Everybody loves postcards! If you are planning to visit some nice place during the summer holidays, it will be fun to send your friends a personalized postcard made by you.
In this tutorial, we are going to help you make one of those super-attractive panoramic postcards using your own photos.
Capturing your panoramic photo
For taking panorama photos with a camera, it’s recommended to have a tripod with a swivel head.
TIP: Always start with the extreme left of your panorama and adjust framing slightly after each shot, panning horizontally, until you get to the extreme right of the scene. Lock focus and exposure for consistent results. Depending on how large you want your panoramic image to be, you will need a variable number of shots, with three to five being the recommended for nice panoramas.
Be quick when taking your photos, especially if the light is changing fast. With a camera phone, you can hold the device, but you need to be careful when panning and shooting.
Editing with Photoshop
Once you have all your images, you can combine them in Photoshop using Photomerge (File>Automate>Photomerge). For detailed help on using Photomerge, check out these great video tutorials from Adobe.
Select the files you want to stitch together and a layout. Each layout applies different distortions to adjust the perspective of the final image; you should choose according to the source pictures. Depending on your computer’s specs, the resolution and the number of photos, merging may take up to several minutes.
TIP: If you don’t have a series of photos to merge, the easiest workaround method is to crop a normal photo in the panoramic format (16:9). Note this may greatly reduce the resolution of the original, so make sure you have a high-quality image to start with. Choose a suitable image to crop so the panorama won’t look cramped.
Editing with other software
There are several applications you can use to create panoramas with your pictures if you don’t want to use Photoshop. Below is a list of other great software programs to use, all with the capability of creating great photos.
- PC Users: Autostitch, Acropano, PanoramaPlus and Hugin.
- Mac Users: iPanorama, Panorama Maker and Panorama 360.
- Mobile iOS Apps: Cycloramic, Panoramatic and Photosynth.
- Mobile Android Apps: HD Panorama, Photaf Panorama and Panorama Camera 360.
Time to create your postcard!
Step 1. Set up your document
To start creating your actual postcard, open a new document and set the width to 11.5 inches and the height to 6 inches. If you want to make the postcard smaller, you can enter 8.5 inches for the width and 3.5 inches for the height.
TIP: Make sure to choose CMYK as color space and 300 pixels per inch as resolution.
Step 2. The front
Once you have your panoramic image, you can apply several adjustments to it, increasing brightness, contrast and saturation and adding colored filters as you like.
Afterward you can import it into your postcard document, using transform tools such as resize, flip and rotate to position it correctly. Once you are satisfied with your framing, you can add a greeting with the text tool in a readable font.
TIP: Make sure nothing relevant is too close to the borders. It might get cropped off after trimming the final postcard.
Step 3. The back
Create a new blank document with the same exact specs you used for the front.
With the pen tool, draw a vertical line and give it a stroke of one pixel. Position the line a little off center toward the right of the card. Draw four more lines horizontally for the address with a stroke of one pixel. Place these lines in the right half of the card and space them evenly.
More like panoram-sick!
Postcards are a joy for the eye, and they are always a great pleasure to receive. If this is true for the average postcards, just imagine the effect a beautiful panoramic postcard will make!
Just follow these simple tips and you will have your amazing panoramic postcard in the mail in no time!
Edited in Photoshop CC. Sample image by Eve Livesey, aaronchang.com.