Turning images into a sphere (sometimes referred to as Tiny Planet effects) can be an automated process requiring little input other than a suitable image. Below I’ve provided a how-to guide for creating Tiny Planet images using a quick and dirty process. I’ve also provided instructions for MAC users on how to share folders and files with the BlueStack emulator.
To achieve this from a desktop, I’ve used the following tools: Adobe Photoshop (for initial image enhancement, although not a requirement) and BlueStacks App Player (running TinyPlanet FX Pro, ES File Explorer).
BlueStacks App Player is an Android emulator for your computer which is available free of charge at: http://www.bluestacks.com/apps.html
Install BlueStacks App Player onto your computer. Once installed, purchase TinyPlanet FX Pro (currently on offer for 10p as of publishing this article), download and install (it will then be available for all your devices). Download and install ES File Explorer.
Once you have the Android emulator all set-up, additional steps are required to give the Android emulator access to your computer files, such as the images you wish to manipulate through the TinyPlanetFX app.
MAC Instructions to access computer files within BlueStacks
- Switch to Finder, click the finder icon in your dock, or open a folder, or click anywhere on your desktop, this will bring up the Finder menus on the top bar.
- Open the GO menu, with the menu open hold down the OPTION key. This should make a new option appear in the menu for Library.
- Select Library, this will open the library folder
- In the Library folder browse to BlueStacks > SharedFolder. Copy the images you want to manipulate into this folder. This will make the images available in the BlueStacks App.
To access the images within the TinyPlanetFX Pro app, select the open image icon then browse to /storage/sdcard/Windows/BstSharedFolder/
Once you have finished manipulating your image, click Save, from the next window, select more, save with ES Explorer. Make sure to save in the BstSharedFolder for easy access to the files from your desktop.
The gallery above shows that the app has some limitations and should only be used for a quick and dirty solution for creating Tiny Planet images. However, these images can be worked on further through applications such as Adobe Photoshop to improve the quality of the final image.
All the images I used are my own which I have released under a CC0 Public Domain licence (Free for commercial use, No attribution required) through my account on PixaBay which gives access to many high quality and high resolution images, all available under a Public Domain licence.