Creating Microworlds In Photoshop

roundworlds

It started with some beautiful pictures by Russian artist Alexandre Duret-Lutz and moved on to a discussion: how was this done? Well, the following technique might not be exactly the same one, but at least it's really quick and rather hilarious.

Landscape

world_01

Find a good landscape. Preferrably a large image without too much going on in the sky as the sky will become a bit distorted.

world_02

In this case, I had the tree in separate layer, so I cut that out. The sky is going to be stretched quite a bit, so let's be clean.

Squarify

world_03

If you want a round globe-like end-result picture, your canvas has to be a perfect square. I expanded the canvas (Image - Canvas Size...) so the width and height were the same. I filled the new room with sky blue. It doesn't matter so much, as the topmost part of the sky will end up so distorted that we'll crop it away.

Flip It

world_04

The filter we're about to use is pretty old, so you'll have to do most of the work outside of the filter. So flip it vertically.

Polarize!

world_05

Now it's filter time: run the Filters - Distort - Polar Coordinates... filter.

world_06

It'll look like this.

Stitch

world_07

Zoom all the way in, and using the Clone Stamp tool, diligently paint over the vertical seam that goes from the middle, all the way up to the top of our sphere. The Clone Stamp (keyboard shortcut S) is used by holding ALT, then clicking a spot nearby where you want to smooth over things. Once you've selected a "clone source" you can paint normally and it'll clone the spot you selected.

world_08

I added back the tree I removed early on, for maximum fun.

Cowscape-world

Voilรก. Surreal Mario Galaxy.

Here are a few more pictures:

Liftoff-world-2
Liftoff-world
Treescape-world

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