want on the screen and use alt-prntscrn to place the image on the clipboard . Then paste this into a photoprocessor (I have been using Serif PhotoPlus) as a 'new image'. This can then be saved in a convenient file.


Basically one takes two screen images, one showing the track, the other identical image without the track. (Sometimes, as in the case of crossing the Channel, it is necessary to stitch 2 images together, which can be tricky. Let me know if you need to do that)


Having got the two images, place the base image (without the track) on the bottom video layer of a movie editor (I use Serif MoviePlus). Then create above that layer a video Group  that contains 2 video layers. The bottom layer of the the Video Group should contain the image showing the track. The top layer of the Video Group should be a standard shape (I often use a circle), and the layer will eventually become a mask layer. In other words, only the part of the image within the Video Group covered by the mask will show. By using the transform function one can control the position and orientation of the mask over time. So for a simple straight route, the mask covers nothing at the start (so only the base layer is visible), and the entire route at the end, maybe 30 seconds later on the timeline. As the mask moves across the image, then more of the timeline is covered by the mask, so more of it shows.[I know it seems 'inside out' that only the bits covered by the mask show, but that apparently is the movie convention!]


The examples in the gallery above also include  a wind group within the track group which allows wind tails to be displayed only when required. All the video tracks  can be contained within a zoom group which allows the chart to be panned across the screen. Labels (place names) can be included within the zoom group  or (as in this example) displayed only when no panning or zooming is occurring.



TRACK ANIMATION DEMOS

CORDOUAN 2010

PORTSALL PASSAGE 2007

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