How did this person create this shot of a tree in the center, the buildings circling it, and grass all around the edges?

I love this example and someday I want to make a similar one with snow and snowflakes. Tree with a round globe like center


2 Answers 2


This is known as the Little Planet effect. There are many ways to render it, and usually, the sky is on the outside and the ground, trees, buildings, etc. inside. But in this image they inverted that. This is what they refer to as a "tube" projection in the above link:

Some fisheye lenses use a stereographic projection to capture a wide-angle view.[14] Compared to more traditional fisheye lenses which use an equal-area projection, areas close to the edge retain their shape, and straight lines are less curved. However, stereographic fisheye lenses are typically more expensive to manufacture.[15] Image remapping software, such as Panotools, allows the automatic remapping of photos from an equal-area fisheye to a stereographic projection.

The stereographic projection has been used to map spherical panoramas. This results in effects known as a little planet (when the center of projection is the nadir) and a tube (when the center of projection is the zenith).[16]

  • \$\begingroup\$ I saw this over on MSE in an ad and the first thing that popped into my head was "it looks like a tube-distortion of some kind". I guess the name was obvious. \$\endgroup\$
    – user64742
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 23:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ There also seems to be a simple twirl effect applied to the center of the image afterwards, making the trunk and branches of the tree appear curved. It's really kind of crudely done, especially if you look closely. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 0:15

I use a very nice program suite named hugin, that takes a series of individual images and composes them into a panorama. The image you posted is a typical little planet panorama, easily done with hugin.

Try it, it's fun.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You should provide a hyperlink to the software. (and if you've got any skin in the game, also provide a disclaimer to that effect) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 12:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @CarlWitthoft Hugin is open source. But I have to say this answer is kind of like saying "yeah, you can do that with Photoshop, you should try it, it's fun!". Not exactly useful in its vagueness and lack of detail. \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 18:18

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