Q: I saw a post on social media that recreated a long bike ride in 3D animation and want to know how they did it
A: Our smartphones have so much amazing technology in them that with very little effort, we can recreate our adventures in animated form.
An app that leverages all this technology you most likely saw is called ‘Relive’ and is available for iOS and Android devices.
Whether you’re on a bike ride, jog, hike or paddle, your phone can track your speed, direction, and elevation changes that the app can use to recreate or ‘re-live’ your adventures.
If you already use an activity tracker to track your adventures, the Relive app can work with many of them to convert that data into a visual representation of your activities.
Here’s the list of trackers that it currently works with: Apple Health (Watch), Bryton, Coros, Lezyne, Garmin Connect, Polar Flow, Ride with GPS, Rouvy, Runkeeper, Suunto, Under Armor (Map My Run, Walk, Ride, Hike), Wahoo and Zepp (formerly Amazfit).
Once you connect your activity tracker to Relive, it will automatically import your adventure to the app to create the animation.
This automatic import seems to be what caused a popular activity tracker called Strava to block Relive from working.
You can also import activities individually if you don’t want the automatic connection.
Track Via Relive
If you don’t already use an activity tracker or want to use Relive separately, the app can track any activity itself. The ‘Record’ button at the bottom of the app will allow you to record just about any type of activity to create the video.
The pull-down menu at the top of the Record screen allows you to choose the activity you are going to record.
One of the notable features of this app is the ability to automatically add pictures of your adventure that you took along the way.
It uses the metadata in your photos to place the photo along your route based on the location and time data.
This means all you have to do is start the app, take pictures as you normally would, and the app will pull everything together at the end.
Creating the Animation video
At the conclusion of your activity, you can review the ‘moments’ that were automatically added or manually add other images, including those taken by others in your group.
If you’re an avid outdoor activity tracker that likes to post to social media, you may want to try the upgraded Plus service.
It will allow you to add up to 50 images (instead of 10), include small videos, multiple edits of your videos, choose from their music library and access additional video settings such as HD and speed.
You’ll get your videos faster and you can also track activities for adventures that last more than 12 hours with the Plus package.
The Plus option costs $6.99 per month or $38.99 per year but they offer a 30-day free trial so you can ‘try before you buy.’