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Shapes on sphere with depth

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Tim ClarkShapes on sphere with depth
by on Mar 31, 2008 at 8:29:31 pm

Had a look round the site but cannot find an answer.
How do you make a sphere with negative shapes which have a depth to them?
eg a map of the world on a sphere with transparent seas BUT the land mass should have some depth.

Tried transparency maps and bump maps but this only knocks out the back and front face.
This is no doubt a general 3d question. I can't do anything in iilustrator either in seems.

you have always been good with ideas so thank you in advance

I have poser which has the same problem but no knowledge of other 3d systems. I can learn quick if I can get this project working.

Tim Clark

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Jon OkerstromRe: Shapes on sphere with depth
by on Apr 1, 2008 at 12:13:59 am

Hi Tim,

As you've discovered, bump maps can suggest depth but really don't do what you're asking.

Another option that might work - create two spheres - located at exactly the same place in space. The slightly larger sphere has the continents and a transparency map knocks out the oceans. The slightly smaller sphere would be the ocean. You would get a slight but real distance above sea level - but the edges of the continents would not exist. If you zoom in too close or from the wrong angle, the illusion would be broken.

If you really want to model the edges of the continents and mountains, you'll need a different kind of modeler.


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Tim ClarkRe: Shapes on sphere with depth
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 3:09:50 pm

Thank you for that.
I was going down that route then artwork the edge as it was for a still image but it would have been good to have the flexibility of moving the object around


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