Photography for Artists & Designers

Art & Design 265

Week 7:

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Week 7 Photoshop, Hugin & Panoramas


Photo Stitching — many images into one continuous image.
Cambridge Camera has a good introduction to stitched panoramic images.
Article from RPS Journal

National Geographic Redwood Panorama Video

Examples: Hugin Gallery | Panoramic Photography | Flickr Panorama | Flickr Hugin | Planet-Stereo |

Eric Holubow
A collection of stitched images of magnificent buildings in Chicago in dire disrepair.
| Uptown Theater |


Panoramic Tripod Heads ("pano heads") are the ideal situation.

This specialized tripod head will position your camera's lens so that you are rotating with a consistent point of view, thue eliminating paraliz. Parallax occurs in images which are taken from slightly different station points -- its as though the viewers eye is in two places instead of one place. Linear perspective, and common spatial cues depend on all regions of an image being viewed from a single view point. The Cubists were among the modernists who intentionally broke this image-making "rule" -- creating paintings of scenes viewed from amany rather than one point of view.
I have a home-made pano-head that allows some tactics that others do not... but it a bit tedious to set up, so I don't often use it.
A genuine pano head will allow you to set the distributionof images — that is, an image every 30 degrees

Use a standard tripod at a distance
I'll shoot sets of images with a standard tripod as long as the subject matters is not too close... and usually it works fine.

Hand-hold and maintain station point
Many of mine are shot this way. As long as your subject matter is far enough away, you'll likely get the hang of this.

Panoramas in Photoshop


For next week's Photoshop exercise, you'll use (at least) three images.

There are many ways to get a good panoramic image these days. Software and even built-in camera features can help you create tolerable panoramas.


Try Hand Stitching:

In Photoshop, put each image on its own layer...
...drag the images so that they line up correctly.
You may set the upper image(s) to 50% transparency so you can see the alignment.
You may have to rotate one or more images.
You may have to scale one or more images.
You may have to distort one or more image to correct for lens distortions.
You may have to alter contrast and tonal range to adjust for varied exposures or lens vignetting.

Do all that, and you'll likely have a nice set stitched images...and you'll appreciated the automated tools offered by Photoshop's PhotoMerge tool.

Let Photoshop Try it ... automatic stitching

If your photos overlap well, AND if they have good common reference points that software can identify, then this will work well.

Using the same three+ images, each on their own Photoshop layer, create 3 distinct and interesting images only by changing Blend Mode traits on your layers. You may also manipulate Layer Opacity and/or create Layer Masks to control the final image.

Explore the Blend Mode options in Photoshop after viewing the following podcasts. Review last weeks podcasts if needed.

Tutorial on how to stitch image using Photomerge | Another |

UAP: Creating a Panorama

This video tutorial does a good job of introducing Photoshop's tools for stitching panorama's using Photoshop Photomerge

Richard Harrington's Understanding Adobe Photoshop tutorial on Creating a Panorama


PS Basix:  Photomerge

This video tutorial, below goes through the Photoshop tools for automatically aligning multiple images using the Photomerge tool.

Part 23: Aligning and Blending Images Together will explain auto-align and blend, panoramic photos, and montages of movement.
***** Photostitching
See images in MiniBridge;
select images to be alligned;
Tools (menu): Photoshop: Photomerge;
Photomerge dialog:  Auto/Blend Images Together/Geometric Distortion Correction

Montage from three images:  select images in miniBridge;
Tools menu: Photoshop: Load Images into Photoshop.  
Shift-Select image layers;   
Edit: Auto-Align Layers:  
Auto-Align Layers dialog:  Auto (only)
Add pixel masks and edit to display preferred imagery

Hugin — for elaborate, tough, large or alt projections

Photoshop does a nice job with photo stitching as long as your images overlap well, and have easily distinguished details.
For me, Hugin is my preferred tool. I can stitch and fine-tune the stitching of large and complex images. I can control more. Hugin offers, frankly, far more options than I yet know what to do wiht.

Hugin is an open-source program that can be freely downloaded and installed on most any computer (Mac, Windows32 64, Linux).
There are tutorials for many common tasks. This tutorial covers the basics, step-by-step.

Open a Hugin project.

Add Images.

Try the automatic stitching tools -- most of the time these will solve your panorama.
But you can
a) tell Hugin which parts of your images actually overlap
b) which parts are not suposed to overlap,
c) freely alter the type of projection.
d) ...and a whole lot more.

When you've got your image set up (aligned properly), use the Stitcher tab/panel to set up the size and format of your final image.


For Next Week

Required: Use at least three different source images that you shoot to create a stitched panorama image that smoothly combines all of your source images.
The tutorials linked/discussed above deal with basic stitching techniques.
Those are the key skills you'll need.

Goal: Create a smoothly transitioning panorama.
Select subject matter that benefits from a very wide, or a very tall format.

Your full-size, Photoshop image should be at least 4mpix.

Create a lower-resolution version of your images for uploading to DropBox.
Follow the steps illustrated here to create a 2-megapixel version of your image for in-class viewing.

Save those images to your DropBox Art265_Photography folder.
Create a folder called: Ex7_Panorama
a) the low-res version of your Photoshop file
b) the initial source images, and the final 3 images, each as JPGs.


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