Cooking up a Moon

I’m about to create a class on Skillshare to show how to build a space themed picture based on this tutorial. I aim to publish this class around the end of January. In addition to the background painted in Pixelmator, and the texture modified and bump map created in Affinity Photo, other teachers may contribute some backgrounds and textures, e.g., a space background painted in water colour, or watery stripes to wrap around a sphere to replicate a gas giant.

When it comes to Skillshare tutorials, I’ll be encouraging students to download Cheetah 3D. However, because trial users can’t save their files, I’ll supply the document so all I have to show them is how to add the background image, moon texture and bump maps, then hit render.

It would be nice if the trial version was fully functional for, e.g., 30 days so that users could save their work while they are learning. This would help in developing classes for Cheetah 3D, and lead to more sales of Cheetah 3D.

Here is the latest image using a seamless texture. My next challenge is correcting the distortion at the poles (see screenshot). Does anyone have any ideas on how to do this? I presume I’d have to do this to the texture and bump map before importing them into Cheetah 3D.


Hi Chris,

looks like your texture is not a proper equirectangular projection.

The poles (Zenith, Nadir) are located at the top and bottom edge and are stretched to the entire width of the image. Areas near the poles get stretched horizontally.
If you were to paint such a map, you'd need to somehow draw the proper distortions into it.

No idea if there are tools out there to help with that, sorry :redface:


Thanks misoversaturated

I’ve just been watching the Affinity Photo 360 live editing tutorial, and I think that will be the answer. I should be able to drop pancake crater images onto the pole areas, and use the clone tool to clean up the edges.


I can confirm that Affinity Photo's live 360 editing functionality is perfect for creating equirectangular projections.

I just gave it a go.:D

Before and after images are below, along with the new pancake-based equirectangular projection.

Now I know what I am doing, I'll try again and also create a new bump map.