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Stitching a Panorama in Adobe Photoshop CS4

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With Adobe Photoshop you can stitch images together in a panorama. This excerpt from Adobe Photoshop CS4 Classroom in a Book shows the process of creating two photographic souvenirs by combining images.
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In this exercise, you stitch images together in a panorama. Then you'll add a border with lettering to complete the poster.

  1. With no files open in Photoshop, choose File > Automate > Photomerge.
  2. In the Layout area, select Auto. Then, in the Source Files area, click Browse and navigate to the Lesson10/Ready For Panorama folder. Select the first image, press Shift and select the last so that all the images are selected, and then click Open.
  3. At the bottom of the Photomerge dialog box, select Blend Images Together, Vignette Removal, and Geometric Distortion Correction. Then click OK.

    Photoshop creates the panorama image. It's a complex process, so you may have to wait several minutes while Photoshop works. When it is finished, you should see an image that looks similar to the one below, with six layers in the Layers panel: one for each of the images. Photoshop has found the overlapping areas of the images and matched them, correcting any angular discrepancies. In the process, it left some empty areas. You'll make the panorama tidy by adding a little sky to fill in some of the empty area and by cropping the image.

  4. Select all the layers in the Layers panel and then choose Layer > Merge Layers.
  5. Choose File > Save As. Choose Photoshop for the Format, and name the file DC_Panorama.psd.
  6. Select the Crop tool. In the options bar, click Clear to remove any values in the Height, Width, and Resolution boxes so that you can crop to any size. Then draw a crop selection from the edge of the grass (where its bottom edge is highest) to the highest point of the image (just above the highest museum tower). Crop out all the transparent areas on the sides. When you are satisfied with your cropped area, press Enter or Return.
  7. In the Layers panel, click the Create New Layer button.
  8. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool, and then draw a selection across the top of the image, where you want to add sky. It's fine to overlap trees and buildings; just cover all of the transparent areas (represented by a checkerboard pattern).
  9. Select the Eyedropper tool, and then select a dark blue from the sky for your foreground color. Select a light blue color for the background color.
  10. With the selection still active, select the Gradient tool. In the options bar, select the Foreground To Background gradient in the Gradient preset picker. Then, drag the gradient tool vertically from the top to the bottom of the selection.
  11. Choose Select > Deselect. Then, select both layers in the Layers panel, and choose Edit > Auto-Blend Layers. In the Blend Method area, select Panorama, and click OK.

    Photoshop blends the layers together based on their content. When it's done, the selected area is filled with sky, and it's no longer blocking the buildings or trees.

  12. With both layers selected, choose Layer > Merge Layers.

    The poster needs only the lettering on the side to be complete.

  13. Choose File > Open, navigate to the Lesson10 folder, and double-click the DC_Letters.psd file to open it.
  14. Choose Window > Arrange > Tile to see both files. Then, use the Move tool to drag the DC_Letters.psd image onto the Panorama image. Close the DC_Letters.psd file without saving it.
  15. With the Move tool, position the lettering and red background along the left side of the image.

    Choose File > Save to save your work.

    In this exercise, you created two photographic souvenirs by combining images. You created a montage of several images, and you blended images into a panorama. Using this process you can create montages and panoramas from your own images.

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