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Newbie texture problems

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Using NeHe tutorials 5 & 7 and a bit of trig, I''ve been able to make a sphere from quads. The idea is that I want to zoom in and out displaying a different level of detail or different textures. The sphere works and I have a very basic map of the world texture, but I have two problems: 1. The original bitmap had to be made a square before it would work. What format does the bmp file have to be in for it to work, as I would rather use a larger rectangular picture. 2. The picture of the world is very badly distorted. Does anyone have any experience of correcting such issues? Thanks Dave Steadman.

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The main problem is that your stretching a square texture around a sphere, so naturally things are going to be screwd up. You have two choices:
1. You can change your texture coordinates which would help a bit but not completely fix your problem.
2. You can change your texture to one that resembles a flat globe. It should look mainly like an oval and have a bunch of extra white space but thats ok we wont see that. The benifit is that you wont have to stretch it so much to make it fit because the texture was basicly unwraped off of the globe. The tricky part is the texture coords, but you said you already wraped it so you have the basic idea.

Other than doing that I can''t think of an easier way off the top of my head. Hope that helps. Oh and most video cards like the height/width of the textures to be a power of 2. Like 128x256, 256x256,64x512.

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