You’ve probably seen some photos online of weird but interesting looking tiny planets. This isn’t a new Photoshop project but I thought I’d make some of my own photos into my own Tiny Planets.
To start with, I selected a photo from our family’s recent trip this summer to the Northeast. The photo that I found that I thought would make a good Tiny Planet was shot in Maryland while we were on the road. My husband was driving and I was on the passenger seat of our motorhome.
My criteria for selecting this photo are:
- Clear sky
- Interesting subject
- Similar things on each end of the photo – in this example I have trees that are quite similar in height and looks so I can easily blend them together.
As you can see, this is just an ordinary photo, with boring sky, power lines, and some movement at the bottom since the vehicle was moving fast. I didn’t even roll down the window when I took this photo. Nothing exciting here, just a snapshot.
In order to use this for my tiny planet creation, I had to make it into a panorama. I cropped the top and the bottom of the photo and I also did some minor adjustments to make the colors pop a little. This is what it looks like after some minor tweaking.
I did the cropping and minor tweaking in Lightroom as it is my tool of choice for almost all of my editing. The next step is to edit the photo in Photoshop. From Lightroom you can right-click on the photo in the Development mode then select Edit in > Edit in Photoshop.
These are the steps I took to edit the image in Photoshop.
- Change the image size to make the image square. In this case I made it 3000 pixels by 3000 pixels. (Image > Image Size)
- Rotate the image 180 degrees. (Image > Image Rotation > 180)
- Use the Distort Polar Coordinates filter. This is where the magic happens. (Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Rectangular to Polar).
- You will notice that where the two ends of the photo meet, there’s a distinct line. You need to use the cloning tool to fix that.
- Crop the image and rotate it to your liking.
- Save it then it will go back to Lightroom. In Lightroom, do some sharpening.
The final image looks like this.
Creating Tiny Planets was an easy but really fun project to do. I had so much fun that I made more Tiny Planets.
I hope this post inspired you to create your own Tiny Planet. As you can see from my examples, you don’t need an extra special photo to create this. Not all photos will work as a tiny planet though. You should take into consideration the elements in your photo that will make for interesting subject in your tiny planet. Also visualize what your tiny planet will look like when you apply the distort filter. If the elements on each end will somehow match, it will make for a better tiny planet.
Are you ready to make your own Tiny Planet?