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cwedl
Feb 7, 2006, 01:34 PM
Hi

I need an animated (preferably 3D) picture of the earth evolving through time, i.e. meteors hitting the earth and the continents splitting to their present configuration. I've looked on the web but with no luck? I not very good at graphic designing, but what software do you recommend me to use to create such an animation.


Thats



Mr. Anderson
Feb 7, 2006, 01:40 PM
Not a small request, that.

Where are you going to get your data on the continents? Also, what's the time scale?

You can do it 3D, but it would be a massive undertaking since you'd have to morph the surface of the earth over time. Clouds would be irrelevant and even the meteor/comet impacts would be happening too fast to see in the geologic time scale you're talking about.

Also, if you're using a globe as the model, you'll only be able to see part of the earth at one time - unless you make a duplicated next to it to show the other side.

Generally, you'll need to explain more of what you want to do to figure out what needs to be done.

Here's a 2D version of continental drift of the history of the earth.

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/geology/anim2.html

D

Josh
Feb 7, 2006, 01:52 PM
Nah, this shouldn't be very hard at all.

Since you are good w/ graphic design rather than 3D modelling, I'd suggest using Flash. Even though it is not technically "3D", you could make it look very, very, much like 3D.

You could, in Flash, draw a blank Earth (just water), then create a new layer for each period of continental shift, and then create tweens to smoothly animate from one period to the next.

Once you got the basic continental drift animation, you could then apply fancy effects such as lighting, texture, commets, space, etc to your layers to make it look really sharp.

Shouldn't really be *that* difficult at all. You can find images all over the net of what the continents looked like during certain periods of time, and just model your layers after that.

(You could even make each new content (as we have in present day) a layer, and also morph it as well as change it's positioning to create a super smooth animation. This would suggest creating the animation in reverse - going from now until Pangea, then just playing the final animation in reverse to get it to be chronologically correct)

whocares
Feb 7, 2006, 01:56 PM
Where are you going to get your data on the continents?


I do that for a living. We'll sort of. :D

Gerard Stampfli (http://www-sst.unil.ch/research/plate_tecto/index.htm) is one of the leading scientists in the area. Check out his globes.

aricher
Feb 7, 2006, 01:58 PM
That's a serious project you're taking about. Why not contact a library or observatory and see if there's a DVD they can steer you towards? Better still why not just hack the Genesis segment of Star Trek II - the Wrath of Khan?

http://accad.osu.edu/~waynec/history/tree/images/genesis1.jpeg

cwedl
Feb 7, 2006, 02:13 PM
Hi

Thanks for replies, I am making it for a presentation using apple keynote 3 and for a website that I have to do for a geology module at university. I normally spend ages on my presentations (like steve jobs;) ), because this is going to be my last presentation I want to make it extra special!

I am doing a presentation on: "Kenorland - the first supercontinent?" the module name is called Evolving Earth. and thought it would be nice to have an animated picture of the earth evolving. It doesn't have to be accurate at all!
as long at it follows this course.

Big bang - particles getting together, it growing, volcanoes on a red surface - to brown and then greeny and then 1 continent, possibly with dinosaurs on it, they could even be massive so they could be seen out of space and then splitting up of the continents to present day configuration.

I know it sounds a lot but I think it could be done!


cheers

any mores suggestions would be appreciated! If anyone's up for a challenge!?:D :)

CanadaRAM
Feb 7, 2006, 02:14 PM
I need an animated (preferably 3D) picture of the earth evolving through time, i.e. meteors hitting the earth and the continents splitting to their present configuration. I've looked on the web but with no luck? I not very good at graphic designing, but what software do you recommend me to use to create such an animation.

Oh, about $10,000 in 3-D animation software, three years at school and about 80 - 100 hours of work should do it for you.... ;)

Seriously, to pull that off with any kind of 'realism' requires major talent, graphically speaking. Start thinking maybe of how you can get your message across in a simpler way?

whocares
Feb 7, 2006, 02:20 PM
Big bang - particles getting together, it growing, volcanoes on a red surface - to brown and then greeny and then 1 continent, possibly with dinosaurs on it, they could even be massive so they could be seen out of space and then splitting up of the continents to present day configuration.

You may want to throw a few extra continental split-up cycles in there. It's a long wait between c. 4.5 billion years and 540 millions years. ;)

But I like the overall idea though. Also don't forget that life started long before the dinosaurs, although bacteria would really need to be upscaled. :p

ATD
Feb 7, 2006, 02:23 PM
I would stay with 2D (Flash, After Effects) if you have not worked in 3D. 3D apps like Maya/Lightwave take years to get good at. Even if you were well versed at 3D you are talking about a LOT of work there. ;)

cwedl
Feb 7, 2006, 02:25 PM
You may want to throw a few extra continental split-up cycles in there. It's a long wait between c. 4.5 billion years and 540 millions years. ;)

But I like the overall idea though. Also don't forget that life started long before the dinosaurs, although bacteria would really need to be upscaled. :p

Hehe, I could make the animation last 4.5 billion years then hehe.

Do you know if there was or is any debate over wether Kenorland was the first supercontinent? its just the way if phased. Thanks

Applespider
Feb 7, 2006, 02:31 PM
Just a thought - although obviously, it might depend on how big a part of your project this is (is it just an animation spinning while you cover something else or were you going to discuss each stage) and how you could credit the original makers - but how about some of the strategy games - Civilisation, SimCity?

Don't some of them have animations that start with the 'world' being created? Civ III is more about a city growing but SimCity 4 has an interesting 'green' field having rivers and volcanos added interspersed with shots of a city from the game?

ATD
Feb 7, 2006, 02:35 PM
Oh, about $10,000 in 3-D animation software, three years at school and about 80 - 100 hours of work should do it for you.... ;)



You could easily get by with $9000.00 of 3D software (Maya Unlimited + Real Flow + ZBrush) and 2 years of school at Gnomon at a mere $45,000.00. ;) ;)

cwedl
Feb 7, 2006, 03:03 PM
Just a thought - although obviously, it might depend on how big a part of your project this is (is it just an animation spinning while you cover something else or were you going to discuss each stage) and how you could credit the original makers - but how about some of the strategy games - Civilisation, SimCity?

Don't some of them have animations that start with the 'world' being created? Civ III is more about a city growing but SimCity 4 has an interesting 'green' field having rivers and volcanos added interspersed with shots of a city from the game?


Hi

Its just for the start of the presentation whilst I am introducing my topic, so I will not be referencing it in anyway.

decksnap
Feb 7, 2006, 04:27 PM
Maybe check the video store, your local library, etc. for documentaries on the subject, then find a way to rip it to Quicktime.

theorem7
Feb 7, 2006, 08:25 PM
If you want to try and use a 3-D animation program, you could try Blender:

http://www.blender3d.org/cms/Home.2.0.html

It's an open-source 3-D modeler. It would still probably take a long time to do, but it would eliminate the need to spend a lot of money.

CanadaRAM
Feb 7, 2006, 08:32 PM
You could easily get by with $9000.00 of 3D software (Maya Unlimited + Real Flow + ZBrush) and 2 years of school at Gnomon at a mere $45,000.00. ;) ;)
(I included taxes and summer holidays)

ATD
Feb 7, 2006, 08:54 PM
(I included taxes and summer holidays)


If you add upgrades and the time it takes to learn 3rd party renders (Mental Ray, Renderman) plus other programs like Real Flow and ZBrush we both underestimated it. :D

ATD
Feb 7, 2006, 09:44 PM
If you want to try and use a 3-D animation program, you could try Blender:

http://www.blender3d.org/cms/Home.2.0.html

It's an open-source 3-D modeler. It would still probably take a long time to do, but it would eliminate the need to spend a lot of money.


I was half kidding about the money that has to be spent on 3D apps. You can do some very nice stuff with cheaper or free apps, like Blender. If you factor in the time it takes to master most 3D programs (time is money, right?) they work out to being a lot no matter which way you go about it. I have not taken any classes in 3D but if I were to add up what I spent on training DVDs and the hours (both in the 1000s) it would be far more than the cost of the programs. :eek:

cwedl
Feb 8, 2006, 02:24 AM
If you want to try and use a 3-D animation program, you could try Blender:

http://www.blender3d.org/cms/Home.2.0.html

It's an open-source 3-D modeler. It would still probably take a long time to do, but it would eliminate the need to spend a lot of money.

Thanks will play around!

ATD
Feb 8, 2006, 11:54 AM
cwedl, I have a couple of ideas here. You should take a look at a program called Terragen

http://www.planetside.co.uk/terragen/mac/index.shtml

It's a landscape generator program that's very easy, makes very nice photo real landscape renders and it's FREE. It can take DEMs or you can make your own maps and these maps can be plugged into apps like Blender. It will not do everything you were asking about but it might help to a degree.

Also you might want to take a look at this DVD

http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/dvds/eha04.html

It's from the Gnomon School and it's about terrain based digital sets in Maya but there are things here that can be applied to other 3D apps. The guy who put this DVD together is Eric Hanson, one of the worlds best digital movie set creators. He did the backgrounds/sets for films like The Day After Tomorrow, Cast Away, and The Fifth Element. I have many of the Gnomon School DVDs and they are excellent. Hope that helps.

Rickay726
Feb 18, 2006, 10:04 AM
this is no small project your talking about... and with no background in graphic design your sol. cuz thats extremly hard for a beginer. sorry.