Lunar Images by Philipp Salzgeber




Wolfurt / Austria

 Tilting the Moon

While browsing the Lunar Picture of the Day website I came across a rectified image of the moon:June 21, 2004 apparently J-P Metsavainio from Finland had the idea, to use Photoshop's 3D Transform filter for reprojection of lunar images on a globe, and tilt the globe aftewards to get undistorted views of the lunar limb. In the 1960's This technique was used by physically projecting images on a white globe and photograph the globe. With this technique Mare Orientale was recognized as an impact basin by William Hartmann. I applied this technique to my mosaic of the moon: Tilted Moon.

The major problem is, that the current version of Photoshop (CS) does not have that filter anymore... After googling around I found a website ( where the filter was discussed and various addresses were given for downloading the 3D Transform.8BF file.

To install the filter you just have to put into the plugins/filters/ directory in your Photoshop installation directory. After restarting the Photoshop Application the filter should be available under Filter -> Render - 3D Transform...

This method works with images of spherical objects, in our case - the Moon. Open the Image, and select the filter 3D Transform.

Then you have to circumscribe the moon with the ball tool from the list at left. You should take care to make the fit as exact as possible. If you don´t get it right the first time, don´t worry: with the white arrow you can change the size of the circle, and the black arrow can be used to position the circle over the moon.

With the rotation tool (highlighted with a white background in the toolbar above) you can rotate the projected image around. Before rendering the re-projected image you can set the options for the render process, I choose Resolution: High and Anti-Aliasing: High for best quality and unselected Display Background to get rid of the original image in the background.

On my 500Mhz Pentium III computer the processing of a 2000x2000 pixel image takes about a quarter of an hour... need some coffee? Exploring the moon sideways is worth the wait!



Look at the way the form of Mare Crisium (upper right in the left image) changes from oval to circular when viewed from the side!

See more tilted moon images: Tilted Moon

All images © Philipp Salzgeber

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