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Photoshop Elements >

3 - Panoramas: Stitching

We'll use Photoshop Elements to stitch your photographs into a panorama.

Open

Open only the photographs that you want to stitch together.

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Photomerge Panorama

Do the following.

1) At the top of your screen, go to:

Photoshop Elements 10 & Earlier

File > New > Photomerge Panorama.

The Photomerge window will open.

Photoshop Elements 11 & Later

• Enhance > Photomerge > Photomerge Panorama.

The Photomerge window will open.

2) By default, on the left column, Auto is selected.

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If Auto isn't selected, select it.

3) Click the Add Open Files button.

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4) Click OK.

Photoshop Elements will produce a panorama.

The program positions the photographs, and where necessary, stretches and skews them.

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Clean Edges

The Clean Edges window will open.

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Click Yes if you want Photoshop Elements to fill in the edges.

Click No if you want to use the Crop tool to eliminate the wavy edges.

Below, Yes was clicked, and the program filled in the edges.

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Photoshop Elements did a fine job with the grass at the bottom of the photograph.

As one would expect, the program had difficulty with the trees.

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Hold the Camera the Wrong Way

As mentioned in the first section, when shooting a horizontal scene, hold the camera vertically.

Above, I took three horizontal photographs of the trees.

Edge cleaning wouldn't have been needed had I shot five verticals of the same scene.

There would have been plenty of space for cropping.

Manually Clean the Edges

You can use the Clone Stamp tool and the Spot Healing Brush tool to fill in the edges.

You need to make a composite layer in order to use the above tools.

A composite layer contains all of the layers of your photograph.

Make sure the composite layer is active (ighlighted0 when using the above tools.

Go to Composite Layer.

Photomerge Panorama Layout Options

We used the Auto layout option above.

The Auto layout option uses either the Perspective or the Cylindrical layout options.

These layout options, and others, are described below.

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Use the Perspective layout option when merging three photographs.
The photograph in the middle is designated as the base photograph.

The perspective of the base photograph is used to adjust the perspective in the other photographs.

The other photographs are moved, stretched, and skewed, to match the base photograph.

q Use the Cylindrical layout option when processing many photographs.
The resulting panorama will be more cylindrical, unlike the bow-tie shape if you use the Perspective option.
q The Spherical layout option is best for 360-degree panoramas.
The photographs are mapped to the inside of a sphere.
q The Collage layout option moves, rotates, and resizes (scales) the photographs.
The perspective of each photograph is preserved.
The panorama will have a different perspective in each photograph's portion of the panorama.
q This option doesn't stretch or skewed the photographs.
They're simply aligned.
q If the automatic options don't perform well, use the Interactive Layout option to manually create the panorama.
Press and hold Shift to move the photographs by by 45 or 90 degrees.
When using the Perspective option, the first photograph is set as the base photograph.
It will have a green border.
The perspective is transformed using this base photograph.
To change the base designation to another photograph, select the Set Vanishing Point tool, and click on another photograph.
Non-base photographs have red borders.

Other Options

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At the bottom of he Photomerge window, in the middle, there are three more options.

Blend Images Together

Blend Images Together is selected by default.

Vignette Removal

Vignette Removal lightens the edges and corners of photographs with vignetting.

Photographs made with wide-angle focal lengths may have dark edges and corners.

Geometric Distortion Correction 

Geometric Distortion Correction reduces lens distortions:

• Barrel

• Pincushion

• Fisheye

Saving the Photograph

If you haven't already done so, go to Saving Files.

Next, a list of resources about panoramic photography.