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Animated vehicles for Garmin GPS are not so complicated to create. Some people have made great tools to do the job. I decided to share my experience with you because i think that everybody can do it.

There are 3 steps to make your own cursor : make 36 pictures of your vehicle, assemble them into a png file, convert your png file to the garmin format : .srf.

Making 36(+1) pictures in 3D

First you have to download and install a 3D software on your computer :

After the installation of one of this software, you will be able to choose a model (cars, trucks or anything you want) from officials repositories (or from a models dedicated site). Don’t be afraid, there are tons of models!

According to the 3D software, you then have to put your model on the 3D scene and center it from behind. Here, the idea is to rotate your model from 360° step by step (36 times 10°) and export the 36 pictures of the model in png format: The size of each picture must be 80×80.

Note that you must have a transparent background.

A final picture from the top of the model has also to be made (This will be used on the 2D map mode on your garmin)

You can following the Sketchup tutorial i have written.

Here you normally have : 37 pictures.

  • model_0_deg.png
  • model_10_deg.png
  • model_20_deg.png
  • model_350_deg.png
  • model_top.png

You can preview your spinning vehicle by following This tutorial.

Png frame generation

In the second part, you have to create a single and unique picture from the previous generated pictures (36+1).

First, i recommend you to download a free picture software editor :

Create a 2881 x 160 picture, with transparent background.

Here, you can open the 36+1 pictures and add them to the 2881 x 160 frame as  calcs.

Place the 36+1 pictures each 80 pixels in this order :

1st Row Top-left : model_0_deg     model_10_deg ….model_350_deg : Top-right

2nd Row Low-left : model_top (just one picture)

You can use the grid option configured each 80 pixels in order to help you to place the picture.

Here you must have something like that : (as for me, you do not need the entire second vehicles line as the first picture from this line is rotated directly by the GPS when using the 2D map mode)

Save this to your computer.

If you do not want to do this job each time, just download and install our gimp script fu from this tutorial.

Png to srf convert

The last step is the png to srf online convert.

See link here

Congratuations, you have done it!

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27th Feb 2011
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3 Responses to “Garmin tutorials : How to create your vehicle?”

  1. 3D max says:

    I liked you blog, very interesting

  2. deals says:

    thanks fot the post this time

  3. johngp says:

    What a coincidence!
    I just bought a gray Picasso, and wanted to load it on my Nuvi, and you have created the exact vehicle. Nice one.

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