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Cover image for Sci-fi Globe

Sci-fi Globe

sketchpunk profile image SketchPunk ・1 min read

Saw a fun sample of how to make this sort of globe using only points. The basic idea is that you generate points on a sphere, use any method you like really as long as you can figure out the UV coords for each point. Then take a texture mask, in this case an image of a globe. Then sample the texture for each point on the sphere and if its black (or white, depending on your mask), you can style your point however you like.

I first created a sample of spaced out points, then later on in the day someone showed me an article of how to distribute points on a sphere using fibonacci and golden ratio. So for funs I did that one too, since it gives a different type of look.

All the code is free.

[Demo - Evenly Spaced]

[Src - Evenly Spaced]

[Demo - Fibonacci]

[Src - Fibonacci]


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corjohnson profile image
Corey Johnson

Hey! I think the image you have on the page might be broken, I don't see a cover image for this article :( Excited to check this out later though!

sketchpunk profile image
SketchPunk Author

i got rid of the animated gif and just posted a still image.

rcarlson profile image
Robert Carlson

We're having issues rendering out larger gifs for the cover image. Our team is looking into this bug, sorry about that.

rgails profile image
Ryan Gails

This is awesome. What's the advantage of using Fibonacci over the Even Spaced method?

sketchpunk profile image
SketchPunk Author

Fibonacci is faster to compute I think, the code is simpler. The only real reason to use over the other is the pattern of the points. Fibonacci creates spirals and even spaced kinda makes grids. Depending on what your doing, what looks best to you is the winner.

When I played with Fibonacci, i noticed if I change the stepping of N from 0.5 to 1, its stops making spirals and the look it generates feels like distributed noise. So if you looking for random looking points on a sphere, Fib with that lil tweak would probably be the better choice.