Windows Live Photo Gallery has a tool called Photo Fuse for combining sections from several similar photos. The classic use is to get all the folks in a group shot with their eyes open and smiling. No mean feat in one shot, but Photo Fuse makes it easy – if you have enough shots to select from. Sometimes you want one of the shots as the base, the photo that provides most of the content, but Photo Fuse has its own idea of which photo to use as the primary one.
There is no obvious way to select the photo that should be used as the base. But, of course, there is a way.
Photo Fuse picks the thumbnail that is closest to the top left – first in the sort order – as the base photo. So the trick is to make sure that the photo you want as the base is the first one in the sort order. Normally photos are sorted by file name, this can be easily changed, but for this particular purpose, my method is to use the rating system. Assign a 5-star rating to the primary photo, and either not rate the others or assign lower ratings. Then sort the thumbnails by Rating.
Here is how to do this quickly, I will use only two photos to demonstrate, but you can have any number in the folder. Click on the thumbnail of the desired base photo, click Rate in the Organize group of the Home ribbon. Click on 5 stars. If you have rated any other photos as five stars, rate them lower.
Just select all the thumbnails from which you want to use portions. Click the Create tab, click Photo Fuse in the Tools group.
Photo Fuse does an amazing job of stitching in the selected area. One caution: Be careful in setting the selection area so you don’t include some unwanted detail.
© 2011 Ludwig Keck