Learn how to create a tiny planet image using the the Polar Coordinates filter in Adobe Photoshop.
- [Instructor] In this movie, I'm going to show you how we can use the Polar Coordinates filter to get this interesting result often referred to as a tiny planet. There are a number of things we need to do to our starting image in order to get a successful result. Let me just show you what would happen if I applied Polar Coordinates. Looks terrible, so we have to start out with a square image. Now, if I were to just quickly square this image by pressing Command or Control + T, I'll first of all need to unlock my Background Layer in order to be able to do that.
Let's say we do something like this. And then we Trim it. And then we apply Polar Coordinates. Alright, well it looks a little better, but we're going to see the join. So we need to make our image symmetrical. I'm just pointing these things out to you so you'll understand why I'm taking the steps that I am. Let me back up to this point, our starting point.
First thing I want to do is make my canvas a square canvas. I've already unlocked the Background Layer, so the canvas will be added as transparency. And that's what I want. So I'm going to make the Height the same as the Width. I'll lock the image position in the bottom left. Now, not absolutely necessary but helpful, I'm going to add some Guides, four Columns and four Rows without any Gutter.
I'll Convert my Layer to a Smart Object. And now I want to Transform it, Command or Control + T. I have to very drastically Transform it. I could go all the way to the top of the canvas, but I'm actually going to leave a hole at the center of the circle. So I'm going three-quarters of the way up the canvas, and I'll press Return. I now want to duplicate this Option or Alt and the Shift key, dragging away from that.
Make sure that as you do so, you have your Snap options turned on. And then I'll Flip the copy, Edit, Transform, Flip Horizontal. I now want to select these two and make them into a single Smart Object. If I now apply Polar Coordinates, the result is much better, but as you can see, we have the sky at the center of the circle and I want the sky around the outside of the circle.
Weird stuff is going to happen in the corners, but we will mask that as a separate step. So I'll just back up and then come to my Edit menu once again, and rotate through 180 degrees. Then apply Polar Coordinates, and there is our result. Now if I just zoom out, we see that my circle is actually a little bit too big.
So you would think that I could move this up and then Transform it, but you can see that when I do so I'm actually taken back to the Smart Object. And I just need to make that a little bit smaller, and now I have a circle that fits on the canvas. I'm going to add a Solid Color fill layer behind everything.
And let's have that be white. And I'll hide my guides. We will almost certainly see there is a scene. We need some retouching to fix that. Let's come and add a new Layer at the top of the Layer stack. I'm going to Command + click onto the layer below so that we load that Layer as a selection and we confine the retouching to within that selection.
I'll come and choose my Spot Healing tool and click at the top and hold down the Shift key and click at the bottom. And that should fix the visible scene. Let me just show you an alternative version. In this version, I did two things differently. I'll turn off the Smart Filters.
You can see that I made the image fill the whole canvas. And I chose to mask the sky and then put the whole thing on a blue background. Back here, with my work in progress, there's just one more point I want to make, and that is you might do this and then decide that you would like to rotate the circle so that you have, you're giving emphasis to a different part of the composition at the 12 o'clock point of the circle.
Well, you will find similarly to what we found before, that if you try to rotate, bad things happen. So instead what we need to do is merge down our Group. I need to just turn off my Solid Color fill layer so that that's not included in this, and then I'll come to my Layers panel menu.
I'll hold down the Option or Alt key as I do this and choose Merge Visible. So that's going to merge those two layers into one. It's going to commit to the filter. So we won't be able to change it at all from this point. But we always have this to go back to, should we need to. I'll turn back on the Solid Color fill layer. On Layer 3, let me just zoom out so that I can see some room around my canvas, Command or Control + T, and I can now rotate that however I want.
So those are some of the things to consider when working with the Polar Coordinates filter.
- Blurring with filters
- The importance of Smart Filters
- Sharpening with filters
- Creative use of filter blend modes
- Painting in the effect of a filter using filter masks
- Combining filters