Blender 3D Tutorial

Creating a Globe in Blender 3D - cont'd.

Hit the U key, for UV Calculation, Unwrap, the select Sphere from View. The left screen shows Blender's calculation of the sphere's surface "unwrapped" onto a flat, 2D surface.

So far, so good - except for Greenland. Make sure that the sphere is still selected.

Click and drag the sphere with the middle mouse button until you can see Greenland.

You may notice a problem where the edges of the map overlap.  In this example, Greenland has a perfectly straight shoreline. This is because part of the map in the UV Image Editor is not covered by the sphere's grid in the UV/Image Editor window.

In the UV Image Editor window, hit the A key to de-select all vertices. Bit the B key once to create a Box-select. When you click the B key you will notice a "cross-hair" cursor.  Click and drag around the first one or two columns of vertices on the left of the map image to select an entire column of vertices. With the vertices selected, click the G key to grab the selected vertices. After clicking the G key you will notice that you can slide the selected part of the image sideways.  Line it up close to the edge of the map.

Repeat the process on the right side of the image until you have a more accurate image of Greenland.

You might notice that Greenland appears to be too narrow. This is because the columns of vertices that you have selected are stretched out of proportion to the rest of the columns. You can experiment by selecting various columns of vertices and stretching or moving them until you are satisfied with the results. I selected a wider area and shifted the entire area slightly to the right to compensate.

Changing the World's Axis

On the right screen, click Number Pad 1 to switch to Front View and select the sphere.  If you are in Object mode, just Right-click on the sphere.  Don't hit the A key in Object mode or you will select everything - the Camera and the Lamp as well. If you are in Edit mode, with the sphere already having been selected, you can click the A key to select All (of the sphere).

With the sphere selected, click R (for Rotate). You will see a dotted line extending from the center of rotation of the sphere. In the lower left corner of the screen you will see the angle of rotation as you move the mouse to rotate the sphere.

Type in -23.5 to put the earth in it's proper axis. (Make sure you put in the minus sign (-) or you will drastically change our weather patterns).

To Rotate the globe on it's proper axis:

Select the Transform Manipulation button and choose Local. You should notice the direction of the arrows change to new axis of the sphere.

Select the Rotate manipulator mode button, (green icon). Grab the Blue Z axis ring with the mouse and slide back and forth to rotate the earth on it's proper axis.

Zoom out so that you can see the sphere, camera, and lamp.

While still in Front View (Num pad 1), hit the Tab key to go into Object mode and select the Lamp, (Right-click the lamp). Click the G key to grab the lamp, and move it to line up horizontally with the center of the earth.

Rendering the Image

With the sphere selected, click on the Material button, the select Add New. This accepts the map image as the new texture.

You can also hit the F5 Hotkey to got to the Materials buttons.

Select the TexFace button. This accepts the material in the UV Image window as the color and texture information for the rendered view.

Hit F12 to render the image. We have a globe, but the pronounced longitudinal lines make it look like a pumpkin. Don't worry, we can fix this.

T. Carson 2021