I have decided to start Posting some of the noodling and practice I do for myself here as a sort of online, motion graphics sketchbook. I spend a few hours each day tooling around in Motion 5, wether it is for an actual work assignment or not, and most of those might not get to be seen otherwise.
The other day I was following along with a tutorial and was required to us a spinning Earth graphic from the library. A surface glance at the graphic makes it look like it is a 3D object that has been pre-rendered as a video file. Closer inspection reveals that it is actually a flat map of the earth, with an ocular distortion filter gliding across it and carefully realigning the whole group to keep the distoriton in the center. It's a very clever trick for creating a sphere out of a 2D plane!
I decided to try and replicate the effect myself and found a surface graphic of the planet Jupiter. From there the composition pretty much dictated itself, although I did have a tough time getting the layers to render in their 3D hierarchy the right way. I had some troubles compositing the star field as well, it was interacting with the layers above it in a strange way, and I wound up reentering the layers separately. The sound FX were added at the last minute for interest. Enjoy!