[OSM-talk] ITO animation for 2008

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Fri Jan 2 14:59:30 GMT 2009

On 1 Jan 2009, at 22:45, Inge Wallin wrote:

> On Thursday 01 January 2009 03:27:32 Ian Dees wrote:
>> Can the guys at itoWorld talk about how they made this video? I'd  
>> like
>> to do a semi realtime rotating globe with edits. I think that'd be
>> awfully neat.
> Just a tip:  You could probably use Marble as a base for this  
> application if
> you don't have a realtime rotating globe already.
> http://edu.kde.org/marble

Sorry for not getting back to you already.

Nearly all the code we use is our own proprietary Open GL (http://www.opengl.org/ 
) based App written by ITO that combines the key elements from the  
transport modeling world and film special effects to allow us to  
understand, manipulate, render and analyse very large transport  
systems. We designed this to combine a semantic understanding of the  
transport system together with fast rendering.

For this animation we used 52 weekly planet dumps and then rendered  
the individual lightning flashes in each week from the relevant planet  
dump. Each frame had all the planet data available to it and one of  
the tricks was to knock back the processing time to something were we  
could render 2000+ frames in a sensible amount of time.

I have a background in real-time transport management and modeling and  
my colleague Hal Bertram has a background in film special effects. You  
can read more about Hal's earlier  film work here (http://www.halbertram.com/about.html 
) including some details of when we worked together  in the late  
1980's at the Henson Creature Shop and his more recent work on Harry  
Potter and on Troy.

There is more detail about his techniques for high-speed rendering  
available (http://www.halbertram.com/trick/index.html) which I don't  
pretend to understand but his work at Henson in the 1990's was all  
about creating the ability for CGI characters to be rendered in real  
time so that the real actors and the crew could see what was proposed  
at the time the film was created rather than weeks later in post- 
production - and this of course had to happen on computers that was  
far slower than today's ones.

We have put in a good couple of years building up the code-base so  
that we can now do things like this relatively easily and we hope to  
do lots of new fun stuff with it in 2009. One of the things are  
wanting to do is make it possible for OSM Mapper users to create their  
own animations and large visuals through our website. We are working  
on speeding up the rendering processes to make this possible at the  

It is our intention to continue to support OSM contributors with free  
on-line products (such as OSM Mapper) and also to provide paid-for  
subscriptions for individuals and smaller organisations as well as for  
professional users for other map and transport based products to keep  
the show on the road.

We expect to offer subscribers to OSM Mapper the ability to create  
shorter animations for free, with larger ones available for  'pro'  
accounts, available for a modest annual fee, Pro accounts will be for  
people who want to burn more computer time and bandwidth creating  
larger animations or many of them. We are still figuring out the  
details, but I think you can be confident that it will be attractive,  
universal and affordable.


Peter Miller
ITO World

> 	-Inge
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