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Sphere Wireframe Animation

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Tim SmithSphere Wireframe Animation
by on Dec 22, 2011 at 2:02:56 am

(I posted this over in the Cinema 4D forum thinking that the solution had to start with a 3D model. But I've been playing with Trapcode 3D Stroke and wondering if there isn't a much simpler solution here in the AE forum. Any advice welcome. Here's the note I posted in the C4D forum.)

I need to create a simple wireframe globe to animate for an iPhone application interface. I need control over the resolution of the wireframe (i.e. the number of latitude / longitude lines), the width of the lines, and the color of the lines. Ideally the rendered wireframe would have dimension (i.e. round, not flat, "wires") and the geometry on the back side (far side) of the globe would be hidden.

The best possible outcome would be the generation of only around 15 frames of transparent background .png files that I could then import into AE to further effect (e.g. scale, color, glow, etc.). White stroked lines on solid black background (to matte out later in AE). Resolution does not have to be high - the final animation is only going to be around 70px in diameter.

I've tried creating a primitive sphere, making it editable, changing edges to splines, etc. But since I'm using so few segments the angles are sharp, not smooth, and for some reason I can't soft interpolate the points to try to smooth them out. If I can get past that, I'm assuming I can sweep the splines with a circle to make the "wires" round, animate, then render out.

Is there a simpler way to do this? What am I doing wrong?

Any help appreciated. Thanks!


Tim Smith
Applied Design Group

Tim Smith
Applied Design Group

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Michael SzalapskiRe: Sphere Wireframe Animation
by on Dec 22, 2011 at 3:06:47 pm

You can just make lines and apply CC Sphere.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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Dave LaRondeRe: Sphere Wireframe Animation
by on Dec 22, 2011 at 3:59:14 pm

Michael's CC Sphere is a good fake 3D solution.

But do meet your requirements -- lines of constant thickness, looking as if they've been extruded -- you'll want to work in a 3D application.
Even if this is for something small & simple, it's still 3D work, and you need a proper 3D app.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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