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Spherical moving images

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#1 GreatWhiteBear


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Posted 19 May 2016 - 05:50 AM

Hi there, this is my first time visiting and I couldn't find the subject I needed help with so I decided to make a new topic.

The situation is that I want to make an image of a rotating planet.

Right now the image being used is a flat image that is just moving from left to right with only a circle being visible.

Because of this it looks very unrealistic, you can clearly see that there is no curvature in the "planet" and that the image is just a cylindrical rotating image instead of a spherical one. If it were spherical then the middle would be moving faster than the top and bottom.

So basically what I have is a flat world map that is moving from left to right and what I want is a spinning globe.


I have 0 experience concerning image editing in this way. My girlfriend has some experience with photoshop but that is basically where our experience ends.


Now the developer of the site I want to use it for said that a 3d object is currently not a possibility so it has to be a moving image.


Any help is highly appreciated.

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#2 rp88


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Posted 20 May 2016 - 01:50 PM

Personally I would advise actually doing this in full 3d, modelling a 3d planet as a sphere, sticking in a space background as an image on a plane then animating them and a moving camera object. rendering this would produce the video, and it could produce a pretty impressive one. The software I would use for this is blender https://www.blender.org/ a free open source 3d modelling and rendering program. It's a bit tricky to learn but what you are wanting to do could be, in the most basic way, accomplished fairly easily. Open up blender, add in a sphere, go into the material tab and set up a material for it, then you'll need a texture. Go online and find a picture of the planet's surface stretched out in what one might describe as a mercator projection. I don't know what you're planning to use the animation you want to make for, but if it's non-commercial you should be fine with images described as "creative commons licensed". Download the image, edit it's details within gimp/photoshop if you like*. Then tell blender where on your harddrive this image is saved and use this picture as your texture, sphere map it in the texture mapping settings. Fiddle with other material settings until you're satisfied with how the surface looks. Then add in a plane object, map a space background picture onto it. Hit "ctrl" and "numpad 0" to see the camera's view, select the camera object and move it around with "g" and rotate it with "r" until you like the view it sees. The use keyframes to animate any motion, such as the planet's rotation. After that render it out as either an avi video (big file size), an mp4 video (much smaller file size almost the same quality) or as a series of png or jpg images which can be strung together in other software like frames in a movie.

Is it a particular planet you want to do, because I know of some good sources for the sort of planetary surface images you'll need.

Also, I have loads of experience with blender, although I suggest looking up a few tutorials to begin with. The interface is a little odd to begin with. Then if you get stuck on anything I can advise.

*this sort of editing would be for exmaple, adding a new crater to the surface map or placing a new ocean or river somewhere. That is to say, just changing what the surface looks like, maybe turning a desert into a jungle by selecting the desert region on the planet and changing the hue from yellow to green...

Edited by rp88, 20 May 2016 - 01:55 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

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