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Content aware fill for fixing gaps in stitched rotational panoramas

I’ve shot many panoramas as a series of images, to be stitched together by any number of different programs. Photoshop’s stitching used to be rather poor, but it became quite good in CS4, and now I find that t the new content-aware fill command is something that can quickly rescue panoramas that were just too much trouble to fix. Really cool stuff. In some cases, it might even be able to fill in a gap (which I’ve managed to create more than once!).

Below is the stitched 78 megapixel image from 8 handheld frames taken with the Canon 5D Mark II infrared camera. My overlapping frames handheld always have some error, one reason to use a tripod appropriately. As is common with stitched panoramas taken handheld, there are gaps at the top, bottom, and edges. To fill these areas in with the clone tool or something else can be tedious, and require some real skill.

The initial panorama

Content-aware fill comes to the rescue. I selected each of the missing white areas along with some material near it, then applied Content-aware Fill to each. The results were not perfect, but the sky required only minimal touch-up. The foreground is more problematic because of some foreground blur mixed with sharper filled areas. I’d probably just crop off that area, but even that can probably be dealt with if need be. I don’t yet know how well CAF works with highly detailed forest-type scenes— probably not all that well.

Using Content-aware Fill in Photoshop CS5.
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