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michiel | 16 years ago | 42 comments | 26 likes | 50,064 views

Tester, rsp, abcodie and 17 others like this!

The classic spinning globe animation is back. This time spiced up with the latest 3D rendering tricks!

The globe is rendered with a total of 5 different textures spread over 3 layers.

Layer 4 combines the colourmap EARTH.JPG with the bumpmap EARTH_BUMP.JPG by using the MULTITEXTURE\COLOURMAP_BUMPMAP.FX effect.

Layer 5 renders the dark side of the earth: EARTH_NIGHT.JPG, containing the city lights. This night texture is special because it must be rendered brightly where the globe is dark. For this purpose I've written the ANTILIGHT.FX effect that reverses the effect of the light.

From the left to the right you can see the night texture gradually being blended into the day texture. When you move the light position (the sun!) you can see the blending in action.

On top of this layer 6 renders the clouds. The sphere the transparent cloud texture (EARTH_CLOUD.JPG with its alpha map EART_CLOUD_ALPHA.JPG) is projected on is slightly bigger than the other spheres to create a nice parallax effect.

And of course a spinning globe isn't perfect without a nice wrap around text!

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This looks very realistic - great job!

Ulli, 16 years ago

So, how do you make these bump maps (with their specific colors and all)?

DaDa, 16 years ago

From the NVIDIA site you can download a Photoshop plugin that an be used to create bump maps. The plugin you need is called the "Normal Map Filter".

michiel, 16 years ago

Thanks, Michiel. I fooled around with the plugin a little and now I know how it works -- more or less. Aside from globes/spheres, I don't yet really see how I could use these bump maps. Maybe with pictures with glass ojbects? Any ideas anyone?

DaDa, 16 years ago

Actually, I wasn't talking about the usefulness of bump maps with texts (they're marvelous). I was thinking more of the use of bump maps with graphics as you did with the globe/sphere in the 'Dark Side of the Earth' show.

I now know how to create bump maps of graphics in Photoshop and I made quite a few. But so far I haven't been able to create any striking effects with the bump-map effect in flat photographs. In cases when spheres are used, such as the globe and the soccer ball that you posted earlier, the bump maps create an enhanced 3D-effect.

I just haven't been able to achieve similar results with graphics that were not rendered as spheres. So all ideas/suggestions are welcome!

DaDa, 16 years ago

How about this jigsaw effect?

michiel, 16 years ago

Great examples, Michiel, thanks!

Okay, it's pretty clear now: for this to work on flat graphics they need to be of surfaces that imply only a limited depth/3rd dimension. Such as the puzzle surface, the stone tiles; and possibly textiles, inscriptions, some keyboards, leaves, and so on.

DaDa, 16 years ago

That's great !

Now, How do you make it if applying as a background twinkling stars ?

snafu, 16 years ago

You can create twinkling stars with the particle layer.

Select the menu item LAYER / ADD PARTICLE LAYER and choose the TWINKLING STARS preset.

You can make the stars bigger with the SIZE property of the new particle layer. And you can make them pop up all over the screen by adjusting the LAUNCH AREA property to something like (400,400,0)

michiel, 16 years ago

This is a gorgeous animation. When I initially played it, the globe had sections missing from it. When I went to the settings menu and chose high quality, all was fine.

Anyone else experience this?


jla930, 16 years ago

Yes, that's right so make sure you're running this animation in high quality mode (with the menu item SETTINGS / HIGH QUALITY)

michiel, 16 years ago

I've updated the ZIP file with a version 6 compatible version.

michiel, 15 years ago

Well done Michiel

Lovely effect - just what I was trying to do

Thank you for the download


CJUK, 15 years ago

Michiel, the BT Zip files I download here, what folders do I put them in?


sham the sham, 15 years ago

It doesn't matter, you can place them anywhere you want.

michiel, 15 years ago

Is it possible to change the color for just one letter in the text on an effect like this? I tried duplicating the layer to change individual letters, but it isn't too precise.


mtnmiller, 15 years ago

Why isn't it too precise?

If you want you can create a layer for every character. This way you can give every character its own colour.

michiel, 15 years ago

Just received an e-mail with "Sender Unspecified" containing the following question:

I just tried a spinniing globe I got off the internet as a gif and a bitmap but lost the spinning effect that it originally performed. Is it because it saved as a gif or bitmap and I need it to save as a mpeg or avi file?

The answer is: you have to save it as a .bt BluffTitler show file. To do that left click on the thumbnail on this page to play the animation. Then choose FILE / SAVE SHOW + ALL MEDIA FILES .

michiel, 15 years ago


mau57, 15 years ago

Wonderful job, but where do you find the globe in BluffTitler....just purchase this ten days ago...any input would be welcome!


dgk, 15 years ago

This globe does not come with the installer.

You can store this animation on your harddisk by choosing Settings / Tool Window followed by File / Save Show + All Media Files...

The globe is rendered by layers 4 and 5 (the night and day versions)

michiel, 15 years ago

Thanks, Michiel....I took your advice and it works...WONDERFULLLLL!!


dgk, 14 years ago


I recently reinstalled my system and now your excellent spinning globe doesn't quite work. For some reason layer 4 - earth.jpg just doesn't display. Everything else works fine. Even with a fresh download of the show and all the media it's the same. Any hints would be much appreciated.


George, 14 years ago

Maybe your graphics card (or driver) doesn't support bump mapping.

Select layer 4, press F9 and clear the second texture and effect file. This will remove the bump mapping effect.

michiel, 14 years ago


Thanks for your reply. It is the bump mapping that is reported as being unsupported.

I've run this project successfully a lot since I first downloaded it back in 2006 and there were no problems until I reinstalled XP, upgraded to the latest Bluff Titler and DirectX 9.0c. I was even able to compare the results I'm now getting with the AVIs I created before the changes so I can see there is a marked degradation. I've individually rolled back the version of Bluff Titler and graphic card driver with no improvement.

I'm forced to conclude that it's the latest version of DirectX that's the problem. The sting is that you can't roll this back unless you created a restore point in XP.

So now I'm looking for a new graphics card as this is likely to be less hassle than rebuilding XP from scratch again.

The moral is, "if it ain't broken, don't fix it!"

George, 14 years ago

I have only had your excellent program a few hours and already what took me weeks is completed..

Plug and Play is what it is..

Your Templates are fantastic...More is Best

My skill level is extremely basic and i need access to some form of training - what do you suggest??


Michaelauknz, 14 years ago

Thanks Michael!

Here's a getting started lesson:

michiel, 14 years ago

Great download I will use it for our trip to New Zealand
Thank you very much Bri.

Bri, 14 years ago

This is tremendously exciting. I have looked for this type of environment to be able to 'grow' in my craft. Thank you for your wonderful talent. I don't know where to start.

Where do I get the globe and the other parts to assemble such a wonder?

songweaver, 13 years ago

On the help page you can find out how to download gallery shows to your harddisk:

michiel, 13 years ago

1) I'm trying to get the text to stay at a constant Laditude as it spins around the globe. I've adjusted the Y Text Rotation to 22.0, which only works for the first and last key frames. Even though there are no key frames in between it continues to dip down and then back up.

2) Also I don't see any changes in the background. The only animations are the earth and text. Is anything else supposed to be animated?

CaptainKen, 13 years ago

You can change the latitude by changing the 2nd slider of the TEXT POSITION property.

I'm not seeing an activity in the background either. But those stars are light years away, so no surprise they appear static :)

michiel, 13 years ago

Thank you for your reply and suggestion.

The issue is what is going on in the middle of the animation. The beginning and the end is ok, therefore the settings are correct at those points I guess. I did try your suggestion for the heck of it, but no effect in the middle of the animation.

Here is a link:

CaptainKen, 13 years ago

This has to do with the order of the rotations. BluffTitler applies the pitch (the 2nd slider) after the heading (the first slider)

You can switch to the CIRCLE 3 composition, use a CHARACTER ROTATION of (0,90,0), a TEXT ROTATION of (0,248,0) and then animate the 3th slider of the TEXT ROTATION prop.

This way the text no longer dips, but does not stay at a fixed latitude, so I guess that's not what you want.

Doing that is much easier: simply move the text upwards to the desired latitude with the TEXT POSITION prop and leave the 2nd TEXT ROTATION prop to 0.

michiel, 13 years ago

Sorry, but apparently I'm not understanding you properly, as I still can't get it to work correctly.

I left the Circle at 2 and changed the TEXT ROTATION settings to 0 and then played with the TEXT POSITION settings, with no luck. Please see video of my attempts here:

CaptainKen, 13 years ago

Maybe you mean altitude instead of latitude?

You can control the altitude by adding/removing spaces at the end of he text.

michiel, 13 years ago

Adding spaces only increases the distance the text is from the earth as shown in the link. Any chance that you could give me the exact settings?

CaptainKen, 13 years ago

Yes that is right.

You can change the altitude by adding spaces at the end of the text

And you can change the latitude with the POSITION property.

I think you do NOT, in contrast to what you're saying, want to keep the text at a "constant latitude". I think you're looking for this effect:

-switch to the CIRCLE 3 effect
-use a CHARACTER ROTATION of (0,90,0)
-use a TEXT ROTATION of (0,-60,0)
-animate the 3th slider of the TEXT ROTATION

michiel, 13 years ago

Thank you, your settings got me very close to where I needed to be. The text isn't completely parallel with the equator, but I think I can get my boss to buy off on it.

I greatly appreciate your time and help.

CaptainKen, 13 years ago

The final project file and video can be found here:

CaptainKen, 13 years ago

Michiel, I'm way beyond impressed!

IntroChamp, 12 years ago

Excellent and fantastic, thanks for your animation

cultore, a year ago

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About michiel

Michiel den Outer is the founder and lead coder of Outerspace Software. He lives in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

If he isn't busy improving BluffTitler, he is playing the piano or rides the Dutch dikes on his bikes.

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