Tips for recording movies

This feature is available to Google Earth Pro and Google Earth EC customers only.

This section covers a number of tips to help you create quality movies. We recommend you familiarize yourself with these tips before beginning your recording in order to produce the best possible movie for your needs.

Note: The time slider is not available when you record movies.

Update Your Movie Player

Having the latest version of Windows Media Player or Apple QuickTime installed is absolutely essential to making good quality movies, especially if you are having issues with the graphics quality of your movie. We highly recommend that you download Windows Media Player 9 or above:

Or for the Mac:

You can find the latest version of Apple QuickTime here:

Update Your Graphics Card Driver

Although graphics card drivers have no impact on the actual recording of your movie, a faulty graphics card driver can produce anomalies in your 3D viewer that then transfer into the movie itself. Therefore, it's always good practice to update your driver to avoid any possible rendering issues. We recommend that you use a graphics card with at least 64 MB of video RAM or above.

Increase Your Memory Cache

By increasing your memory cache size, your movie recording experience will go faster (although it will have no impact on the final quality of your movie). To increase your memory cache, see Memory and Disk Cache Preferences.

Increase the Detail Area of the 3D Viewer

Increasing the area of detail for your 3D viewer helps to capture all the pixels in more detail. As a result, the resolution of your movie is improved. See Viewing Preferences for instructions.

Note - Set 'Detail Area' to 'Large' if you have 64 MB of graphics card memory or more. If you have less than 64 MB of graphics card memory, set 'Detail Area' to 'Medium'.

Adjust the Touring Speed

When recording, it is best to use a relatively slow tour speed. However, feel free to experiment with different speeds and then play the movie back to evaluate whether the speed is appropriate. See Using Tours for details.

Note - The tour speed you choose will be consistent throughout the movie. If you want to set different tour speeds for different Placemarks in the same movie, you will need to create separate movie files for each tour and then edit them in a movie making software.

Adjust the Elevation Exaggeration

If you want to enhance the appearance of terrain in your movie, you can adjust the 'Elevation Exaggeration' as described in Viewing Preferences.

Showing or Hiding Items in the 3D Viewer

To hide or show the compass, status bar, scale legend or grid, simply uncheck or check these items in the View menu. Likewise, in this same menu, you can check or uncheck Atmosphere to hide the atmosphere around the globe when viewed at full horizon or from space. See also:

Preview Your Tour Setup Before Recording

It's a good idea to set up and review the tour points you want to visit in your movie. This involves two simple actions:

  • In the 'Places' panel, select either an entire folder to view all the placemarks within it, or select individual items in the folder to view only selected ones. See Using Tours for details.
  • Click the Play button that appears below the 'Places' panel to play the tour. This tour is the same tour that will be followed if you use the 'High Quality Movie' option, so you can have a sense of what your movie will look like by playing the tour. See Using Tours for details.

After previewing your movie, be sure to make any adjustments necessary before recording. For example, if you want to change the view of a particular placemark on the tour, you can always right-click the placemark, then select 'Snapshot View' in the menu. This will overwrite your existing placemark view. See Editing Places and Folders for more details.

Set Up Your System for Maximum Efficiency

Making movies is a memory-intensive and graphics-intensive process. It's best not to have multiple large applications running on your computer during recording. Disable both screen savers and pop-up blockers.