How to Create Panoramic Photos With Paint.Net

By Melissa Worcester

Special cameras let you take photos that are extra wide and show a panoramic view of scenery. If your camera doesn't have that option, you can take several individual shots of adjacent sections of a landscape and combine them into one image using photo editing software such as Paint.NET.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 or more photos taken of contiguous sections of the same scene

Step 1

Open each photo in Paint.NET. Run Paint.NET and click on the File menu. Select "Open" and navigate to the folder where the photos are stored. Once they are open you will see thumbnails of each photo in the graphical image list at the top of the Paint.NET window. Select each photo in turn and take note of each photo's dimensions listed in the status bar at the bottom. Remember or write down the following: the height of the tallest image, and the sum of the widths of all of the photos.

Step 2

Make a new image in Paint.NET that is large enough for the panorama. Click on the File menu at the top and select "New." You will see a dialog box where you specify information about the new image. Set the "Width" to the sum of the widths of the photos that you calculated in the step above, and set the "Height" equal to the height of the tallest photo. The resolution should be 300 dots per inch if you plan to print the photo and it can be 75 dots per inch if you only plan to display it on the Internet.

Step 3

Copy the photos to the new image. Select the photos, one at a time, in the image list, and click on the Edit menu and select "Copy." Then select the new image, click on the Edit menu and select "Paste as new layer." Use the move tool to drag each photo to one side or another so that the photos are in the correct order in relation to each other.

Step 4

Straighten any layers that need straightening. Each layer can be adjusted separately. If you weren't able to hold the camera perfectly level when taking each photo, you may discover that one or more of them slants. Select "Rotate/Zoom" from the Layers menu and input a number in the "Angle" field. A positive number will rotate the layer clockwise and a negative number will rotate it counter-clockwise. Find the horizon or some other level feature that appears in each photo and rotate each layer until each is correctly oriented with respect to the horizontal.

Step 5

Adjust color and contrast of any layers, if necessary. Select the layer you want to adjust in the layer menu. Use one or more of the options in the "Adjustments" menu to make adjustments to the current layer. "Auto-level" automatically adjusts brightness and color. Or you can make more specific tweaks by using the "Brightness/Contrast" option or the "Hue/Saturation" option.

Step 6

Erase parts of each layer to eliminate overlapping areas, if necessary. Select a layer in the layer palette and use the eraser tool to erase any unwanted part of each layer. Use the move tool to adjust any layer's position, if necessary.

Step 7

Crop off the edges if the layer edges don't line up perfectly. Use the rectangle selection tool to drag a rectangle around the outer edge, making sure the rectangle is inside the top and bottom edges of each photo. Select "Crop to selection" from the "Image" menu. This will give you a seamless border. Save the file by selecting "Save" from the "File" menu.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you are familiar with many of the features in Paint.NET, you can learn new techniques by reading tutorials written to be done in more popular photo and image editing software such as Photoshop. Many tutorials can be found for free on the Internet, and you should be able to translate tutorials that use features that Photoshop and Paint.NET have in common.