Animating graphics on the surface of a sphere

Compositing and Motion Graphics

Animating graphics on the surface of a sphere

Postby Palhil on 04/16/2019, 10:02 am


I am trying to work out if there is a way to add animated graphics onto the surface of a sphere without the graphics becoming distorted. In this instance, I am using the VC Orb plug-in to create my globe and using an equirectangular map of Earth on its surface.

Ideally, I want to animate my graphics in a precomp that is the same size as my Earth map. I can then create another layer with VC Orb and use the graphics precomp as my diffuse layer overlaid on top of my Earth sphere.

The problem is that my Earth map was supplied pre-distorted to work on a sphere, whereas my animated graphics are not. This means that my graphics get squashed as they get closer to the top or bottom of the sphere. I am trying to find out if there is any way to apply a specific distortion over the top of my precomp to counteract this squash in the same way that the equirectangular Earth map has been pre-distorted. It feels like someone would have solved this problem by now. Texture mapped spheres, like CC Sphere, in After Effects are not a new thing.

Every time I look for solutions online I get directed to complicated techniques for creating 360 degree VR environments.

Has anyone got any ideas? I tried an adjustment layer with Bezier Warp and pulled the tangents right into the corners but the distortion was not correct.

I've been pulling my hair out over this all day. I'm of the mind that it's either not possible or I'm missing something obvious.
Posts: 1
Joined: 04/16/2019, 9:09 am
System Specs: OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 10.0.17134

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-9900K CPU @ 3.60GHz
RAM: 32684MB

GPU Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
GPU: GeForce RTX 2070/PCIe/SSE2
GPU Driver:
GPU Code: 0

CL0: GeForce RTX 2070 (100.0%) (GL Interop)

Return to After Effects