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resolution limitation of mapping Serpentine 3D layered Comp onto a Zax 3D sphere

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Alan Langdon
resolution limitation of mapping Serpentine 3D layered Comp onto a Zax 3D sphere
on Jul 27, 2011 at 7:55:13 pm

OK, so maybe I am pushing the limits of Zaxwerks 3D, Serpentine 3D and my MAC, which only has 4 GB of RAM (I know, I know). But can anyone help me here?

I have a 5000x2500 composition with a solid, in which Serpentine is applied. The result is a flat world map, traced by Serpentine, as if the continents are being "drawn" by serpentine.
Then I dragged this comp into a 720p composition, where I created a 3D sphere with 0,1 detail under Best quality. 200 is the radius of the sphere, I believe. I assigned the huge 5000x2500 pixels layer (world being drawn) as a Layer Map and wrapped that aorund the 3D sphere.

So the problem is that when I zoom into the globe to show, say, Europe, I see the limitations of resolution of the mapped image. OR is this the limitation of the sphere I created? I have everything up to Best quality, of course. When I move the camera around the globe, as if following a boat from Europe to Brazil, I see the map limitations even more, almost a matrix/squarish pixelated effect when you can see the pixels being twisted around to fit the sphere. So it looks kind of lame at 720p.

I tried creating a 10.000x5000 pixel world map composiiton to map onto the globe, but ran into resolution isues.
Would a, illustrator layer (vector) be more appropriate? I feel like its not just a limitation of the world map resolution, but also a limitation of how Zax maps bitmap images onto a 3D sphere. Open GL rendering (as opposed to software) doesn't seem to help and crashes a lot.

Any info? Much appreciated, as I am under the gun, as usual :)

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Edward Wu
Re: resolution limitation of mapping Serpentine 3D layered Comp onto a Zax 3D sphere
on Jul 29, 2011 at 12:31:53 am

Hi Alan,

In the title of the post, you mentioned that you were mapping the comp onto a "Zax 3D Sphere". Are you working with Invigorator or ProAnimator? If so, I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you mentioned the "0,1 detail under Best quality". If you're using another effect, this effect may be what is causing the image to look pixelized when you zoom in with the camera.

If you are using ProAnimator/Invigorator, you can try applying the Pre-Comp as a Layer Map. Then apply the Layer Map as a Material onto the Sphere. With a huge layer, this should keep the image looking sharp.

If you're still having issues, please send the project to me at I'll take a look at your project file and your setup.


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