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Combining an earth zoom with a rotating earth

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Matthew Belinkie
Combining an earth zoom with a rotating earth
on Dec 14, 2009 at 9:31:30 am

What I'm looking to do is start with a rotating earth in space, and after ten seconds, do the good ol' zoom into a specific location effect. Making a rotating planet is easy enough with CC Sphere. And for the Earth Zoom, I'm following the Andrew Kramer tutorial.

The problem is, I just can't figure out how to link these two effects seamlessly. The best I can figure, I need to use my CC Sphere as the bottom layer of my Earth Zoom, parented with my topmost layer. But of course, none of the other layers of the Earth Zoom are rotating. So I need to have the opacity down on the rest of the layers while the earth is spinning. Then I stop the rotation entirely as the Earth Zoom begins, so that the other layers are in the right spot, and then fade up these other layers over a second or so.

The problem with this is, I can't get my other layers to match even moderately well with this CC Sphere layer. It's painfully obvious when they fade in. I think it's because I'm trying to match flat layers with a layer that's curved into a circle. I can sort of cover this up with cloud layers during that transition, but it sort of kills the effect if you can't see the "landing zone" for two seconds of the zoom.

I tried another approach, which was to apply CC Sphere to the entire Earth Zoom composition, making sure the composition is HUGE (5,000 pixels wide) and starts showing the entire planet. I figure if I can scale up the entire Comp to fill the frame before the Earth Zoom begins, it might work. So far, it's not working.

So any ideas? I feel like there's got to be an elegant solution.

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david bogie
Re: Combining an earth zoom with a rotating earth
on Dec 14, 2009 at 3:26:32 pm

Difficult to visualize your perceptual problem but I can imagine it.

Try Optical Compensation or a bit of Spherize on the intermediate layers.

You might be able to get by with CC Cylinder on those intermediate layers if you're not doing diagonal moves.


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Matthew Belinkie
Re: Combining an earth zoom with a rotating earth
on Dec 16, 2009 at 2:46:54 am

Okay, I didn't find a particularly elegant solution, but I got it done:
What helped was using a very large image of the world to make my initial CC Sphere. It was about 6,000 across, and my CC Sphere had a radius of 1,300 pixels. That way, by the time I scaled it up to 100%, I was only looking at a tiny section of the map, and curvature wasn't as big an issue. My next-largest layer in the world zoom was just Italy. If you stop on those frames, you can see that North Africa is pretty blurry. But nobody is looking there anyway.

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