40. Earth Zoom
Create a cosmic Earth zoom in AE
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923 Responses to "Earth Zoom"
I can't seem to get this looking right. First of all trying to scale and line up the each image seems almost impossible because each image is at a slightly different angle so I have one part lined up but another part is out. Also once I have them all connected etc the images look blurry. I tried this for 5 hours and had no success. A tutorial on how to prepare the images from google earth in photoshop may be helpful.
7 years later and i still go back to this tutorial:
Just made this little video using it:
For some reason, I'm having problem from the get go. As soon as I'm done lining up all the images to each other, I unparent everything and then parent it to layer one. Problem is that only layer 1 shows up when as I scale. As I scale down, nothing but the black bg shows up. Using AE CS5.
Baz M
For some reason the exponential option was greyed out after following the tutorial.

I tried testing the exponential function in a new comp with just a solid being scaled and for some reason the option wasn't greyed out and it worked.

I don't understand why the exponential function doesn't work in the zoom project and why it will work in a new comp.

If you are wondering about my workaround this was my method:

. While in zoom project create a new comp by clicking the "create a new comp button"
. Created a new solid (doesn't matter what colour)
. Set scale keyframes and match the to the keyframes in the zoom project
. Go back into the comp with just the solid in it and select both the scale keyframes - right click on them and select exponential scale (if you can!)
. Copy and paste the exponential keyframes from the comp with just the solid into it to the zoom comp

- This may not work for everybody but that worked for me.
I am not sure if I have the Pro version of After Effects or not (When I go to about "about after effects..." It just says "After Effects CS6", it doesn't say pro.
Hi Farris,

Can I commission you to produce such a video for my website? If so, how can I get hold of you to discuss?


I need a zoom in FullHD from the "Earth" to Beirut. It have to be 30 secunde long. How much it cost if you do it for me?
Thank you.
sunny savage
Aloha, How do I get in touch with you Farris? I'm interested in having something like this done from Kahului, Maui, Hawaii out to space.
Elem I'll be happy to do it for you for $30.
Someone please help me! I have done everything exactly as instructed up to 8:45. I have created the keyframes and am now trying to add an exponential scale to my layer "1". But the problem I am facing is that the "exponential scale option is greyed out! I cannot figure out why. I created a new comp, and it worked. I even duplicated the clip and when I unpainted all the objects from it, it worked. Please help me
paul beauchamp
I had to make the layer a 3d layer in order for this to work. I think you also have to be wary that you don't go below / above zero. I.e. if you start on a value of -200 don't go higher than 0. Likewise if you start at 200 don't go lower than 0!
I thought I heard him say you needed the pro version of After Effects
The overlaying works, but when I'm fitting it (and thus when I'm zoomed in, in the composition preview window) everything is pixellated, is this because I took the printscreens at a resolution of 1600*900? (the cropped size is 1500*700 because I had to cut of some Google symbols)

Your tutorial is amazing! Just thank you from a french guy!
Just a question, I have a problem when i link all the parents with the first layer (6"25): The layer 8, the entire earth, is distorted like a pierced blue ballon. The image 8 is like a trapeze and not rectangular... And when the parents are none, everything is fine. My images are 1480 by 1360. I did it one time with your dimensions, 864 X 480, and it worked well.
I need help, it's for a presentation... :S
@ Audrey Luce..Im also kinda new 2 A.E as well but...Try soloing the first layer by itself n see if it scales up or down. click the solo sqaure in the timeline beside the file u want to solo

@ smile...Once you finish project grab the created composition and put it into the Create a New composition icon. Right click said Icon and go to
Time,Time Reverse Layer
Audrey Luce
hi everybody. Sorry for my english i'm a french woman. I'm learning tut to on AE. Bit please help me :( When we wave to move the scale for the first layer (at the beginning at 6minutes) i don't see anything changing. My first layer isn't bigger. All my layers 'except erathstill) are in psd... I'm sure it's a silly mistake but i just can't find.

Thanks Guys ^^(maybe nobody will answer...but please..try <3 )
Sahel Takal
hahahah loved the joke at the beginning
hi guys, i'm a fresh beginner with AE, could you please tell me how could i invert the effect? i need a zoom from space to earth.
If you change the values of the zoom and switch them around.
So set the 0.0005 on the First keyframe and then set the 100 on the last for the zoom levels
Can i do this with element 3D as the last layer (Earth)? I am trying, but it is not working. Btw you are great!! :)
It's a great tutorial and I love to use it in my next family movie; zooming out of the house we live in to outer space. But .... I can't get it working correctly. When I start with 100m in 7 steps to 4500m it works fine, but including the "earthstill" (at 64000m) it's a mess. Trying an intermediate picture at 30000m does not solve the problem. Did anyone encounter the same issue? If so, what's the solution; what did I do wrong?
Tried it a couple of times, and it worked in the end with CS6 and Google Earth. The reason why you may not see the rest of the layers after connecting to layer 1, is because they go really fast. For me, it was size 0.00001 or smth like that, to be able to see the last photo.

For the photos and comp, I took the advice from an earlier comment:

"I sampled images from Google earth using the following guides – You can use Google Earths Earth ALT (Altitude) feature in the lower right hand of the screen:

Photo 1: 200m
Photo 2: 1, 52 km
Photo 3: 7, 47km
Photo 4: 30, 93km
Photo 5: 117, 63km
Photo 6: 856, 81km
Photo 7: 4700,00km
Photo 8: Large earth photo

I made my composition 1920 * 1080 and took several images at the ‘above’ Earth Altitudes in Google Earth to create 7 images 5000 * 3000 pixels as I wanted the best resolution possible and room to move the still images around a little."
Hi K, Is it correct that your "Large earth foto"is at 64000km? Did that mean that the 4700km foto had to be reduced to some 9%? I have a similar setup as yours, but when I include the earth picture, everything gets blurred. Did you modify any of the parameters of the earth foto? I have also CS6 and it would be great if you could help me!
Hey how do you rotate the picture to have it match up with the previous one? Whats the shortcut?
In the tool bar you should see what looks like a film camera. to the left of it is an icon that looks like an open ended circle with an arrow on the end. That's the rotation tool. Hope this helps!
where can i get the picture?
Yaakov Beckerman
My earth still image has a white background how do I get rid of it?
To get rid of the white around the earht? Import the picture in Photoshop, single out the earth and delete everything around it. (Most likely you have to do this on a layer-copy) Then, save the picture as a psd and merge the layers when importing in After Effects. Good luck!
great tutorial but could you tell me how you got the high res map pictures as i tried google maps but they are not the same quality as yours???can you get back to me
omg you killed me with the baloon string camera thing ! i just couldnt breathe !! lol
I used this in a Street Zoom, I took 10 pictures and lined them up according to this tutorial.I needed that effect in my video. Couldn't get it perfect but that was not necessary, it turned out great! Thanx a lot! Here you can see the result: http://youtu.be/D_QyV9TqES4
Hawkins Eye
Great Video.. I wanted to try this effect with video and failed each time.. Is there any suggestions to how I would be able to pull this off using moving objects. I can give you all the specs of each attempt. Including the ones I haven't tried yet.
Hello Andrew. I love this tutorial. Any change you will do an addition to this where the camera orbits around the planet?

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