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Deke's Techniques
Illustration by John Hersey

034 Assembling a flawless panorama


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Deke's Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: 034 Assembling a flawless panorama

Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week we'll be talking about the Photomerge function inside of Photoshop, which allows you to stitch together multiple images in order to create a panorama; however, it's less about Photomerge because the command isn't that terribly difficult to use, and it's more about how you capture the shots in the first place so they stitch together seamlessly. So we'll start with these images here. This is 4 of 10 that I shot an all that I captured from Ponte Dell'Accademia in Venice, Italy.
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  1. 29m 37s
    1. 305 Simulating hand lettering with art brushes
      20m 8s
    2. 306 Adding texture to your hand stamp
      3m 34s
    3. 307 Creating a black chop on red paper
      5m 55s
  2. 4h 53m
    1. 282 Ringing in the New Year with dynamic effects in Illustrator
      12m 59s
    2. 283 Dynamically transforming fills and strokes
      13m 41s
    3. 284 Tracing an avatar from a photograph in Photoshop
      12m 24s
    4. 285 Drawing a vector-based avatar in Illustrator
      19m 44s
    5. 286 Coloring and shading your avatar
      16m 0s
    6. 287 Exporting an illustration as a universally supported PNG file
      10m 54s
    7. 288 Upsampling a layered composition with great results
      13m 43s
    8. 289 Rebuilding a pattern at a higher resolution
      7m 29s
    9. 290 Painting happy little trees
      13m 46s
    10. 291 Shading and lighting the happy forest
      15m 15s
    11. 292 Enlarging a low-res photograph in Photoshop
      12m 20s
    12. 293 Enlarging a photo by tracing it in Illustrator
      13m 10s
    13. 294 Mastering Exposure in Camera Raw
      11m 40s
    14. 295 Super smooth and unflinchingly sharp
      10m 46s
    15. 296 Deleting an inadvertent photo bomber
      8m 13s
    16. 297 Correcting a distorted panorama
      17m 23s
    17. 298 Rebuilding bad stitching in a panorama
      14m 53s
    18. 299 Nondestructive dodge and burn
      8m 54s
    19. 300 Blending an object’s shadow into any background
      8m 37s
    20. 301 Saving a PNG image with a translucent shadow
      8m 45s
    21. 302 Cleaning up a smart phone photo
      11m 17s
    22. 303 Using Photoshop 1.0
      5m 45s
    23. 304 Creating your own Chinese seal (or chop)
      26m 4s
  3. 17h 21m
    1. 185 Creating a custom 2013 calendar in Illustrator
      11m 44s
    2. 186 Adding dates to a calendar using tables
      9m 50s
    3. 187 Branding your calendar with a field of logos
      10m 54s
    4. 188 Crafting an Infinity symbol to match a specific font
      12m 6s
    5. 189 Op art experiment 1a: Inflated checkers
      10m 49s
    6. 190 Op art experiment 1b: Rounded windows
      6m 39s
    7. 191 Building a universal ISOTYPE man with strokes
      15m 6s
    8. 192 Building a universal ISOTYPE woman with strokes
      11m 7s
    9. 193 Drawing an ISOTYPE couple in love
      12m 55s
    10. 194 Creating a Warhol-style silkscreen effect
      14m 43s
    11. 195 Creating a series of Warhol-style variations
      10m 43s
    12. 196 Adding Warhol-style background variations
      8m 20s
    13. 197 Creating opaque colored shadows
      5m 20s
    14. 198 Assembling multiple variations into a single comp
      5m 9s
    15. 199 Creating a pattern of unique inset circles
      9m 55s
    16. 200 Changing a static blended color scheme
      7m 16s
    17. 201 Op art experiment 2a: Undulating pattern
      20m 26s
    18. 202 Op art experiment 2b: Concentric rings
      9m 43s
    19. 203 Developing a dramatic castle in Camera Raw
      13m 21s
    20. 204 Artificially coloring a photo in Camera Raw
      9m 38s
    21. 205 Creating an antique photo effect in Camera Raw
      7m 53s
    22. 206 Adding a weathered old-photo frame effect
      12m 0s
    23. 207 Drawing an Angry Birds-like character
      16m 59s
    24. 208 Stroking an entire layer in Illustrator
      9m 21s
    25. 209 Drawing a classic snarling cartoon face
      11m 10s
    26. 210 Drawing a radiant, cheerful cartoon background
      18m 29s
    27. 211 Stroking any kind of type in Illustrator
      5m 0s
    28. 212 Creating synthetic water droplets
      9m 29s
    29. 213 Simulating liquid reflections with effect
      5m 19s
    30. 214 Simulating liquid refractions with a dmap
      5m 30s
    31. 215 Creating an eye-catching splatter effect
      9m 8s
    32. 216 Defringing purples and greens in Camera Raw 7
      10m 4s
    33. 217 Making a danger sign more dangerous
      15m 9s
    34. 218 Using texture and depth to add realism
      10m 22s
    35. 219 Precisely aligning artwork to the bleed
      7m 16s
    36. 220 Creating and importing a tracing template
      6m 50s
    37. 221 Drawing a distinctive 2D video game character
      18m 52s
    38. 222 Adding features to a 2D character’s face
      14m 3s
    39. 223 Creating a vivid aura around an entire character
      7m 25s
    40. 224 Adding variable-width strokes in Illustrator
      11m 23s
    41. 225 Animating bird wings with Puppet Warp
      12m 15s
    42. 226 Animating text by onion skinning in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    43. 227 Creating an animated movie in Photoshop
      9m 15s
    44. 228 Exporting an animation to QuickTime and GIF
      5m 44s
    45. 229 Correcting an underwater photograph
      10m 30s
    46. 230 Making a photo razor-sharp and porcelain-smooth
      7m 17s
    47. 231 Reducing noise in a high-ISO shot with Camera Raw
      8m 33s
    48. 232 Creating highly reflective sunglasses
      10m 43s
    49. 233 Adding drama to an outdoor portrait shot
      6m 35s
    50. 234 Creating volumetric forms with shape layers
      15m 52s
    51. 235 Creating a bloodshot eye effect
      7m 11s
    52. 236 Shading an image with shapes and layer masks
      13m 2s
    53. 237 Creating fabric textures with pattern layers
      7m 27s
    54. 238 Colorize any layer with Color Overlay
      3m 23s
    55. 239 Turning a portrait into a dot drawing
      7m 40s
    56. 240 Creating a full-color dot drawing
      3m 29s
    57. 241 Drawing an orthogonal cube with the line tool
      7m 9s
    58. 242 Creating a cube of differently colored cubes
      9m 27s
    59. 243 Recreating the Creative Cloud Logo in Illustrator
      16m 18s
    60. 244 Creating a psychedelic fabric texture
      9m 7s
    61. 245 Turning psychedelic fabric into rock letters
      5m 23s
    62. 246 Creating a more finely rendered dot drawing
      8m 29s
    63. 247 Converting from RGB to CMYK via Multichannel
      12m 31s
    64. 248 Creating printer-safe CMYK shadows
      6m 48s
    65. 249 Creating bright, golden motion trails
      12m 32s
    66. 250 Creating schematic art with Illustrator’s grid
      12m 41s
    67. 251 Drawing precisely aligned arrowhead
      12m 8s
    68. 252 Adding arrowheads around a closed path
      6m 1s
    69. 253 Drawing the Pen tool without touching the Pen tool
      17m 13s
    70. 254 Merging frames for the best possible UAV photo
      16m 40s
    71. 255 Retouching details in an aerial landscape
      12m 13s
    72. 256 Editing a video and adding transitions in Photoshop
      10m 57s
    73. 257 Importing the quadcopter crash sequences
      9m 4s
    74. 258 Color correcting a video and adding a soundtrack
      8m 56s
    75. 259 Adding precisely timed titles to your video
      11m 43s
    76. 260 Hand-painting an image with a Wacom Cintiq
      13m 11s
    77. 261 Blending the final false-color artwork
      8m 41s
    78. 262 Creating a honeycomb pattern in Illustrator
      12m 50s
    79. 263 Building up strokes to create 3D honeycomb
      9m 8s
    80. 264 Turning yourself into a zombie
      14m 0s
    81. 265 Enhancing an ambience environment for the undead
      9m 26s
    82. 266 Creating dripping, gooey ghost letters
      16m 43s
    83. 267 Turning type into gooey green slime
      11m 19s
    84. 268 Creating heavy metal type (updated for Photoshop CS6 and CC)
      12m 27s
    85. 269 Cleaning up a crummy product shot
      11m 3s
    86. 270 Scaling and rotating photographic objects
      10m 10s
    87. 271 Tracing a line drawing with uniform strokes
      11m 18s
    88. 272 Coloring line art using Live Paint Bucket
      18m 22s
    89. 273 Creating a pigture using shapes and letters
      18m 7s
    90. 274 Integrating a cartoon into a photograph
      7m 27s
    91. 275 Converting a photo into a Lichtenstein drawing
      16m 8s
    92. 276 Adding bring Ben-Day dots and a talk balloon
      15m 31s
    93. 277 Painting an eye using a custom brush
      11m 31s
    94. 278 Painting and smoothing straight-sided brushstrokes
      12m 0s
    95. 279 Simulating pressure with path outlines
      6m 3s
    96. 280 Developing a 32-bit HDR image in Camera Raw
      14m 42s
    97. 281 Converting from 32-bit to the more flexible 8-bit mode
      11m 15s
  4. 14h 31m
    1. 091 Removing people from a photo
      10m 44s
    2. 092 Masking people back into a photo
      10m 58s
    3. 093 Hand-painting a mask
      10m 5s
    4. 094 Masking a real-life shadow
      10m 40s
    5. 095 Turning a photo into line art
      7m 44s
    6. 096 Adding a crosshatch shading pattern
      6m 46s
    7. 097 Creating type that inverts anything behind it
      5m 32s
    8. 098 Creating auto-inverting line art
      5m 7s
    9. 099 Creating movie poster credits
      8m 10s
    10. 100 Creating a dual-focus hybrid image
      6m 24s
    11. 101 Adding text to a hybrid composition
      7m 24s
    12. 102 Drawing with the reshape tool
      10m 39s
    13. 103 Hand-drawing a really great letter
      10m 6s
    14. 104 Creating a vanity frame
      5m 28s
    15. 105 Adding a frame to a photograph
      5m 3s
    16. 106 Drawing a highly graphic explosion with Illustrator
      10m 3s
    17. 107 Drawing a Ninja Turtle nose
      10m 22s
    18. 108 Mapping a dog face onto a duck
      8m 20s
    19. 109 Putting a tongue on a duck
      7m 6s
    20. 110 Making synthetic lightning in Photoshop
      11m 3s
    21. 111 Creating a driving rain effect in Photoshop
      4m 57s
    22. 112 Designing a railroad track
      12m 18s
    23. 113 Bending the railroad track around curves
      7m 46s
    24. 114 Creating a Star Wars hologram effect
      9m 23s
    25. 115 Creating leafy letters
      6m 12s
    26. 116 Creating topiary type
      6m 22s
    27. 117 Creating type in grass
      9m 0s
    28. 118 Rendering type in smoke
      7m 30s
    29. 119 Rendering type in brushed metal
      9m 57s
    30. 120 Adding brushed copper effect
      4m 14s
    31. 121 Reflecting type in water
      10m 57s
    32. 122 Reflecting water back into type
      11m 14s
    33. 123 Joining type to a circle
      7m 14s
    34. 124 Making flared type on a circle
      7m 17s
    35. 125 Making a person emerge from water
      5m 32s
    36. 126 Creating progressive water ripples
      10m 17s
    37. 127 Creating an upside-down face effect
      10m 17s
    38. 128 Achieving silky smooth skin with retouching
      6m 33s
    39. 129 Pearly white teeth
      7m 28s
    40. 130 Head-shrinking
      8m 26s
    41. 131 Getting a big head
      5m 11s
    42. 132 Adding a photographic texture to vector type
      4m 28s
    43. 133 Adding strokes in back of photo type
      5m 9s
    44. 134 Adding a border to an image in Illustrator
      4m 17s
    45. 135 Two ways to crop in Illustrator
      7m 29s
    46. 136 Inventing a 3D temple with a depth map
      10m 0s
    47. 137 Drawing a 3D object with Curves
      11m 41s
    48. 138 Creating a superhero shield in Illustrator
      16m 28s
    49. 139 Turning Illustrator paths into Photoshop shapes
      11m 42s
    50. 140 Creating a photorealistic superhero shield
      12m 39s
    51. 141 Pimping your ride in Photoshop
      9m 59s
    52. 142 Masking and blackening a car
      10m 20s
    53. 143 Drawing a multi-part vector mask
      12m 46s
    54. 144 Masking and painting a shadow
      8m 26s
    55. 145 Integrating blades of grass into tires
      5m 34s
    56. 146 Making a (ridiculously) dramatic sky
      6m 2s
    57. 147 Adding flame stripes to a car
      8m 23s
    58. 148 Creating interlocking octagons in Illustrator
      7m 44s
    59. 149 Hand-coloring line art
      13m 9s
    60. 150 Creating a custom wave pattern
      9m 56s
    61. 151 Simulating a screen print
      8m 30s
    62. 152 Drawing a perfect linear spiral in Illustrator
      9m 42s
    63. 153 Drawing a spiraling nautilus shell
      11m 4s
    64. 154 Designing a hex pattern in Illustrator CS6
      11m 10s
    65. 155 Making a hex pattern in Illustrator CS5 and earlier
      7m 4s
    66. 156 Creating a Facebook cover in Photoshop
      9m 25s
    67. 157 Matching a profile picture to your cover
      6m 37s
    68. 158 Cloning yourself in Photoshop
      11m 16s
    69. 159 Lighting the clone party
      8m 29s
    70. 160 Hand-carving letters into wood
      8m 0s
    71. 161 Creating a Spirograph-like pattern
      7m 34s
    72. 162 Tracing scalloped gear teeth around a circle
      4m 55s
    73. 163 Applying custom carve and shadow styles to type
      8m 50s
    74. 164 Turning a pencil sketch into digital ink
      12m 55s
    75. 165 Adding a graph-paper background
      13m 42s
    76. 166 Creating a continuous single-line Spirograph
      13m 2s
    77. 167 Scaling circles into complex patterns
      7m 15s
    78. 168 Creating a money-like design
      8m 43s
    79. 169 Attack of the killer pumpkin
      14m 49s
    80. 170 Simulating a glowing Jack-o'-lantern
      12m 24s
    81. 171 The headless stranger in the mist
      12m 25s
    82. 172 Creating 3D punched letters
      13m 29s
    83. 173 Designing a double-wave line pattern
      11m 2s
    84. 174 Assembling a seamless pattern brush
      9m 53s
    85. 175 Creating a hand turkey in Photoshop
      18m 42s
    86. 176 Creating a depth-of-field cast shadow
      7m 29s
    87. 177 Creating a lustrous round jewel
      13m 56s
    88. 178 Cutting and brushing light on a gem
      8m 30s
    89. 179 Creating a shiny button with inset text
      11m 5s
    90. 180 Creating a jaunty six-sided star
      15m 1s
    91. 181 Interweaving star shapes and adding gradients
      8m 28s
    92. 182 Casting shadows between interwoven shapes
      9m 12s
    93. 183 Creating a Hobbit-like text effect
      15m 6s
    94. 184 Enhancing a landscape photo in Camera Raw 7
      9m 16s
  5. 13h 11m
    1. 001 Creating ice type
      8m 39s
    2. 002 Branding type on a texture
      7m 6s
    3. 003 Creating an image-branding machine
      7m 13s
    4. 004 Capturing effects with layer comps
      7m 35s
    5. 005 Rendering type in gold
      8m 9s
    6. 006 Creating a hammered metal background
      5m 48s
    7. 007 Creating heavy metal type
      8m 13s
    8. 008 Creating a molten letter effect
      6m 43s
    9. 009 Setting type on fire
      11m 20s
    10. 010 Using an anti-edge mask
      7m 20s
    11. 011 Blending textures onto a face
      9m 28s
    12. 012 Rendering a face as a cave painting
      7m 34s
    13. 013 Creating a reflection in shattered glass
      8m 32s
    14. 014 Creating a face in a tree
      11m 20s
    15. 015 Building a synthetic star field
      8m 21s
    16. 016 Making 3D type with Repoussé
      10m 14s
    17. 017 Casting 3D shadows and reflections
      9m 35s
    18. 018 Adjusting 3D light sources
      10m 51s
    19. 019 Masking highlights and shadows
      6m 27s
    20. 020 Masking glass
      10m 39s
    21. 021 High key high contrast
      8m 33s
    22. 022 Simulating sub-pixel rendering
      10m 58s
    23. 023 Fixing chromatic aberrations in Photoshop
      9m 41s
    24. 024 Fixing chromatic aberrations in Camera Raw
      8m 51s
    25. 025 Correcting red-eye like a pro
      11m 56s
    26. 026 Turning a photo into an ink drawing
      10m 42s
    27. 027 Turning a photo into a pencil sketch
      8m 43s
    28. 028 Creating a seamlessly repeating pattern
      10m 56s
    29. 029 Repairing seams in a repeating pattern
      10m 47s
    30. 030 Creating a 3D pie chart
      11m 9s
    31. 031 Splitting and modifying 3D meshes
      11m 52s
    32. 032 Using the Ground Plane Shadow Catcher
      6m 58s
    33. 033 Creating a talk show-style curtain
      7m 57s
    34. 034 Assembling a flawless panorama
      10m 5s
    35. 035 Removing people with image stacks
      11m 44s
    36. 036 Creative stacking with Maximum and Range
      11m 44s
    37. 037 Creating synthetic wood grain
      9m 23s
    38. 038 Making slats of uniquely textured wood
      10m 52s
    39. 039 Kerning within a single character
      10m 31s
    40. 040 Creating a raised bevel effect
      11m 49s
    41. 041 Putting wings on a horse
      10m 41s
    42. 042 Creating a classic heart in Illustrator
      7m 15s
    43. 043 Glossing up a heart in Photoshop
      8m 42s
    44. 044 Shooting and assembling a stereoscopic photo
      8m 15s
    45. 045 Extending 3D beyond the screen plane
      6m 13s
    46. 046 Adding stereo 3D text and shapes
      9m 9s
    47. 047 Tilting text and shapes toward the viewer
      8m 13s
    48. 048 Creating a shooting star in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    49. 049 Using blends to draw path outlines
      8m 8s
    50. 050 Inventing custom starbursts
      7m 33s
    51. 051 Making a fictional creature
      12m 5s
    52. 052 Transforming a creature into a monster
      6m 14s
    53. 053 Capturing a monster in motion
      11m 45s
    54. 054 Changing the color of a car
      7m 12s
    55. 055 Painting a colorful car black
      8m 16s
    56. 056 Coloring the stripes on a zebra
      10m 47s
    57. 057 Drawing trendy swirls in Illustrator
      10m 59s
    58. 058 Creating variable-width and brushed swirls
      10m 46s
    59. 059 Drawing trendy ornaments in Illustrator
      8m 49s
    60. 060 Designing a magically updating pattern
      8m 40s
    61. 061 Automatically collapsing a selection
      7m 43s
    62. 062 Adding a magnifying glass into a design
      7m 5s
    63. 063 Healing one eye onto another
      7m 15s
    64. 064 Creating a giant command key
      9m 15s
    65. 065 Drawing common symbols part 1
      6m 29s
    66. 066 Drawing common symbols part 2
      9m 26s
    67. 067 Filtering images with Camera Raw
      7m 52s
    68. 068 Creating a vivid HDR effect
      5m 29s
    69. 069 Creating an ambigram in Illustrator
      10m 45s
    70. 070 Making a two-word ambigram
      7m 47s
    71. 071 Drawing a Halloween scareflake
      10m 45s
    72. 072 Creating true clones in Illustrator
      11m 7s
    73. 073 Taking your scareflakes into Photoshop
      7m 20s
    74. 074 Making a faux HDR image in Lab
      8m 38s
    75. 075 Turning a guy into a zombie
      7m 3s
    76. 076 Miniaturizing the world in Photoshop
      6m 45s
    77. 077 Creating a synthetic rainbow
      8m 53s
    78. 078 Casting an artificial shadow from a layer
      7m 2s
    79. 079 Rendering a portrait in type
      8m 58s
    80. 080 Rendering a portrait in tile patterns
      7m 43s
    81. 081 Rotating a pattern layer in Photoshop
      4m 16s
    82. 082 Tracing an image with path outlines
      7m 50s
    83. 083 Turning path outlines into a vector mask
      6m 0s
    84. 084 Drawing rays of light in Photoshop
      5m 40s
    85. 085 Drawing concentric glow rings
      7m 24s
    86. 086 Designing an Indiana Jones-style logo
      8m 50s
    87. 087 Achieving mitered corners in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    88. 088 Masking with Photoshop's Blunt Instruments
      11m 8s
    89. 089 Creating a stained-glass ornament
      8m 26s
    90. 090 Designing a stained-glass window
      10m 23s

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Deke's Techniques
50h 26m Intermediate Jan 11, 2011 Updated Apr 15, 2014

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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.

Subjects:
Design Raw Processing Design Techniques
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

034 Assembling a flawless panorama

Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week we'll be talking about the Photomerge function inside of Photoshop, which allows you to stitch together multiple images in order to create a panorama; however, it's less about Photomerge because the command isn't that terribly difficult to use, and it's more about how you capture the shots in the first place so they stitch together seamlessly. So we'll start with these images here. This is 4 of 10 that I shot an all that I captured from Ponte Dell'Accademia in Venice, Italy.

And then we're going to go ahead and stitched those images together into this big seamless panorama. The only seam that you see is in the center there; that's because I had to tape two printouts together. But the great thing about having an image like this printed out and ready to go is that if you're feeling nostalgic for your vacation, you can go ahead and walk into the office with this just kind of like wrapped around your head. Now, you'll still have to talk to your co-workers. That's a drag. But they'll say things behind your back possibly like you know, "It's curious that Mel has had that big piece of paper wrapped around his head all week, but he not nearly so grouchy." Here, let me show you exactly how it works.

In this movie, I'm going to show you how to achieve seamless panoramas using Photoshop's Photomerge function. Now, many of you may feel like you know how to use Photomerge. It's not a particularly demanding feature from a user perspective. However, I do want to pass along some tips and tricks for capturing those component photographs so that you achieve absolutely the best results possible. Now, I'm starting things off with this sort of pseudo-panorama of four independent shots which I captured, by the way, from Ponte Dell'Accademia, looking down The Grand Canal in Venice, and out here in the distance is Santa Maria Della Salute, for what it's worth.

Now, the reason I'm showing these four shots is I've noticed lately inside of magazines and newspapers that there is this trend to avoid photo stitching, so that somehow there's a higher degree of integrity associated with showing each one of the photographs independently. And while I'm a huge proponent of integrity and following rules inside the realm of photojournalism, I just don't buy this one, because after all, every single one of these images was captured by a machine, not by some kind of magic eye, so we're still using technology in order to capture the environment.

When we shift things into Photoshop and we go ahead and stitch the scene together using Photomerge, we're just taking advantage of another step, another technological innovation in order to capture the scene as we really experienced it, so let me explain how that works. Basically what we're looking at is a 10- shot image here, so a 10-shot panorama. And there's a couple of things that you need to do. First of all, I'm standing at the apex of the bridge. There is no one around me, so nobody is going to bump into me, that kind of thing. I'm not using a tripod--that's not really necessary--and I'm not locking down my settings either.

You can do that if you want to; I didn't. However, what's very important is your positioning. You cannot move your feet. You want to be pointing straight ahead and you want to leave your feet locked into place. Everything that you're doing is going to be pivoting your shoulders. Because if you start stepping around, if you move one foot, then you're going to change your frame of reference and your perspective is going to get messed up. And so, for example, these windows here could shift behind this building and that would blow everything. Meanwhile we've got movement in this scene. This vaporetto is moving forward.

There's nothing we can do about that. You don't have to shoot quickly. You don't want to shoot quickly. You don't want to rush it. You want to get a right. You definitely don't want to somehow like bracket the shot and then twist your body furiously from one side to the other during the bracketing. That's not going to work either. So don't worry too much about the movement of slow objects, relatively slow objects in this scene, like vaporettos and boats and so forth. All right, so the other big tip that I have to pass along here is capture portrait shots.

Don't shoot wide, shoot tall, and that way you've got tons of information to work with. So it's better to shoot like 10 or a dozen tall shots than to shoot let's say three landscape shots. You 're going to get way better results this way. Otherwise, I'll just go ahead and run through these images. I'm pointing at about, I'd say 10 o'clock in the bridge right now, and then I'm just twisting my way to the right. You can move either left to right as I am, or right to left; it doesn't matter. Make sure that you have at least the third overlap. I tend to go for more, so notice I have about half shot overlap as I'm moving through these images.

Watch that vaporetto, see how it's coming ever closer to me. And the rear vaporetto's moving closer, this motorboat is moving away from me as well, and I just continue shooting. Now two things are very important here: One is you want to keep your shot straight up and down as possible, so try to make sure your shots are plum. And the other thing is you want to move to the best of your ability, you want to move exactly horizontally, that is just right along the horizon. So what I suggest is you figure out your framing at the end of your shot, so start at the end--in other words get your framing right here--and then move back to that first shot and start shooting here, because you want to make sure that your framing is accounting for the entire scene.

Anyway, those are the 10 shots I have to work with. Now I'm going to press the Escape key in order to return to the Bridge, which is where I'm at right now. And I've got the first image selected. I'm going to scroll down and Shift+Click on that last image, so 10 images and all in this case. And now check out that vaporetto. Notice how much closer it is in this shot than this shot, because it's probably about a 5-10 second delay going on there. Again, that's okay. That's going to work out just fine. Go up to the Tools menu and then choose Photoshop if you're working in the Bridge as I am and then choose Photomerge. And what that's going to do is switch you over to Photoshop and bring up the big Photomerge dialog box, and it's going to show you the names of all of the images that you had selected inside of the bridge.

If you feel like you need to open more images, then you can go ahead and click on Browse and so forth. Now then, the next thing I suggest, unless you want to create a bowtie of an image, which I think is just rotten-- I don't think that's a way to approach the panorama experience at all-- I would select either Cylindrical or Spherical--and you can try both. You can try one and then try the other and see which one works out best. In one case, you're going to wrap the image, you can distort the image forward in the center, and then in the other case we're going to distort the image inward in the center. So choose your poison there.

You definitely want to blend the images together, so leave that first check box turned on. The other two you can typically leave turned off unless you have a problem with vignettes in your shots, shadows being castled by lens element, I would leave Vignette Removal turned off, and in our case we're shooting neither wide nor telephoto shots, so we don't really need geometric distortion correction. Click OK in order to go ahead and combine those shots together. Now what Photoshop is doing is it's running a combination of the Auto Alignment function along with Auto Blend. So at first it goes ahead and assembles all the images into a layered composition, and then it starts running the Auto Align function, which is looking for similar patterns of pixels, so it can marry the right side of one image to the left side of another.

And then--and this is where this function just gets magical--it goes ahead and blends all these layers together. So it's actually changing the colors of pixels, and then it turns around and automatically generates layer masks around each and every one of these layers in order to produce an effect like the one you're seeing here. If you run into problems at this point, you might think the thing to do is to go ahead and edit the layer masks. The problem with that approach is that Photoshop just goes ahead and color corrects the pixels that are enclosed inside that mask. So if you start changing the shape of the mask, you're going to expose wrong pixels inside the image, and they won't match at all.

So if you do have some problem once use stitch things together, if you find that something doesn't align properly, you are going to have to back to one of the original images and try to heal from it or clone it into place or something along those lines. In our case, everything actually looks great. Now what I normally do at this point is I go ahead and save the layered version of the composition. It's quite large, as you can see down here. Even though I started off with quarter- resolution versions of the shot, this combined image still measures about 150 MB when all the layers are included.

So I want to save that information, but I don't really want to work with that information because it doesn't to me that much good. So I'll go up to the File menu and choose the Save As command, and I'll go ahead and name this image something like View from Ponte Accademia. It'll work out nicely, .psd. Go ahead and save all those layers of course. Then click on the Save button in order to protect what you've done so far. Now go up to the Layer menu and choose Flatten Image in order to merge all those layers and get rid of the layer masks.

All right, now you will undoubtedly need to crop your image to some extent. Notice that despite the fact I was telling you how important it is to make sure your images are plum and that you're following the horizon line, my horizon is dropping from the left to the right. So I'm going to go ahead and grab my Crop tool here and enclose my image like so, and I'm going to drag this top edge down--or maybe I'll try to align one of these rule of thirds guidelines-- and go ahead and rotate the crop boundary by dragging outside of it like so, and then tuck that in just a little bit, drag this guy up because I want to keep that chimney.

I actually want to keep as much of the bottom of the image as I can, because I've got a corner of this dock down here that I don't want to loose. And I might tuck the left side in a little bit like so, because this seems to me a reasonable panoramic view at this point. All right, having done that, I'll go and press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to crop that scene, and that is it. I'll press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode and zoom in on my panorama so that we can take it in. And I have been through this image of few times. I could be wrong. There could be some seams some place that I haven't caught on to.

But notice how well the wake works out here, these waves that are passing round around the vaporetto. We see just one vaporetto; we don't see any ghost. We see just one vaporetto on the background, just one motorboat here. Everything has worked out beautifully because I took some care, paid some attention upfront when I was capturing these photographs, and because Photomerge absolutely rocks for stitching together seamless panoramas here inside the Photoshop.

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