My first time posting, but I've already learned a lot from lurking around here over the last week, so thanks all.
For my first project I wanted to model the earth 100 million years from now based on the youtube linked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGcDed4xVD4
I started by projecting an equirectangular displacement map (white continents, black oceans) onto a globe, and then extruding the continents with a displacement modifier. I then sectioned the continents from the globe using a boolean difference modifier with a second globe just-about the same size, leaving me with a loose continent "skin". I seperated the continents into individual objects, rigged them and moved the continents, and voila:
And that's where I'm stuck. I want to unwrap this new earth and create a new equirectangular world-map from it, but for the life of me I can't figure out how. Straight unwrapping it isn't working. I suspect the combined geometry of the raised continents and globe and everything is just too complex. I've tried simplifying things using decimate, I've tried dissolving and otherwise cleaning up, I've even tried shrink-wrapping another globe over the model and using THAT instead, but I can't seem to get rid of the shrinkwrap "stretch lines" around the raised areas.
I'd appreciate any advice. I'm new to blender and to 3d in general, so my understanding of modelling is limited to what I could glean from forum posts and youtube tutorials - I expect there are much better ways to solve this problem than how I went about it.
Here is a .blend containing the model as far as I've managed to take it:
Note: Each face on the sphere is 10 degrees by 10 degrees, but I've added a cylinder each at 0 latitude and 0 longitude for convenience. I left them out of the model I tried to unwrap.