Defisheye Effect Using Photoshop CS 2 or CS 3

This article is reverse idea from my article before… I suggest you read my previous article before read this article. This article is trying to repair distortion effect, especially for fisheye lens distortion. Fisheye lens has good distortion especially for full frame camera (ex: EOS 5D, EOS 1Ds, Nikon D3), but someone maybe didn’t like the distortion – he just need the 180 degree view angle – in this case repair the image is quite necessary. I will use defisheye as terminology for repairing image from fisheye lens. When you use google to find the way to defisheye image, maybe you will know there are some methods to defisheye the photo. If you use ImageMagick, there are Fred’s ImageMagick Scripts for defisheye the photo, if you interesting you can go to his web. I also checked in flickr, there are discussion of this topic – you can see here. Here, the programs that many people use: Capture NX, Panorama Tools, Fisheye Warp, Hugin, etc. I use photoshop to defisheye the image, generally there are two ways: use plugin or without plugin. Using plugin is much easier, because you just click and you get the result – but you need to find freeware plugin otherwise you need pay money to register the software. Anyway if you like use plugin, I recommend you to use Fisheye Hemi, this program is very good – but it is a shareware (not freeware). Because I don’t have fisheye lens, so I use other people photo to explain my idea to defisheye the image. The original photo can be seen here, I use this photo because Albert Jou is good photographer and the model (小布, read: xiao bu) also beautiful. You can compare the original and the result using fisheye hemi (unregistered version):

Because I am interesting to find an approach how to do this, so I do some experiments. I want to know how fisheye hemi works – if you know you will know how to approach the method. First you need distortion line, by using fisheye hemi unregistered version you will get the result. After that, I make the layer above the result of fisheye hemi and find the way how to make it looked like fisheye hemi effect. As you can see, the distortion line won’t be the same but at least it close to the fisheye hemi effect result.

The trick to do this is easy, you just use Edit->Transform->Warp. By using warp you can move the point looked like picture above. Because I use feeling to move the point, it won’t be perfectly symmetric – anyway it close to the fisheye hemi result. Using Albert Jou photo, you can see the process and the result (sorry for watermark) here:

This method have advantage compare with fisheye hemi because you don’t need any plugin so you can work in any computer (with photoshop CS 2 or CS 3 installed) – I am not say who use the plugin isn’t pro, but I think if you are depend on plugin, you don’t know the process how to do it – so in the other case you will need the other plugin. The other advantage is you can repair the distortion as you feel satisfy with the result – use the plugin you can’t freely change into what you like. Example you are not use fisheye lens, but the image has “a little” distortion and you want to fix it – by plugin it will mis correct the distortion because you just need “a little correction” – using this method maybe better to fix this problem because you can repair the distortion until you feel satisfied.

Anyway I also mention the weakness of this method. Warping the image will cause the pixel bigger – then it will reduce the sharpness of image. Comparing with fisheye hemi effect, sharpness reduce significantly – so you can use Filter->Sharpen->Sharpen to repair this problem, more advanced topic about sharpening you can see here. Second problem is you can’t get the perfectly defisheyed image because you use feeling to repair the image – so it won’t be perfectly symmetric.

Finally, you can try what the method/software/plugin do you like – I only can say this “good software without people that know how to use it – it means nothing”. I can give you the other example, still Albert Jou photo – you can compare the original photo and defisheyed photo with my method.

Finally, hope you like this tutorial – any comments, critics, suggestions are welcome.

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22 thoughts on “Defisheye Effect Using Photoshop CS 2 or CS 3

  1. Pingback: Fisheye Effect using Photoshop CS 2 or CS 3 « Just about Photography

    • I have a question that is directly related to your defisheye solution. I work for a Professional Theater in Houston, Texas and am trying to take a digital pic of a sewing pattern. Project it onto a wall to be able to trace out the size I would need for each show. The only problem is the projector has what I would call a fisheye effect. This is what I would like to reverse. Can you help me? Thanks in advance for your time.

  2. Just wanted to thank you for your suggestion to use Adobe CS to ‘defisheye’. I just installed CS4 and it defisheys perfectly. It takes a bit of time to master the technique but I have lots of that. Interestly, I bought two ‘How To” books (including Dummies) and neither one mentions it. In fact they barely mention ‘WARP”

  3. This was very easy to understand. Sometimes tutorials can get too wordy and techy, but this was great. I hope to read more from this person. I’m always wanting to learn more!
    Thank you!

  4. Pingback: Defisheye Using Adobe Photoshop CS 5 « Just about Photography

  5. In photoshop, with the warp-presets, you can also first deflate -25%, and then defisheye -25%, and you’ll get a neat result.

  6. good tutorial. I have panorama photo and the effect like fisheye lens. but is so hard to warp it. maybe the photos have different horizon and vertical line.
    this tutorial can help to defisheye interior photos 🙂

  7. This is the worst way to do this within Photoshop, very time consuming and not accurate.

    Anyway buy a rectilinear wide if you want one, use a fish eye for fish eye images..

    • Some people only have limited money so only can buy 1 lens (so maybe they only have a rectilinear wide lens or a fisheye lens).
      Well, maybe you can buy rectilinear wide lens and fisheye lens then you can choose result (normal wide or fisheye image) ~ of course the result is better than using photoshop/post processing.
      If you don’t want to waste the time then buy 2 lenses ^^

  8. Pingback: Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 Image Thread - Page 4 - Micro Four Thirds User Forum

  9. Hey Edwin, great tutorial but I’m not certain I understand it all. I have this one photo taken using a fisheye ‘mode’ on my Canon 2200 digicam. I’m now trying to fix it to get back a ‘normal’ image. What’s the easiest way to do it – especially for a non-tech person like me? Thank you.

    • Hi Kumar…
      The easiest way to do that is using plugin or other program (for example: fisheye hemi).
      You can defisheye the photo into the normal photo ~ but maybe you don’t have full control to fix the distortion. But at least you can try first…..

  10. Pingback: ¿Qué objetivo me llevo? – ¿Ande Andarán?

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