Create perfect group photos from multiple images with Group Shot


Group Shot is a free program that can automatically create a single ’perfect’ image from multiple image sources.It does this by merging the ’good’ parts from other images (typically shots of groups of people) into a final, perfect composite image.

Did you notice that whenever you’re taking pictures of people in a group that there’s always at least one person who’s squinting, frowning, or looking away even when you’ve finally managed to get all the other people in the picture flash perfect smiles?

Group Shot from Microsoft Research can take a number of pictures and semi-automatically merge the good parts to construct a perfect output image. If this is sounding a little bit strange, or if it sounds like it might involve a lot of work/tweaking — I have some news for you: it works like magic; a few clicks will automagically deliver perfect group shots that never existed in reality (its almost disconcerting).

To test this software, I took 2 pictures of 2 of my coworkers (thanks John, Mark) where only one of my colleagues was smiling in each image. I then processed the two pics with Groupshot and within seconds had a perfect composite image with both guys smiling (it was so quick and looked so undoctored that I was a bit taken aback- see screenshot on the right).

How to use:

  • Select a number of images and drag into the Group Shot window: Images have to be the same size (which they will be if they are taken by the same camera in the same place in succession). If images aren’t aligned Group Shot contains a number of tools that can help you align them.Groupshot Example
  • Go to each one of the images (which at this point will be displayed as tabs), and select (draw a rectangle) around each of the good faces that you want to include in your final groupshot.
  • Once that is done, click on ’view composite’ and you will most likely get a very good composite image where the ’best’ features you outlined are merged into te composite.
  • Save the results, in either low or high resolution. Export options include TIFF and layered PSD.

In theory you can use this program to selectively merge the best parts of images together that are not group photos (although I personally haven’t tried this).

Version tested: 1.03

Compatibility: Windows XP; no info on Vista.

Go to the Group Shot program page to download.