GIMP – Flat image to round ball surface (sphere)

Using GIMP 2.8. Trying to map an image to a sphere. The idea is to make custom Christmas balls. In addition to map to sphere, I have tried perspective and cage transform, but with limited success.

enter image description here

For images that are centered on the ball, I have made progress by doing a perspective shift on one half of the image using the grid for measuring, then an identical shift on the other half.

For images on the sides of the balls, I have used perspective and cage transform, then cropped to the radius, but it all looks rather janky. I am getting somewhere with map to sphere, but controlling the radius and warpage is a huge problem.

Here is the final product I am aiming to create:

enter image description here

Help appreciated soon, Need better image by December 2016, Thanx,
Steve

Answer

Map to sphere is fairly straightforward, the whole width of the image is mapped to the equator and the height is mapped to a meridian, so if you do not want your object to cover the whole sphere you need to add margins. A square image produces a sphere, and since the width of the image is mapped to the double of the height and everything looks stretched 2x horizontally, so you have to shrink horizontally (or strech vertically) first.

enter image description here

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : JSMe , Answer Author : xenoid

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