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Chapter 10.  Creating Panoramas and Transforming Images

Chapter 10.  Creating Panoramas and Transforming Images

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girlfriend,page129showsyouhowtodothatbyputtingeach

elementonitsownlayer.



10.1.CreatingPanoramas

It'salotfuntocombineyourphotosintopanoramasusingthe

ElementsPhotomergecommand.Yourstartingpointisagroup

ofphotosyou'vetakenthatcanfittogethersidebysideto

showamorecompleteviewofyoursubjectinoneimage.

Figure10-1showsapartialpanoramaandthephotosthatwent

intoit.



Figure

10-1.

With

Elements,

youcan

easily

stitch

together

many

different

shotsto

makeone

large

image

that

showsthe

entire

view.

Elements

easily

blended

thethree

photos

youseeat

thetopof

thefigure

intothe

completed

panorama

yousee

below

them.



Elementscanmergetogetherasmanyphotosasyouwantto

includeinapanorama.Theonlyrealsizelimitationcomeswhen

youwanttoprintoutyourmerges.Ifyouhaveonlyletter-sized

paperandyoucreateafive-photohorizontalpanorama,it's

goingtobeonlyacoupleofincheshigh,evenifyourotateyour

panoramatoprintlengthwise.(Youcanbuyprinterswith

attachmentsthatletyouprintfromrollsofpaper,sothat

there'snolimittothelongestdimensionofyourpanorama.

Theseprintersareverypopularwithpanoramaaddicts.Youcan

alsouseanonlineprintingservice,likeOfoto.com,togetlarger

printsthanyoucanmakeathome.SeeChapter14formore

abouthowOfotoworks.)

You'llgetthebestresultscreatingapanoramaifyouplan

aheadwhenshootingyourphotos.Thepicturesshouldbeside

byside,ofcourse,andyougetmuchbetterresultsifthey

overlapeachotherbyatleast30percent.Also,you'llminimize

thebiggestpanoramaproblemmatchingthecolorofyour

photosifyoumakesuretheyallhaveidenticalexposures.See

theboxonpage256forsomesuggestions.

WhenyouusethePhotomergecommand,youstartbytelling

Elementswhichphotostocombine,andthenyouchooseyour

filesinthePhotomerge'sBrowsewindow.Whenyou'vegotall

thephotosyouwant,theactualPhotomergewindowappears,

showninFigure10-2.Elementsstartsthingsoffbydoingthe

heavyliftingofactuallymergingthephotosintoone,butyou

stillhavetogoinanddotheclean-upwork(trimming,

correctingtheblending,andsoon)ifyouwantstellarresults.



Figure102.The

Elements



Photomerge

windowis

your

workshopfor

joiningtwoor

morephotos

intoa

panorama.

Although

Elements

doesalotof

thework

automatically,

you'llget

betterresults

ifyougointo

tweakthings,

usingthe

settingson

therightside

ofthe

window,once

Elementshas

createdthe

basicmerge

foryou.



Note:YoucanalsocreateverticalpanoramasElements

automaticallyfiguresoutwhichwayyourphotosfittogether.



10.1.1.SelectingFilesandMergingThem

Thefirstpartofcreatingapanoramaisselectingthephotosyou

wanttoinclude.Youcansaveyourselfalotoftimeandtrouble

ifyougothroughyourphotosfirst,tobesurethecolorinall

thephotosmatches,beforeyoustartyourpanorama.Figure



10-3showswhyyouneedtotakethisstep.

Whenyou'rereadytocreateapanorama,justfollowthese

steps:

1. Gothroughthephotosyouwanttouseandmake

surethecolorsmatchascloselyaspossible.

UseanyoftheeditingtoolsinQuickFix(Chapter4)orthe

moreadvancedoptionsdescribedinChapter7tomodify

colorsandexposurelevels.Figure10-4demonstrateshow

tocomparethecolorinyourphotosasyouwork.



Tip:TheBrowsewindowdoesn'tgiveyouthumbnail

viewsonlyalistoffilenames.Makeanoteofyourfiles'names

orrenamethemsothatyou'llknowwhichonesaretheones

youwant.

2. Startyourpanorama.

Tobeginanewphotomerge,gotoFile New

PhotomergePanorama.Macownersalsohaveanextra

option,asshowninFigure10-5.Whereveryoustartout

from,youseethePhotomergeBrowsewindow,whichis

whereyouchoosethephotosyouwanttocombine.



Figure10-3.

Theleftversion

ofthisthreephotopanorama

showsthe

biggestproblem

mostpeople

facewhen



merging

imagesexposure

differencesfrom

shottoshot.As

youcansee

fromthe

repairedversion

ontheright,it

wasnecessary

tosacrifice

somecolorfrom

thebestphoto

(thetopone)to

geteverything

matchedup.

TheAdvanced

Blendingoption

(page258)was

usedtojointhe

bottomtwo

imagesfairly

seamlessly,

though.Thesky

wasrepaired

witha

combinationof

theClone

Stamp(page

217),the

Healingbrush

(page213),and

thePaintBucket

(page281)



tools.



3. Choosethephotosyouwanttoinclude.

ClicktheBrowsebuttoninthewindowtoseealistofthe

foldersandfilesonyourharddrive.Navigatetotheoneyou

wantandclickChoose.Ifyoucan'tselectallthephotosat

oncebecausetheyaren'tallinthesamefolder,youcan

clickBrowseasmanytimesasyouwant,andthenewfiles

getaddedtothelistinthewindow.

Oneitherplatform,ifyouhaveopenphotos,theygetpreincludedintheBrowsewindow.Soifyouwanttomerge

photosfromseveraldifferentfolders,openingallofthemis

onewaytogetthemintothemixfasterthanbynavigating

toeachfolderseparately.



Note:Photomergecopieseachfileasitaddsittothe

panoramaanddoesn'tchangeyouroriginals.Youdon'tneed

toworryaboutmakingcopiesespeciallyforyourpanoramas,

althoughparanoidtypeswouldsayit'salwaysbettersafethan

sorry.

4. Addmorephotosifnecessary.

Ifyouneedfilesfromseveralfoldersandyoudidn'tget

themaheadoftime,justkeepgoingbackuntilyou've

roundedthemallup.JustclicktheBrowsebuttonagain.If

youinadvertentlyhavemorephotosthanyouwant,

highlighttheunwantedphoto(s)inthelistandclickthe

Removebutton.



Figure104.Ithelpsto

prepareyour

photosfor

mergingby

adjustingthem

sidebysideso

thatyoucan

comparethe

colors.Here,a

combinationof

Levelsanda

littletweaking

withtheTint

slider(inQuick

Fix)getsthe

photosclose

enoughtoget

started.You

canalsoget

goodresults

sometimesby



Hue/Saturation

(page225

adjustthe

individualcolor

channels.



Figure

10-5.If

youhavea

Mac,you

cancreatea

mergeright

fromtheFile

Browser.Go

toAutomate

Photomerge.

Ifyouselect

yourphotos

intheFile

Browser

window

beforeyou

callupthe

Photomerge,

youskipthe

Browse

window.

Elements

juststarts

your

panorama

foryou.If

youwantto

seethe

Browser

window,

choosethe

Photomerge



commandin

theEditor's

menubar

instead.



5. Whenyou'vegotalltheimagesyouwant,clickOK.

Ifyourphotosweren'talreadyopen,youseethemopen

onebyoneasElementsstartsperformingitsmergemagic.

IthelpstohavetheLayerspalette(page126)outwhere

youcanseeit,sinceElementsplaceseachmergedphotoon

itsownlayerbeforecombiningthem.(Ifyouwantyour

photostoremainontheirownlayersinthecompleted

panorama,makesuretheKeepasLayerscheckboxis

turnedon;thisoptionisexplainedonpage258).TheUndo

Historypalette(page18)givesyouastepbysteplookat

eachprocessElementsgoesthroughtomakeyour

panorama.

Elements'firstpassisn'talwaysperfect,asyoucanseein

Figure10-3.Thenextsectionexplainshowtohelp

Elementsoutwhenitcan'tquitefigureouthowtoput

thingstogether,andhowtoimprovethelookofthe

combinedimage.



10.1.2.AdjustingYourPhotos

OnceyourphotosappearinthePhotomergewindow,yousee

Elements'best-guesseffortatcombiningthem.Nowyourpart

oftheworkbegins,sinceyouusuallyneedtodoafairbitof

tweakingheretogetthebestresults.

Sometimes,forexample,asshowninFigure10-6,Elements



justgetsconfusedandcombinesyourphotosrandomly.In

othercases,itjustcan'tfigureoutwheretoputaphotoatall.

Whenthathappens,Elementsleavesthephotositcan'tplace

upatthetopofthewindow,intheareacalledthelightbox.



Figure

10-6.

Elements

valiantly

triesto

combine

your

photos,but

sometimes

ithas

trouble

liningup

images

exactlyor

figuringout

howtofita

particular

photointo

themerge.

Top:Here,

Elements

guesses

morewildly

thana10thgraderona

popquiz.

Bottom:As

youcansee

inthisend

resultofa

five-photo

merge,with

alittlehelp,

Elements

canusually

doafine

jobof

combining

imageseven



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