How to make a 'bent' panorama

I wanted to see if I could make a 'bent' panorama type photo that seems to be doing the rounds these days.  I had an idea how to do it, and wanted to see if I was right. Here's my first attempt, on a random sea photo I had knocking about.  Not the best photo but I was just playing around.  Here's the result:

It turned out it was fairly easy to do.  

First, select your photo, in this case with the sea it was obvious that I wanted the sea bent, but the sky left.  So I cropped the photo to give a thin-ish band of sea at the bottom of picture, in this case it was 400px of sea, before the sky cut in.

Then you need to add some guides.  The key here, as you'll see later, is to have 8 horizontal guides as we're going to distort the picture.  These need to be the same width apart as the bottom band, so again 400px in my example, to match the depth of the sea.  I used the 'New Guide Layout' option in photoshop to place these for me, but if you have an older version of Photoshop you'll have to do the maths yourself.  Set the guides up as shown below, replacing the width with the number of pixels you need.

Add a horizontal bar across the horizon, and you should end up with something like this:

Notice that I don't really care that there is extra at the side at this point.

The next step is to copy the area below the horizon into three separate areas and place these on individual layers - like this (I've hidden the background layer to make this easier to see): 

Next, select Transform->Distort, on each of the new layers, and (with snap on), grab the top corner of each layer and pull it inwards to the next guide.  Like this:

With the left and the right layers, rotate each layer 90 degrees (clockwise for the left, anti-clockwise fo;r the right), and move the left and the right layers so that they line up with the middle layer

And that's pretty much it.  Bring back the background layer.  I erged the three sea layers to new layer, and repositioned to get the sun where I want it, crop the picture.

And that's it.

Posted on October 14, 2015 .