Note: I updated this tutorial and here is newer version.
this time I will describe technique to create so called tiny-planets or small worlds. First let's look at the example photo I created some time ago:
This effect is about turning a panorama or wide angle shot into something what resembles a planet.
Follow below steps to achieve this type of effect:
- Take a wide-angle shot or even better a panorama photo. 360 degrees panoramas works best in case of this technique as otherwise you will have some discontinuities in the planet surface.
- Open a photo in Photoshop (or GIMP).
- Increase height of the photo so it is equal width (be sure to uncheck option to "constrain proportions"). This way your image will be stretched but as you will see it's not a problem.
- Flip your image vertically.
- Use Polar Coordinates filter.
You might also want to rotate your planet.