I’m in Pixel Heaven: Photoshop’s Photomerge

This is a panorama thing of beauty. Yesterday I took a bunch of photos of a (recently refurbished) room, intending to manually tile them together. Then I remembered that Photoshop CS 3 had some panorama stitching capability.

Here are the originals (square thumbnails, actual images are 4:3, which you can see if you click one or more of them)

Original 0794 Original 0795 Original 0796 Original 0797 Original 0798

Photoshop: Help > Photoshop Help… took me to the help file, a search for “panorama” brought up instructions. The easiest option is to select the files you want to merge, let Photoshop automatically do it, and go.
The command is File > Automate > Photomerge… and you can either open files from disk or, if the files are already open, click the Add Open Files button.

Photomerge dialog box

Photomerge dialog box

Then watch as Photoshop creates a new file and a series of progress bars grow. This is one case where “the computer does the work.” Srsly. Here’s the result


Merged image result (click to view larger size)

Layers Palette

Layers Palette

The amazing part is that I shot the right-most photo last, and Photoshop’s image analysis “knew” where to place it.

Each photo is on a separate layer, but what you see is a merged composite image. I created a new layer underneath all the others and created two areas of solid color-fill for the leftover “empty space.” (at upper right, lower left) The solid color more or less matches the image area — or at least the color looks better than if I’d used solid black or solid white.

I also had another image open that didn’t fit; Photoshop placed it on a separate layer, outside the panorama. I just deleted that layer, and cropped the overall image tighter.

When I think of the number of places I’ve visited where I’ve shot multi-images panorama style, but never got a round tuit for making the panoramas, I’ll probably be going back through my photos and see what Photoshop can do. This Photoshop feature is so full of win.

UPDATE: Like the idea of creating a panorama from a series of photos but don’t have Photoshop? This Lifehacker post describes creating a single panorama from a series of individual photos using free software.

6 responses to “I’m in Pixel Heaven: Photoshop’s Photomerge”

  1. Pasadena Adjacent

    I’m still on CS2 and I think CS4 is out. Great live trace feature in illustrator CS3

  2. Ann Erdman

    Wow. I need to learn more about PhotoShop!

  3. Susan A. Kitchens

    I’ve been using Photoshop for as long as my niece has been alive (she’s a high school senior), and there’s STILL stuff in there that’s new to me. As you saw.

  4. Hal

    It’s in CS 1! I had no idea, thanks!!

  5. George Geder

    Hi Susan,

    Yes, there’s so much in CS3 that I haven’t tapped, that I’ll probably wait until CS5 or CS6 to upgrade to upgrade. I started with a copy of PS 5.5 (I believe). within a week upgraded to CS. CS2 came out before I could learn the previous version. The hype got me to CS3. Now, I’m taking my time to learn this amazing tool.

    “Guided by the Ancestors”

  6. Susan A. Kitchens

    I agree, there’s certainly no reason to get each and every version of Photoshop. I started with version 1.7!!!