I seemed to have missed a month of entries here, and so has my artwork output suffered, because of a distraction and semi-obsession with the Adobe Suite CS4 to try to create what might pass for artwork. For example, a very early on image done in Illustrator, shown here, was done in the .AI vector based format and subsequently used by other programs that further that project along, mainly Photoshop and After Effects. This figure will be seen again later, as it turned out to become a model for a sunface model carving I'll get to later.
This is another started as a vector based image in Illustrator. The eventual processing in Photoshop led to the next shot (below), which shows bands and fields of varying sharpness and blurriness. That was in turn a preparation for further work in After Effects, but before that it would still have to be turned into a three dimensional object.
Hard to believe, but here's how Photoshop projects this image into a spherical shape, based on whatever parameters it uses such as color and contrast differences. Hence the blurred areas translated differently and tended to have smoother textures and transitions. The large smooth projection facing south is the blurred outer perimeter of the original 2D image wrapped around the back of the sphere. Clear enough? Think you could predict what the projection would look like from the source? Pretty chancy, I'd say, but at least I figured out the blurred areas maneuver.
The three dimensional image above is then imported into After Effects where it is manipulated in 3D space, or rather, a camera orbits the object. In this first run through, viewing and zooming properties are all that can be manipulated. It's only after a movie is made of that result that the movie is imported back into After Effects and can be manipulated by the practically limitless Effects there. I made use mainly of deformation tools and the Glow effects to get to the final movie you can see on Youtube.
Having trouble using the site's YouTube viewer. Here you can find the final result.
Depending on the initial image conditions, these projections can be organic or structural. Here are some more examples of unprocessed initial 3D projections.