How to Stitch Panorama with Adobe Photoshop
A good panorama is something that can bring forth awe depending on the location being photographed. However, sometimes you may not have a panorama setting included on the camera you are using. That is okay because there is a trick for stitching your multiple photos into one giant picture using tools found in Adobe Photoshop. In this tutorial, we will be focusing on using a tool called PhotoMerge which is only found in Adobe Photoshop CS5 or later.
The very first step in this process is shooting your photos while keeping the idea of turning it into a panorama in mind. There are some tips you will want to follow in order to shoot the best possible pictures for a panorama. You will want your images to overlap by about 40%. If you have an overlap that is less PhotoMerge may not be able to figure out how to assemble the picture. But also keep in mind that if you do too much overlap, 70%+, PhotoMerge will be unable to properly blend the photos together.
If you are using a zoom do not change the focal length when taking the series of pictures. For a good panorama, you will also want to use a tripod in order to keep your camera perfectly level throughout the pictures. If your pictures show a slight rotation or angle change between pictures PhotoMerge will create a picture that just doesn’t look like the place you saw with your own eyes. Finally, avoid using flash in only half of the pictures. PhotoMerge can smooth and blend but only to a certain extent. You want to take a series of pictures that are all as identical as possible in order to create the best panorama possible.
Now that we have gone through the hardest part which is the process of actually taking the pictures we can move on to the easier part of using Photoshop to stitch them together.
You will want to open Photoshop and then go to the File menu located at the top of your screen. Inside the File menu, you must locate the selection Automate. Inside the Automate option, you will finally find PhotoMerge. Click on it and a dialogue box will open up. In order to use the photos, you have taken you will click on the Browse button, navigate to where you have the photos saves, and then select them all and load them all at one time.
Once the desired photos are loaded into PhotoMerge you will want to look towards the bottom of the dialogue box to ensure that the Blend Images Together box is checked. Also, if you took the pictures using a standard camera without a professional quality lens you will also want to check the Vignette Removal and Geometric Distortion Correction boxes to fix up your photos. At this point you are ready to stitch your photos together, but you need to select a style of panorama. The Auto Mode selection is usually the best choice as it does a great job with simple panoramas. If you have a wide panorama you may want to try Cylindrical Mode as it works best for wide images.
Once you have decided on your panorama style it is time to hit the Okay button and watch Photoshop create a panorama for you. Once it has completed this action you will find an almost complete panorama photo. If you look closely you may notice that there are some black spaces near the top and bottom of the image. This is because the images were slightly off center. If this is your problem all you have to do is simply crop the usable portion of the panorama and apply the changes to correct the flaws.