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Morph 2d map in to extruded 3d globe

April 27, 2012
Maya is not only used for animated movies and special effects but also for Motion graphics works. For Motion graphics you have to create 3d maps and globe once in a while. During my motion graphics career I have to face the same problem several times. Each time I have tried different ways and never satisfied with the result. I used Displacement maps, sphere with transparent maps etc. They served the purpose but not the satisfactory look.

                             And one day I have to create a 3d map morph in to a 3d globe with continents extruded for a project (a satellite map is morphed in to 3d globe with glossy effect). First I thought it is an easy one. But the final result was not that much 3d looking. So I have to find a way to work it. At last I got an easy way. Hope you will also like it.
Here we go.
Tools needed
            You may use either Photoshop or Illustrator. But I prefer Illustrator because it will create smooth and crisp curves while Photoshop produce jaggy curves.
1. Get a high resolution earth map. You need the alpha map separately if you are using a geographical map. For this tutorial I am using a vector earth map which can be downloaded here.
2. Open it in Photoshop and by using magic wand (w) select the outer region representing ocean and delete it.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
3. If you have Adobe Illustrator save the file as PNG and skip to step 6.
4. In Photoshop go to paths and click ‘make work path from selection ‘tool to create a new path.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
Now we have a work path.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
5. Go to File > export > path to Illustrator and save it as Illustrator file by selecting the work path from drop down box. It is already selected there.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
6. Skip to step 13.
7. Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document with Basic RGB pre-set with 1024X768 formats.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
8. Now go to file>place and select the saved PNG file, we have created at step 3.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
9. Scale it down if necessary. Do a proportional scale only.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
10. Click the drop down option under live trace (click the arrow key) and select tracing options
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
.
11. Adjust the parameters as seen in Figure.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
12. Now press trace and save the scene as Illustrator file. Select the Adobe Illustrator 8 option if you are using latest Illustrator.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
13. Now create a new document in Maya and go to Create> Adobe Illustrator object> options
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
14. Select curve as final output and press create. You will get something like this.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
15. Drag select the entire curve from viewport and group it. Centre pivot and snap the group to the base of the grid. Freeze transform and delete the history. You can safely delete the unwanted groups from outliner.
16. Now create a nurbs square and rotate, scale it exactly to match the map.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
17. Select the Adobe Illustrator curve 1 group and duplicate it once.
18. Shift select the nurbs square 1 from outline and go to surface menu and surface>planar> options and do as the figure below
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
19. Delete the history and assign a Phong material and change the colour as desired. We have our outer ocean.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
20. Go to outliner and select Adobe Illustrator curve 1 and do a planar. Delete the history and apply new material.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
21. Now we have our complete map. The ocean and Continents are separated so we can have separate animation and textures.
22. Select the continent mesh and do extrude. Don’t delete the history if you need extrude animation.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
23. Select both ocean and continents and go to animation mode and do Create deformers> nonlinear> Bend.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
24. And rotate the bend handle in 90 degrees in Y axis and change the curvature to 1.75
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
25. Select both ocean and continents and go to animation mode and do Create deformers> nonlinear> Bend. Rotate the Bend handle to 90 degree in X and Y. And change the curvature to 3.142. Adjust the curvature accordingly.
fermicg_2d map to 3d globe tutorial
Now we have the complete globe. Select both the bend handle and animate the curvature or set a set driven key and animate it for morphing effect.
You can replace a sphere for ocean once the animation is completed.And play with the visibility key.
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Edit photos like a pro-RAW editing in Photoshop

April 24, 2012
    Photography is a hobby for every one. But better photo need better editing. Your photo must look outstanding in the millions of other photos.
  It is the era of Digital Photography.Almost everyone  is a photographer.Most of them own a Digital Camera (dslr, mirror less,point and shot etc) or a decent mobile phone (iPhone/android/Samsung/Nokia etc). Surprisingly 50% photos are edited in Photoshop. Does we are using Photoshop to its full potential?

 
Answer the following questions,
  1. Do you have a DSLR camera?
  2. Have you ever used DSLR camera?
  3. Have you taken photos in RAW format?
  4. Do you treat RAW file in Photoshop?
  5. Do you know the difference between a JPEG and RAW file?
             If majority of the answer is ‘No’, you have to read about RAW file and its advantage.
clip_image002                     A simple introduction about RAW files. They are uncompressed, untreated version of a digital photo (like an exposed film) which has all the information both necessary and unnecessary. You have to treat and develop to final photo in special programs like Photoshop before viewing it in regular picture viewer or make a print.
Read this article if you want to know more or click the above RAW link.
                   Even if you haven’t a DSLR camera you can convert your Canon Power shot  camera to take RAW photos by installing CHDK hack.
               Before proceeding to the tutorial a small history. Why this tutorial?
                            While working in my previous Motion Graphics studio, one of my friend who have a Nikon DSLR camera(d3100), told me about the DSLR cameras and their advantages. At that time I don’t have any digital camera and I use Nokia 7210 Supernova mobile phone to take photos! He explained about RAW file and showed how to edit in Photoshop. For the first time I am seeing a real RAW file. But one thing the RAW file opened in a familiar window i.e. I am regularly using that technique for editing my photos. I told about that to him but he didn’t believe and argued that only RAW file can be edited to do so. I opened the JPEG file downloaded from net and edited it in RAW editing window in Photoshop. (Thank GOD that Photoshop CS3 is updated with latest RAW package!). And my friend believed it and explained a lot of thing about JPEG and RAW file. And later I showed this technique to many friends (DSLR owners, Professionals photographers nyc and amateurs). To my surprise they are unaware of this technique, using JPEG as RAW!
camera raw
Enough history. Now we are going to the tutorial.


 
Before jumping to the tutorial, ensures you have the following,
If you are using images other than JPEG open it in Photoshop (convert it to RGB if not) and do Save AS and save it in JPEG with maximum quality.
  • Go to file>Open AS dialogue and select the desired JPEG image and change the mode to Camera RAW and open it. See the picture.
open raw
  • Photoshop will open the JPEG file as RAW file and you will get the most of the functionality.
  • Play with different settings and use Adobe help to find out more.
If you are using CS5 you will get an option called Clarity which is awesome fore close-ups and Macros.
defaultautoclarity 100 clarity100-vibrance 100-
1. Original     2. Auto  3. Clarity +100    4. Clarity –100     5. Vibrance +100
  • After finishing just click open and the photo will be opened in Photoshop’s native window. Then save it to desired format.
                    When you do Done in RAW window Photoshop will save the file with an external XMP eXIF data which have the edits. But it loses when you open it in other applications or do prints. Because only Adobe Photoshop can read that XMP eXIF data directly.
 
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