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How would I create this kind of effect in Blender? Some kind of attracting material / cloth?

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ This actually looks like a simple 3D texture wrapped on a sphere, then moving through global space? $\endgroup$ – 3pointedit Jun 2 '16 at 22:46
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Extreme deformation meshes with blender tends to break the geometry of the mesh. Here I take a simple cube with 2 faces deleted and some twist modifiers. You animate by increasing the twist values. distort with modifiers

Otherwise you could use a procedural texture on a sphere, you map it to an empty that has an animated position. Use alpha values to cut holes in the sphere mesh. Remember to make the inside traceable in Blender Internal, otherwise Cycles will do this automatically, allowing you to cast shadows inside. Masked material

And here is the example blend file I made these images with:

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