Panoramas can be easily created in both Photoshop and Lightroom. The process in Photoshop is slightly more complex but offers greater control over the final result. Unlike Lightroom, Photoshop cannot stitch RAW files and will require your images to be in JPG format.
NOTE This article is accurate as of Adobe Photoshop CC 2018.
- Step 1 - Photo Merge
- Step 2 - Select Images
- Step 3 - Layout
Under Layout on the left you have four options for creating panoramas:
- Auto - As the name suggests, this will automatically select the panorama layout based on the content.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spherical - renders your panorama as if it was projected onto a sphere, ideal for multirow panoramas.
- Step 4 - Options
At the bottom you have the following four options:
- Blend Images Together - This is ticked by default and will ensure an even brightness and colour tone across your panorama.
- Vignette Removal - Tick this to remove any dark corners from your panorama.
- Geometric Distortion Correction - Ticking is will correct any warping within your images, this is particularly useful if you shot your panorama using a wide-angle lens.
- Content Aware Fill Transparent Areas - When ticked, Photoshop will attempt to fill any whitespace by analysing your image and recreating what it thinks should be there. I recommend leaving this unticked and doing it manually later on.
- Step 5 - Merge
When you are ready click OK. Photoshop will now attempt to stitch your images together, this can take a while depending on hardware and the number of images selected.
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 6 - Crop
Once your panorama has finished stitching you can probably see a white border running around the edge. There are two ways of removing this, the first is to crop out the whitespace using the Rectangular Marquee Tool found in the top left. After selecting the part of the image you wish to keep, navigate to Image > Crop.
If by cropping you feel you loose too much of your image, see the next step.
- Step 7 - Select Whitespace
The second method of removing whitespace is to use the content aware fill tool which will analyse your image and attempt to recreate the missing parts. To do this you will first need to merge all the layers together by navigating to Layer > Merge Visible. Next, select the Magic Wand Tool found in the toolbar on the left. Ensure Tolerance is set to 0 and both Anti-alias and Contiguous are ticked at the top. Click on the whitespace around your panorama to select it and navigate to Edit > Fill....
- Step 8 - Content Aware Fill
In the Fill window, select Content-Aware from the Contents dropdown. Ensure Mode is set to Normal and Opacity is at 100%, then click OK. This may take some time depending on your hardware.
NOTE While the content aware system is generally pretty accurate, it can do some weird and wonderful things so always check your final image to make sure things appear natural.