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What is the best way to structure a global cloud animation, newbie needs help
post Nov 15 2010, 05:23 PM
Post #1


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Hi all,
I got interested in global cloud patterns and the problem of viewing them on a map.
I wonder if those neatly segregated Hadley and Ferrel cells have any overarching patterns when biannual equinoctial transfers occur.
And I presume any such patterns would be more evident on a well chosen constant-scale natural boundary world map than on any conventional map projections.
Maybe not. Maybe hurricanes just slip up the cracks between Hadley Cells and atmospheric circulation on earth is essentially a local phenomenon. But, the curious side of me got the better.
So i got a commercially available screen backdrop (Earthdesk) that shows a map of Earth (standard projections only; I used simple cylindrical) with real-time cloud patterns, and over the course of last year's hurricane season, took screen shots and saved them.
Then I warped each screen shot into my constant-scale natural boundary format, a world map of Earth bounded by African and Asian continental divides, on which both polar circulations will be circular, Equatorial circulation will be linear, and the African-continent source of hurricanes as well as the teleconnected antipode (think Singapore) are both true shape.
So, I've got 20 frames like this one too large to post here
Each frame is 40 megs, which, in aggregate, is way too large for me to process. I suspect it is also way bigger than I need to make a decent animation.
For example, this is a really fine animation. But what are the pixel dimensions which it is built on? What format is it saved in?
What formats allow for full-screen viewing?
I've never made an animation before -- "lossy" and "dither" are new terms to me. What settings are best for cloud fidelity?
I have Photoshop CS 2 to work in.
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post Nov 15 2010, 09:26 PM
Post #2

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Joined: 10-November 06
From: Pasadena, CA
Member No.: 1345

Here is a cheap and easy way to make an animation:

Load each frame into Photoshop as a separate layer.
It is usually best to put the earliest image (first in your animation) on the bottom, and the oldest (last) on the top.
(You may need to open each frame in a separate Photoshop window, downsize 50%, then copy/paste to build your ultimate layer stack)
It might also be helpful to have a background fill layer in case any of the layers do not fill the entire frame

To help coregister (align images), center the uppermost layer to where you like it, then set the blending mode to "Difference"
Then adjust the next lower layer so that the key features (continental boundaries in your case) line up and go black.
Select the next lower layer, and repeat until all the layers are co-aligned.

At the top of the stack, add any global Hue/Saturation, Levels, or Curve adjustments.
For each layer, individually adjust hue/sat, levels, curves using clipping adjustment layers to bring into line with other layers.
(Use either "difference" blending mode or blinking back and forth using "normal" blending mode, adding color samplers is helpful.)

Open the Animation timeline. You should see one frame.
Select "Repeat until forever" and set a time delay of 1 sec.

Unclick the visibility of all the layers (except global adjustments) except the first one in your animation.
Add a new frame, and click in the next layer of your animation.
Repeat until you are done.

(Click the "play" button on the animation timeline and you'll see the animation launch.)

When you are done, select "optimize animation", in the Animation window.

To export as a GIF, select Save for Web and Devices, and in the new window that pops up, select GIF.
Adjust size as necessary to get down to a reasonable file size (< 2 Mb)

Or, once you've got the animation built up, you can export as a video from Photoshop.

Hope that helps!

Some higher resolution images available at my photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31678681@N07/
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