Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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Recently, I've been experimenting with stitching together images using Photoshop CS4's PhotoMerge feature. It has always work well except for my most recent attempt. This one was at night (which is where I do the bulk of my work) and I thought I had overlapped the images sufficiently.

Here's what the merge looked like:

Bad Merge

Visually, I can see how the "extra" images should be stitched together but I guess Photoshop CS4 couldn't handle it.

Is Photoshop CS6 any better at this? Are there any other tools (Macintosh) that could handle this?

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FWIW, I think it's not the darkness per se so much as the overall low contrast and unclear detail that you're getting from the zone plate. Not that those things are inherently bad for the image but the automatic stitching seems to have trouble coping. More overlap will probably help, or else more manual intervention. – mattdm May 24 '12 at 13:42
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The last major improvement to PhotoMerge that I'm aware of was in CS4, so CS6 is unlikely to be significantly better.

There are many other panorama stitching tools available for Macs, but I would suggest that you try Hugin which is free and allows you to manually add control points (which are how the software identifies which parts of different images are supposed to match up).

If this isn't sufficient to get you a usable panorama then I would suggest that you ensure you are using as many of the techniques described in this question as possible and also increase the amount of overlap you have, 50% isn't necessarily excessive.

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Thanks, I'll check Hugin out! Also, that question has an answer by Itai that refers to his panorama tutorial. I think my key answer is in there: "Details are soft or out of focus. It takes sharp details for software to precisely align images." With zone plate/sieve photography it is very hard to get sharp images. Without control points I may be out of luck. – Paul Cezanne May 24 '12 at 11:20

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