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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Exclamation Panorama software

    I am looking for good software for creating panoramic shots (stiching multiple images into one). I have Canon camera, and there is some soft with it, but i think it's too basic to make good panorama.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Los Altos, CA
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    Thumbs up Re: Panorama software

    Quote Originally Posted by dropman
    I am looking for good software for creating panoramic shots (stiching multiple images into one). I have Canon camera, and there is some soft with it, but i think it's too basic to make good panorama.
    Check out Panorama Maker 3, by ArcSoft. I got it free with my Panasonic cameras; it works great, even if you have to pay for it! You can check it out here.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by dropman
    I am looking for good software for creating panoramic shots (stiching multiple images into one). I have Canon camera, and there is some soft with it, but i think it's too basic to make good panorama.
    I too was a little disappointed with the panorama stitcher that came with my Canon. Then, recently, I came across Panorama Tools, so have been playing about with creating pano's of late. Since I'm a techy, I've gone for a solution that is a bit more involved but the results are stunning - and all the software is free! I'm using Hugin (http://hugin.sourceforge.net) as a front end to Panorama Tools. You will then need an image editor that can read and process layered photoshop files (.psd files) - for which I use Paintshop Pro 8 but, if you want to keep it free, I think that The GIMP will do that too. Two commercial front-ends to PanoTools are PTAssembler (http://www.tawbaware.com/ptasmblr.htm - a great site with a very useful tutorial) and PTGui (http://www.ptgui.com/).

    BTW, make sure you've got enough memory for editing the resulting files - over the weekend, I created a pano from 5 x 8MP images from my Oly C-8080 and PSP went up to 650MBytes of memory in Task Manager. I have 768MBytes of RAM and it was still thrashing the disc occasionally when I was fine-tuning the seams.

    Have fun,

    _

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Underscore
    I too was a little disappointed with the panorama stitcher that came with my Canon. Then, recently, I came across Panorama Tools, so have been playing about with creating pano's of late. Since I'm a techy, I've gone for a solution that is a bit more involved but the results are stunning - and all the software is free! I'm using Hugin (http://hugin.sourceforge.net) as a front end to Panorama Tools. You will then need an image editor that can read and process layered photoshop files (.psd files) - for which I use Paintshop Pro 8 but, if you want to keep it free, I think that The GIMP will do that too. Two commercial front-ends to PanoTools are PTAssembler (http://www.tawbaware.com/ptasmblr.htm - a great site with a very useful tutorial) and PTGui (http://www.ptgui.com/).

    BTW, make sure you've got enough memory for editing the resulting files - over the weekend, I created a pano from 5 x 8MP images from my Oly C-8080 and PSP went up to 650MBytes of memory in Task Manager. I have 768MBytes of RAM and it was still thrashing the disc occasionally when I was fine-tuning the seams.

    Have fun,

    _
    So how many pixels constituted your final pano size? I was curious, since I did a 5 x 4MP pano which came out about 1500 H X 7000 W, and the file opens up to about 30MB in Photoshop on my Mac. In that pano, Panorama Maker managed to put it together with invisible seams.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by John_Reed
    So how many pixels constituted your final pano size? I was curious, since I did a 5 x 4MP pano which came out about 1500 H X 7000 W, and the file opens up to about 30MB in Photoshop on my Mac. In that pano, Panorama Maker managed to put it together with invisible seams.
    IIRC, it was about 3,000 (or a little under) x 10,000 (or a little over). The PSD file created by panotools was just over 200MB, since it had 10 layers in 5 groups (raster layer plus mask for each source image). Since I also forgot to lock the white balance for the photos, I then needed to add a colour-balance adjustment layers to four of the five groups to get consistent colour across the pano. Of course, once it was flattened down, the file size dropped to a fraction of the layered version.

    I've tried using enblend - a free tool that joins the constituent images after processing by panotools - and it generally works very well. However, since I frequently carry a camera but no tripod, often my pano images suffer a degree of parallax error due to shooting hand-held. In that case, using the difference blending mode between layers (as outlined on Max Lyon's site) allows me to very quickly produce imperceptible seams when automated tools can struggle. Besides, for me, messing about with the images is part of the fun of digital photography - it's like the fun I used to have in the darkroom at Uni but without the mess!

    _

  6. #6
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    Jul 2004
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    Los Altos, CA
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    Thumbs up I know what you mean...

    Quote Originally Posted by Underscore
    IIRC, it was about 3,000 (or a little under) x 10,000 (or a little over). The PSD file created by panotools was just over 200MB, since it had 10 layers in 5 groups (raster layer plus mask for each source image). Since I also forgot to lock the white balance for the photos, I then needed to add a colour-balance adjustment layers to four of the five groups to get consistent colour across the pano. Of course, once it was flattened down, the file size dropped to a fraction of the layered version.

    I've tried using enblend - a free tool that joins the constituent images after processing by panotools - and it generally works very well. However, since I frequently carry a camera but no tripod, often my pano images suffer a degree of parallax error due to shooting hand-held. In that case, using the difference blending mode between layers (as outlined on Max Lyon's site) allows me to very quickly produce imperceptible seams when automated tools can struggle. Besides, for me, messing about with the images is part of the fun of digital photography - it's like the fun I used to have in the darkroom at Uni but without the mess!

    _
    To avoid those shot-shot variations, I've taken to using totally manual settings for my FZ10, which locks the WB and all the other shooting parameters for the whole series. I also shoot without a tripod, which calls for some cropping of the overall pano to account for my wavy arc! Do you have a choice of setting exact shooting focal length on the 8080? With the FZ10, I have to guess at it, but fortunately Panorama Maker has an "automatic camera" feature that compensates for the particular focal length you used.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by John_Reed
    To avoid those shot-shot variations, I've taken to using totally manual settings for my FZ10, which locks the WB and all the other shooting parameters for the whole series. I also shoot without a tripod, which calls for some cropping of the overall pano to account for my wavy arc! Do you have a choice of setting exact shooting focal length on the 8080? With the FZ10, I have to guess at it, but fortunately Panorama Maker has an "automatic camera" feature that compensates for the particular focal length you used.
    I'm still getting used to having to do allt hese things manually; I've only just got the Oly and my other camera is a Canon which has a Pano mode built in that takes care of it all. The 8080 can select a focal length, sort of; you can set up a custom mode, which can include the focal length of 28, 50, 90 or 140mm (35mm equiv) IIRC. However, I generally don't use it since you can get the focal length used from the EXIF data in the image.

    _

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Underscore
    The 8080 can select a focal length, sort of; you can set up a custom mode, which can include the focal length of 28, 50, 90 or 140mm (35mm equiv) IIRC. However, I generally don't use it since you can get the focal length used from the EXIF data in the image.
    It seems to me that the optimum panorama focal length would be 50mm, the "normal" lens focal length. Therefore, if you could select that focal length for making panarama sweeps, it could be advantageous. On the other hand, if the panorama software can accommodate different focal lengths anyway, maybe it just doesn't matter much.
    Let a be your umbrella!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by John_Reed
    It seems to me that the optimum panorama focal length would be 50mm, the "normal" lens focal length. Therefore, if you could select that focal length for making panarama sweeps, it could be advantageous. On the other hand, if the panorama software can accommodate different focal lengths anyway, maybe it just doesn't matter much.
    I took a panorama of a building on holiday this year with my Canon at full wide angle (35mm EFL) and, while it stitched together very well, the perspective does look unnatural. For panos with few parallel lines, e.g. most landscapes, the focal length used doesn't seem to make a huge difference to one's perception of the final image. I will certainly try to use 50mm, or thereabouts, in future if shooting panos containing buildings or that sort of thing.

    _

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
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    2,225
    That's a bit surprising because the angle of view of the 35mm when on a dSLR is as close to normal as your going to get. On my D70, the 35 is a 52.5 equivalent and on Canons, the 35 is a 56 equivalent.

    I would expect distortion to be minimized.

    Cheers,
    Eric

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