Using Photomerge to make a 360 degree Panorama

Using Photomerge to make a 360 degree Panorama

Using Photomerge to make a 360 degree Panorama

When shooting a series of photographs for the purpose of stitching them together (or photomerge), it’s important to know how you want the final image to look so that you can shoot it with that in mind.

  • I knew I wanted to make a 360 degree panorama, so I used a tripod with a rotating head. I also knew that the horizon line was not going to be level the entire way around, so I previewed my scene and angled my camera appropriately.
  • Set your exposure manually to have ultimate control over the tonality of each image in order to stitch them together seamlessly.
  • Overlap each image by about 1/4-1/3. Be aware of your lens distortion and vignetting. I used a 16mm with significant distortion on the corners so I overlapped my images by 1/3.
  • Set your camera focus to manual.

Step 1: Open photoshop, but don’t open an image. Go to File –> Automate –> Photomerge.

 

File > Automate > Photomerge File > Automate > Photomerge

 


Step 2: Click Browse to select the files you want to use to create your panorama photograph.

 

Select the images you're using for your photomerge. Select the images you’re using for your photomerge.

On the left side, there are several options from which to choose. I usually try a few different options to see how the computer interprets the photos differently.

Which Photomerge Settings Should I Use?

Auto: Photoshop looks at the images and decides which option to apply: Perspective, Cylindrical, or Spherical. It will distort the images as needed.

Perspective: Photoshop picks the middle image and builds the panorama around it. It will distort the images as needed. Good when you have a tripod and rotating head.

Cylindrical: Overlaps the images for making especially wide images. Good with wide angles and 360s.

Spherical: Best used when you’ll be using animation programs for 360 panoramas.

Collage: Doesn’t distort the images, only moves them and rotates.

Reposition: Doesn’t even rotate the images. Just aligns them. Good if you’ve taken the time to correct your verticals with swings and tilts of a large format camera.

Play with the settings and check boxes to see what works best for your images.


Step 3: After Photomerge renders your image, you’ll still need to make adjustments. In this case, I cropped the image to eliminate most of the transparent areas. I was left with a transparent corner that I need to fill. Also, there’s a hard edge along one of the seams. I’ll need to smooth that out.

 

Photoshop does the bulk of the work for you, but you will still need to tweak parts of the photograph photomerge is complete. Photoshop does the bulk of the work for you, but you will still need to tweak parts of the photograph photomerge is complete.

 


 

Final Image. Click to enlarge Final Image. Click to enlarge

 

Copyright 2017 Valerie Hayken Up