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  • Chris Owens

Creating a Tiny Planet

In this article I will show you how I created this Tiny Planet from a panoramic image made up from a series of individual photographs.

You can, of course, use a single image cropped to a panoramic format. To start with, try a crop of 3:1. Align the “surface” of the planet along the vertical centre of the image.

Firstly when creating your initial panoramic image make sure that the images that make up the ends of your final image look similar. They don’t have to be identical as we will tidy them up so that the wrap looks nice.

I initially process all my images in Lightroom. Here I set the colour balance and make adjustments to the brightness, contrast, etc. For this Tiny Planet, I used seven images.

From Lightroom the seven images were exported to Photoshop to create a panoramic image using “Merge to Panorama in Photoshop”. The layout type was set to Auto. This produced, after trimming, the following panoramic image.

The ends of the panoramic image were edited to produce a more suitable image – where the ends, with some help, would match up.

To improve the matching between the two ends a small slice from the left side is copied, pasted and flipped horizontally onto the right side. A mask was created for the copied slice, and filled with a graduated (white to black) fill from left to right. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect as the distortion in the next few stages will hide it!

Now, in order for our Tiny Planet to be circular, the panoramic image must be made into a square image. This was done by changing the image size (Image > Image Size) so that the horizontal and vertical dimensions were the same.

Next the image must be flipped vertically so that the centre of the planet is made up from the bottom of the image (ground) and the surround to the planet is made up from the top (sky).

Finally, the Tiny Planet was created by selecting the Polar Coordinates filter (Filters > Distort > Polar Coordinates). Make sure you select Rectangular to Polar.

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