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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.
I once again have the Bridge trained on the contents of the Theater Antique d'Orange folder. And I'd like you to press Ctrl+A, Command+ A on a Mac, to select all of the images. Then go out up to the Tools menu, choose Photoshop, and choose the Photomerge command, which will invoke Photomerge inside of Photoshop. Then I'd like you to go ahead and select a layout option. Now when I am working with Auto-Align Layers, and I have got one image stacked on top of another, I am very comfortable choosing Auto, because whether Photoshop ends up going with the Perspective modification or Cylindrical or Spherical, any of those options tend to work quite nicely. Whereas when you're stitching together a bunch of images, you really don't want Photoshop going with Perspective, because, not only is it a wacky option, and it delivers that hideous bowtie effect, but it also takes much longer than the other ones, because it generates an enormous file, somewhere in the neighborhood of four times as large as the other options.
So what I'd suggest you do is select either Cylindrical or Spherical. My favorite tends to be Spherical, but Cylindrical often works out as well too. And they're kind of neck and neck, frankly, between you and me. Then I would say Vignette Removal off. We don't have a vignetting problem with these images. That's one of the nice things about my Olympus E30, actually. When I am working with the standard 50 to 200 mm lens, I almost, never get any vignetting. And we'll go ahead and turn Geometric Distortion Correction off as well, because that just going to prolong things. What I'd like you to also do is turn off Blend Images Together.
Now that's on by default, and normally I would tell you to leave it on, because that'll go ahead and invoke the Auto- Blend Layers feature after Photomerge applies the Auto-Align Layers feature. However, I want you to see those two features work independently of each other, so I'm going to turn this check box off, and then I am going to click on the OK button. So what happens now is it's loading the various images on to independent layers, as you can see over here inside the Layers panel. So each and every image is getting stacked directly on top of the first one.
Then it's applying the Auto-Align Layers feature with a panoramic shot in mind. So it's trying to basically increase the size of the canvas and reconcile the placement of each and every one of these images, and then scale, rotate, and apply some form of distortion to each and every one of them so that they line up with each other. So this is an incredibly computationally-intensive project here, for Photoshop at any rate, and yet it goes that fast. Now, notice that so far we've got a series of 14 images, every single one of which has been placed on an independent layer and positioned and transformed and distorted independently, so that the various images align with each other.
Now there is no masking going on, and so far Photoshop has made no attempt to reconcile the differences in exposure and color, and you can see there is quite one a few differences. Now why are there differences? Because I didn't pay attention to that when I was shooting the images. I didn't lock down my shutter speed. I didn't lock down out my aperture. I didn't pay any attention to white balance. I didn't do any of that stuff. You might want to think about doing that if you want more successful, seamless panoramas; however, it's not really all the necessary, because the Auto-Blend Layers function will do it all for you automatically.
So I am going to go to the Select menu, and I am going to choose All Layers or press Ctrl+Alt+A, Command+Option+A on the Mac, to select all of the layers here inside the Layers panel. Then I want you to go up to the Edit menu and choose Auto-Blend Layers. Now, as I say, this wouldn't have been necessary if I had turned on that check box inside the Photomerge dialog box. I turned it off so I can show this operation is happening uniquely. I'll go ahead and choose the command, and what Photomerge would do is select the very options you see selected now.
You want Panorama selected this time, and you definitely want Seamless Tones and Colors turned on. And then you can leave Auto-Blend Layers in-charge of color-correcting every single pixel, as well as defining the layer masks. Again, these are the settings that Photomerge normally applies automatically. Now, I'll go ahead and click OK, and Photoshop goes into every single one of these layers and figures out what its participation in the overall composition will be. What's amazing about this is sometimes it'll take two layers and just draw an edge between them, and other times it will take a layer and maybe have it contribute about 16 pixels to the entire composition, and that's it.
Check this guy out. If were to Alt+Click on its layer mask, this is all it's doing. I don't know which of the many layers this; I'll go ahead and expand the Layers panel a little bit. It seems to be image 11, for what that's worth! Who cares! But it's only appearing in these tiny little crevices here, and that's it. Why? I haven't the vaguest idea. It's just that magical fairy, that little wizard that is the Auto-Blend Layers feature. Anyway I am going to go ahead and squish the Layers panel over a little bit, once again, so that we can see what has happened. And it has done just a brilliant job.
So, this is before. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac. You can see all this wandering colors going on here. And this is after, if I press our press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z again, and it all happened that quickly and that automatically. All right, so now at this point, of course, we would look around the composition and make sure it's in good shape. However, it's really going to help to be able see those seams, and I'll show you how to make those seams appear in the next exercise.
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