PI6 QuickTip #18: Stitching Two Photos Together


Sometimes you can't get everything you want to include into a photo. Using Stitch, you can take two photos taken in sequence and combine them into a seamless panorama. 

along the river  canoe along river

For example, the two photos above (greatly reduced in size) were taken, in sequence, along adjacent parts of a river in the Everglades. The photo on the right, with the canoe alone, doesn't really doesn't show much of the background.  But Stitching the two photos together goes a long way toward showing the scope and reach of the wilderness in which it was taken. 

To Stitch photos together, have them both open at the same time in the  work space. Choose Edit, Stitch to open the Stitch dialog box.

Stitch dialog box

An Overlap transparency of 50% and Manually, Fine tune will be selected by default. Drag the horizontal and vertical sliders a bit so that the vertical edges you want to Stitch can be seen clearly. If you want to switch the edges to be stitched, click on the first Switch direction button, or to Stitch vertically rather than horizontally (making a tall image), click on the second Switch direction button (up and down arrows). If you are working with scanned images which are not perfectly straight, you can rotate them as needed by clicking on the appropriate horizontal or vertical Deskew button. 

Since these two images include areas of overlap, it's relatively easy to Stitch them with the Manual option. Click on the Zoom In button to see the images in close detail. In the Preview window,  look for an overlapping "landmark" feature, like the one identified by red arrows shown below.  Then drag the one on the right over to the left, so that they are lined up perfectly.

identify a "landmark" on both images

Click OK and PI will create a new, Stitched image. Here's the two photos stitched together.

panorama, stitched

You can also choose the Auto-stitch feature to Stitch photos together. In fact, you should try both Manual and Auto-stitch to see which gives the best result. Auto-stitch automatically overlaps the images based on areas of similarity along the edges to be Stitched.

When Auto-stitch is selected, additional options become available. Specifically, you will be able to edit the Overlap range and Vertical tolerance, both of which are set at 10% by default. Click the Test button and take a good, close look at the Stitched image in the window before committing to it. If it looks good to you, click OK to create a new, Stitched image.

You can continue Stitching if you want to go for an even more spectacular effect. Click here to see the panorama shown above Stitched to another piece of itself, then doctored here and there with the Clone Paintbrush tool to change the tops of the trees and blend them into the waterline and reflection!

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