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Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE

COW Library : Adobe After Effects Tutorials : Michael Park : Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
Creating a Realistic 3d Earthing using only AE
A CreativeCOW After Effects Video Tutorial


CreativeCOW presents Creating a Realistic 3d Earthing using only AE--Video Training by Michael Park

Michael Park Michael Park
Tampa Bay, Florida

©2009 Michael Park and Creativecow.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
In this video tutorial, Creative Cow leader Michael Park shows you how to create a realistic 3d earth, complete with clouds and atmosphere, using only After Effects' built in effects. Special attention will be given to combining multiple instances of the CC Sphere effect to create unique layers with different specular properties for the land and water masses, as well as creating lights from urban centers on the night side of the earth.













Comments

Re: Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Shawn Ouwinga
Very inspiring to see the 3D power of AE. Thanks so much for this!

Black Friar Productions
Denver, Colorado
Re: Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Christopher Maddox
Hey The new after affects looks different and i do not know where mode is please contact me!
Re: Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Heather Harvey
Mike,

I'm having trouble scaling my land mass. In Apple Motion, you can create the revolving sphere, then scale down the mass while leaving the sphere the same size. I created my CC sphere using my land mass photograph in After Effects and I want to scale down the size of my continents without scaling down the size of the sphere.

I would do it in Motion, but Motion doesnt give me the 3D "look" that after effects does, so I'd like to know how to scale down the land masses without scaling the sphere.

Thanks!
Re: Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Rob Lichter
This looks absolutely great! I need help adapting it to HD, though. I need an HD earth that takes up the lower third of the screen, as if we were flying over and past the Earth. I tried all I could think of, but the edges of the clouds and the continents all look jaggy as heck. I downloaded some really hi-res images to replace the land masses, but I continue to get pixellated images. Thoughts?
@Rob Lichter
by Mike Park
Remember, you are wrapping a bitmap texture around a sphere. the closer you get to the surface, the lower effective resolution you get. So if you are using a 4k map, but only showing a small portion of the earth, your effective resolution for your earth in your comp may only be 300 - 400 pixels wide at HD res. You need to either zooom out until you get the resolution you want, or find higher quality textures. It will never look as good as a close up from space as we are faking 3d clouds and atmosphere. Best of luck.
@Rob Lichter
by Mike Park
Try this website for very high rez - 16k - maps. Also has high res cloud maps (8k) and land/water alpha maps.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://naturalearth.springercarto.com/n...

Best,
Mike
Re: Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Bernhard Näther
you can see results in my first decent reel




;-)
@Bernhard Näther
by Mike Park
Very cool Bernhard. You are very talented. Keep up the good work!
Usage of tutorial and contents
by Mike Park
Bernhard,

Are you asking if you can use the project output for your own project? If so, then the answer is yes. It is royalty free and I don't expect compensation. I do the tutorials to help others learn after effects. If you want to give me credit somewhere, that is fine. All I ask is that if you use it, send me a link to your final product. I would love to see how people use the concepts. Best of luck, and if you have any questions, let me know.

Mike Park
+1
use footage in music video
by Bernhard Näther
Very nice tutorial.
I have a question about the usage of the footage:

Is it possible to use the footage for a own animation, which will be published somewhere else?
Rotating the moon
by Mike Park
@Jean-Francois,
I am not sure why you would want to connect the moon rotation to the earth, but if I did, I would turn the moon map into a sphere using cc sphere, then precompose that layer and make it 3d. Then I would auto-orient it to the camera so it always faces the camera and then animate it around the earth. You will also have to precompose the earth and make it a 3d layer so that the moon is properly obscured by the earth.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Mike Park
Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Terre Britton
Really helpful tutorial; and a clear, concise presentation. Thank you for sharing Michael!
Terre
You are one of the best
by Jean-Francois Martel
You are one of the best teacher i ever had Micheal !!

I never used after effects cs3 before i started trying this tutorial....it took me all my day but i did it !!!
And it's beautifull. !!

I saw that there's a Moon.jpg in the package.....how can we make it rotate with the earth ??

Oh...and by the way, im not french but where i live we all talk french and understand it all realy well !!
There was just that ''Out click'' that took me 3 hour to understand that you wur actualy saying ALT Click !!

Haha !!

Again ...WAOW...Bravo....Wonderfull Job !!!

Thank you to share your knowledge like that...theres not much people like you on....Earth ;)
Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Marcos Rosario
Great tutorial!! I can use these techniques to create other effects as well. Thank you for sharing. By the way, I noticed that your video is in shockwave format which is different than the flash tutorials others use on the site. Maybe that's why there aren't any controls.
Good Tut
by Marco Rieser
Hi... first, its a very good tutorial and its realy easy to understand for a beginner like me :D

but just one question i have:

my angle control effect has not this four buttons when i drop down the effects in my layer. how can i get them? i use ae cs3.
Pausing the tutorial
by Jonathan Telfer
Hey, might be a stupid question, if so please forgive. I'm really wondering why there is no option on my browser to pause your tutorial. Is there something i'm not seeing?
@Jonathan Telfer
by Abraham Chaffin
Hello Jonathan,

The video has been re-encoded now so you should be able to use the video control bar now.

Abraham
Making it more photorealistic
by Lee Loechler
Amazing Tutorial! Thanks so much!

I spent a lot of time tweaking the resulting earth to make it look photorealistic [as close as possible to actual pictures of the earth from space.] For people trying to make their earth as photorealistic as possible, I have some suggestions:

1. Instead of using 'Screen' to composite the atmosphere, try using 'Hard Light' and then fine tune using the lighting section of CC Sphere. This gives the earth a darker blue coloring and makes the whole thing less glossy.

2. Nest the composition, then add an 'Unsharp Mask' Filter to the whole thing. Makes it look more like pictures.

Instead of this:


The earth will look more like this:


Hope that helps!
Hey guys, Sorry about the lack
by Mike Park
Hey guys,

Sorry about the lack of controls. It must be a flv thing. I will see if I can get this sorted for the future. Thanks for the positive feedback. If you are having any trouble at all, let me know, and I will help you out. You can post here or can find me at the Trapcode forum here at the cow.
Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Don Kipilii
Great Job Mike. Frustrating without the controls to pause and rewind your tutorial. I must've re-started your tutorial over about 15 times and waited for it to get to the part I missed or was trying to catch up on. Again, great tutorial and thanks for your work
3D earth
by Bill Beau
Wonderful tutorial! I'm using the techniques from this in another project. The explanation is very easy to follow.

Only issue I had is there are no transport controls on the bottom of the window when viewing this tutorial. Would prefer to replay portions that didn't sink in the first time(s).
Awesome! Thanx very much Michael! This
by Leo Blees
Awesome! Thanx very much Michael! This will be perfect to use in the intro I'm working on. Appreciate it very much!!

Looking forward to the next one.

Keep up the good work!

Peace!

Leo
Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Ged Yeates
Michael

Your tutorial was just perfect! I had just received a request for a graphic to explain the effect of the Moon on the Earth's ocean tides and was trying to produce a more realistic looking Earth using only After Effects with no real idea of how to go about it when I discovered your tutorial. Your explanation and walk through the procedure was always clear and easy to understand and following your instruction has produced a graphic my client is delighted with.

Your efforts in producing this tutorial were well worth it as I'm sure I'm not alone in having gained an insight into producing a quality animation of the Earth and it is all down to your relaxed and concise teaching style which made the whole animation project rather enjoyable to undertake.

Thanks for your help - Ged Yeates (Scotland)
Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Ged Yeates
Forgot to add my rating...definitely five cows!

Ged Yeates Scotland)
Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Mike Park
Thank you for your kind comments. I learned much of what I know of after effects from the generocity of others willing to teach and enjoy giving back to the community. Knowing I am helping you guys makes all the time and effort spent in developing these tutorials worth it. If you have any other tutorial topics you would like to see, throw them out there and it may be the feature of an upcoming tutorial.
Thanks again for your kind words.
Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by John Corbett
Outstanding video, Michael. Not only have you highlighted a little-known feature of After Effects, you did it in a way that was patient and thorough. I've only been using AE for about five months, and I had no difficulty whatsoever following along, which isn't true of every video tutorial I've ever watched. Thank you for taking the time to explain shortcuts for things like expressions, even when you've already done so once in a tutorial; seeing it more than once helps with reinforcement and learning. I wish all videos were this thorough.
Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Rob Mize
Michael... that's fantastic... very inspiring.
I look forward to your next tutorial.
Thanks very much...
Rob Mize
Creating a Realistic 3d Earth using only AE
by Gregory Butner
I had no idea I could do 3d that looks this good with After Effects. Thanks! This tutorial has just opened up many new possibilities for me in AE.


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