Let’s try curving images with Spherize[Reactor]

When you want to make an image or video curved, I thought it would be interesting to show you how to use Spherize to apply this kind of effect.

Spherize can be used by installing Krokodove from Reactor, the package manager.

Krokodove is a toolset that includes many plugins, and Spherize is one of the plugins included in Krokodove.

Krokodove is developed by Komkom Doorn (Raf Schoenmaekers), and Spherize is one of the many plugins included in Krokodove.

Krokodove is an ever growing set of tools for Fusion and ResolveBlackmagic Design‘s compositing and effects software. It is being developed at the Komkom Doorn studio over a period of 20+ years and actively used in hundreds of projects there.


Krokodove is only available as a plug-in for the paid version of Davinci resolve or Fusion Studio.

The node structure introduced here is as follows, divided into three parts: the part that transforms the goldfish image (Fish), the part that creates the goldfish bowl (FishBowl), and the part that represents the water in the goldfish bowl (Water).

The setting file can be downloaded from here, so if you want to play with it, feel free to use it 🙂

For the Mediain node, you can use any image you have on hand, or download the illustration of the goldfish used in this project (I used this one provided by Illustration AC) and replace it.

What is Reactor anyway? If you are wondering what Reactor is and how to install it, please refer to the following article for more information.

So let’s get started!

This project has been created with the following settings.

  • Resolution : 1920 x 1080 HD
  • Frame rate : 24Frame/sec

The PC environment when I created it was as follows.

  • PC : DAIV Z7 (MouseComputer) *Purchased in August 2020
  • CPU : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10700 CPU @ 2.90GHz
  • GPU : NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER / 8GB
  • Memory : 16GB

Making a goldfish bowl, goldfish, and water

First of all, I will show you the node structure of the animation introduced at the beginning of this article, in which a goldfish swimming in a goldfish bowl appears to be curved due to light refraction.

Making a Goldfish Bowl

This is not directly related to the Spherize effect, but we will create a goldfish bowl as a background to make the goldfish curved.

Here are the nodes for creating a goldfish bowl. Here is an explanation of how I create a goldfish bowl with this node configuration.

1. Creating the main frame of a goldfish bowl with Ellipse

Make the main frame of the goldfish bowl with Ellipse (FishBowl).

The outline is just a circle at this point, so imagine the outline of the goldfish bowl you want to create in the end and make it a circle of your choice.

Here, I unchecked Solid, set Borderwitdh to 0.01, and increased Width a bit (0.5246913580247) to make the ellipse slightly wider.

2. Mask the top and bottom of the goldfish bowl with Rectangle

Use Rectangle to apply masks to create the top (TopMask) and bottom (BottomMask) parts of the goldfish bowl.

It’ s easy to do, just put a Rectangle on top and bottom of the area you want to hide, and connect TopMak and BottomMask in that order.

Once the nodes are connected in this way, the Paint Mode menu will appear in the BottomMask node, and we will select the default Merge.

Connect the nodes you have created so far with a Merge node, and you should have a state like the one shown in the figure. As a point of reference, we have set the Merge node settings to “Apply Mode: Normal” and “Operator: Held Out“.

After this, add circles and straight lines to the masked and hidden area to make it look like a goldfish bowl.

3. Complete the goldfish bowl

For the finishing touches, the top part of the goldfish bowl is created with Ellipse (TopBowl) as a horizontal oval, and the bottom part is created with Rectangle (BottomBowl) as a straight line.

Merge them with the Merge node, and connect them to the Background (BowlColor) to set the blue color, since they are not colored as they are.

Now your goldfish bowl is complete! Now let’s look at the effects that apply to the goldfish that will be inside.

Express a swimming goldfish

Since the illustration of the goldfish is flat, I not only used Spherize to make it curved, which is the main topic of this project, but also used Bender3D to add a little flutter to the goldfish when it swims. At the same time, I used Bender3D to add a little bit of fluttering to the goldfish when it is swimming.

Let’s take a look at what’s going on around here! The node configuration is as follows.

1. Bringing illustrations into 3D space with ImagePlane3D

You can simply move the goldfish around as it is, but to give it a sense of swimming, make its tail and fins flutter.

I would like to bend a flat illustration in Bender3D, so let’s connect it once to ImagePlane3D so that I can manipulate it in 3D space.

2. Fluttering illustrations with Bender3D

After connecting ImagedPlane3D to Bender3D in that order, bend the illustration in the Bender3D settings to create the feeling of swimming.

The setting values are as follows (All values except the following are default)

  • Bender Type : Twist
  • Amount : -0.4 to 0.4 width to set the animation.
  • Axis : Y

The front and side views of the bent illustration are shown in the figure.

If you look at this alone, it doesn’t look like it’s swimming, but if you look at the final output combined with Spherize, it looks like it is, so I’ll call it good 🙂

Connect the output of the bent goldfish to the Render3D node to return it to planar space.

Camera3D is placed as shown in the figure so that the front view is applied.

In this illustration, there are three bubbles coming out of the goldfish’s mouth, so to make it look like a swimming goldfish, I applied a mask (BubbleMask) to the bubbles and set the animation to make it look like bubbles are coming out of the mouth.

3. Set the movement animation in Transform & apply Spherize

Finally, animate the goldfish with Transform to make it move from right to left.

A mask (AreaMask) is set in Ellipse on the Transform node so that the goldfish is displayed only inside the goldfish bowl.

Now simply connect it to Spherize and you will get the output of a curved goldfish moving within the mask as shown in the figure.

For the Spherize setting value, change only the Size to “0.512” and leave the rest at the default.

I love that it’s so easy to use, no complicated settings required!

Finish by filling the goldfish bowl with water

Finally, fill the goldfish bowl with water to complete the process.

It’s very simple, so let’s take a quick look at it.

Create a large frame of water with Ellipse (WaterBase), mask it with Rectangle, and create a shape that will be the source of the water according to the size of the goldfish bowl as shown in the figure.

I used three Ellipse nodes (SurfaceMask1/2/3) to make the upper part look a little wavy, and connected it to Background (WaterColor) to add color.

It may seem a bit forced to use three Ellipse to make the waves stand out, but it turned out as I imagined, so I decided it was OK 🙂

How to use Spherize

Spherize can be used to curve the input data according to four types and four algorithm parameters.

The results of these 4 x 4 = 16 combinations are summarized in the following figure.

Let’s take a look at each parameter!


Here is a summary of each parameter based on the results of actual use.

This is based on the parameter names and the output results, but please forgive the fact that it is difficult to put into words and some parts are sensory.

If you find anything that is different, please let me know (_ _)

  • Type : Select a type from the following four
    • Horizontal:It’s like pushing the input data into a vertical cylinder and adding horizontal changes.
    • Vertical : It’s like pushing the input data into a horizontal cylinder and adding a vertical changes.
    • Sphere : Transform the input data into a circle.
    • Rectangle : Transform the input data into a rectangle.
  • Algorithm : Select an algorithm from the following four
    • Spherize : Change to a circular shape according to the selected type.
    • Soft in/out : I don’t know what (or where) the in and out refers to, but it seems to soften the effect.
    • Smooth : Schmooze in the direction of the changes made.
    • Sinusoid : As the name suggests, it seems to add a sine wave-like change.
  • Iterations : I think it’s a setting for the number of iterations of the process, but you’ll have to try tweaking it.
  • Center : Set the position coordinates.
  • Size : Set the size.
  • Deformation : Sets the degree of deformation to be applied.
I’m afraid I have a lot of approximate explanations, but please use it and give it a try!

At the end

Spherize makes it rather easy to curve images/videos, and I think it’s useful for flavoring videos, so if you’re curious, please try it!

*As mentioned above, Krokodove is only available in the paid versions of Davinci Resolve and Fusion Studio.

Krokodove includes many other interesting and usable plugins, and I will share the tools that I have tried and found to be good in another article.

That’s all!