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Thread: Video tutorial: Creating a stitched panorama in Photoshop CS5

  1. #1
    rob marshall

    Video tutorial: Creating a stitched panorama in Photoshop CS5

    This is a video tutorial to show how I create landscape panoramas in Photoshop CS5. I do not claim it's the best way to do it, just the way that works for me. Please feel free to add any comments about this video, your own production methods, mistakes I have made, or the boring quality of my voice!

    I used NCH software to produce this. Debut for the capture and Video Pad for the editing/cutting etc. NCH Software About 50 for the two together. There are free packages around, but I don't know much about them.

    Either before or after viewing you will find it useful to refer to Sean's two excellent tutorial on the subject. You also need to read the general notes at the bottom of this post. And if you want further info on actually shooting a panorama series with your camera you could also look at this very good video by What Digital Camera Magazine. Shooting panoramas with What Digital Camera

    Sean's panorama tutorial #1

    Sean's panorama tutorial #2

    If you subscribe to my YouTube channel you will get automatic updates on any new video.
    Rob's YouTube channel

    Please ensure you select HD1080 mode in full screen mode, in the bottom-right corner after video starts to get amazing quality resolution when viewing.



    The final shot!

    Video tutorial: Creating a stitched panorama in Photoshop CS5



    Some general notes on shooting panoramas:


    1. Make sure you stand in one spot and as you turn to take each picture keep the camera close to your body. Stay still and steady, do not lean forwards or backwards while shooting, do not move from the spot you are standing on between shots.

    2. Overlap your shots by at least 20%

    3. Try to keep the camera level if hand-holding. Don't try to manually adjust for shooting through the axis, it won't work. Just keep the camera level. If you can afford it you might want to get a pan-head attachment for your tripod, but they are expensive and you only really need them for specialist shots. Use an ordinary tripod to line up your images if you are unsure of hand-holding.

    4. Don't change zoom settings between shots, or you will get distortions in the result or even failure to stitch a resulting panorama. Try to keep your hands away from the lens when shooting.

    5. Some cameras, especially compacts have a special panorama mode.

    6. Don't change exposure and focus for each shot. Use a focus/exposure lock button if you have one. If the range of shots covers different exposures (eg moving towards the sun as you pan) then take your sample exposure/focus from the centre of the range then go back to the left to start the pan right (holding the focus/exposure). Shoot in manual mode whenever possible. You don't want the camera to decide anything - you need to be in control.

    7. Shoot the series twice, or even three times. If you only shoot the series once and you made a mistake it might be a long drive back.

    8. Try to avoid foreground objects that are too close to the lens. Also try to avoid being too near tall buildings etc. I find it best to use a longer focal length and stand further back to get the same field of view.

    9. Try to shoot the series quickly (but not so you make mistakes). If anything is moving slightly in the scene then a faster shoot will lessen the negative impact of it. You can clone out minor errors at the edit stage.

    10. Always shoot in RAW. It allows you to stitch at a high quality, and you can make global adjustments such as white balance across the shot series.

    11. If you are using a tripod, make sure the camera is level before shooting. This will avoid problems with shooting through the axial movement as you pan - and you will lose less of you merged image.

    12. before shooting, look at the scene (with your eyes) and decide the start and end points. Are there any obstructions or moving objects? Are there any moving objects/people about to enter the scene? If so, wait.

    13. If the weather is partially cloudy you may have problems with changing light. Try to judge when it will be consistent for the length of time it takes you to shoot the series.

    14. Do a practice run, without shooting, just to get the feel of it, and to makes sure there are no other problems.

    15. I always shoot in portrait mode. It gives you more vertical room for error adjustment when you come to crop, although you do have to take more shots to cover the same horizontal scene.

    16. If the sky is very bright and may blow out, use an ND grad filter on the lens when shooting. It will still stitch OK.
    Last edited by rob marshall; 13th December 2011 at 05:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Video tutorial: Creating a stitched panorama in Photoshop CS5

    Very informative!! Thanks Rob!

  3. #3
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Video tutorial: Creating a stitched panorama in Photoshop CS5

    Very well done Rob. That desktop video software works well doesn't it.

    Cheers Dave

  4. #4
    rob marshall

    Re: Video tutorial: Creating a stitched panorama in Photoshop CS5

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Very well done Rob. That desktop video software works well doesn't it.

    Cheers Dave
    Thanks, Dave. Yes, it's pretty good software. What makes the quality so good is the making of the video in HD1080 mode. If you play the video and switch between HD and non HD-mode you can see a considerable difference. Some of the stuff on YouTube is frankly useless due to low resolution.

    Generally, I find video far more useful for learning stuff. And I say that as a great book-lover.

  5. #5
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Video tutorial: Creating a stitched panorama in Photoshop CS5

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    What makes the quality so good is the making of the video in HD1080 mode. If you play the video and switch between HD and non HD-mode you can see a considerable difference. Some of the stuff on YouTube is frankly useless due to low resolution.
    Yes I make video slideshows from still images and I always make a HD1080 version as well as a DVD because the full HD version looks so much better on a large (full HD) TV screen.

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