photoshop creative

Tutorial: How to use Photoshop Elements for a 360-degree planet panorama

Posted in:
General, by Mark White
September 13, 2013

Use Photoshop and Photoshop Elements to make a crazy composition!

Use a few cool filters to create this amazing effect in seven easy steps! We used Photoshop Elements here, but the effect can be achieved using the full Photoshop version too. Panoramic photos are most effective, as there’s plenty for Photoshop to stretch out and use for the surface. Try this out on a variety of images, such as landscapes and seascapes, and see what types of planets you can form. You can use the exact image we did by downloading it here. You’ll find that the larger the trees or buildings are on the horizon the better this effect will look.


Open up your landscape image or download this one ‘City Skyline.jpg’ to being (Right-click>Save as) Start off by going to the Straighten tool (P). Click a straight line across the entire image, from where the water meets the land.


To make this image square and stretch out the buildings head to Image>Resize>Image Size and tick the Resample Image box. Under Document Size, change Height to match the same dimensions as Width (104.46cm).


With the image now square, flip it by going back to the Image menu and to Rotate>Flip Vertical. This will turn the image upside down, as the image will be pulled upwards and connected end to end.


To create this effect, use the Polar Coordinates filter under Filter>Distort. Inside the filter’s menu, set it to Rectangular to Polar. There are no other settings in this filter, as your image is pulled up and around. Zoom in and out using the +/- controls to see what the effect is like and hit OK.


Where the two ends meet there’ll be a solid line. Select the Clone Stamp tool (S) and set its Size to 90 pixels and Opacity to 100%. Zoom in to 66% and Opt/Alt-click over a part of the image next to the join. Paint over the join to gradually fade it.


Crop off the distorted edges using the Elliptical Marquee tool (M). Set Feather to 0%, and holding Opt/Alt+Shift, click and drag from the centre of the planet outwards. This will form a circular marquee. You may need to zoom out for a better view.


Press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I to invert the selection and then Backspace to remove the distorted parts. Go to Select> Deselect, and then click on the Foreground swatch and select a blue from the image. Fill in the white space by going to Edit>Fill Layer. Choose Foreground Color and hit OK.