If we take the
panoramic technique a step further, we can create a
"planetoid" effect, which is definitely nothing
resembling a "screenshot" but which can still look
Step 1: Using the steps outlined in the
Pano Tutorial, create a 360º panoramic image. If
possible, edit it so that the edges match up (make
it horizontally tileable)
Step 2: Take your 360º panorama, and
rescale it to be square. Scaling it vertically to
match the horizontal length works pretty well, but
the important thing is that you stretch your
panorama into a square.
Also, rotate your image 180º so that it's upside
down. Leave it right-side up for a different look
Step 3: In Photoshop, simply apply the
Polar Coordinates Filter.
Select "Rectangular to Polar" and hit OK.
Result: If all goes well, you should
pretty quickly have something that looks like the
final result you're going for.
will have some stretching at the center of your
image. Use the Clone Tool, or whatever technique
you like, to cover it up and make it look like a
whole. You may also choose to extend you sky.
Again, the Clone Tool is great for this. Otherwise,
the image is pretty much done and you can edit it
as you see fit! Congratulations!
- If your final image has an obnoxious seam running
down the middle of it, it's because the right edge
and the left edge of your panorama don't match up.
This is why it's important to try and match those
up as much as possible. That in itself can be
tricky depending on how the images got merged
together, and whether the lighting effects are
consistent from one viewing angle to the other.
You'll probably need to break out the Clone Tool to
match these edges up. It's easier to do this before
you run the Polar Coordinates filter.
- The closer a pixel is to the bottom edge of your
panorama, the more it will be stretched by the
Polar Coordinates filter. Therefore, make sure to
shoot enough coverage of the "ground" so that your
hero elements (like buildings or spartans) will not
be too distorted.
- Shoot as many images as you need to within the
game. A good place to start is three rows of ten
images each. One row aimed low to cover the ground
area, a second row to cover the horizon line, and
third row aimed higher toward the sky. Don't get
too extreme with any of these highs and lows, but
make sure you have enough coverage of both the
ground and the sky.
- Below is a shot of Last Resort that shows good
vertical coverage. This gives you plenty of water
to create your planetoid and not stretch it too
much, as well as enough sky to work with.
(actually, the real image had slightly more sky in
- If you want an
image of what resembles a planet floating in space
or a sky, you'll need to be cautious when selecting
your vantage points. Make sure that whatever is
directly beneath you is a surface that extends
sufficiently, because this will become "the
planet." Also, make sure that you have a full view
of the sky in any direction, or your planet will
have objects stretching off the edge of the final
render. However, if you don't care so much about
the "planetoid" look, you have a lot more freedom
in selecting your vantage