Some friends here in wordpress asked how did i do that planet. That’s the easy explanation. I found it on the web so this San Francisco photo is not mine but as this is a technical thing i think it doesn’t matter. Have fun and try with your own panoramas…

Starting Simple: Planet San Francisco

It’s simplest to work with a 360 degree panorama, so let’s start with this panorama shot of San Francisco taken from the Coit Tower:

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Step 1: Resize and Rotate

screenshot1_thumb.jpgThe first thing we need to do is prepare the image for the Polar filter. We do this by stretching the height of the image so that the image is a perfect square.

Select Image>Image Size from the menus. Uncheck ‘Constrain Proporties’ and set the “height” to the same value as your “width”. Next, rotate the image 180 degrees. (Image>Rotate Canvas>180)

You should end up with something like the image to the right.

Step 2: Apply the Polar Filter

Next, we’ll apply the Polar Filter to wrap our image into a sphere.

Choose Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates from the menus and in the resulting dialog box, select the “Rectangular to Polar” setting.

(If you’re using The Gimp the command is Filters > Distorts > Polar Coords.)

As you can see we’re 90% of the way there!:

Planet San Francisco, almost complete!Easy cheesy, right? Now for some finishing touches…

Step 3: Rotate and clean up

The rest is just a little digital darkroom work: Rotate the planet to your liking, adjust the contrast and colors, clean up the sky and the edges where the left and right border of the image came together. (The clone stamp and healing brush may be handy here.) That’s it, we’re done!

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