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Stitching large photos using Photomerge

From: Photo Restoration with Photoshop

Video: Stitching large photos using Photomerge

There will come a time when you have a photo that's just too big for your scanner. The only thing for it is to scan it in pieces--sometimes just a couple of pieces and sometimes many more. That could present a problem if you had no easy way to piece them back together, especially if your only option was to put them together with just your mouse and your eye to guide you. Luckily, that's not the case, for inside Photoshop is a very powerful, highly-accurate photo-stitching tool called Photomerge. Open all your scans in Photoshop, or have them all in the same folders.

Stitching large photos using Photomerge

There will come a time when you have a photo that's just too big for your scanner. The only thing for it is to scan it in pieces--sometimes just a couple of pieces and sometimes many more. That could present a problem if you had no easy way to piece them back together, especially if your only option was to put them together with just your mouse and your eye to guide you. Luckily, that's not the case, for inside Photoshop is a very powerful, highly-accurate photo-stitching tool called Photomerge. Open all your scans in Photoshop, or have them all in the same folders.

If all the scans aren't facing the same direction, Photomerge will flip the images for you. With all your images open, go to File > Automate and then all the way to the bottom, where you'll find Photomerge. If your images are all in a folder, you can go up to Browse, or if they're open, click Add Open Files. Keep your Blend Images Together box checked. This program does a really good job of blending and will save you a lot of time.

I pretty much always check the Correct Geometric Distortion box. This setting is actually meant for photos taken with an extreme wide-angle or fisheye lens. The trouble there, you see, is I'm not a photographer, so I can't always tell, and I can't go back in time to see what was used. Since it does no harm to the photo to have it checked and it won't correct something that's not there in the first place, I just go ahead and check it. Over here under Layout I just usually leave the Auto button ticked and click OK.

And now Photomerge is doing the work for me to put these photos all together. You can see Photomerge is doing its work editing the pieces together and blending them. It's fully automated, so if you have a huge photograph with many pieces, you can get up, walk around, get a drink, do some other work, or whatever. So now that Photomerge is done, you can see the four pieces of the image have been merged together. We'll zoom in and have a look at the result. Using Ctrl+Plus or Command+Plus, zoom it into around 100%.

In most cases you won't ever know this was stitched together. In the rare instance, you see a line or a tonal variation marking a seam, simply treated like part of the restoration work and use the Clone, Patch, or other tools to disguise it. All of your pieces will be on separate layers along with the masks Photomerge added to blend them. Select the layer at the top and then Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E on a PC or Shift+Command+Option+E on a Mac to combine all of the layers into one.

You can then delete the layers underneath. You still have all the individual scans in their separate files, so you don't really need them anymore. Scanning large photos in multiple pieces, then putting them back together in Photoshop is a breeze with Photomerge. The only thing you need to do in terms of preparation is to make sure you have plenty of overlap between scans. If you have too little, Photomerge won't work. So be sure to overlap your scans by at least 25% for the best results.

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This video is part of

Image for Photo Restoration with Photoshop
Photo Restoration with Photoshop

70 video lessons · 15475 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 16m 47s
    1. Customizing your workspace
      2m 17s
    2. Using layers
      1m 58s
    3. Assessing the damage
      1m 52s
    4. Rebuilding color channels in a grayscale image
      3m 47s
    5. Using a Black & White adjustment layer
      1m 57s
    6. Using the Clone Stamp, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
      4m 56s
  3. 27m 30s
    1. Fixing a faded black-and-white photo
      2m 20s
    2. Removing small splits, specks, and spots
      3m 44s
    3. Repairing red-eye
      4m 58s
    4. Reducing paper texture
      4m 34s
    5. Reducing dot patterns in printed photos
      3m 51s
    6. Fixing lens distortion
      4m 19s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      3m 44s
  4. 24m 16s
    1. Fixing large rips, tears, and other damage
      3m 9s
    2. Removing long scratches
      3m 24s
    3. Fixing creases
      5m 8s
    4. Stitching large photos using Photomerge
      3m 17s
    5. Reassembling torn photos
      4m 56s
    6. Replacing missing pieces
      4m 22s
  5. 27m 55s
    1. Removing stains
      3m 48s
    2. Removing ink marks
      2m 34s
    3. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a black-and-white photo
      2m 14s
    4. Repairing adhesive tape damage on a color photo
      6m 1s
    5. Fixing mold damage
      5m 20s
    6. Reducing starburst light glare
      5m 11s
    7. Reducing eyeglass light glare
      2m 47s
  6. 21m 32s
    1. Understanding the basics of levels
      2m 50s
    2. Understanding the basics of curves
      3m 29s
    3. Finding the black, white, and gray points in an image
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting color levels by channel
      1m 58s
    5. Making selective contrast adjustments
      4m 48s
    6. Adjusting image shadows and highlights
      4m 59s
  7. 18m 13s
    1. Adjusting color with the Photo Filter adjustment
      2m 23s
    2. Correcting color casts using inverse color correction
      3m 2s
    3. Correcting color problems using the Color Balance adjustment
      3m 19s
    4. Correcting color casts using the Variations command
      3m 55s
    5. Correcting color by combining levels and curves
      1m 44s
    6. Improving color by adjusting the hue and saturation
      3m 50s
  8. 33m 14s
    1. Removing distracting elements
      5m 35s
    2. Repairing and recreating backgrounds
      7m 43s
    3. Extracting areas using masks
      5m 5s
    4. Matching colors in elements you add
      4m 11s
    5. Matching textures
      4m 45s
    6. Replacing facial features and missing body parts
      5m 55s
  9. 29m 59s
    1. Converting to black and white
      4m 48s
    2. Enhancing faded color
      3m 30s
    3. Smoothing a subject's skin
      4m 2s
    4. Enhancing black-and-white photos with duotone
      2m 34s
    5. Enhancing the eyes
      4m 10s
    6. Bringing out facial features with light
      5m 22s
    7. Sharpening
      5m 33s
  10. 32m 32s
    1. Assessing the damage
      1m 26s
    2. Repairing the crack
      1m 52s
    3. Replacing the missing body parts
      3m 5s
    4. Removing the specks, spots, and scratches
      3m 7s
    5. Fixing the missing corner
      1m 14s
    6. Lightening the stains
      5m 22s
    7. Restoring the faded tone in the face
      3m 8s
    8. Balancing the tone in the image
      1m 58s
    9. Evening the color with a Black & White adjustment layer
      49s
    10. Cleaning up the image
      2m 24s
    11. Adding definition to the face
      2m 20s
    12. Softening the image
      58s
    13. Sharpening the image
      2m 4s
    14. Bringing back some of the original tone
      1m 34s
    15. Comparing the image before and after
      1m 11s
  11. 24s
    1. Final thoughts
      24s

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