Thursday, 2 May 2013

How to Create a Panoramic Photograph Using Photoshop

How to Create a Panoramic Photograph Using Photoshop

A panoramic picture is one that has a lengthened field of view. They are incredibly easy to create in Adobe Photoshop.

Taking the Pictures

1.    Leave the camera in one place. If possible, use a tripod.

2.    Take the pictures. Start at the left side.

3.    Include half of the previous picture in your next picture. It will make the stitching process easier. Though any overlap will do. Note: When taking the pictures, check your exposure. If exposures are off from one photo to the next there will be a stitch line in the panorama.

4.    Check to make sure you took pictures of the whole scene before leaving.


Making the Panorama

1.    Open Photoshop.

2.    Click File > Automate > Photo merge.

3.    Select "Reposition Only".

4.    Click "Browse..." and select the pictures that will make up the panorama.

5.    Click "OK".

6.    Wait for Photoshop to finish creating the panorama.

7.    Flatten all layers down.

8.    Click File > Save As... to save the file.



·         Make sure you get some each object in at least two pictures. A good range of overlap should be between 20 and 40 percent, never over 50.

·         The more pictures you have, the better it will look, but the longer it will take.

·         Make sure that the pictures are levelled or else you may end up with one or more "breaks" or uneven stitches in your final picture.

·         Save it as a JPEG if you know you're not going to work on the image anymore. Save it as a PSD if you think you're going to work on the image more (each time a JPEG is saved, the image is compressed again).

·         There may be some small little areas messed up, but these are very rare.


About Photomerge

The Photomerge™ command combines several photographs into one continuous image. For example, you can take five overlapping photographs of a city skyline, and then merge them into a panorama. The Photomerge command can assemble photos that are tiled horizontally as well as vertically.


Source images (top), and completed Photomerge composition (bottom)


To create Photomerge compositions, choose File > Automate > Photomerge and then choose your source files and then specify layout and blending options. Your option choice depends on how you photographed the panorama. For example, if you’ve photographed images for a 360 degree panorama, the Spherical layout option is recommended. This option stitches the images and transforms them as if they were mapped to the inside of a sphere, which simulates the experience of viewing a 360 degree panorama.


For a video overview of Photomerge, see



Take pictures for Photomerge

·         Your source photographs play a large role in panoramic compositions. To avoid problems, follow these guidelines when taking pictures for use with Photomerge:

·         Overlap images sufficiently

·         Images should overlap by approximately 40%. If the overlap is less, Photomerge may not be able to automatically assemble the panorama. However, keep in mind that the images shouldn’t overlap too much. If images overlap by 70% or more, Photomerge may not be able to blend the images. Try to keep the individual photos at least somewhat distinct from each other.

·         Use one focal length

·         If you use a zoom lens, don’t change the focal length (zoom in or out) while taking your pictures.

·         Keep the camera level

·         Although Photomerge can process slight rotations between pictures, a tilt of more than a few degrees can result in errors when the panorama is assembled. Using a tripod with a rotating head helps maintain camera alignment and viewpoint.

·         Stay in the same position

·         Try not to change your position as you take a series of photographs, so that the pictures are from the same viewpoint. Using the optical viewfinder with the camera held close to the eye helps keep the viewpoint consistent. Or try using a tripod to keep the camera in the same place.

·         Avoid using distortion lenses

·         Distortion lenses can interfere with Photomerge. However, the Auto option adjusts for images taken with fish-eye lenses.

·         Maintain the same exposure

·         Avoid using the flash in some pictures and not in others. The blending features in Photomerge helps smooth out different exposures, but extreme differences make alignment difficult. Some digital cameras change exposure settings automatically as you take pictures, so you may need to check your camera settings to be sure that all the images have the same exposure.


Create a Photomerge composition

·         Do one of the following:

·         Choose File > Automate > Photomerge.

·         In Adobe® Bridge, choose Tools > Photoshop > Photomerge from the Bridge menu bar. Skip to step 5.

·         Note: In Bridge, choosing the Photomerge command uses all images currently displayed in Bridge. If you only want specific images used, select them before choosing the Photomerge command.

·         Under Source Files in the Photomerge dialog box, choose one of the following from the Use menu:

·         Files

·         Generates the Photomerge composition using individual files.

·         Folders

·         Uses all the images stored in a folder to create the Photomerge composition.

·         Specify which images to use by doing one of the following:

·         To select image files or a folder of images, click the Browse button and navigate to the files or folder.

·         To use the images currently open in Photoshop, click Add Open Files.

·         To remove images from the Source File list, select the file and click the Remove button.

·         Select a Layout option:

·         For a video that shows the effect of each Layout option, see

·         Auto

·         Photoshop analyzes the source images and applies either a Perspective, Cylindrical, and Spherical layout, depending on which produces a better photomerge.

·         Perspective

·         Creates a consistent composition by designating one of the source images (by default, the middle image) as the reference image. The other images are then transformed (repositioned, stretched or skewed as necessary) so that overlapping content across layers is matched.

·         Cylindrical

·         Reduces the “bow‑tie” distortion that can occur with the Perspective layout by displaying individual images as on an unfolded cylinder. Overlapping content across files is still matched. The reference image is placed at the center. Best suited for creating wide panoramas.


·         Applying Cylindrical Mapping

A. Original and B. Cylindrical Mapping applied

·         Spherical:

Aligns and transforms the images as if they were for mapping the inside of a sphere. If you have taken a set of images that cover 360 degrees, use this for 360 degree panoramas. You might also use Spherical to produce nice panoramic results with other file sets.

·         Collage:

Aligns the layers and matches overlapping content and transforms (rotate or scale) any of the source layers.

·         Reposition:

Aligns the layers and matches overlapping content, but does not transform (stretch or skew) any of the source layers.


Select any of the following options:

·         Blend Images Together:

Finds the optimal borders between the images and create seams based on those borders, and to color match the images. With Blend Images Together turned off, a simple rectangular blend is performed. This may be preferable if you intend to retouch the blending masks by hand.

·         Vignette Removal:

Removes and performs exposure compensation in images that have darkened edges caused by lens flaws or improper lens shading.

·         Geometric Distortion Correction:

Compensates for barrel, pincushion, or fisheye distortion.

·         Click OK.

·         Photoshop creates one multi‑layer image from the source images, adding layer masks as needed to create optimal blending where the images overlap. You can edit the layer masks or add adjustment layers to further fine tune the different areas of the panorama.

·         To replace empty areas around image borders, use a content-aware fill.

Create 360-degree panoramas (Photoshop Extended)

·         Combine Photomerge with 3D features to create a 360-degree panorama. First, you stitch together the images to create a panorama; then you use the Spherical Panorama command to wrap the panorama so it’s continuous.

·         Be sure to photograph a full circle of images with sufficient overlap. Photographing with a pano head on a tripod helps produce better results.

·         For a video on creating a 360-degree panorama, see

·         Choose File > Automate > Photomerge.

·         In the Photomerge dialog box, add the images you want to use.

·         Do not include images that cover the top (zenith) or bottom (nadir) of the scene. You’ll add these images later.

·         Select Spherical for the Layout.

·         If you photographed with a fisheye lens, select the Auto layout and Geometric Distortion Correction. If Photoshop cannot automatically identify your lens, download the free Adobe Lens Profile Creator from the Adobe website.

·         (Optional) Select Vignette Removal or Geometric Distortion for the Lens Correction.

·         Click OK.

·         There might be transparent pixels on the edges of the panoramic image. These can prevent the final 360 panorama from wrapping correctly. You can either crop the pixels out or use the Offset filter to identify and remove the pixels.

·         Choose 3D > New Shape From Layer > Spherical Panorama.

·         (Optional) Manually add the top and bottom images into the sphere. You could also paint out any remaining transparent pixels in the 3D spherical panorama layer





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