How to create live tours in Google Earth, for your AutoCAD design, with Plex.Earth

Learn how to export your AutoCAD design into Google Earth and impress your clients with a stunning interactive drone-like presentation that will transfer your vision from your drawing to the real world!

In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to export your whole drawings into Google Earth and create an almost real-life tour, even from the inside of your construction. This way a better understanding of your design or proposals can be achieved for you and your clients and you can even investigate how your model will dynamically interact with the real-life environment.

This can be achieved in 6 simple steps:

Step 1: Georeference your drawing

Step 2: Export your drawing into Google Earth

Step 3: Create the path your tour will follow

Step 4: Record your tour

Step 5: Save your tour video

Step 6: Use your video for presentation purposes

If you don't already have Plex.Earth, download your fully-functional weekly trial from here.

Step 1. Georeference your drawing

Each time you use Plex.Earth, your drawing must be georeferenced so as the software to know the exact location of your design. If you don't know how to do this, please follow the steps described here.

Step 2. Export your drawing into Google Earth

With Plex.Earth you can export an AutoCAD project to Google Earth. This can be accomplished using either the "KML Export" command or the  "Export 3D Models" command.

Note, that the "KML Export" option should be used when publishing 2D projects, while the "Publish 3D models" should be used for projects that include complex 3D geometry with textures etc.

More information on how to export your design into Google Earth can be found here.

Step 3: Create the path your tour will follow

Once you have your model into Google Earth, you then must define the path that you want your tour video to follow.

In order to do this, zoom in or zoom out to any side of your construction you want to include into your presentation and in that place create a Placemark. The specific angles you choose are stored with each Placemark. Create multiple Placemarks for views from various sides and at various levels.

There are absolutely no limits. You can even show the view from inside of your construction.

Once you create all your Placemarks, you must uncheck them. Otherwise, the name or the selected icon of the Placemark will appear in your tour video.

Step 4: Record your tour

- Click on "Record a Tour" icon of Google Earth.

- From the small window that will pop up, click on the record button.

- Click on the Placemarks you created before, in order for Google Earth to switch between these views.

- Once you finish the recording, click on the record button again.

You do not necessarily have to wait for each camera transfer to take place, although you have to make sure that you show the sides of your building that you want to present. Remember that you will make a single recording, so plan the order in which you will preview your Placemarks beforehand.

Step 5: Save your tour video

Now you will be able to playback your video and save it.

- Click on the save icon in the "Record a Tour" window, give a name to your video and choose ok.

- Close the "Record a Tour" window.

- Go to "Tools" -> "Movie Maker".

- In the "Movie Maker" window, choose the tour you saved in the previous step.

- Select the folder in which your video will be saved, define your video parameters and finally click "Create Movie" for your video to be saved on your computer.

You can find an overview of the steps above to the following video:

At the end of this tutorial, you can find attached the KMZ file that was created.

Step 6: Use your video for presentation purposes

Now that you have the video in your computer, you can literally use it in any way possible, from a PowerPoint presentation to a YouTube upload to send to your clients. Like the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words so there is no saying what a video showcasing your plans is worth!

Conclusion

Showcasing your AutoCAD design to Google Earth can significantly improve your design process and receive informed feedback timely, thus saving a lot of time and reducing subsequent and unproductive iterations.

If you follow the above steps, you’ll find yourself creating realistic videos and immersive live tours that can engage your partners, impress your customers and involve stakeholders, letting them understand your ideas from the early stages of your design.

So what other methods do you use to showcase your design to customers and shareholders? Just leave a comment below with some of the methods you follow.

Feel free to contact us at support@plexscape.zendesk.com for any questions you may have, or even to publish your video tour in our social media.

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