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Photoshop CS3 AutoAlign

Quickly put images into a pano with one click By Ko Maruyama
Adobe released Photoshop CS3 in the Adobe Labs for people to check out.  If you haven't already downloaded the preview software, I strongly suggest that you do.  Adobe's Creative Design package is currently shipping, and you'll find all kinds of cool new features, including the new AutoAlign tool.

If you want to create a very quick panoramic photo, it's simple with the new Photoshop CS3 Extended software.

I suppose it's really only a few steps, so it's not too difficult - but that's the beauty of the new tool.

1.  I took several pictures with my digital camera (Canon Powershot G6).  While it has a stitching feature in the camera, I prefer to shoot without switching the camera to that mode.

Open all of the photos that you've taken for a stitched panoramic image.

right click / view image for larger

2. Move all of the separate documents into a single Photoshop project.  If you use the MOVE TOOL (v) and hold the shift key down, you can drag images into a single project - AND they will all be centered on the target file's canvas.

*It doesn't matter which order you put these into the project.

3. Select all of the layers by holding down the shift key and selecting the layers in the layers panel.

4. When you select more than one layer, with the move tool selected, the options for alignments will come up in the toolbar.  The last one is the AUTOALIGN option.  By clicking that, a new dialogue box will pop up.   The most dynamic is the first option.  Try them all out, see what happens.

Photoshop will create a new canvas size which will allow for all of the layers to appear in the composition.  For my picture, there were some very quickly moving clouds which cast shadows all over the place, but if you have more controlled lighting, you  get some really great images with this very simple tool.  It completes the process fairly quickly - of course it does depend on the size and comparison values of the images.

Check out this one of the Las Vegas Airport line here:  (ninjacrayon)

Another of Stu presenting the new Magic Bullet at NAB:

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:tutorial, quicktip, Adobe CS3, Photoshop CS3


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