Photoshop Tutorial-I like Big Maps and I cannot lie

Photoshop Tutorial – Making High Resolution Aerial Images

Aerial Photography is great for giving that Big Picture effect of a plan view. Especially for construction clients who need to see a whole construction project in one image. The limitations of the 400ft rule and the small sensors on most drones can be a challenge when competing with DSLRs. However, we will show you how to “Stitch” your images together with photoshop to make one higher Megapixel image.

Use the following steps…

While Shooting

Take multiple shots from above – You can set your drone to do this automatically via a third-party app, or as I prefer, do it manually. For this image I shot 26 images with an overlap of around 50%. You should aim between 30-70% to ensure you get a good coverage. Photoshop and other photomerge programs rely on specific points being recognized on multiple images to get a good quality merge.One of the images ready for photoshop stitching

 

What to do in Photoshop

In Photoshop, Choose File > Automate > Photomerge. You can also invoke this command from within Lightroom for a selected group of images (right-click > Edit In > Merge to Panorama in Photoshop).

photoshop photomerge screenshot 1

 

Click the Use pop-up menu and choose Files (to select individual images) or Folders (to choose an entire folder).Click the Browse button and navigate to the files or folder you want to use.

Choose the following options:

  • Blend Images Together to have Photoshop attempt to seamlessly blend exposure and color.
  • Vignette Removal to correct for any natural lens vignetting (darkening) at the edges.

You can usually leave it on auto layout for this kind of map view but if you need to choose, I have had good results from Spherical and Collage.
photoshop photomerge screenshot 2

 

Click OK to begin the Photomerge process. Photoshop opens all of the images and assembles them. Let it do its magic and wait.

photoshop photomerge screenshot 3

After merging the image, Photoshop will show you the new file. It may have some rough edges, which will need to be cropped and color correct to taste.

 

photoshop photomerge screenshot 4

The final image will be a BIG file! You may choose to reduce it in size before you send it to your client. I do this in Photoshop>Save for web & devices…

Full stitched image cropped

That’s all there is to it!

If this is not something you are offering for your aerial photography business, you are missing a trick. It is very easy to learn and give great results (almost) every time.

You can also do epic Panoramas this way!

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