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Automating Panoramas

All of the processes involved in manually assembling panoramas in Photoshop are covered in the technical article panorama stitching. The first stages in making a panorama require the creation of a new canvas of an appropriate size to lay out the component images, dropping the images onto the canvas as separate layers and setting up layer masks. These tasks get to be a bit tedious when a lot of panoramas are to be stitched, and while it is not possible to automate the actual blending process in Photoshop (or at least I haven't figured out a way to do it), it is possible to take away some of the repetitive tasks using Photoshop actions.

Clicking on the download link below will download two Photoshop actions for assembling panoramas from two or three images on a new canvas ready for blending. To get ready to use the actions, save the file to your desktop, launch Photoshop and then open the Actions palette and load the actions (click on the small arrow in the top corner of the palette to access the palette menu). 

To use the actions open the files (2 or 3) for the starting images in Photoshop, select the appropriate action - Two image panorama or Three image panorama - by clicking on it, and then click the play button at the bottom of the actions palette. The action will now automatically create a new canvas (called 'panorama'), copy and paste the images onto it, close the original files, and create layer masks on the upper layer(s) in the panorama. 

The action also sets the foreground and background colours to default black and white ready for painting on the layer masks, and purges the clipboard and history palette to free up memory ready for the next steps. If you have made any changes to the original files between opening them and running the action, (rotating the images, adjusting levels etc.) the action will pause after it has copied each image and ask if you wish to save the changes to the image.

The resulting Photoshop file will look something like the example below and you are now ready to begin the blending process by painting on the layer masks. Click on the image below for full instructions on how to do this.


Link to blending instructions

Instructions for Photoshop Actions Download Photoshop Actions  (2KB)

See the comments on the technical intro page if you are using a Mac.

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