Caleb Ward posted a tutorial showing how to create a great looking Sunrise from Space scene in After Effects. The thing is, the tutorial doest really use any special 3D plugins or 3rd party tools to create the effect. Even though it looks as if the earth is 3D in the final clip, it doesn’t even use Cinema 4D to create the rotating effect of the earth.
a look at how to create an epic earth sunrise effect in After Effects
Essentially, Caleb uses the CC Sphere effect and a lens flare effect — Really simple. The rest of the Sunrise from Space shot is really all about stylization. The sunrise that takes place is a simple wipe from one night time image to a day time image. It is interesting to see how simple techniques like this can get you some really stunning results. Caleb does use Optical Flares for the lens flares in the shot, but with a bit of work, you can get Ae’s standard lens flare tools to work just as well.
Visit Caleb Ward’s site for more great tutorials and inspiration to get you motivated.
CC Sphere is pretty popular for creating globes and map type of animations easily. A while back, Mikey Borup had a tutorial that showed how you can create a newscast style 3D spinning globe in After Effects, and that used CC Sphere as well.
Adding a different component, Creative Congo’s Calvin Swaim showed how you can create a vector globe image in After Effects, using map data and CC Sphere.