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The Photomerge Feature

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:06
  • Shooting Images for a Panorama 2:06
    • Hold the Camera Steady
    • Overlap Your Images
    • Use the Same Exposure for Each Image
    • Apply Exact Same corrections to Every Image
    • Incorrect way to Shoot Images for a Panorama
    • Correct Way to Shoot Images for a Panorama
  • Photomerge: Panoramas 8:18
    • Panoramas Layout
    • Cylinder& Perspective
    • Spherical & Collage
  • Photomerge: Group Shot 16:08
    • Group Shot
  • Photomerge: Style Match 20:02
    • Style Match: Example 1
    • Style Match: Example 2
  • Lesson Summary 25:09

Transcription: The Photomerge Feature

Hi, everybody--Mike Brown back with you again, with another lesson in Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 from!0000

In this lesson, we're going to look at a very cool feature in Photoshop Elements, and it's called the Photomerge feature.0006

It is under the Enhance dropdown menu at the bottom.0014

You have different types of Photomerge.0017

The most popular Photomerge is panoramas, and then we have group shots and scene cleaners, which are the same but opposite.0019

If you take a scene, and it has an intruding object--say it's a monument somewhere and somebody walks into the scene, and then you take another one, and there is somebody over here, and then you take a third one, and there is still somebody in the wrong place--you have people in different spots, but you can't get the perfect shot--you can take the group shot and tell the computer which objects to add or subtract from the scene to make the final scene perfect.0027

The scene shot--you are adding pieces; scene cleaner--predominantly you are taking them away; but basically the same.0058

Then, we have panoramas, which is an extremely popular method of shooting these days, where you shoot a sequence of shots that takes in a wider range than you can actually get with your camera.0065

We stitch them together in the computer to make a singular, beautiful panorama.0076

Then, the fourth one is shooting exactly the same shot for exposure; if you're shooting on a bright day, and you have bright, bright highlights and dark, dark shadows and mid-tones, you shoot a range of exposures: underexposed, right on, and overexposed, so that you have good exposures for all three: highlights, mid-tones, and shadows.0080

Each one of those is going to be right for one part, but not for all.0103

In Photomerge, you put the three of them together, and it merges them by exposure, rather than by object or content.0107

Style Match is a really fun feature that we will close this lesson out with, showing you how you can play with it and come up with some creative ways of making your own cool looks very easily.0115

Let's talk, first, about panoramas, which are really an extremely popular thing.0126

First of all, I want to talk to you about four tips to make sure you get your images correct for the program to align and blend, or "stitch," as we call it.0133

Now, the first thing: here is a camera; hold the camera steady without any change of tilt or rotation relative to the horizon for each shot.0148

You are shooting a series of photos that run in an arc; you want to make sure that the camera stays level throughout that arc--you don't want to have it tilted like you see here, and then the next shot the other way, and the third that they are kind of haphazard.0159

You want to make sure that the arc is smooth.0176

Ideally, you would put your camera right on a tripod, and it would stay perfectly level, and it would do nothing but rotate around itself, and all shots would line up perfectly.0179

If you don't have that option, I will show you a couple of ways to do it in just a moment.0190

What you want to do, first of all, is hold that camera steady.0198

The second one is: you want to overlap each image in the sequence by between 20 and 50 percent.0204

This is so that the computer has enough points of reference from each overlapping photo that it is easily able to align and stitch it.0212

Let me show you a couple of examples, just to talk to you about exactly what I'm referring to.0222

Here, I'll just open these two images, right here.0232

These are two of a series of six in the panorama.0237

This is the very center image, with this sailboat, and if you will notice, at the right side of this image, just past this post, is the tail end of this blue boat, which you see right over here.0240

You can also see this boat; you can see objects; you can see just the shadow and the edge of the pillar; notice, if I move this over, there is the overlap, right there--and you see how much I gave it so that the computer can see this reference point, it can see the end of this boat, it can see this blue boat back in here, it can see the stack--it has all sorts of points from a good amount of overlap--probably about one-third of the image, which is somewhere in between the 20 and 50.0253

That is the way you want to do it--overlap your images so that you get the sequence, and it can all be overlaid easily.0286

Use the same exposure for each image, if you can; if you are shooting on auto, that is just the way it's going to have to go.0294

Ideally, you don't want to change your exposure, so that when the images overlap, not only do the objects overlap for alignment--the exposures blend easily, rather than having a dark image and a light image overlap, and having the computer try to do that.0301

Ideally, you put it on manual; otherwise, do the best you can--use the same exposure.0318

Now, if you go into Camera Raw and apply any initial corrections to your sequence of images, make sure that you apply the exact same correction to every image, so that they will smoothly blend when they are stitched by the computer.0325

You don't want to apply sharpening to one and not to another; color change to one and not...because again, when they overlap, they will be different.0342

You want them to be the same, so if you have six images and do a little sharpening and a little vibrance, make sure you put exactly the same amount in all six.0350

Those four will give you your best images for the computer.0359

Now, let me show you how to shoot the images properly and the correct way.0363

Let's start with the incorrect way, to actually be the right way to do this.0371

Let's put these back in tabs and go with the incorrect way of shooting.0377

Today's digital cameras, most of them, don't have a viewfinder.0382

My camera happens to have a viewfinder, so I can actually shoot it right up on my eye, and do my rotation for the panorama right around the camera, basically.0386

Most cameras don't; they have the digital screen; and the way you would normally hold that camera to shoot is out at arm's length, and you would do this: click, click, click, click, click, click.0397

What you are doing (if you see in the illustration right here) is, you are now (let me put a new layer in at the top) rotating the camera around the photographer, at a distance.0410

What happens is: it's going to cause a little perspective shift, because the camera is not shooting in the same spot and rotating--it's actually shifting its spot.0431

Ideally, you want to rotate the camera right around its own center, just like that.0442

If you don't have a regular viewfinder, here is how you can do it.0451

Hold the camera so that you are close enough that you can actually (let's see...there it goes) see the screen and compose the scene; and then what you want to do is rotate the camera, right in your hands, around its center, and you rotate your eyes and your body behind the camera, so that you are actually rotating it, just like on a tripod; but you are changing your point of view, so that, again, it gives the best possible perspective.0455

That is the correct way to shoot for a panorama.0490

OK, so let's go ahead and deal with a panorama.0494

I'm going to go ahead and even close the title out for the moment, and I'm going to go to the Enhance menu, to Photomerge and Panorama.0499

Up will come this box, and you have an option (if you see on the left)--the Auto; what it actually is choosing between is Perspective and Cylindrical.0507

It will pick the one that it considers the best of those two--one or the other will usually give you your best result.0518

The third option is Spherical; then Collage; Reposition; and the Interactive Layout lets you do it yourself--I wouldn't even bother with that one.0525

Reposition, Collage, Spherical, Cylindrical, or Perspective--now, let me explain them really quickly.0534

Perspective--the central image in the series is considered correct perspective.0541

Each image, as it goes against the central image--the computer will adjust the perspective accordingly to try to match the center.0547

You end up with you see here--a little bowtie effect--because it stretches that perspective, because as you move the camera, the outer edges are getting more wide angles, so they get stretched.0556

Cylindrical is assuming that the scene is wrapped on the inside of a cylinder--that the cylinder is straight up and down, but it curves 360 degrees around you--so what the computer tries to do is take all 6 of those images and just basically unroll the cylinder and lay it down flat, so that they go across a flat surface, now, just having been unwrapped.0570

The vertical doesn't change; you just get a little wide-angle distortion as it opens it up.0598

That usually gives the best panoramic look.0603

Spherical is similar to the cylindrical, except, instead of the straight edges of a cylinder, it's assuming a sphere.0608

So, not only does it unroll the cylinder--it also will unroll the tops, so you will get a little perspective change at the top and bottom, as well.0615

But still, it's pretty similar.0624

Collage takes all of your images and adjusts them only--without unwrapping, it adjusts them vertically or horizontally to give the best alignment it can.0626

So, it's exactly the shot you can see, with very little adjustment, to give it the flattest appearance it can.0639

Repositioning is the old days of taking images and just making them fit, without any adjustments, on a surface--so you get them kind of laid out and scattered around, where they overlap to give the gives that odd feel; it's not a perfect panorama.0646

In truth of fact, the Perspective, Cylindrical, and Spherical are the best; so all you have to do--you could have open files and you could add those immediately, or we could go ahead and browse.0666

Let's just go ahead and pick my six images out: I'll pick the first one, Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, click the other series (I have a series of six); and there they are.0678

I click Open, and they show up in here; and you have the option of blending the images together--obviously, we want to do that.0691

You can also check Vignette Removal; if you were shooting with a very wide-angle lens, you get those kind of dark appearances around the edge; that will correct that.0698

You can do Geometric Distortion, Correction, as well; now, that will take a little longer, because the mathematics make it calculate a little bit longer.0708

That is all you have to do; you can leave it on Auto or you can select whichever of the ones you want.0715

I would suggest, the first time you do this--do two or three of them back-to-back, so you can compare them.0722

Now, I'm not going to let this calculate; I'm going to show you the final results by opening up a couple of them, and show you what you get.0728

I'm going to open up, first, the two options of the automatic; I'll do the same one with the Perspective, and I also did it with a Cylinder effect.0739

So, I'm going to open both of those up...and there is the Cylinder; you can see how it unrolled the cylinder--that is those little kind of scalloped edges; and here is the Perspective, and you can see, in this case--the Perspective didn't work really well, because it was a very wide scene.0750

Perspective works well when you are in like a closed room, and the distances are not changing too much, because it takes this central image (let me take my Brush tool and highlight a layer, right in the center)...0767

What you are doing is: you are actually...there is the central image, right there--the best I possibly can; and as the next image is tacked on, it adjusts the perspective to try to match that, which means it's stretching it, because it got more wide-angle from the distance.0781

As you see, the further to the right we get, we get this stretch; so this one doesn't look very real at all, whereas the Cylindrical one looks odd, as well, but this is a full 180 perspective.0797

See the sidewalk on the left and the sidewalk on the right?--that was my left and my right; now, they're going back into the image, so everything has been bowed into what you see is a pretty much traditional panorama.0812

Let's go ahead and zoom that thing up; we're going to put it right into the tabs, so you can see it from edge to edge.0830

Notice, there it is going out far left, and notice how beautifully (oops, I didn't mean to do that) everything stitched together.0836

It just added that bowed feel to it, as though it was an unwrapped cylinder.0848

Remember, we talked about those two--the center and the left one here, with the boat--beautiful fit!0853

Let's zoom it up, and you can see--there is no evidence at all, anywhere on here, of the stitching.0859

It does a great job.0867

There is the Cylindrical method; let me open up for you, very quickly, the Spherical and the Reposition.0869

Let's go...there is the Spherical, and here is a collage--let's do the Collage, as well.0882

We're going to open up those two, and there you can see: the Spherical got this kind of an arc look to it, here, rather than the straight horizon.0888

That is because it's considering that it is in a sphere, and the top and bottom needed to be rolled out, as well, which just added a slight bowed horizon to it.0901

The Cylindrical one was the same look, but a lot straighter on the horizon.0912

That is what kind of happens with that.0917

Now, this is the Collage; so what it did (and you can see the edges of the images): they haven't been unrolled--they are just overlapped.0919

What happens here, with the overlap--notice that the masks on the boats begin to curve, because the computer did not correct for anything; it just put them together.0928

It looks kind of cool, and you also get, if you'll notice, right across the front here where the dock was curved--with the Cylindrical method, the individual images have straight edges, because it did not do any correction in that respect.0942

Kind of interesting--but I still think the Cylindrical is the best, so there.0959

Let's go back and open up our title.0963

There we have how to make panoramas.0969

Let's go ahead back to the check marks: we have done the panoramas, so now, let's talk about the group shot.0975

Now, the scene cleaner--I'm not going to do the scene cleaner; it's the same thing, exactly the opposite; the methodology is the same.0980

So, what I'm going to do now is go ahead and open up four more images.0986

Here they are: 1, 2, 3, 4--we're going to go ahead and open those four, and what I want to show you (there should be four of them here; there are only three--where is the fourth image?--A, B, C--I guess I didn't get D).0995

Consolidate to tabs A, B, and C; we need to open up the fourth one, which was D; open that--all right.1015

Consolidate that to tabs, and what you will see is: this is my friend Greg's house; he is standing over here in this shot; I have the same shot here--he is now standing over here.1025

I have the same shot here--he is up on the porch, and I have another one where he is (C and D should be different--there we go)...four different places, four different images.1038

We're going to put them together and make a fun shot.1048

Enhance, Photomerge, Group Shot; in the Photo Bin, open them all; we have four images in the Photo Bin, and it's working right now.1051

It's aligning the layers, and then you'll see how we play with this; this is kind of fun.1065

All right, here we go: I want to drag one of the photos that is going to be your base image; so I'll just take this one right here and drag it over.1071

This is the one that it's working on.1081

So now, I have the Pencil and the Eraser tool; this is the difference between Group, where you want to add, or Scene Cleaner, where you want to erase.1084

In this case, we just want to add objects, so I'm going to use the Pencil tool, and what I'm going to do is just make a rough selection around my friend, because he is the object that I want to add over here in the doorway.1092

Now we'll go to a different shot; and now, I want to add him over here, so I'll just make another selection here.1107

In the fourth one, he is way over on the outside, and I want to put him in there; so now, we have told the computer this was (and notice that, each time I do this, he pops up in the image)...1117

Now, we have all of them, and I want to make the fourth one, right in there; those are the four objects, and now you see the final over in here; there is the same shot, except Greg is in four shots.1131

We made a group; you can do this with different people, different objects, whatever--as long as you shoot the same scene with different stuff in it.1144

Or, you could have done it with the eraser tool, if there was a lot of stuff in here that you want to remove.1152

Now, we'll click Done, and it will calculate along for a moment, and there is the final image.1157

As you see, it did a really nice job of matching the stuff in there, because I had one image, and there is my friend in four different poses with the four identical twins; and that is how you do the Group Shot.1163

Let's go ahead and close that out; let's get back the title in.1181

So now, we have done and taken care of the Group Shot, Scene Cleaner, Panoramas; Exposure is pretty similar, but it just lets you overlap multiple exposures to fill in the brights and the darks.1187

We'll just go ahead and pass that.1200

I want to show you Style Match.1202

So, I want to open up an image that is on my Desktop (and where is the image?--I saved it onto the Desktop, indeed I did--there they are).1204

OK; all right, I have an image here, and we're going to go ahead and consolidate it to the tabs; it's ready to roll.1230

What we're going to do now--and this one is fun; stay with me--Enhance, Photomerge, Style Match--and it opens up the image, and notice, it says After and Style Image.1241

We have a sequence of options that are here (I didn't mean to do that); we have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 different styles.1255

You pick a style that you might want to change this image to; you can also do this in the Guided Edit--this is Guided, but it's in Advanced Guided Edit.1266

If you remember, Guided Edit by itself has the one-button clicks.1276

Watch this: we'll just take the sepia-tone, and you drag the style; it's initiating the transfer...and what you see is not much of a change, and you have these sliders.1280

Down here, we have a check box: Transfer Tones; it's going to recalculate, and now, we have a sepia-tone image.1291

But here is what is cool; now we can have some fun--it's not just making the style, like in the regular Guided Edit, where you get the finished image; you have control here.1299

I can drop the intensity back, and you notice, what it does is: it brings back the original photo so we can get a slightly yellow-y look right here, or more--as much as we want.1311

We can also take the Style Eraser: let's say I just wanted to have this young lady's skin and hair to be correct.1323

So, what I'll do: I'll leave it at a lower opacity, so I can paint it; increase my paintbrush; and watch.1332

I'm literally painting away the style--the sepia-tone style--and revealing the original photo underneath.1340

So, I'm just going to do this, just to her skin and hair.1351

There we go--and I can do it more, with a greater amount of opacity; I'm just going to go to 100%.1358

So, we'll reveal her completely.1365

Now, we have a sepia-tone image, except she is originally as she was before.1371

There you can do that; and I can do the same thing with her boyfriend, and just go ahead and erase the applied style from his face and hair.1380

And, if you make a mistake (like in that case), now you go back with the Style Painter and paint the style back in.1395

It should come back in; there it comes--it's trying to.1404

It's slowly bringing...I must have a very, very small brush here; there we go.1413

It's taking its time to get it back, but you get the point; you can see it coming back in.1418

OK, we're slowly bringing that back in.1433

All right, so now we came up with that one; so let's go ahead and cancel out of that, and let's try another one, just to show you a second Style Match.1435

Let's go with a black-and-white feel.1445

We'll drag the style; it's going to initiate the transfer, generate the photo merge, and now it has done that, and we can take the intensity back again, as we want to.1448

We can also do the style (oops, I didn't transfer the tones--I forgot to do that; remember to click the Transfer Tones box); now, we have all black-and-white, or we have a desaturated effect.1459

Let's say we would just like to bring the sky back; and we'll go ahead and erase the sky, and the opacity--maybe 50%, and we'll just drag it across the sky, just to give you the idea--and you can play with this as much as you want.1472

Now, the sky itself is fairly clear there, desaturated.1490

It gives you the option of creating your own little artistic representation.1494

Remember to check the Transfer Tones box; if you don't, you'll get this odd look; Transfer Tones, and you have it.1500

We'll go ahead and cancel out of that, and let's open back up our title page.1508

There you have a bunch of cool things you can do with the Photomerge feature under the Enhance menu.1516

You can make group shots (in other words, add elements from one shot to another to improve the group), or you can clean the scene by erasing objects.1525

You can create panoramas; you can match a series of exposures to make sure you get proper exposure throughout.1537

Or, you can play with a really artistic thing called Style Match--all with the Photomerge feature in Adobe Photoshop Elements 11!1544