Video: Create a panorama

Video: Create a panorama
Learn how easy it is to use Photoshop to create beautiful panoramic images...
Adobe Systems

Video: Lightroom-Photoshop-Lightroom panorama workflow

Video: Lightroom-Photoshop-Lightroom panorama workflow
Take photos from Lightroom into Photoshop and stitch them into a seamless panorama. Save your panorama and continue to edit, print, and share it within Lightroom.
Adobe Systems

About Photomerge

The Photomerge™ command combines several photographs into one continuous image. For example, you can take five overlapping photographs of a city skyline, and then merge them into a panorama. The Photomerge command can assemble photos that are tiled horizontally as well as vertically.

Source images (top), and completed Photomerge composition (bottom)
Source images (top), and completed Photomerge composition (bottom)

Take pictures for Photomerge

Your source photographs play a large role in panoramic compositions. To avoid problems, follow these guidelines when taking pictures for use with Photomerge:

Overlap images sufficiently

Images should overlap by approximately 40%. If the overlap is less, Photomerge may not be able to automatically assemble the panorama. However, keep in mind that the images shouldn’t overlap too much. If images overlap by 70% or more, Photomerge may not be able to blend the images. Try to keep the individual photos at least somewhat distinct from each other.

Use one focal length

If you use a zoom lens, don’t change the focal length (zoom in or out) while taking your pictures.

Keep the camera level

Although Photomerge can process slight rotations between pictures, a tilt of more than a few degrees can result in errors when the panorama is assembled. Using a tripod with a rotating head helps maintain camera alignment and viewpoint.

Stay in the same position

Try not to change your position as you take a series of photographs, so that the pictures are from the same viewpoint. Using the optical viewfinder with the camera held close to the eye helps keep the viewpoint consistent. Or try using a tripod to keep the camera in the same place.

Avoid using distortion lenses

Distortion lenses can interfere with Photomerge. However, the Auto option adjusts for images taken with fish-eye lenses.

Maintain the same exposure

Avoid using the flash in some pictures and not in others. The blending features in Photomerge helps smooth out different exposures, but extreme differences make alignment difficult. Some digital cameras change exposure settings automatically as you take pictures, so you may need to check your camera settings to be sure that all the images have the same exposure.

Create a Photomerge composition

  1. Choose File > Automate > Photomerge.

  2. Under Source Files in the Photomerge dialog box, choose one of the following from the Use menu:


    Generates the Photomerge composition using individual files.


    Uses all the images stored in a folder to create the Photomerge composition.

  3. Specify which images to use by doing one of the following:
    • To select image files or a folder of images, click the Browse button and navigate to the files or folder.

    • To use the images currently open in Photoshop, click Add Open Files.

    • To remove images from the Source File list, select the file and click the Remove button.

  4. Select a Layout option:


    Photoshop analyzes the source images and applies either a Perspective, Cylindrical, and Spherical layout, depending on which produces a better photomerge.


    Creates a consistent composition by designating one of the source images (by default, the middle image) as the reference image. The other images are then transformed (repositioned, stretched or skewed as necessary) so that overlapping content across layers is matched.


    Reduces the “bow‑tie” distortion that can occur with the Perspective layout by displaying individual images as on an unfolded cylinder. Overlapping content across files is still matched. The reference image is placed at the center. Best suited for creating wide panoramas.

    Apply cylindrical mapping
    Applying Cylindrical Mapping


    Aligns and transforms the images as if they were for mapping the inside of a sphere, which simulates the experience of viewing a 360-degree panorama. If you have taken a set of images that cover 360 degrees, use this for 360 degree panoramas. You might also use Spherical to produce nice panoramic results with other file sets.


    Aligns the layers and matches overlapping content and transforms (rotate or scale) any of the source layers.


    Aligns the layers and matches overlapping content, but does not transform (stretch or skew) any of the source layers.

  5. Select any of the following options:

    Blend Images Together

    Finds the optimal borders between the images and creates seams based on those borders, and color matches the images. With Blend Images Together turned off, a simple rectangular blend is performed. This may be preferable if you intend to retouch the blending masks by hand.

    Vignette Removal

    Removes and performs exposure compensation in images that have darkened edges caused by lens flaws or improper lens shading.

    Geometric Distortion Correction

    Compensates for barrel, pincushion, or fisheye distortion.

    Content Aware Fill Transparent Areas

    Seamlessly fill the transparent areas with similar image content nearby.

  6. Click OK.

Photoshop creates one multi‑layer image from the source images, adding layer masks as needed to create optimal blending where the images overlap. You can edit the layer masks or add adjustment layers to further fine-tune the different areas of the panorama.


To replace empty areas around image borders, use a content-aware fill. (See Use Content-aware, pattern, or history fills.)

Create 360-degree panoramas

Combine Photomerge with 3D features to create a 360-degree panorama. First, you stitch together the images to create a panorama; then you use the Spherical Panorama command to wrap the panorama so it’s continuous.

Be sure to photograph a full circle of images with sufficient overlap. Photographing with a pano head on a tripod helps produce better results.

  1. Choose File > Automate > Photomerge.
  2. In the Photomerge dialog box, add the images you want to use.

    Do not include images that cover the top (zenith) or bottom (nadir) of the scene. You’ll add these images later.

  3. Select Spherical for the Layout.


    If you photographed with a fisheye lens, select the Auto layout and Geometric Distortion Correction. If Photoshop cannot automatically identify your lens, download the free Adobe Lens Profile Creator from the Adobe website.

  4. (Optional) Select Vignette Removal or Geometric Distortion for the Lens Correction.
  5. (Optional) Select Content Aware Fill Transparent Areas to avoid transparent pixels on the edges of the panoramic image.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Choose 3D > New Shape From Layer > Spherical Panorama.
  8. (Optional) Manually add the top and bottom images into the sphere. You could also paint out any remaining transparent pixels in the 3D spherical panorama layer.

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