Small Flash, Big Flash
6 days ago
Adobe Photoshop CS6's Content Aware Scale (the lesser known
cousin to Content Aware Fill and Content Aware Move) to the rescue. Today's image is the full shot, as it came
out of the camera, but squished into a panorama. If you were to try that with
"normal" techniques you'd end up with just a squished up image. Free Transform (CRTL T) could be tried, but
the results would be pretty terrible.
You could go to Image Size (Image/Image Size) and uncheck the Constrain
Proportions checkbox. That would be
equally dumb looking and neither technique would give a shortened stream and
leave the sky as large as it is. There
must be another way.
I wanted everything from the base of the bridge on up to
remain just as it was and pull the bottom up to build the pano. The first thing to use was the Rectangular
Marquee Tool (M). The upper two thirds
(to just at the bottom of the bridge abutment) was drawn out with the Rectangular
Marquee. Inside the Selection a Right
Click was made. Scrolling down there is
an option called Save Selection. This
produces an Alpha Channel. It does
matter if you're using CS6 or Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, it still makes an
Alpha Channel. The only difference is
that you can get at the Alpha Channel in CS6 while the only thing you know in
PSE 11 is that you saved the Selection.
Get rid of the Marquee Selection you just made (CTRL D). Make a copy of the Layer (CTRL J) Use Select All (CTRL A) to capture the entire
image on the new Layer. Go to Content
Aware Scale (Edit/Content Aware Scale) (ALT Shift CTRL C). In the Option Bar at the top of the page there's
a dropdown titled Protect. Without a
selection having been made and saved the only option will be None. (Not very helpful.) With a Selection made and Saved you'll get a
list of things to choose from. In the
case of today's image, only one Selection was Saved. We could have named it and the name would
show up in the dropdown. Since we didn't
name the selection it shows up as Alpha 1.
Choosing Alpha 1 means nothing can happen in that Selection area. This can apply to any area you want to keep
from be effected by scaling. (An example
would be having a person in the shot.
Obviously you wouldn't want to change the shape of the person, so a
Selection would be made and saved of the person.)
There will be a set of Handles in the corners and mid-sides of the image.
The bottom middle handle was pulled up to create the typical Panorama
shape. Once satisfied the Commit Check
was clicked. This leaves the original
image sticking out the bottom. Click on
the original Layer and drag it to the Trash Bin at the bottom of the Layers Panel. The image will have to be cropped to get rid
of the tranparent area at the bottom.
Now you're ready to do
whatever finishing you'd like. I
recommend either Alobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 (LR4) or the latest issue of Adobe
Camera Raw (ACR) to do the finishing.