Moving panes in and out on a sphere around camera.

I’m working on an oculus rift OS environment mockup for fun, but I’m having a hard time animating things. I want them to animate in 3D and I’d prefer to stay away from animating in 2D and using that as a texture.
My issue is that scaling the sphere doesn’t do anything but change the distance, the seen size from the perspective of the camera (which is at the center) is exactly the same.
Scaling the texture using mapping sort of works, except it also requires corrections for rotation.
Any suggestions? I basically want the same sort of effect that existing OSs have on opening a minimized window (ie growing from the taskbar/dock). Doesn’t need to stretch in any weird ways, just purely scale up.