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Learn how to use selections and layer masks in Photoshop to create composite images and apply targeted adjustments. After covering the key concepts behind selections and exploring Photoshop's selection tools, Tim Grey delves into a variety of advanced techniques that will help you make accurate selections, create seamless composite images, and apply adjustments that do exactly what you want them to do.
One of the most common types of composite images that I tend to create is the composite panorama. With the composite panorama, you can capture multiple images in a sequence panning across the horizon for example. And then assemble those images into a single image with a panoramic aspect ratio. Here, for example, I have some images of clouds. I started with this capture and then panned to the right as I captured additional images, and now I'm ready to assemble all of these photos. So, a total of 6, in this case into a single composite panorama.
So, I need to first select the images here in bridge. I'll click on the first image and then hold the shift key and click on the last image in order to select all of those images. And then from the tools menu I can choose Photoshop followed by photomerge. That will send all of the images over to Photoshop, but because I'm using the photomerge command, I will first see the photomerge dialogue. You'll see that the files that I selected in Bridge are automatically selected as those to be blended together. So now I can just configure the settings for the Photomerge. I'll leave the layout option set to automatic.
In most cases, a panorama will utilize the perspective layout. In some cases though, you might use cylindrical or even spherical but Photoshop is able to determine automatically, based on the images, which layout option should be utilized. And so in most cases, the auto option works perfectly well. Then, down at the bottom of the dialog, you'll want to make sure that the blend images together check box is turned on, and this is perhaps the most important item here because it is what causes the images to actually be blended together into a seamless panorama.
If you 're concerned about vignetting, for example if you're using a wide angle lens, then you can also turn on the vignette removal check box. In this case though, that is not an issue. You can also utilize geometric distortion correction if you'd like. I tend not to use this option simply because it then requires me to crop the image rather significantly. So, I leave the geometric distortion correction check box turned off in most cases, and then I'll apply any transformations that I want to later as part of my overall work flow. So, with those options established, I'll go ahead And click the Okay button, and Photoshop will process all of those images.
First, it will take each of the individual images and blend them together into a single document, with each of the original photos represented by an individual layer in that document. And then, it will align all of the images and blend them together through the use of a layer mask. So you can see here, I have the finished result. All I need to do, is apply a crop, so I'll go ahead and choose the crop tool, and then define the crop that I'd like to use for the image. I think right about there will work pretty well, and then I'll crop the image. So now I have a finished panorama with very little effort.
I simply select the images, send those images over to the Photo Merge command in Photoshop. Adjust the settings for that photo merge and Photoshop takes care of all the rest.
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