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I have a square image (300 x 300), and I'd like to apply the "bubble effect" as shown here:

enter image description here

Specifically:

  • I only want the "bubble" part in this example
  • Make image round and give it that curved effect
  • Make the edges softer/blurred

How can I do this? I'm either looking for a solution in Photoshop, or an online tool that can do this for me.

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    What makes you think that wasn't captured that way to begin with? – Jasmine Jan 27 '15 at 23:27
  • I'm not sure. That's why I'm asking: if I captured a normal photo, is it possible to do something to make it look like that? – cppprog Jan 27 '15 at 23:31
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    Yeah it's called a fish eye effect. Usually we try to remove it, but it can be added as well. I'm pretty sure the example photo has been flipped upside-down and colors adjusted, but I think the image in the glass was captured that way. A glass sphere IS a fish-eye lense. – Jasmine Jan 27 '15 at 23:33
  • Get a mirrorless camera, find a lens that's made for a smaller format than your mirrorless camera (C-mount?) and shoot away. Crop and edit out in a photo editor if you want it round. – BBking May 28 '15 at 5:09
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If you want to do this in Photoshop, you'll need Photoshop's Spherize filter traditionally located under Filters -> Distort -> Spherize.

First, use the selection (marquee) tool for selecting circles, make sure you select a perfect circle. Copy this circle to a new image or layer. Now, on this selection, run the Spherize filter at 100%.

Example result (here the effect was on the layer with the green text, but the principle is the same for a photo; apply the effect to a perfect circular selection of photo).

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Here is a tutorial of how to replicate the "fish eye" effect...

http://www.creativebloq.com/photoshop/recreate-fish-eye-effect-11121244

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    Please add a summary of the contents of that article here, or this answer becomes useless when the link dues in a couple of years. – Philip Kendall Jan 28 '15 at 6:44
  • OK sure, no problem I'll do that a bit later today. – Jasmine Jan 28 '15 at 16:33
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    Or later the next month :) – mattdm Feb 27 '15 at 4:51
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    Or not at all... – Philip Kendall May 29 '15 at 7:06

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