Create a globe like image with 4 square images

jlwevans used Ask the Experts™
As the subject says, I am needing to take 4 square images and try to transform them into the shape of a globe. I would like to do it so that it provides a 3d type of image. If that is too difficult I would just like to know how to round them off so that the 4 pics create a circle. I am using Photoshop, Macromedia Freehand, Fireworks, and Flash. Any help with this would be appreciated, I am a rookie when it comes to graphic design.

Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Well, as you may know from atlases and such, squares dont wrap to a sphere especially well. You can use them as a texture on a sphere in a 3D program but you will get some degree of distortion. Now as for making them into a circle, do you mean a circle like you'd get by turning it into a QTVR panorama or more like a flat doughnut so youre looking at the whole thing from the top?


Thanks for the response. More like a flat donut I guess. What I am trying to do is take 4 images and create a sphere or circle type of image that I can then slice and do rollover image links for a website. I have already done the rollover images but would like to take it a step further and now try to shape it. Here is what I have done with it so far so that you can see what I am trying to work with. Http://
Well, you could do it with a polar filter in Photoshop but youre going to end up with alot of distortion...Probably not the effect you want.
If you are using Photoshop you can easily create the effect through gradients. If you have PS 6.0 or higher it's a snap with layer styles. Of course it won't be true 3D, but remember, in graphics it's not what is real, but what appears real.

To start you will need to have all your image layers visable. Create a new layer above your image(s) called "circle" or whatever is good for you.
Select your circle marque tool and place your curser in the exact middle of your image(s). Hold down alt (option for Mac) and shift keys together and draw your circle (it should draw from the center out and be perfect) to the edges of your image(s).
You can then invert the selection and delete the corners of each layered image one at a time. Viola! Your images make a circle.
Keep your selection active! From here you will need to create your shading to fake the 3D.
Go to your "circle" layer and fill it with white. Be sure it's above your other layers. Now you can use a radial gradient that goes from black (outside) to transparent (center) to create dark edges which suggests dimension. Once you get the shading you like, change the blend mode of the "circle" layer to multiply. The white will drop out and you will be left with a pretty siffy looking graphic.
It won't look like a sphere, because it won't have the distortion, but it will look much nicer than flat.
If this is too wordy or unclear, I'll be glad to slap together a .psd file you can view and learn from.
Top Expert 2007
Is this close to what u need?

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial