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Tutorial: Create a live 3D-Earth with live clouds!

Written by , translated by devvv · Created on Dec 10, 2009, last updated over 13 years ago CC BY-NC License


Our user Nooster wrote a cool tutorial on his blog. He shows uns how to generate a realistic 3D globe with clouds that have been snapped by a sattelite live from space! Enjoy

Tutorial details

  1. 1

    We’re going to create the Live-Earth from 2 images – The earth itself and the clouds:

    Download the sample earth here from wikipedia:

    If you’re on linux use a terminal console and use this script to generate a real day/night brightness on the earth:

    Second, please download these real clouds image that is snapped by a sattelite from space every 3 hours:

  2. 2

    Open the image of the earth with GIMP and scale it to the size of your cloud-picture, for example 2048×1024 or 4096×2048) pixel. Click Image ? Scale Image.

  3. 3

    Use drag&drop to get the clouds image into your earth image. Then overlap the image with the clouds with the image of the earth.

  4. 4

    Change the layers mode of this layer to „screen“.

  5. 5

    Combine the two layers into one: Right click in the layers dialogue on the clouds layer – select „merge down“

  6. 6

    Filter ? Map ? MapObject…

  7. 7

    Pick “Ball” and “No background”.

    I disabled the light, but you can try it, let the sun shine ;-)

  8. 8

    I took the following for earth rotation: x=0,0; y=5,1;z=15,4

  9. 9

    After clicking OK the image is generated within seconds. Don’t forget to rescale the new image! Use the same size for width and height.

  10. 10

    Image ? Autocrop deletes the transparent border

  11. 11

    optional: To generate a spacy picture you need stars! So create a new layer, color it black and click on Filter ? noise ? HSV-noise ;-)

  12. 12

    Voilà: The realtime globe is ready! :-)


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This topic (Create a live 3D-Earth with live clouds!) has been rated 2.0/5.0.

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almost 13 years ago

Awesome thanks!

about 13 years ago

besmi llahi

chrimdl rated this topic with 2/5
about 14 years ago