Animated travel map videos make it easy for the viewers to follow the routes from the source to destination locations right on the single screen. While the static maps would only allow the audience to see the markers from where the journey would start and is expected to end, the animated ones show the real-time movements and therefore look more interactive when viewed.
That said, here you will learn how to create an attractive and engaging animated travel map video using one of the easiest post-production applications, Wondershare Filmora X, which is widely appreciated by amateurs and professionals throughout the globe. In another section, you will also learn about an alternative program that might be of some help in case you are more into online designing.
1. How to Make Animated Travel Map Videos with Filmora X? [Step-by-Step]
The entire process of creating an animated travel map video in Wondershare Filmora X is categorized into two parts, wherein the first part you will collect all the ingredients that are needed to get started, and in the second part you will actually make an animated map using the tools and features present in Filmora X.
Part 1: Prepare the Travel Map Materials
Following are the ingredients and the methods to collect them for animated travel map preparation:
Get the Map
The first thing that you would need to prepare an animated map is an image of a realistic map. Thanks to Google and Microsoft, these things are now pretty easy to arrange. The process is given below:
Launch your preferred web browser
Type google.com in the address bar or the search box and hit Enter
Scroll to zoom out so you can see the entire world map on one screen
Type Snipping Tool in the Cortana search box present on the left side of the Taskbar
Launch Snipping Tool, and use it to capture the screenshot of the map
Note:Snipping Tool is a built-in app in Windows 10 and is available for free. If you are using any other operating system, or have a different program to capture the screenshots, feel free to use it according to your convenience.
Save the screenshot you captured as a JPG file on your PC
Mark Out the Map Path
The next step in the process of preparing an animated travel map is to mark your route on it. To do so, you can use any of your preferred photo editing tools. However, to keep this illustration simple, Microsoft Paint is used here, and the method is given below:
Right-click the screenshot you just captured
Go to Open with on the context menu, and then click Paint from the submenu that appears
Pick your preferred color from the pallet of the Paint interface. It is advisable to use an eye-catchy shade such as Red
Use the Sphere shape tool to draw a circle over the source and destination locations on the map
Use the Line tool to draw a line from the source point to the destination. Try giving the line a few turns to make it look realistic
Go to File > Save As, and save the marked image with a different name
Note: Once this is done, you should have two image files of the map, i.e., one without the marks and one with it
Download Some Travel Icons
Another important ingredient in an effective travel map animation is touring icons such as location marker image, a traveling medium symbol like a helicopter, airplane, car/bike (for short distances), etc. A couple of websites that offer royalty-free stock photos at absolutely no cost are listed below:
Note: Although the websites given above allow you to download and use their stock images and icons for free, you may need to give credits to the designers/creators of the symbols while using their objects. Therefore, you are suggested to check the Terms & Conditions and norms of usage of the elements before downloading and adding them to your projects.
Part 2: Make Animated Travel Map Videos with Filmora X
After you have gathered all the necessary ingredients that are required to create a travel map animation, it is now time to get to work. The following instructions would guide you through the step-by-step process of preparing a decent and realistic animated travel map in Wondershare Filmora X:
Step 1: Import Ingredients to Filmora X and Add Them to the Timeline
Launch Wondershare Filmora X on your computer, click anywhere inside the Media window at the upper-left area, and import all the images and icons that you collected earlier to program. Next, drag both the images of the map, i.e., with and without the marks to the Timeline, and ensure that they are of the same duration and are placed on the same track.
Note: Be sure to put the map without the marks first, and then the one with the marks. Also note that the images have the playback duration of 5 seconds in the Timeline by default, and this tenure can be reduced or increased by dragging the side handle of the media to the left or right respectively.
Step 2: Add Transition for Illusion of Route Appearance
Go to Transition from the standard toolbar at the top, locate the Erase Slide transition effect from the available presets, and place it in between the two image files that you earlier added to the Timeline. Next, click and drag either of the side handles of the transition to the end of the media clip. Notice how the other side of the effect is expanded in equal proportion.
Step 3: Preview and Export
Press the Spacebar on the keyboard to preview the video and see if the route appears as if it is being drawn on the map. Once the animation looks acceptable, click EXPORT from the top-center, go to the Local tab on the Export window, select MP4 from the formats list in the left, and click EXPORT from the bottom-right corner to export the current animation to MP4.
Step 4: Customize the Travel Map Media
Either start a new project and import the video of the map you exported in the previous step to the app and then to the Timeline, or remove the existing media from the Timeline in the same project, and add the exported video to it for convenience.
Next, position the Skimmer (Playhead) a couple of frames before the one the route line appears and starts stretching from, and click the Split icon from the editing toolbar above the Timeline itself. Repeat this process for the other side of the media, i.e., position the Skimmer a couple of frames after the route line reaches the destination location, and click the Split icon again. Then remove the separated segments from both the sides by selecting them and pressing Delete on the keyboard, leaving only the portion where the animation is visible.
Optionally, right-click the media that is left behind in the Timeline, and go to Speed and Duration from the context menu. On the Custom Speed box, drag the Speed slider to the left to decrease the playback speed resulting in the increased duration of the media. Alternatively, you can manually enter a value in the Speed box to get precise tenure. Click OK when you are done.
Step 5: Add Animations to Travel Map
Right-click the media in the Timeline, and go to Add Animation from the context menu. Make sure that the Skimmer is on the first frame, and add several keyframes as explained below:
Click Add to add the first keyframe
Move a couple of frames further, and click Add one more time. Now, while you are on this second keyframe, use the Scale slider to zoom in to the map so the source location remains within focus.
Next, move the Playhead further and add another keyframe a couple of frames before the route line hits the edge of the window.
After this, move the Playhead again and position it where the route line reaches its destination location. Add another keyframe here as well, and move the map in the Preview window so the focus is now on the destination.
Move the Playhead a few frames further, add another keyframe, and use the Scale slider to zoom a bit more into the map to make the entire animation look realistic. Click OK to save the changes.
Step 6: Add Icons and Titles, and Export the Project
Drag the image of the traveling medium to the Timeline, and place it on the frame the route line starts from. Make sure to place the image on the track above the map, and stretch it to the end so it remains visible throughout the animation. Next, use the method explained above to add keyframes to move the medium along with the route line from the source to the destination. Optionally, add the image of the location marker at the destination point, go to Transition, and add your preferred transition effect, preferably Dissolve, to the marker track in the Timeline so it looks as if it has appeared as the medium arrived the destination.
Get back to the first frame in the Timeline, go to Titles on the standard toolbar, and add a title preset somewhere near the source location. Resize the text, change the format as needed, and add your preferred caption to it such as the start time, name, etc. Reduce the duration of the track so the title appears for a few frames, preferably before the map animation starts. Click OK when done. Repeat this process for the destination point as well.
Once everything is complete, click the Play button in the Preview window to review your work. If the video looks acceptable, click EXPORT from the top-center of the interface, and use the method explained earlier to export the animated travel map in your preferred format.
2. How to Make Interactive Animated Travel Map with Pictramap
If you don’t want to install a dedicated animation software on your computer due to limited hardware resources or some other reason, there is an online solution called Pictramap to create a travel map animation using a web browser. The web app offers a lucrative interface that could be easily understood and worked with to produce an animated map for free.
The process to create an animated travel map with Pictramap is given below:
Step 1: Create a Project
Launch your favorite web browser, go to https://www.pictramap.com/, click Create yours now, it’s free, and sign up to Pictramap using your preferred method. When you are on the Dashboard, enter a name in the field available under the My Projects section, and click Create to create a new project (the animated map).
Step 2: Define the Locations and Method of Commute
On the map, right-click the location you want to start your journey from, enter the name of the location or any other significant title, and click Add. Click the location marker, click the Travel Mode icon, and select your preferred mode of traveling. Repeat this process to mark the destination location as well.
Step 3: Preview the Animation
Click the View Animation button from the upper-right corner of the page to see the animated travel map.
Downsides of Using Pictramap to Create Animated Travel Map Video
Although Pictramap allows you to create a travel map animation with ease and extremely quickly, at the time of this writing, it offers no way of downloading the animation to your PC, and therefore it couldn’t be used in your projects.
If you are using Wondershare Filmora X, you can use its built-in screen recording feature to record the animation that Pictramap plays, and then save the captured footage as MP4 or any other format on your computer. This video can then be imported to your projects for further uses.
An animated travel map plays an important role to add a realistic touring effect to your motion picture projects. While you can use a web app like Pictramap to create such an animation online easily and for free, the limitations it comes along with might keep you from choosing this method.
Instead, you may want to get more inclined toward a dedicated post-production software like Wondershare Filmora X that gives you full control over the process, and the freedom to choose your preferred format to export the animation to for independent usage.
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.
Follow @Benjamin Arango
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