Sunday, July 12, 2009
Multi-Row Panorama Photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery


Thanks to some really good advertising, people are having fun creating panorama stitched photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery. I have a search query I watch on Twitter, and it's one of the most buzzed about features of WLPG.

The trick to panoramas? You've got to know that you want a panorama when you're taking your photos. And make sure there's just enough overlap from picture to picture so that everything can line up.

If you're like me, you take a lot of photos where you start with:


..and then create:


That's one row of four pictures stitched together into one panorama. Eventually, you're at such a big scene you're wishing: man, if I could only get more of the scene in beyond these four pictures. The sky. The rocky terrain in front of me.

You can.

You can do multi-row panoramic stitching in Windows Live Photo Gallery. Meaning that you can take your first four pictures, return to where you started and drop down a little, and take your next four pictures, and then return to where you started those four pictures and drop down a little and take four more pictures. So you can end up with something like three rows of four pictures stacked on top of each other, like:


And when you stitch those together into a panorama, Photo Gallery, using the panorama stitching power behind the Microsoft Image Compositing Editor, can line things up and create:


...which is a lot more expansive than our first stitch of just the middle site. Now then, it does look like I need more practice on remembering where I started my stitch at because of the dark area in the upper left. Hey, digital films cheap, so when in doubt, take way more of the scene than you'll need and crop it down to what you want.

So the next time you're out there taking a row of panoramic pictures, practice taking multiple rows so that when you are at a place like the overlook of Source Lake in Denny Creek, Washington, you can capture the whole, big scene. Enjoy!

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