05Nov 2020

Years ago, I got Panorama Maker 6 because a friend of mine suggested that I try it out. Back then, you had to manually merge images together in order to get a Panorama. I need something better and Panorama Maker 6 was that something.

It was cheap and Arcsoft seemed to have a great product. (They do not support this program anymore though.) I had some images that I had taken in American Samoa and I needed to make them into something. This program made that happen.

The question remains how do you use the program once you get it? Let’s look at using it now.

Step 1: Finding your files

When you open the program, you are looking at a file manager system that shows you every folder on your hard drive and if you have an SD in, it would come up as well.

(Tip: Make a folder on your desktop with the files from the SD that you can delete when done with the image. It makes life easier!)

Now, you need to select the group of images that you want to work with. Make sure it only select the ones you need. The program has a way of thinking you want to use several more images you actually want.

The last thing to do before hitting Next on this screen is making a decision about what type of panorama you want. Auto normally is best in most cases.

Step 2: Let the program do its magic

After pressing Next, you will see it start to analyze and stitch the image together. This is normally very quick but it can take some with the Nikon D800 when you have several 36MP images that form a 20,000 pixel wide shot!

There is nothing really you can do but let it work. There is no manual settings to over ride it! So get a Coke and come back when it is done.

Step 3: Make final changes

We are at the final screen. There is not much to do here. You can unclick crop if you feel you want to crop it later in Photoshop. I normally find the crop in Panorama Maker 6 is quite good so I just crop it here. It is saving me time later when I edit it in Luminar 4 or Adobe Lightroom.

In the top of the image there is a slider to look at the details of the image, you can zoom in to 100 if you need. I normally go in about to 50% to look around to see if it needs more work.

Next to it is a straighten tool. I suggest waiting to do that until in Photoshop or Lightroom. Adobe is far more advanced than Arcsoft with its program.

The tool next to it is for brightness and contrast. Again, I would wait until you get into a real photo editor to start on that.

Now, we are to the final step of the process. It is time to save it.

Step 4: Saving the file

There is a few things you need to know when you save an image. You need to know the name of the file, where you want to save it, how of an image you want it to be, and what quality.

As you can see, these three images that were 12MP each produced a final image that is over 6,000 pixels wide. In most cases, this is at least triple what you will need for anything you post online. 2,000 pixels wide is more than enough until you plan to print it professional.

The other important thing is naming the file so you will remember it months later when you want to find it quickly. My suggestion would be to name it as the location you were at. If at a state park, for example, name the file after that park.

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