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Creating a panorama with Photomerge

From: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Creating a panorama with Photomerge

All right gang, we're back inside the Bridge looking at the contents of the Alcatraz sub-folder found inside the 28 Auto-Align folder, and what we've got is a bunch of photographs of good old Alcatraz. And I had high telephoto lens. So I wanted to zoom in and get a bunch of tight shots of various pieces of the island that I could then stitch together using the Photomerge function. Now I'm going to tell you something about Photomerge inside of Photoshop. Once upon a time it was one of the most wretched features in the program. I kid you not. It was so awful.

Creating a panorama with Photomerge

All right gang, we're back inside the Bridge looking at the contents of the Alcatraz sub-folder found inside the 28 Auto-Align folder, and what we've got is a bunch of photographs of good old Alcatraz. And I had high telephoto lens. So I wanted to zoom in and get a bunch of tight shots of various pieces of the island that I could then stitch together using the Photomerge function. Now I'm going to tell you something about Photomerge inside of Photoshop. Once upon a time it was one of the most wretched features in the program. I kid you not. It was so awful.

And it was the kind of the thing that you would just sit there and go "that didn't work again" and now it has transformed into this amazingly capable feature. It's gotten even better, it was really great in Photoshop CS3, and it's got even better in Photoshop CS4. So check it out, we got I think a total of 10 photographs going here. And they really kind of are little bit all over the map. I went ahead and edited them all together. So they have the exact same Camera Raw settings, and the same amount of jpg. I've reduced their size of course, because otherwise you were asking for trouble. You were just like cruising for bruising, if you go with full 10 megapixel, 12 megapixel and higher images and merged together 10 of them, I know because I did it.

You end up with like a 450-megabyte file, and then you watch Photoshop cry. By the way Photomerge I should tell you is a combination of the Auto-Align and Auto-Blend working together on their own without any help from you. And what's going to happen when something goes wrong is it will either complain and just say forget about it, I'm not going to work, I'm out of memory, sorry. In which case you restart Photoshop of course, or it can just get through the Auto-Align part of the deal, and it looks all choppy and weird, and the details don't match, and that's because it didn't get around to Auto-Blend, and sometimes it will tell you, ran out of memory, and sometimes it just won't do it, and then you'll have to try to perform it manually, and then it'll run out of memory and you'll have to restart Photoshop.

So there is a lot of different delightful things that can happen, but if you start with moderate resolution images in the first place, so go ahead and down sample them all to the same degree of course, then it can work out pretty darn nicely, and it's going to work out very nicely, knock on wood for us. So we'll see how it goes, anyway. I got these many images here, and this is the order in which I shot them. Here is the tip of Alcatraz, and then here's farther end, and notice the overlap, quite a bit of overlap going on. I'm remaining stationary. Okay, so I'm not moving my feet. That's one of the very important things. Don't go on wandering, because if you start moving around, you have that perspective problem and Photomerge is no more capable of reconciling problems with perspective than Auto-Align is because it is Auto-Align.

It's just Auto-Align and Auto-Blend mixed together. So of course it can't do it. So make sure that you are relatively stationary, keep your feet planted, you don't have to have a tripod. There is the good news, you do want to swivel your body in order to take the shots. Here is the next one. So a fair amount of overlap again, you'll hear people recommend about a third overlap from one shot to the next. But what do you know from a third overlap, just try to keep an eye on one of the details, and make sure that it appears in the next shot too.

So this time there was a water tower, and here's the next image. Not much different. I'm just kind of lowering a little bit, looking down a little bit more, and here's this. I don't know what I'm doing at this point, but there is a fair amount of overlap going on. Oh, now I moved. Good. There is-- We are down in the bush and now I'm moving back over to the right. And yeah, this is going to work out great. Really the trick is make sure there's overlap, make sure you don't move your feet, just swivel, just a little bit. And when you got a monstrous telephoto lens there's a little bit a swivel goes a long way, and I believe that's the end of it. Yeah, we're back to the original picture. All right, those are your 10, two of them really aren't necessary, but who cares, and what we're going to do, as I'm going to have you press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac in order to select all of these images inside the bridge. Then go up to the tools menu, choose Photoshop, and choose Photomerge, and you'll once again bear witness to this dialog box right here, and when I say this dialog box, we got to wait for it, there it is.

And we're seeing that we have a bunch of different layout options available to us. What I suggest you do is start with Auto, if you end up having problems, and things don't look right. Sometimes you can get this weird bow-tie effects, and if that happens then Undo, start over, try out Cylindrical, would be your next bet, and then if that doesn't work, try out Spherical, and you can compare these two and see how they fair. But I would start with Auto, because it's probably going to come over some blend of cylindrical and spherical and perspective all by itself. Now you definitely want to blend the images together. You should see all the files listed by the way, and if you decided you didn't want a file, you can click on it and remove it. But I can't remember which ones are the ones that are duplicates, so who cares.

We'll just make Photoshop work a little harder, and then blend images together, most definitely you want the blend to happen. Vignette removal, you would do that if you have some vignetting from one photo to the next, which would be some darkening in the corners. If you have any degree of darkening from one photograph to the next photograph, so they would all have darkening presumably, because of the lens you are using. Then you would turn that on, and that will help to solve any variations in luminance levels between one photograph and the next, because other wise you'll have the scene getting darker and lighter, and darker and lighter. In our case we don't have that problem. You only want to turn it on if you got the problem.

And you can just check your images to see. And then Geometric distortion correction, again, if you are working with the special lens that is distorting the scene I was in, leave it off, unless you really need it, because that increases the complexity of the operation like crazy. All right, so now we're ready. We would just go ahead and click OK, and we'd watch the Fireworks, and what you're going to see is you're going to see Photoshop first of all heap all of the images into a single multi layered document. So it performs that first task that we've been doing over and over again from the bridge, where we were choosing that throw a multiple images in the layers, whatever that thing is called. Then it runs the Auto-Align function right there, and you can see it happen.

Now this time it knows that we want a Photomerge effect. So in other words, instead of trying to align the photographs directly on top of each other, it's going to expand the canvas and put the images in different locations as witnessed by these thumbnails inside of the Layers palette. Then you want to see this Progress bar. Blend selected layers based on content, and if you don't see that, that's a bad sign. It means, Photoshop ran out of memory or got confused or had some other problem, and then create the seamless composition, that's the masking and then, all right, so I'm going to go ahead and Shift+Tab away my palette for a moment, just because I need more horizontal room, and you can see them all. They are still separated, they are still editable and so on. But I'm going to Shift+Tab them away, and then I'm going to press Ctrl +Plus in order to zoom in on this composition.

Now we have some bad edges, of course, we're going to have to do some cropping, but I'm here to tell you that is a darn nice merge. Now I think it could be better, I think we could correct this image, and I'll show you how I think we can go about best correcting it in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery

147 video lessons · 27751 viewers

Deke McClelland

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 21m 17s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      5m 38s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      3m 51s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 34s
    5. Setting up the CS4 color settings
      5m 53s
  2. 2h 31m
    1. Introduction to masking
    2. Introducing color range
      4m 22s
    3. Adding base colors and adjusting fuzziness
      4m 46s
    4. Localized color clusters
      6m 12s
    5. The Quick Mask mode
      7m 33s
    6. Viewing a quick mask by itself
      6m 40s
    7. Testing the quality of edges
      3m 55s
    8. Introducing the Masks palette
      7m 45s
    9. Editing a layer mask
      6m 18s
    10. Choking a mask with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 44s
    11. Choking a mask with Mask Edge
      7m 43s
    12. Adding a Gradient Overlay shadow
      4m 23s
    13. Using live Density and Feather
      6m 12s
    14. Journeyman masking
      5m 44s
    15. Creating an alpha channel
      7m 6s
    16. Increasing contrast
      7m 15s
    17. Overlay painting
      8m 28s
    18. Cleaning up whites and blacks
      5m 48s
    19. Soft light painting
      5m 47s
    20. Selecting in style
      6m 55s
    21. Employing masks as selections
      5m 2s
    22. Scaling and compositing layers
      6m 30s
    23. Compositing glass
      5m 10s
    24. Selecting glass highlights
      8m 41s
    25. Working with found masks
      5m 46s
  3. 1h 34m
    1. Introduction to vector-based shapes
      1m 10s
    2. Vector-based type outlines
      7m 23s
    3. The benefits of vectors
      6m 27s
    4. Upsampling vs. nondestructive scaling
      7m 35s
    5. Vectors and effects
      8m 7s
    6. Fill Opacity and clipped layers
      4m 24s
    7. Basic shape creation
      3m 15s
    8. Drawing interacting shapes
      6m 21s
    9. Power-duplicating paths
      3m 12s
    10. Combining pixels and vector masks
      5m 19s
    11. Line tool and layer attributes
      7m 5s
    12. Copying and pasting path outlines
      3m 28s
    13. Drawing custom shapes
      3m 59s
    14. Drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 48s
    15. Creating cusp points
      7m 28s
    16. Defining a custom shape
      3m 34s
    17. Assigning a vector mask to an image
      2m 38s
    18. Adding a vector object to a composition
      5m 40s
  4. 1h 23m
    1. Introduction to Vanishing Point
      1m 11s
    2. Creating and saving the first plane
      8m 9s
    3. Creating perpendicular planes
      5m 16s
    4. Healing in perspective
      8m 47s
    5. Cloning and scaling in perspective
      8m 33s
    6. Patching an irregularly shaped area
      6m 59s
    7. Healing between planes
      3m 34s
    8. Importing an image into a 3D scene
      5m 45s
    9. Adding perspective type
      5m 37s
    10. Removing and matching perspective
      5m 36s
    11. Applying a reflection in perspective
      5m 1s
    12. Creating a perspective gradient
      6m 11s
    13. Converting a gradient to a mask
      2m 58s
    14. Swinging planes to custom angles
      4m 32s
    15. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      5m 49s
  5. 1h 15m
    1. Introduction to Smart Objects
    2. Placing a Smart Object
      5m 7s
    3. Saving a PDF-compatible AI file
      4m 27s
    4. Performing nondestructive transformations
      6m 7s
    5. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 50s
    6. Converting an image to a Smart Object
      6m 50s
    7. Cloning Smart Objects
      5m 24s
    8. Creating a multilayer Smart Object
      5m 51s
    9. Updating multiple instances at once
      2m 54s
    10. Creating a Camera Raw Smart Object
      4m 17s
    11. Editing a Camera Raw Smart Object
      3m 25s
    12. Assembling a layered ACR composition
      5m 54s
    13. Using an ACR Smart Object to effect
      3m 41s
    14. Blending multiple ACR portraits
      6m 56s
    15. Live type that inverts everything behind it
      6m 32s
  6. 1h 48m
    1. Introducing nondestructive Smart Filters
    2. Applying a Smart Filter
      4m 22s
    3. Adjusting filter and blend settings
      4m 25s
    4. Heaping on the Smart Filters
      5m 19s
    5. Smart Filter stacking order
      7m 23s
    6. Resolution and Smart Filter radius
      6m 12s
    7. Masking Smart Filters
      4m 41s
    8. Employing nested Smart Objects
      5m 5s
    9. Dragging and dropping Smart Filters
      6m 31s
    10. Using the Shadows/Highlights filter
      5m 53s
    11. Regaining access to the pixels
      7m 8s
    12. Parametric wonderland
      5m 52s
    13. Working with the Filter Gallery
      6m 28s
    14. Freeform filter jam
      5m 51s
    15. Swapping filters from the Filter Gallery
      3m 45s
    16. Mixing all varieties of parametric effects
      7m 30s
    17. Addressing a few Smart Filter bugs
      3m 11s
    18. Applying a Smart Filter to live type
      5m 30s
    19. Choking letters with Maximum
      3m 7s
    20. Duplicating a Smart Filter
      2m 38s
    21. Enhancing a filter with a layer effect
      6m 30s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Introduction to Auto-Align, Auto-Blend, and Photomerge
      1m 2s
    2. Merging two shots into one
      3m 49s
    3. Applying Auto-Align layers
      3m 44s
    4. Masking images into a common scene
      1m 38s
    5. Auto-Align plus Auto-Blend
      8m 11s
    6. Assigning weighted Opacity values
      4m 7s
    7. Employing a Difference mask
      7m 17s
    8. Masking smarter, not harder
      3m 53s
    9. Capturing multiple depths of field
      3m 37s
    10. Auto-blending real focus
      8m 31s
    11. Creating a panorama with Photomerge
      7m 27s
    12. Correcting a seamless panorama
      4m 52s
    13. An altogether nondestructive Lab correction
      7m 59s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. Introduction to new CS4 technologies
      1m 1s
    2. Applying Content-Aware Scale
      7m 18s
    3. What works and what doesn't with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 19s
    4. Protecting areas with masks
      7m 31s
    5. Applying incremental edits
      7m 6s
    6. Protecting skin tones
      7m 12s
    7. Scaling around a model with TLC
      9m 0s
    8. Adjusting the scale threshold
      5m 22s
    9. When Content-Aware Scale fails
      4m 2s
    10. Creating a lens distortion effect
      8m 39s
    11. Layer masking the family
      11m 44s
    12. Installing the Pixel Bender
      3m 42s
    13. Introducing Pixel Bender kernels
      6m 50s
    14. Pixel Bender kernel roundup
      7m 24s
    15. Tube View and Ripple Blocks
      3m 58s
    16. Making a seamless pattern with Kaleidoscope
      6m 13s
    17. Introducing the Pixel Bender Toolkit
      3m 24s
  9. 1h 20m
    1. Introduction to actions
    2. Creating an action
      5m 45s
    3. Recording operations
      5m 12s
    4. Reviewing and editing an action
      4m 45s
    5. Playing an action (the Button Mode)
      4m 50s
    6. Saving and loading actions
      5m 0s
    7. Copying and modifying an action
      4m 8s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      5m 50s
    9. The Best Chrome Effect Ever II
      3m 41s
    10. Recording a fail-safe action
      7m 33s
    11. Rounding corners with a mask
      4m 33s
    12. Cleaning up layers
      3m 51s
    13. Automating layer effects
      7m 1s
    14. Applying chrome with Gradient Map
      6m 24s
    15. Action anomalies
      4m 11s
    16. Rendering effects to layers
      5m 1s
    17. Testing that it works
      2m 0s
  10. 1m 14s
    1. See ya
      1m 14s

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