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Motion graphics effect: from flat earth to round earth

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Paulo Jan
Motion graphics effect: from flat earth to round earth
on Apr 26, 2010 at 9:02:19 pm

Hi all:

I've been wondering about a motion graphics effects that I've seen a couple of times lately. I've been looking for an online example of it, but couldn't find any, so I'm afraid I'll have to do my best to describe it.

We see a flat, colored background, and on it, a flat black foreground representing the ground, over which black silhouettes walk, act, etc. The camera pans laterally to reveal more of the scenery: buildings, people, etc. Then the camera pulls back and we see that the "ground" wasn't flat, but actually part of a huge sphere, and all the people, buildings, etc. we had seen until then were standing and moving on that sphere (some of them in the "north hemisphere", some of them in the "south hemisphere".

Does it make sense? The most obvious way to design this would be to just design everything as a really huge sphere, and then animate your characters over it, but I don't think this is very practical. I can't help but think that there must be some plugin that allows you to take a really long horizontal composition and "bend" it to turn it into a sphere; I've already tried CC Sphere and Spherize, and they are not what I'm looking for.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Motion graphics effect: from flat earth to round earth
on Apr 27, 2010 at 1:01:05 pm

3d Warps from Zaxwerks does it.
Here's a tutorial.

- 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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