How to Make a Model Earth on a Computer

With graphics programs, you can create almost any type of image on your computer. There is no limit to how realistic you can make the image look, though refinements can maximize the realism of the image. For starters, you can use many basic techniques, such as resizing and filters, to create a basic planet Earth that you can later make adjustments to, as your digital art skills improve. Make small tweaks and adjustments to your planet to not only learn the program, but also make the image your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Graphic design program

Instructions

    • 1

      Find a picture of a map of the Earth that does not have details. The continents and the ocean should be solid colors. Turn the picture into a file that a graphics program can open, such as .jpg or .pnc. If it is an actual offline map, take a picture of it with a digital camera and upload it to your computer or place the image in a scanner – if it fits – and operate the scanner. When it is from a website, download it. Images can often be downloaded by right-clicking on it and selecting “save” or “save as”.

    • 2

      Open Photoshop. Click on “File”. Click “Open”. Go through your computer and find the scanned image. Open it. Create a new layer by using the “layer” panel and clicking “Create a New Layer”.

    • 3

      Go to the “Tools” panel and find the “Elipse” tool. Click and drag the elipse in blue. Click “paint bucket” from the "Tools" panel. Fill the circle in with blue.

    • 4

      Click “Magic Wand” on the tools panel. Go to the layers panel and click on the layer with the map. Click on the oceans on the map and press “delete” on the keyboard. Use this technique to delete anything else other than the continents.

    • 5

      Go to the Layers panel, click and drag the layer with the map to the top. Select “Rectangular Marquee Tool” on the Tools panel. Click and drag the marquee tool until the continents are inside the rectangular box.

    • 6

      Go to “Filter,” point to “Distort” and select “Spherize”. Move the slider to 100 percent. Press “OK”. Use the rectangular selection box and click and hold one of the corners. Drag the corner to resize the continents. Continue to drag until the continents look realistic on the sphere.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you cannot find a panel, go to the Windows menu at the top of the program and find the name of the panel you are looking for. Clicking on the panel will make it appear.
  • Add a highlight to the part of the planet that sunlight is hitting and darken the area where the sun isn’t hitting to make the Earth look 3D.
  • Be sure to save your file often.
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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

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