It's no secret that the art world is constantly evolving. With new technology comes new ways of experiencing art, and one of the latest trends in this area is 360-degree paintings. Unlike 3D art, which creates a sense of depth by using different shapes and angles, 360 paintings are created with 2D images that are then shown on a sphere, allowing them to be turned and viewed from any angle desired.

The idea behind it is to have viewers feel more immersed in the artwork and see it from every angle possible without having to move around the painting.

Here, we've looked at the guide of Mark Brunet on how to go about creating 360-degree digital art that goes beyond the ordinary.

Step 1: Create a new canvas

First, open up Photoshop – in this guide we will be using Photoshop CC 2022. Create a new canvas by hitting CTRL + N or going to the menu bar and selecting File > New.

Photoshop new image menu


Create a document that is as large as your PC can comfortably handle, with a ratio of 2:1. This means that your image should be twice as wide as it is tall.

Step 2: Turn it into a 3D sphere

Next, we need to create a sphere on which to paint. To do this, go to 3D > New Mesh from Layer > Mesh Preset > Sphere. If asked to confirm, click OK.

Photoshop menus create spherical panorama


The sphere mode may change your default visible panels, so add back in anything you prefer to have shown, such as the history or color panels.

And that's it; you're basically set to start painting in 360-degrees.

Step 3: Check out the new panels

You might discover that you see new panels that you have not experienced before. There is a new 3D panel with several options, including Current View. When you click on it, you'll see the information displayed in the Properties Panel changes. You'll see an option for Field of View (FOV), which typically works best when set at around 10.

Photoshop 3D camera properties


You'll want Current View selected at all times when painting, as this is how you rotate the camera around. Avoid moving the mesh itself (which you do by clicking on it and dragging in any direction), as this will alter the rotation axis and make completing your painting much more awkward.

It is important to note that in order to rotate the camera, you must have the bottom layer selected; otherwise, you will not be able to rotate the camera. With the 3D panel selected, press V. This opens navigation mode in the properties panel. Explore altering the rotation of the camera around your object.

Step 4: Put it into perspective.

Now that you've got the basic creation and rotation of your object sorted, it's time to ensure that you can make sense of the medium. You may want to add a perspective grid to this round shape to allow you to more accurately record where items are or should be. We've added a link to a great perspective grid at the bottom of this page.

Perspective Grid


Mark Brunet have created a great perspective grid that you can grab for free.

In the 3D sphere side panel, you should see the layer called Sphere. Nested below this is "Spherical_Panorama_Material", select it and in the properties, click on the icon next to diffuse. Select "Edit Texture". This will create a texture file. The 360 window is the parent in the relationship, so any changes to the parent will also happen to the lower layer.

Photoshop 3D Properties


All that is needed now is to load up the grid and paste it as the tops later of the texture file. Set the blending mode to "Multiply" to ensure that everything underneath the texture file will show through. 

Hit save. Your changes will propagate into the 360-degree window.

Step 5: Putting paint on canvas

Creating a 360-degree file can be a drain on your system and potentially allow a little slop.

Mark Brunet 360 Painting


Create a new layer for each step that you take to complete your image, and merge it down only when you are sure that you are happy with it. This helps limit the lag on your system from working on an already decorated sphere and allows you to concentrate on your work, one element at a time.

When you are happy with your layer(s), use CTRL + E to merge the layer down. 

For extra details and tips, check the video below explaining the process.

This can be a slow but very rewarding process. Settle down, turn on some good music, pour yourself a coffee or wine, and enjoy the ride!

Original article by Marc Brunet here: