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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
In this exercise, we are going take a look at the seams generated by each one of the Projection/Layout Options, that is Perspective, Cylindrical, Spherical, Collage and Reposition, and we're actually going to look at them in the opposite order. We will start with the simplest option, Reposition, and we'll work our way toward greater complexity in the form of Cylindrical and Spherical, and of course, total absurdity in the case of Perspective. And so I've got every one of those images open that are found inside the Alignment projection folder, and were looking at the last one first, that is Panorama-5 reposition.psd.
Now it's one thing to just kind of scout around in the image and try to see if you can see any problems. It's another thing to actually see where the seams occur, so what I've done in the case of each and every one of these images is I have given you a flatten version of the panorama, as produced by Photoshop, and I have also given you an additional layer called "seams." And if you turn that layer on, you're going to see outlines of each and every one of the seams. These are the outlines of the layer masks, by the way, that are automatically created by the Auto-Blend Layers function.
So of course, you can see right here that this seam is a bad one, so the one that I'm tracing roughly in the middle of the image window right now. And it goes up along here, and then there's a little chunk that doesn't really matter, of brick, over there, so who cares about that. The big problem is that the seats aren't aligned with beans right there, and then we have a big break in the wall, and we have another break over here in these higher seats, and then finally the wall reconciles up toward the top of the image, so that's comforting. But we also have a big rift right there along the seats, as you can see, and if you want to see the things look like then without the seams, you just turn off the seams layer, and you go ah! You know it's not the kind of thing you see right away, which is a tricky thing about Photomerge. What happens so often I've seen this happen again and again and again with people's panoramas, and, my own as well I should say, is you get done working like crazy on one of these, you spend a fair amount of time waiting for Photoshop to put it together for you, and then you spend some additional time, of course, finessing the composition and getting the colors right and all that jazz, and everything looks absolutely perfect. And so 45 minutes later you're so pleased with yourself, and then a couple days later you open up the image to take a look at it, and you go oh! There is a problem right here. How did I miss that? Or worse yet, you send it out and you share it with the world, and somebody gives you call and says, "Did you notice that your seats don't line up here?" So it's worth taking a look at the seams. I'll show you how to draw your own seams in a later exercise.
But for now, I am just going to turn it back on, and you can take a look at the other seams inside the image. What's interesting is once we get out of the seats because the seats are kind of a mess all over the place there, they are better on the right side of the image than they were left-hand side, but we do have some wall issues going on, as you can see here. And some of the seats don't reconcile down below worth beans, frankly, especially down here Notice this, it's pretty good. It's kind of sort of little almost a Cezanne rendering of prospective, where the fruit and the table don't align with each other at all.
At least, he did it on purpose. But here's the thing: Down here in the central portion of the image, it actually looks great. This isn't bad at all. I mean we do have some hitches here and there, but the flat arena of the stage here ends up reconciling pretty nicely inside of all the projections. All right, so let's make quick work of the other ones. Here is Panorama-4 collage, which allows Photoshop to go ahead and wrote it in scale but not apply any distortion. It looks pretty darn good. In fact, it's hard to see any problems over here on the left-hand side of the image, at first glance, anyway. But as soon as you turn on that seams layer, wait a second, right there, that wall doesn't line up, and the bleachers fell down there at the top.
We've got some pretty significant problems down here, with these stone benches. And over here on the other side where the benches are concerned, again, this perspective doesn't work out at all, I don't think, and you know so on. What is this? So on, and so on. Now I have to say I will give it credit because it's amazing that can pull off something this good just by scaling and rotating and repositioning and then of course layer masking like crazy, these various images together, because really, given the fact that there is distortion associated with your camera lens, and you're moving around, so that's changing the perspective fundamentally, some form of perspective modification needs to happen to properly reconcile this scene.
All right, so let's check out Spherical. Spherical is probably the most successful, by the way, and you can check out Cylindrical and Perspective on your own. I don't want to dwell on this too much. However, what I want you to notice is that nothing's perfect. So if you've starts zooming in and hunting around the seats here and the bleachers and the walls, everything looks gorgeous. It looks really, really, really good. That's why you need to turn on the seams. Those seams will really help you figure out things for real. So turn on the seams, and then you can look at the various interactions here and see if they work out. And over here in the bleachers in the stands and so on, they work out very well. And this wall is put together quite nicely. And I don't think there's any issues with this little cement walkway here, or whatever these tiles are.
It's down here that we have some problems, as I recall. There's some thing around this area here that doesn't quite work out, so I'll zoom in to these benches down and sorted to the right of the image, just a little bit right of center, and I'll turn off seams, and you can see - check that out, that doesn't work out. These are not quite lining up with each other. Now I think we're going up to forgive Photomerge because this is the best it can do. As I say, check out the other projection options and see what you think, but for my money the one that works out the best is spherical, and it is often the case; you're either going to see the best results out of cylindrical or spherical when you're working with the Photomerge command, but again don't expect miracles and don't expect absolute perfection. What you should do is you should figure out where the problems are and decide if you can live with them or not. In my case, I'm saying yeah, we can live with them, because this is the best we're going to do.
If we start zooming out, it's pretty darn hunky-dory, actually, and that the worst it gets, that area right there. All right so there we have it - Spherical is the winner. In the next exercise, were going to apply the Spherical layout, using the Photomerge command.
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