A Simple Way To Create a Small Planet Pano

May 06, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Anybody seeing the following picture would think the editing process must be horrendously complicated and take a very long time. Not true. The basics could be done in 10 minutes following some simple steps using a single image. The most important part is done automatically with a few clicks.

Bluebells Wood Pano Planet FinalBluebells Wood Pano Planet Final copy

Both Android and IPhone have Apps which can do this. For far better results though it is better achieved using either full Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or the free program Gimp. This will be demonstrated using an older version of Photoshop version CS5.

The ideal way to create a small planet is to take a 360 degree panorama. This though does have its problems at the taking stage with being sure to line up the images and then create a panorama. Doing it that way is more important for complex images such as architecture.

For a simpler introduction we are going to use a single image which is flipped and joined together so it goes back to the start when the image is edited into a planet. If you just use a single image the result will be a noticeable line at the join and a failure to join up in a round planet..

Note that if you try to join an original and flipped image to create a panorama using photomerge or similar commands in other software it will not work because the pixels are the same. Instead we will join them together manually. First note down the figures for width height and resolution. Start a new picture. Double the width and enter the settings for height and resolution the same as the original. First copy in the original and use the move tool to move it to the right. See below.

Pano Right Pano Right copy

Next on the original image go to Image - Image Rotation - Flip Canvas Horizontally. Copy the image and paste into the new image and move to the left as below.

Image Doubled copyImage Doubled copy

Note that the same tree is now on both outer edges.

Next we have to make the image square. Is will distort it a lot but is normal and it comes right later. To do this go to image – image size and now untick the usual options for constrain proportions. Then change the figure for pixel height to the same as width.

Make Square copyMake Square copy

After clicking OK we end up with this image.

Image Square Done copyImage Square Done copy

Next we have to turn the picture upside down. Not doing this creates an inside out planet. To turn upside down go to Image- Image Rotation and either 180 degrees or Flip canvas vertically resulting in this image

Image Upside Down copyImage Upside Down copy

Now we get to the magic part. Go to Filter - Distort - Polar Coordinates. In the window which comes up choose Rectangular to Polar.

Rectangular to Polar copyRectangular to Polar copy

Click OK and we get our planet.

Planet copyPlanet copy

For the final mage at the top of this Post I did some additional processing with more clarity and saturation and selective brightness adjustments.

Using this technique in the middle of bluebell woods is unusual. Most small planets have large amounts of sky above creating more of a planet look. Below are a couple more examples of what can be achieved.

First a poppy field and other fields leading down into a valley filled with mist and taken at Dawn.

Poppies Dawn Planet copyPoppies Dawn Planet copy

Next some fields with a track leading in and scattered clouds in the sky.

Patching Field Finished Planet copyPatching Field Finished Planet copy

Edwin Jones


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