The project was thus.
A zoomout from street level to outer space.
The earth would then orbit the sun twice to show that two years have passed.
It's basicly the same as showing a sign that says 'Two Years Later' but more gratuitous.
On one side of the street was the 'Centra' building.
A digital photo of Centra
I decided to zoom up between the twin towers to get a better feeling of size, speed and perspective. I filmed a zoom back from the top of the towers at night with a digital video camera. I modeled the 'Centra' building focusing mostly on the top right close corner where the camera would come close.
The footage of the zoom out was projected on a small plane on the far side of the towers. At the end of the footage the video plane was faded out (I had to run an animation on black fading to white as a transparecy map). The whole animation was four parts because the first bit had lots of detail and when you zoom too far out the maths tends to screw up and the render goes nuts. It isn't just Animation Master that does this. I tryed it with Povray (which has very competant maths routines) and it freaked out as well. Some of the changes are a bit rough but they are being changed in 'post post editing' over which I haven't had any control.
The most interesting trick I picked up from this project was the glowing
streets. I only had a day time aerial shot and I needed to change it to
night. I ran an equalize filter over the image I had, then I converted
it to 2 colour black and white. This resulted in the lighter parts of the
original picture being white (like buildings and stuff) and the rest (like
roads) being black. I fiddled with the image by hand to blacken the river
and fudge the border so it didn't look so squared. I then put it over the
original image as an ambient map. The streets remained black but the buildings
where bright. (See below) And I made the whole object 'Glow' so now the
lighting is 'dynamic' when it zooms.
Here are some shots from the 16 second animation.