PixelPerfect #110: Panoramic Stitching, Stacking and Blending in CS4 (Part 3 of 3)

Posted in Graphics, Podcasts on January 13, 2009

Adobe's John Nack joins Bert to demonstrate new panoramic stitching and stacking features in CS4, including auto-blending, 3D perspectives and depth of field extension. Also, learn to build your own custom workspace with Configurator.

This week, these new Adobe Photoshop CS4 features are discussed:

Auto-blending in Panoramic Photo Stitching
Photoshop CS4 stitches images with auto blending, which eliminates vignette rippling in panoramic photos - a huge step up from CS3.

Auto-Stack Panoramic and HDR images in Bridge
In Bridge, you can automatically stack together panoramic and HDR images using Stacks > Auto Stack Panorama. Bridge finds matching pixel patterns and overlaps, then uses the auto-stack command to stitch properly. You can then hand the image off to Photoshop for retouching.

360 Degree Stitching
The 3D tools, such as Spherical Panorama, can create a 3D 360 degree environment from panoramic stills shot on a swiveling tripod, putting the viewer in the center of the perspective. With some touchups using the healing brush tool, artifacts can be eliminated, creating a seamless spherical photo. This is demonstrated using the San Jose, CA Adobe campus basketball court.

Depth of Field Extension
Detecting the focal point in a series of images is now possible, exemplified using a macro shots of an insect. The sharpest coordinate is automatically detected from each image in the shallowly focused set of photos, then blended together to create an entirely synthesized, crisp single image. Select all the layers > Edit > Auto-Blend Layers > Stack Images with Seamless Tones and Colors.

Configurator: Custom Photoshop Toolbars
Configurator is a free and soon-to-be open source application, and functions like a set of Legos to create custom Photoshop toolbars. For the first time, since Adobe now leverages Flash technology, you can build your own toolbars/panels relevant to your type of work, such as individuals who work only in video, web, or painting. Simply turn on or off the tools you need or don't need. Defined configurations are accessible via Windows > Extensions. Download Configurator from Adobe Labs.

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Tags: Photoshop, Design, Revision3, PixelPerfect