I couldn't find this anywhere, which is really strange, but I'm trying to wrap a curve, imported from a .svg made with a vector image program around a sphere to create the Earth.

Basically, this is what it currently looks like:

enter image description here

I'd like to wrap the curve of the outlines for the land around the sphere in the middle of the scene.

I don't mind converting the curve to mesh at some point in the process, but it will be beveled or extruded first.

I tried Lattice (which didn't work because I couldn't get a result that matched the sphere's shape), I tried Curve modifier with a circle curve but that only made the map cylinder-shaped, I tried Simple Deform, Shrinkwrap and Warp but couldn't get these to make what I wanted either.

When using Shift+W here's what happens:

enter image description here


3 Answers 3


enter image description here

Using the exact technique used by Leon Cheung in this answer: How to animate morphing a rectangular plane into a sphere.

Using two empties and two simple deform modifiers in bend mode.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ This is the hardest thing I've ever done so far! (knowing how to angle the empties to get the right angle on the whole scene is quite confusing), so thanks so much! You're a 3D wizard! $\endgroup$ May 22, 2016 at 23:34
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    $\begingroup$ I take no credit. This question already had an answer... $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    May 23, 2016 at 3:54
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    $\begingroup$ True but you understood it and applied it much better than I did, it takes good grasp of Blender to understand empties and their direction... Also I was thinking about wrapping the map but now I know how to animate the wrapping beautifully. Opens horizons! $\endgroup$ May 23, 2016 at 3:58

Similar approach to the preceding answer, using curve, mesh deform and shrinkwrap modifiers.

The map mesh needs to be bendable. I started from a plane, subdvided and stretched to around pi. Add also a bezier curve.

Step1 : base map mesh (subdivided as it can bend)

Add a curve modifier to the map and set the bezier curve in it.

Step2 : a cylinder obtained with the curve modifier

Add a cube. Subdivide it in half horizontally.

Step3 : a cube to deform the cylinder

Add a mesh deform modifier to the map and set the cube as deforming object.

Step4 : binding the cube as deforming object for the map

Scale the upper and lower parts of the cube. The idea is to come close to a more or less spherical shape.

Step5 : the map deformed by the cube

Add a sphere as target of a shrinkwrap modifier in the map.

Step6 : the map deformed by the sphere

And then adjust by playing on either the bezier circle size, or the cube geometry.

Step7 : adjust the seams


You will have a hard time doing this accurately, even with a curve based object, but you can use a combination of a Deform > Bend Modifier + a Shrink Wrap modifier , it will need a sphere (or any other desired shape) object to wrap around to.


You will have to convert your curve into a 3D bezier first and then rotate it 90 degrees in the X axis while in edit mode otherwise the bend modifier will not work properly. The bend modifier will then create a base deformation upon which the shrinkwrap can work.


In any way it will be very hard to skin it properly afterwards. You probably better use your curve to Knife Project over a grid-like subdivided mesh first to create a "world shaped grid" object to deform over your sphere using the above method, so it will be easier to create the curved surface afterwards.


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