Auto-Blending Layers

The Auto-Blend Layers command, which was designed to be used after the Auto-Align Layers command, helps you blend images for a panorama or collage, or combine multiple exposures of the same image to create an extended depth of field so more of an object looks like it’s in focus. When you use this command, Photoshop creates complex layer masks to blend your images, saving you a lot of hard work.

To get the best results, run the Auto-Align Layers command as explained on Auto-Aligning Layers and Photomerge, and then choose Edit→Auto-Blend Layers. In the resulting dialog box (Figure 8-22, left), choose one of the following blending options:

  • Panorama. Select this option to have Photoshop search for overlapping areas in your images so it can piece them together into a single image.

  • Stack Images. If you’ve fired off several shots of an object with different parts in focus (known as different depths of field) and you want to combine them into a single shot where the whole object is in focus, choose this option. Let’s say you shot a tiger—with a big zoom lens, of course—that was stretched out lengthwise and facing you. If one image has his head in focus, another has the middle of his body in focus, and a third has his tail in focus, you can choose Stack Images to make Photoshop combine the three images into a single shot with the whole cat in focus.

    Tip

    In Photoshop CC, you can use the Field Blur, Iris Blur, and Tilt-Shift filters to produce even better and more complex depth ...

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