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Otterman
02-13-2008, 07:51 AM
Im stumped!

Ive created this cool globe using essentialy a spherical image map. Now ive got to put small glowing balls all over it to indicate locations (see photoshop visual)

Can i do this with image maps or do i have to model each and every location (nearly a thousand-gawd please no!)

Please any ideas on this to get me started? :)

Steamthrower
02-13-2008, 07:55 AM
Can you just make a single transparent PNG image to map over your current texture...and assign glow and render with Corona?

bjornkn
02-13-2008, 08:43 AM
I think I would just use an image map with alpha.
To get real 3D balls (or other 3D objects) you could use HD_Instance, but then you would have to add your 1000+ balls as points. Maybe a bit more work than adding dots in PS, but also a lot more versatile. Maybe you could just select the points from the sphere and copy to a new layer?
And very easy and fast to change the appearance of the dots.

Otterman
02-13-2008, 08:59 AM
Hey guys-thanks for the heads up!

Image map and alpha is the way i want to go with this-its a huge short cut! However i still want a nice bevel and glow effect-something im having problems replicating with corona and glow! Because its a post render filter it effects the whole image and not just the dots. Anyone know where the F' i get around this-my alpha chanel doesnt seem to do diddle?

A tutt on corona or similar filters might b useful!

Steamthrower
02-13-2008, 09:24 AM
Maybe you could try turning off Corona (which affects all geometry) and use glow only.

Or you could turn on Corona, and add a bright light that only affects your alpha map layer and doesn't affect your globe?

Otterman
02-14-2008, 08:08 AM
boo hoo!

This is a real ball ache....ive got the transparency sorted by using a png alpha (ta indigo!) and fudged a bevel effect using a bump map. These images are huge because i want to retain definition when the camera is close up! Also-im experiencing some nasty distortion in spherical mapping. Can this be fixed???

Anyways-glow just doesnt seem to cut it using alpha channels and corona is a little hit and miss, not to mention it increases rendertimes x3 so thats a no go. The only option left to me is 2 renders and comp-ing in AE.

Thats wot ive done with this attachment. Im a big cheat and im still not happy with the results-any other suggestions?

Steamthrower
02-14-2008, 09:25 AM
Hum. Looks good to me but it'd definitely look greater if those things glowed more. What's the resolution of your textures?

Comping in AE sounds like a lot of sore-rear-end work to me...but unless someone more experienced than I has some pointers, I'm at a standstill for more tips.

adamredwoods
02-14-2008, 10:24 AM
You can also set the globe as a particle emitter with 1000 particles. Keep them on the surface by emitting nozzle "Object-surface".

Then, to keep particles out of the ocean, use the particles "EDIT" tab and move those particle by hand. To see updates, move one frame back/forth.

Then add the volumatric "fairy dust". Adjust settings accordingly.

...Or even....
Select the mesh of the area of the globe you want to only have particles. Copy that mesh into another layer. Use that layer as the emitter. Make it invisible to rays, camera; but the particles will still be visible.

bjornkn
02-14-2008, 12:42 PM
What if you use lights and luxigons?
This is a luxigon with a tesselated sphere with 320 point lights with flare. No shadows, and the globe excluded from lights.
Renders in a few seconds.

Steamthrower
02-14-2008, 12:49 PM
Thing is, I think that with those methods it'd be hard for him to exactly plot the positions of the points. I'm assuming that these are locations for some company...and points would be difficult to place.

bjornkn
02-14-2008, 02:03 PM
Yes, it may be hard to place, but not impossible.
I think it may be harder to get the distortions right when paintingdots on an equirectangular map?
Here is a quick test with Hd_Instance and around 2000 spheres and pins "painted" on the sphere. I used Spherize to make them into a sphere. But in a real scene I think I would make a very tesselated sphere with the mapped tex in place, and then select points for the different locations and copy to a new layer.
Then it should be fairly easy to "paint" them in place?

Otterman
02-15-2008, 01:54 AM
Indigos right-i cant randomly place these-they are actual locations-however, although its a real ball ache i think bjornkn's method is peachy and will yield the best result. :thumbsup:

So HD_Instance, where do i get my greasy mits on this and is it mac (non intel) savvy? Failing that-it there any other instancing plugin i can use-preferabley free :tongue:

bjornkn
02-15-2008, 01:55 AM
An easier way to position the points would be to use polys instead of points. Make a copy of the globe (slightly larger?) and map it using world coordinates.
Select a poly close to the wanted position, cut and paste (new layer?)
Rotate using Origin Mode until the position is right in the middle of the poly (tri?).
Delete the unused polys when all positions are done.
It may be even easier to just reuse the same poly by copying and pasting?

This method should work fine for both hd_Instance and Luxigons, and it makes it very easy to change/add/remove positions, make different colors and sizes (weight maps for hd_Instance) etc..
If you know the GPS coordinates you should even be able to input them numerically for rotation if the globe is rotated correctly initially?

bjornkn
02-15-2008, 02:02 AM
It's available from Happy Digital at $150, and worth every penny :)

http://www.happy-digital.com/buystuff.asp

I don't know which Mac versions it works on though (it only lists Mac), but there will be a new version out pretty soon.

bjornkn
02-15-2008, 05:01 AM
You could make it without hd_instance too.
Make all your positions as triangles (copied from tesselated sphere)
Use MakePole, which makes points at the center of each tri, and selects them.
Cut those and paste into a new layer.
Make a small ball in a new layer.
Place the points in bg layer and use PointClonePlus to get a small sphere at each of those points.

Otterman
02-15-2008, 05:55 AM
bjornkn - I LOVE YOU!!!!

Them some pearlers you ve given me-works a treat as well.

The only problem i have is rotating the points using the origin Mode-its like wrestling an angry wet fish!

bjornkn
02-15-2008, 06:28 AM
Yes, it is a bit tricky because of angle snapping. It may help to use the numerical panel for fine tuning.

Glad to be able to help :)
I always learn a lot from such experiments :)

archijam
02-15-2008, 07:46 AM
I would render 2 versions (if it's an animation) - 1 with the globe on and one off (matte black).
Combine the two with actions in photoshop + blur, or superimpose within your video editing program (probably easier) ..

Cheating, but you'll have more control if the client says "Can you make them a little duller" ? etc.

Yay for passes.

j.

Otterman
02-18-2008, 05:57 AM
Heres a quick render i did using the methods described in this post. They are not the real locations, just a test. Anyways, theres gonna be a heck of alot more of em and smaller as well!

I intend to make em twinkle a little and perhaps fade a little using a grad in the luminosity channel with distance to camera.

Any other suggestions to make them sing?