It´s obvious that to have a good and properly panorama image it has to be done with the appropriate equipment and format, but my question is this:

  • Is it possible to transform an standard Equirectangular or the typical Planar picture in an approximately Panorama image that could be used in standard Panorama viewers??

In other words, is there some tool/Photoshop plug-in, etc. to make the appropriate spheric distortions to a planar image to "convert it" in an image that could be used as an "Approximate Panorama Image"?

I guess this could be used to download high resolution images from distant places, where you cannot access using this images as panoramas.


2 Answers 2


This is exactly what panorama creation apps (or plugins) do - transform regular images into spherical images (btw. equirectangular is just another name for the most common panoramic image projection, you don't transform between them because they are the same).

Typically you add a lot of planar images and stitch them into the single spherical image, but of course you can choose to process only one input image (and obviously, only get a fraction of the sphere).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Znks for your answer Szulat. You mean that If I load the image I place above in ICE or any other software will aply me that Distortions to that flat image ? Sorry could you show me some example or how to do it in a certain Software ? Thanks for your quick answer !!! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ManelGarcidel I don't know ICE but I guess it must be possible. It is certainly possible in Hugin. \$\endgroup\$
    – szulat
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 10:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is great Hugin ! very technical as I am not a professional fotographer ... I am studying it , znks Szulat !!! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 17:19

You are not using the proper terms.

"Panorama" is a generic term which refer to "a picture which covers the whole horizon at 360°", but it is so generic that it can also refer to coverage lower than 360°, or to coverage of whole sphere (360° horizontal x 180° vertical).

"Equirectangular" is a projection transforming a spherical/fishey image into a 2:1 aspect ratio image, which appears very distorted:

equirectangular example

(full resolution image)

The image you posted is NOT equirectangular, is planar/flat.

Such an image can be extracted from an equirectangular one for example using FFMpeg:

ffmpeg -i pano4s.png -vf v360=e:flat:yaw=-30:pitch=-20 -y flat.png
  • -vf: video filter
  • v360: v360 filter
  • e: source format = equirectangular
  • flat: destination format = flat
  • yaw=-30:pitch=-20 : rotate view



Panorama viewers usually need as input an equirectangular image.


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