better way to unwrap a uvsphere for planets

hi all,

this is a basic tuto on how to unwarp a uvsphere to apply an planet texture.

i’ve searched all over the internet and i haven’t found a clean way to unwarp a uvsphere, so i went to the #blender room and LOD came out with a clever solution.

So here it goes:

1- add a grid
2- unwrap it.
3- put the cursor under the grid (i did 1 blender unit, so it would make a default uvsphere)
4- from the side view wrap (shift+w) 180
5- from the front view wrap (shift+w) 360.
6- all done!!! :slight_smile: (select all vertices and remove doubles)

hope it helps!

thanks LOD.


Thats pretty neat. Thanks for sharing this.

hey paulo_gomes, nice tut. it helped me alot with some problems that I’ve been trying to deel with. Could you provide the pic that you’re using for the earth though please? And also it doesn’t show when I render.

A tutorial on rendering the Earth and links to the great images can be found here:

hi ddub, you have to apply the texture in UV, or push the tex face button on your material settings.

kolban, thanks for the link it has great resources.

That is genious!


thanks you all, but the credits it’s all for LOD from irc :yes:

Great tut…I have been trying to do a globe for a few weeks now but unwrapping an icospehere just wasn’t working out, your way is so much easier.

i’m glad you all like it :slight_smile:

hope to see some renders of your globe cipher_X

Well he you go…you aksed for it. Nothing fancy but your tut came in very handy as I am working on a multiplane simulated landscape prop that can be used over and over again in Daz Studio. Mapping spheres was becoming a problem as when you got closer to the poles the map was stretching but your way of mapping to a grid first eliminates that and opens up a wide variety of panoramic hdri possibilities that I was wishing for but never thought could be done with the normal mapping, Now the image maps perfectly to each individual face. In fact I am testing your tech on creating tiered cylinders that will be part of the prop as well.

Anyways for anyone wanting to know, in the shot below you have a planet mapped with your technique and then the whole scene is in a sphere that has a star field mapped to the inside (again using your technique). Ambient light is created by a third half shpere (GI dome) and then there are two spot lights to light the ship and meteors (one set to cast only shadows and the other to light).


that looks really cool, and sounds like an animation is coming… :slight_smile:

the only thing (i think) would make more sense is the direction of the shadows, if the sun is on the right side your shadows are in the wrong direction.

are you going to animate it?

well done man i like this idea allot

Nope no animation coming, this was just a test for the prop I was speaking of not a WIP. As for the shadows,lol I just threw in the sun in PSP at the last minute and didn’t even take into consideration the direction the shadows were already going,

Wow… This is very clever =)! Thanks for sharing, I hadn’t really used warp before but this gave me a lot of ideas. Great!

Yes, ingenious.
Thank you for sharing!
Don’t you want to add a final step?
“Select all vertices and press RemDoubles button.”

with the proper map you can directly lay it on the sphere
whitout UV mapping

have you tried it = its much faster
and you can get map at 4K 8K 16K and even 32K
and you have the choice for almost all the planet in the solar system

but that’s gone take a lot of time to render it


This is great for constructing objects as well. I was having a hard time adding detail to a spherical object.
Laying out the detail on a plane and then warping it into a sphere worked great - THANKS!

Wouldn’t it be easier to unwrap a sphere made from a cube? You know, subsurfing a cube a few times, and the unwrapping it. However, clever trick!

Issue 9 of the magazine also includes a tutorial on making planets.