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How to create a panorama in Photoshop

By using layers, you can take several photos from one location and merge them together to create a large panoramic photo.

Many people take an assortment of photos of a subject while holding the camera, but it’s best to use a tripod. It’s important to ensure that you have some overlap between each frame; that is to say, the adja- cent photos share some common subject matter—about 25 percent overlap is usually enough.

Getting started with the Photomerge command

To get started, in Photoshop, choose File > Automate > Photomerge. Photomerge is a specialized “mini-application” within Photoshop that assists in combining multiple images into a single photo.

Click the Browse button and navigate to your folder of images, and choose the files you wish to merge into a panorama.

Several layout options are available that attempt to fix problems (such as distortion) caused by panoramic photography. A good place to start is Auto, which attempts to align the images but will bend them as needed.

Select the check boxes next to Blend Images Together and Vignette Removal. These two options attempt to blend the edges of the pho- tos together and can hide subtle differences in exposure.

Photoshop attempts to straighten the image. Although this photo was shot with a tripod, the wall was not level. Photoshop attempts to compensate and corrects the image using the horizon automatically.

Click OK to build the panoramic image. Photoshop attempts to assemble the panorama based on your choices in the dialog box. Because layers are preserved, however, you can still tweak the position of individual layers.

Making finishing tweaks

Although unlikely, you can nudge any layers with the Move tool if your alignment is off. You may need to adjust the Layer Masks.

The Layer Masks help to blend the photos together. They can be modified as needed using the techniques you learned in the previous chapter.

Choose Layer > Flatten Image. Then crop the image to a clean rectangular shape using the Crop tool. You may need to fill in some additional areas of the image if there are holes in the panorama. If so, you could use the Clone Stamp and Content-Aware Fill options.

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Rafael Jones

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