August 1, 2010

28

How to make a Globe/Planet photo manipulation in GIMP

This photo manipulation is called a stereographic projection, which takes a standard photograph and stretches it around in a circle creating a Globe or Planet like image!

Planet Photo Manipulation in GIMP

Planet Photo Manipulation in GIMP

1. Starting – Cropping

  • Open up your image – preferably one with lots of depth of field and landscape!
  • Duplicate Layer, and hide (uncheck eye):
  • Crop your image – an even balance of sky and ground:
  • Crop Tool settings: Guides: Center Lines:
Duplicate-Crop

Duplicate-Crop

1.b Seamless Join (optional)

  • To make a more seamless join later you may consider making duplicate sides:
  • Increase your canvas size on one side – 500px (Image –> Canvas Size…):
  • Make a selection of at the opposite end and float it: Select –> Float – make it a new layer and duplicate it:
  • Move the selection in the space at the opposite end:
  • Add a Layer Mask (White) – ‘Right Click’ on Layer:
  • Use Blend Tool with FG Only: Black, Bi-Linear:
  • Blend the overlap:
  • Crop to size and cut off excess:
  • Apply Layer Mask and Merge Down (‘Right Click’ Layer) after you have finished:
Seamless Join - Masking

Seamless Join - Masking

2. Resizing – Square

  • We need a square image so, go Image –> Scale Image…
  • Set the width to your original height so they are the same – uncheck the proportions lock first (chain):
Resizing - Square

Resizing - Square (Image --> Scale Image...)

3. Polar Coordinates

  • To make the Planet go, Filters –> Distorts –> Polar Coordinates…:
  • Settings: 100, 180, To Polar (as shown):
Polar Coordinates

Polar Coordinates

4. Retouching – Masking (Skip if completed 1.b)

  • Since this is not a 360° image it is not continuous, so we need to retouch the join:
  • Duplicate Globe Layer:
  • Rotate top layer until clear of the join – about 90° (Layer –> Transform –> Rotate 90°):
  • Add Layer Mask (White) – ‘Right Click” on Layer or Layer –> Mask –> Add Layer Mask…:
Duplicate - Rotate - Add Layer Mask

Duplicate - Rotate - Add Layer Mask

  • Use the Blend/Gradient Tool with Radial and FG Only: Black:
  • Mask away the line (small strokes).
  • Use the Brush Tool if you need to refine things: Circle Fuzzy:
  • Apply Layer Mask and Merge Down (‘Right Click’ Layer) after you have finished:
Layer Masking

Layer Masking

5. Centre Retouching (optional)

  • You might like to fix up the centre, it can look heavily stretched:
  • On your Original (Background) Layer make a selection of the foreground, use the Ellipse Tool:
  • Float the selection, go Select –> Float:
  • To allow a Layer Mask you’ll need to make it an actual layer, *Click* the New Layer Button:
  • Add Layer Mask (White), use the Brush Tool and smooth out the edges:
  • Apply Layer Mask and Merge Down (‘Right Click’ Layer) after you have finished:
Centre Retouch

Centre Retouch

6. Rotate – Crop

  • Simply rotate your image to your preferably orientation (Layer –> Transform –> Arbitrary Rotation):
  • And, crop off the edges:
Rotate - Crop

Rotate - Crop

That’s It!

Here is another example, where water is ideal as foreground:

Sydney
by Michael Scott

For some more tips go here!

If you get stuck anywhere just comment below!

Planets | Inspiration

Planets | Inspiration

For some inspiration please checkout:
Planet (Stereographic Projection) Photography

If you’d like to use these photographs please Contact Me!

Please comment below if you have any questions and I’ll answer them ASAP!

All images on this site are copyrighted© – All Rights Reserved.

Written by Mike

Michael Scott is the publisher and photographer behind Scott Photographics! He is very passionate about his photography and enjoys sharing the best of his experiences for others to enjoy too! Contact Mike via email!
Read more from Featured, Gimp, Tutorials
28 Comments Post a comment
  1. lisa
    Apr 29 2014

    Loved your tutorial, had problem with step 5 but I improvised and used the smudged tool actually liked the way it turned out. Still new too Gimp, will be following

  2. May 6 2013

    Hi Kate,

    It may be a case of resizing / cropping your photograph to the right proportions. In this short tutorial I show how the distortion is most effective on the outer and inner edges: http://www.scottphotographics.com/planet-tutorial/

    Let me know if that works!

    Thanks,
    Mike

  3. Kate
    May 6 2013

    Hey, i tried to do this with the London skyline, but all the buildings were badly distorted (the gherkin was just a stripy circle), how do i reshape the buildings?

  4. Oct 30 2011

    Hey John,

    Yeah this is a tricky step. Just double check your layers, make sure the mask is in the right place and the layers are position in the right order.

    If you are still having trouble you can email me.

    Mike

  5. John
    Oct 30 2011

    Hey Mike
    It’s me again. I’m having problem with the center retouching step. Went through all the steps but the paintbrush does not work i.e there’s no smoothing of the edges.

  6. Jun 10 2011

    Hey Warwick,

    What part are you having a problem with?

    Make sure that your working layer is on top (in your layers tool bar), and your using a White Layer Mask and your gradient tool has black foreground colour.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  7. Warwick
    Jun 9 2011

    hey i cant get rid of the joins??

  8. Dec 22 2010

    Hi Cameron,

    Sorry for the late reply, you may need to make that Floated Layer a new layer, so *Click* the new layer button in the layers panel!

    If that doesn’t fix it just comment and I’ll see what else could be the problem!

    Thanks,

    Mike

  9. Cameron
    Dec 18 2010

    Hey, I am stuck at step five. I cannot creat a layer mask on the floated layer

  10. Oct 14 2010

    I really get amazed with what we can create with Gimp software. I think I should begin writing some Gimp tutorials.

  11. Aug 3 2010

    Yes, you can apply it to anything and the 360degree images are very cool!

  12. Aug 3 2010

    Great tut. I stop to use hugin in order to create planets ;)

  13. Caesar Tjalbo
    Aug 3 2010

    Add. To give you an idea, take the labels on the Pink Floyd record Animals:
    http://www.pinkfloydarchives.com/Discog/Sweden/LP/Animals/labels.jpg

  14. Caesar Tjalbo
    Aug 2 2010

    I’d say that if you’d use this technique on a 360 deg image, you’ll get something close to a fisheye lens.

  15. Aug 1 2010

    Thanks for the feedback :)

  16. Lilly
    Aug 1 2010

    great tut! .. thanks :)

  17. Alex
    Aug 1 2010

    Thanks for the tutorial. Looks easy to follow, so I hope to try it out soon.

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