View Full Version : Painting the surface of the earth from miles up...
09-14-2004, 06:54 PM
I'm working on a 3d animation that involves being very high up - about passenger-jet cruising altitute. I'm looking for a solid way or template for making a matte painting of the surface of the planet as seen from that altitude. I'm realizing that's its going to have to be a pretty large image file, but i really dont know where to begin. Eventually I'm going to want to paste this image over a geometric surface in 3dsmax to represent the planet, then simply have it fade out into some fog.
can anyone help me get started here. any ideas?
thank you so much!!
09-14-2004, 07:31 PM
try nasa's site, or various weather sites. im sure there are plenty of pictures available of the earth from above.
10-07-2004, 04:59 PM
If you don't mind paying for the image you can get aerials from any altitude from a number of sources such as: www.terraserver.com (http://www.terraserver.com), www.landvoyage.com (http://www.landvoyage.com) or www.airphotousa.com (http://www.airphotousa.com).
3DNature has a nice collection of resources that include not only image data but 3D terrain data: http://www.3dnature.com/data.html
I also have to give a plug for one of my favorite apps - Natural Scenery Designer. For only $139 you can create very nice terrains and with the app you can access the entire free USGS library of free SDTS 3D terrains for the U.S. Or if you don't want the hassle of finding and downloading the terrain tile you need they will sell you the entire US nicely cataloged on data DVDs for $179. Great stuff. We use it all the time. http://www.naturalgfx.com/index.htm
In fact, if I was given the task of doing what you describe I would simply do it in NSD. You can either us an accurate USGS 3D terrain for whatever part of the world you need OR you can create your own 3D landscape using fractals. Then you can create an animated flyover at whatever altitude or trajectory and get a raytraced animation. You can even import 3D objects generate foliage and trees as well as using aerial photo mapping if you like. And you can export your 3D terrain as a 3DS file or OBJ to boot.
01-19-2006, 06:00 AM
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