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The following is based on a Microsoft Windows operating system with Photoshop CS3Some of the tools and/or techniques mentioned here may not be possible with older versions of Photoshop.


Also it is assumed that your VR stitcher software has the option for a Photoshop (PSD) layered file output 




Photoshop CS3 is a "must have" tool for VR photographers -- No IFs, ANDs or BUTs.  Adobe answered our prayers with the new automatic layer alignment and blending tools.  Sweet!  Also, Photomerge has been expanded to create various panorama projections.



Most of the time Photoshop is only used to edit the nadir (downward shot) and sometimes both nadir and zenith (upward shot).  I've come across where I've had to edit all the sides - six pans, zenith and nadir.  Basically the same process can be applied to all sides of a cubical/rectilinear image.


As you know there are many tools available in Photoshop.  As a VR Photographer there are a number of tools that we must utilize to finalize our images.  This is a basic introductory to Photoshop for people with little or no experience so I will only discuss tools and techniques that are necessary for VR work and will discuss them in minimal detail.   


On the Tools palette alone there are over 50 tools to choose from.  An additional "Quick Selection Tool" was added to the already vast assortment of tools.  We don't need to know them all.  I will only be mentioning tools that you need to know for now.  Most of these tools you can simply learn by playing with them.  Don't be intimidated.  As long as you don't save the image you're playing with.  Better yet make a backup.  There are numerous web sites that goes into details with each of these tools.   Try searching for them by their name.


For most of these tutorials it's basically the same as Photoshop CS2.  So nothing to worry about.  Most of the shortcuts remained the same.  It's just a matter of getting used to the new interface.


If you really want to learn Photoshop then I recommend that you seek professional tutelage.  Enroll in a course at your local college or schools that specializes in multi-media.  As well, buy a book for reference.  There are tons out there.   I personally learn on my own.


Softwares used in these tutorials are Photoshop CS3, PTGUI, Pano2QTVR, Nikon Capture and PTViewer.







This is the default layout.  Of course everything is customizable.




Tools Palette



On the Tools Palette, you will notice that most of the tools have the bottom right corners marked with a small black triangle.  This tells you that there are other tools available.  You can view the other tools by right clicking on the icon.

Once you've right clicked on a tool a drop down menu will appear. 


(1) Signifies which tool is selected. 


(2)  Is the keyboard shortcut for quick tool selection. 


To quickly choose between the tools, hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the keyboard shortcut key.




There are many different types of palettes available.  Let's concentrate on the ones we'll use for this tutorial -- Layers and History palettes.




Layers Palette


The layers palette allows you to control individual elements of an image.



Like the Tools Palette, you do not need to learn all the options of the Layers palette just yet.  I will go through each options that you need to know during the tutorial.



TIPS: Keyboard shortcuts


To add a new layer click SHIFT+CTRL+N

To duplicate a layer click CTRL+J






History Palette


The history palette allows to "undo" previous actions.  Also allows you to create a "snapshot" or "duplicate" a state.  You can undo your last action by simply clicking on the previous state or go back to the last saved snapshot by clicking on the last snapshot taken.


TIPS:  If you've made considerable edits to an image click on the "New Snapshot" button to save a state that you would like to revert to.


The history palette could save your "back side" someday.  If you accidentally saved over your original file by accident, when you wanted to "Save As" a different filename, you can revert back by simply clicking on the first snapshot. 






Next:  Photoshop Basics

Introduction to Photoshop - For VR Photographers


Photoshop Basics


Working with layers



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