Since version CS, Photoshop has included a superb automated command called Photomerge. Photomerge has improved with every version since and is unbelievably speedy at piecing together two or more photographs to produce a panorama. So if you’re out and about and have a beautiful vista in front of you that you know won’t fit into one shot, why not take several and stich them together in Photoshop.
Before getting anywhere near Photoshop though, you need to take the photographs in a way that will make it easier to merge them successfully. Ideally your camera should be on a tripod to keep shake out of the image and also to ensure that the images are around the same angle. You also need to make sure that each image has a large overlap between them. Pick out a landmark such as a pole or a house and make sure that if it’s on the far left of your first picture, that it then appears on the far right of your next picture.
Ok so when you’ve taken your photographs, here are the steps required to merge them in Photoshop.
1. Open your images – in this example I’ve got 3 pictures that I took with my little snappy camera at the recent Net Imperatives Digital Roadshow in the bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. It has 360 degree views of Dublin and is quite lovely on a sunny day with a pint of Guinness.These images are all pretty large – about 3600 pixels wide and high resolution
2. Choose File > Automate > Photomerge and this opens the Photomerge dialog box.
3. Click Add Open Files (or if you haven’t already opened them, you can select them from your hard drive or card using the Browse button.
4. There are several layout options appearing on the left hand side of the box and most of the time Auto will do the trick. My advice is to experiment with each one to see which results you like best. In this example, I’m using Auto. Click OK.
The automated command goes to work and you’ll see Photoshop flipping your pictures about but very quickly creating a new layered file with each of your image appearing in it. Photoshop also masks part of each layer and blends them together.
The final image will look something like this;
5. You may find that you need to touch up by Cloning, but if you’re original images are very close together in terms of colour, Photoshop tends to do an amazing job.
6. To finish up, use the Crop tool to remove the transparent areas of the image. And voila!
Although the image below looks tiny here on the web page, I could easily print this out to A3 size without any loss of quality. In this particular case, there is a big shiny area from the windows that were behind me, but apart ro
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