How to create your very own planet... In 3 steps!

Do you want to read a long (yet witty, because that's how we roll) intro on how to make these fantastic planets or do you want to get started? Cool, that's what we thought.

Planet Florence

Here are the steps:

1. Take a panorama photo

2. Transform photo into a square and rotate 180 degrees

3. Apply the polar coordinate filter.

Simple right? Let's get into it.

STEP 1: Take a panorama photo

We feel like most of you know this already. So we won't go in depth. However there are a few things to keep in mind regarding the composition. We will explain more of that at the end of the article as it will make more sense. 

Step 2: Transform into a square and rotate 180 degree

We are using Adobe photoshop for editing purposes. 

- Drag the panorama into photoshop.

- Hit Command A (or ctrl for windows) to select all. Then Command C to copy to clipboard.

- Command N to open a new file. The new dialogue box will have the dimensions of your copied photo.

 

- Change the width to match the height and hit OK.

- Now paste the photo with Command V then start the transformation with Command T. (or go to edit -> free transform)

- It will look squished like this.

- Now rotate the square 180 degrees and hit enter to confirm the transformation.

And that is all there is to step 2. 

 

Step 3: Apply the polar coordinate filter

- Choose rectangular to polar and hit enter.

DONE! See? Easy right?

Well in a perfect world you would be done. If your panorama is perfectly horizontal with perfectly aligned endpoints. Look closely at the top centre of photo above photo. There is a mismatch. See below for a clearer example. 

 

The height of the lnscape and the brightness of the sky did not match in the original panorama. These are trickier to do in some lighting conditions. See the original below. Nice photo, meh for making planets.

Now you can either use half of the photo (it's still pretty cool), or you can try to fix it. 

Planet Istanbul

The photo above isn't that fixable. The mis-alignment is too great, and requires too much content creation for it to do the beautiful skyline justice, for our liking anyways.

Now if your panorama is well balanced, it will come out a little something more like the photo below. The line is much more subtle. And here is how to polish it off.

 

Touch up: (It's still technically 3 steps okay?!)

In photoshop, select the clone stamp tool and set the flow to 50%. If you are not familar with clone stamp, this is what it does. It takes a selected reference point of the photo, and lets you brush/paste it to a different area.

Hold down the option button and select (click) on a reference point slightly to the left or the right of the line. Then release the option button and start painting on the line to blend the 2 sides. 

You may want to play with the flow and consider what you want to blend. Sometimes you may even want to copy trees or buildings from one side to the other with 100% flow to make the planet look more seamless. 

Planet Vancouver

And there you go. We only spent around 2 minutes brushing up planet Vancouver above. It's not the prettiest blending job out there but we hope you get the point.

Tips for panorama composition:

- It is preferable that the dividing line(s) (red) in the photo (ocean to land, land to sky) stays horizontal so the end point meets.

- The same goes for the brightness on the 2 ends of the photo.

- Play with the ratio of the panorama. A longer panorama DOES NOT MEAN its better! 

- Leave enough room for the sky/ocean. Too little room on the top/ bottom can result in heavy distortion of the city scape. (See below)

Final fun tip: If you skip the rotation in step 2. You get a "Well's eye view"!

And that's it! Have fun, enjoy your planets. Aren't you glad to be able to do more with your panoramas now? 

If you like the article please like and share it with your friends! Follow us for more tutorials and check out www.town30.com for our products. We wish we had created them sooner for ourselves!

Yours truly,

Team Town 30.

 

 

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