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Learn how to create this panoramic Earth graphic with Photoshop! This tutorial will show you how you can use your own images to create your own panoramic planet.
Preview of Final Results
Panoramic Earth Photoshop Tutorial
Step 1 – Creating the Sphere
Create a new document about 2500x1500 pixels and set the background to transparent. Select the Elliptical Marque tool (M) then draw a circle. Hold down the shift key while drawing to create a perfect circle.
Step 2 – Add a Gradient
Select the Gradient tool.
In the options bar, set the gradient to radial.
Create a gradient like shown below. I used these colors to get an earth feeling. Light from the inside, dark at the outside.
Begin in the centre and click and drag to the outside of the circle. Then you will end up with this result:
Step 3 – Create the Shine layer
Create a new layer above the sphere. Take the Elliptical Marquee tool and draw a circle. Select the Gradient tool then create a gradient from white at 100% opacity to transparent.
Create a gradient from the top of the selection to the bottom.
Use the Free Transform tool (Edit > Free Transform) if you need to scale or move it. Set the opacity to around 74%.
Step 4 – Create a cutout of a tree
First, put all the upcoming layer above the sphere! I began with a beautiful Cork Oak, a photograph i made in Portugal. Select the Magic Want Tool (W) and begin to select/delete the surrounding area.
Select the area(s) and hit delete. You can use the Eraser Tool (E) to delete some area that did not select.
Here’s another trick to delete all the unwanted pieces. Choose Select > Color Range then choose the color of the blue sky with the color picker tool. I used a Fuzziness of 100. Then press OK and hit delete. Now all your selected color has disappeared!
To check if you really not forgot some unwanted area, give the background a notable color. Green!
If you are finished with delete unwanted area's, you can place the Oak on the sphere. Put this Oak on the north pole of the sphere. Don’t forget to name all of your different layers!
Step 5 – Add a lighthouse
The second picture is a lighthouse with some foliage around it. This photo was taken in Denmark and is a great way of covering a large area of the sphere.
Warp this image using the Edit > Transform > Warp tool.
Carefully warp the image to fit the sphere.
If you get it in the right curve, use the Magic Wand Tool (W) or the Eraser Tool (E) to delete unwanted sky pieces. You can also use the color range selector we used earlier to delete unwanted areas of the picture.
Step 6 – Add an elephant
This picture is taken in The Netherland during a zoo visit! Use the Pen Tool (P) and carefully draw around the elephant.
Then when you are finished with the Pen Tool (P), right click on the pen line and choose Make Selection.
Hit delete and you have a cut out elephant. Place this on the left side of the north pole of our sphere.
Step 7 – Add some tulips
Now we are adding some beautiful tulips! This picture is made in The Netherlands as well, during a really nice sunny day in April!
I cut out a piece of the photo i need for the project and rotate it like this. Then I deleted the areas we don't need with the Eraser Tool (E) and with the Magic Wand Tool (W).
Choose Edit > Transform > Warp then warp the photo of the tulips around the sphere. You don’t need to warp it completely around the sphere because we delete some area's later.
Step 8 – Add the broadcast tower
Now we are going too add the 5th and last picture into this project. I think it is a picture of radio/TV broadcast tower. This photo was also photographed in The Netherlands during the same day as the beautiful tulips.
Cut out this tower with the Pen Tool (P). When you are finished, right click on the pen line then choose Make Selection. Place the tower on the west side of the sphere.
Step 9 – Mirror the image
I hope you named all your layers! Now we are going to mirror all the pictures to the other side of the sphere. One by one duplicate your layers, so -tulips- duplicate become -tulips mirror- etc.
If you have done that, then one by one select the layers and checkmark Show Transform Controls.
Drag the picture diagonal, so it will mirror. Then to scale it correctly adjust the settings to -100% :
Then place the selected picture at the right location, exactly opposite of the original. Then when you have mirror all the pictures, Ctrl + click the sphere layer to select it. Choose Select > Modify > Contract and play with the setting to shrink the selection but not too much! Don't contract the selection that much or else it would not go beyond any picture! I have made the sphere black & white so you can see witch area's will be deleted so you get the idea of what we are doing.
With the sphere selection enabled, go through all layers separately and hit delete to erase the pieces of the picture that hangs over the sphere to much. If you have done that with all the layers you will end up with something like this :
Step 10 – Add a Green Photo Filter
I used different filters to adjust the colors. Hue and saturation and exposure settings are the most common i used. But first i used the photo filter to give all the picture layers a greenish photo filter. The color i used is the color from the outside gradient of the sphere. So they will match a little bit better.
Give all the layers (except the elephant) this photo filter adjustment.
I do not want to ruin the beautiful tulips color, so select out only the green section of it. Use the color range selector we used earlier:
Step 11 – Further adjustments
Also apply the Exposure and Hue/Saturation filters on the pictures to lift up the colors:
For the people who want to know exactly witch settings i used :
- Tulips: (always mirror and original) Exposure +0.92 Offset -0.0137 Gamma 1,02.
- Tulips: Hue +7 Saturation +40
- Oak: Exposure +0.65 Offset -0,0765 Gamma 0,78
- Danish tower: Exposure +0.39 Offset -0.0333 Gamma 0,91
- Broadcast tower: Exposure +0.81 Offset - 0.0412 Gamma 1,08
For the elephant i used the setting Equalize. This give the elephant(s) the right color setting for this project.
If you have done all of that, you have something similar to this:
Step 12 – Add the Earth text
In the next steps we are going to insert the EARTH text. Use the Type Tool (T) and create you own text or follow my text. Rasterize the text, right click on the text layer and choose rasterize. I gave the text a little bevel in blending option but you can also do it later*.
Then spherize the text about three times at 100%.
Also you can use a little bit warp (Edit > Transform > Warp) to get it complete right.
I cut out the letters E and A then put them on a different layer. Also did the same with the T and H. I did that because I want to create different drop shadow effect.
When you give the EA & TH its own layer, select the EA layer, right click on it then choose blending options.
Right click on the layer then choose Blending Options. Give it a drop shadow. Uncheck the Use Global Light option. Pay attention to the angle of the drop shadow. Repeat this for all the letters. Use the opposite angle setting for the T and H letters. The letter R should have no drop shadow.
When you have done that you will end up similar like this:
Step 13 – Smooth the Edges with the Smudge Tool
Now I am going to use the smudge tool (R) tool smooth raw edges out. Go through all the picture layer (except the elephant) then use the smudge tool (R) to smooth the area out.
Step 14 – Add the roots
To create some tree roots I used a picture I photographed the forest of Rhenen also from The Netherlands.
Choose Select > Color Range to create a selection of the blue sky. Inverse the selection (Select > Inverse) then copy the tree and paste it into our project. Use Edit > Transform > Warp to warp the roots into the sphere.
Ctrl + click on the roots layer to create a selection of it. Fill the selected area with brown.
Step 15 – Apply filters on the roots
Choose Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap and use these settings:
Choose Filter > Artistic > Poster Edges then use the following settings:
Choose Select > Color Range then use the white eye dropper tool to create a selection of the roots like shown below.
Choose Select > Inverse then delete the selected area.
Here’s what the roots should look like
Step 16 – Make the roots wrap around the text
Now we’ll make the roots wrap around the letters. Use the Clone Stamp tool to create more of the root tips.
Use the Brush tool (B) then paint more branches in brown. I used a size of 4px and 2px. Look at this example to see what i did.
Keep doing this for the rest of the letters.
To complete this quicker, I copied the right area to the right. To do this, use the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) to create a selection of the right side. Choose Edit > Copy then Edit > Paste. Select the new layer then move it to the left. Choose Edit > Free Transform then flip the layer and blend it in with the other roots.
I also used the eraser to delete some unwanted areas.
Step 17 – Further editing of the roots
Merge all the roots layers you have together, so they will be one layer. Again choose Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap then copy these settings:
Choose Image > Adjustments > Exposure. Adjust the settings like shown below:
Now choose Image > Adjustments > Photo Filter and use the settings below:
Finally, choose Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow and add a small drop shadow.
Step 18 – Merge layers
Now we are going to the last steps of this project.First we are going to Merge all the layers. Select all the layers and right click on it and choose Merge Layers.
Duplicate the merged layer 3 times and rename them as shown below. Create a new layer then name this layer “Pattern 30%”.
Select the bottom layer then choose Filter > Artistic > Film Grain. These are the settings i used for the Film Grain filter:
Select the middle layer then choose Filter > Artistic > Poster Edges. These are the settings i used for the Poster Edges filter.
Select the second top layer and choose Filter Artistic > Plastic Wrap. Use the settings shown in the image below.
Step 19 – Create an interlace pattern
Create new document size 3 x 3 pixels. Create a new layer then use the Pencil tool (B) with a 1px sized brush to paint the pattern shown below. Turn off the visibility for the background layer.
Select the “pattern 30%'” layer. Choose Select > All then Edit > Define Pattern. Give it a name and you are done making you own pattern. Close the document then go back to our original project document. Choose Edit > Fill.
Use the patter that we just created and set the blending opacity to 30%.
Adjust the opacity as shown in the image below.