Panoramas can be easily created in both Lightroom and Photoshop. The process in Lightroom is simpler and much more autonomous; providing access to a few easy-to-use tools ensuring great results. Unlike Photoshop; Lightroom does not require your images be in JPG format, meaning you can create a single RAW panorama file and then perform your usual post-processing tasks.
- Step 1 - Import Images
In Lightroom navigate to the Library tab and import the images you wish to stitch together.
- Step 2 - Photo Merge
- Step 3 - Preview
A new window will open and a preview will be generated, this can take a while depending on hardware and the number of images selected. Once the preview has been generated you may notice a white uneven border around your image, this is normal and will be covered in Step 5.
NOTE If your panorama does not stitch correctly, cancel the Photo Merge and run through your images making sure the horizon stays level and in roughly the same place on each image. If on one particular image it suddenly jumps, try removing it from your selection and starting the Photo Merge again.
- Step 4 - Panorama Type
Under Select a Projection on the right you have three options:
- Spherical - renders your panorama as if it was projected onto a sphere, ideal for multirow panoramas.
- Cylindrical - renders your panorama as if it was projected onto a cylinder, ideal for super wide panoramas as it avoids excessive distortion near the edges. It also keeps vertical lines straight.
- Perspective - renders your panorama as if it was projected onto a flat surface, ideal for medium wide panoramas as it keeps both vertical and horizontal lines straight.
- Step 5 - Auto Crop
As previously mentioned, you can probably see a white uneven border running around your panorama. This is caused by the camera shifting as you capture your images and is particularly noticeable when not using a tripod. This can be immediately remedied by ticking Auto Crop which will crop out the white border but will result in loosing a portion of your image. This can be mitigated by using Boundary Warp, see the next step.
- Step 6 - Boundary Warp
Adjusting the boundary warp slider will stretch the edges of your image to cover the white space around your panorama. This can be used in conjunction with Auto Crop to achieve a middle ground between loss of image through cropping and over-stretched corners.
To increase the Boundary Warp, drag the slider towards the right-hand side. The more it is increased the more aggressively the image is stretched.
TIP Make sure Auto Crop is un-checked so you can clearly see the effect boundary warp has.
- Step 7 - Merge
When your ready, click Merge in the bottom right corner. You will then be returned to the main Lightroom window, progress of the merge can be found in the top-left corner. Once complete, your panorama will appear alongside your image selection where you can make further adjustments in the Develop tab.