Photoshop: Return to equirectangular image after editing a spherical panorama

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  • Updated 2 months ago
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I appreciate the new 3D panorama editor!! Whilst it seems very memory hungry, working on a 13k x 6 k image as usual, Photoshop goes up to 10 GB of ram usage.

That said, I love the fact that I can use camera raw on the stitched panorama and keep consistency of the stitched image. In the past dehaze would change the image and if exported as interactive panorama I would see the edge where the panorama wrapped.

So all in all this is a much need feature for me.
But, since I use in another app to export the interactive panoramas as web "app" I have to return to the equirectangular image after retouching in 3D.

Is there a way to render the image back to equirectangular? If not this will remain a great feature on the feature-graveyard for me...
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Alex Furer

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Posted 2 years ago

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Alex Furer

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M'kay... Answering my own question. I should have read the manual first. I apologize! I was just playing with it and didn't realize that the original equirectangular image is actually in the layer called "SphericalMap".

One more thing :) You can merge things you draw in the 3D window back into the actual texture channel by merging down the layer (ctrl-e (Windows)). e.g. You might want to add your logo to a panorama, or retouch the tripod in the nadir (south) of the panorama and then you want to move that layer into the SphericalMap layer to be able to export the new composition as an equirectangluar image again. This is very nice since the added drawing/layer will be calculated back to equirectangular!

But... Make sure you have a spare pixel layer inside the SphericalMap layer if you intend to do that  or it will render the added things into the background layer destructively.

Nice one Adobe! I should change the topic to praise!
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Chad Westover

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Hi Alex, I'm still a little confused. Are you talking about exporting the spherical panorama or getting out of the 3D mode? I'd like to do the latter, so that I have my complete, intact PSD instead of just a jpeg export. Have you figured out how to do this?
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Alex Furer

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To be honest, I did not continue to use this for quite some time. Mainly because my old PC could not deal with the amount of data.

In other words, thank you for reminding me. I need to look into this workflow again. Actually I am working on a panorama right now.

I will surely get back to you if I figure out an answer to your question.
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Alex Furer

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I understand correctly that you want to save out the equirectangular panorama from Photoshop after editing/retouching?

Because that was my initial "problem".

If so what you can do is:
- Import your stitched panorama as a 3D Panorama Layer in Photoshop, or convert an open image to a 360 Panorama Layer.
- Then do your retouching by double clicking the "SphericalMap" inside that imported Layer, or outside on the spherical panorama layer directly. But the actual retouching will happen inside the "SphericalMap" node, which is similar to a SmartObject layer. (explained in video down below)
- Once you're done you can double click the "SphericalMap" node again and save that as a separate PSD file containing all your non destructive edits.

Watch this video, it will clarify a lot (I hope): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzL3vTYU-bQ

Hope this helps.


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Alex Furer

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Hmmm... lol, sorry for spamming, but I actually tried this now myself on a larger file.

Here's my findings:
- The rendered panoramic image is somehow much darker than the actual image
- It's unfeasible to work with the 360 pano mode because it's slow, sluggish and eventually crashes

Ok, this is on a 15k x 8k 360 spherical panorama. But hey, sensors are only getting smaller, right :)

I will, again, abandon this workflow and go back to rendering the zenith and nadir to a separate layer, retouch this layer and render it back to equirectangular. I can keep those zenith and nadir renderings in a Layer group and stay non-destructive.

I've been more impressed by 360 pano retouching in Affinity Photo on a frigging iPad.... sigh...
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Chad Westover

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That video was perfect for me. I've actually watched it before but nothing stuck apparently. Thanks a ton! 
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Francisco Arteaga

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Hi. I did this but the equirectangular image appear to have black triangles at the nadir. Do you know why?
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Alex Furer

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Could you post a screenshot and give some more detail on what you did? It's hard to imagine why you would have black triangles. Did you stitch the image in Photoshop? Was it perfect that this stage?