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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Opinions wanted: Panorama Software
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07/27/2003 05:19:30 PM · #1
Just wondering, what software are other DPCer's using for stitching panoramas?
I've been playing with Panavue, which is OK, but there is one major failing. It cannot save a multi-layer image, which really limits what you can fix post-stitch.
I also have PanoTools, but have not had a chance to work with it much.
07/27/2003 06:05:06 PM · #2
try Panorama Factory - here are some samples
07/27/2003 06:43:47 PM · #3
I use PanoTools and PTGui - mainly because it was one of the few tools that could deal with up/down camera tilts. It will also generate a multi-layer image with masks - two features I found invaluable for these images.


This probably isn't the simplest software to use but it is the most powerful.

Texas Capitol (Needed tilt adjustments)

Times Sq at Night (extensive use of masks and also camera tilt adjustment)

The Panoguide website is a great resource.

Message edited by author 2003-07-27 18:44:51.
07/27/2003 07:04:34 PM · #4
Gordon,
Some very nice work. I'd love to see the full resolution version of the Times Square image.
After extensive soul-searching, I've decided I'll kick myself if I don't take the extra time to learn the PanoTools/PTpicker interface, and I may invest in PTGUI. I can't see being without the ability to deal with tilt & to output multilayer images.

07/27/2003 07:55:38 PM · #5
I use the Canon software that came with my camera. It does a good job IMO. It's very easy to use though may be too limited compared to others described here.
07/28/2003 12:24:12 AM · #6
Here's my first effort with PtGUI/PanoTools:

http://kirbic.instantlogic.com/itemDetail.ilx?idContainer={FA6171E3-DFDA-41BA-9BA5-9A6AA0072FFE}&page=9
07/28/2003 12:45:07 AM · #7
wow, wow, wow... It´s just brilliant, Kirbic...
I like very much your work, good colours, and good rainbow...
Congrats for a good work.

Take care & Have fun
04/03/2004 03:13:42 PM · #8
I just started looking for panorama software that will stitch lossless images. I stumbled on PanoTools which provides extensive controls. Does anyone know how to correct a slight colour cast in one of the images via this tool or does that need to be done in photoshop afterwards? I'm getting a very distinct line at the point where the images are joined.
04/03/2004 03:29:51 PM · #9
Originally posted by conceptgraphics:

try Panorama Factory - here are some samples


I use this too and it's fantastic, though not free.

There is an older free version which isn't bad available on their site.
04/03/2004 04:04:10 PM · #10
I use PTAssembler, which also uses Panorama tools as a backend, (PTAssembler is just the user interface for setting it all up)

it can be found here:

http://www.tawbaware.com/ptasmblr.htm

As well as lots of example on that guy's gallery. Almost all his photos are stitched (including a gigapixel image! http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/gigapixel.htm )

04/03/2004 05:23:02 PM · #11
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

I just started looking for panorama software that will stitch lossless images. I stumbled on PanoTools which provides extensive controls. Does anyone know how to correct a slight colour cast in one of the images via this tool or does that need to be done in photoshop afterwards? I'm getting a very distinct line at the point where the images are joined.


I use the PTGUI front end to PanoTools; when I do the final stitch, I tell PTGUI to save it as a .psd with layers. I then open in Photoshop and adjust color on each photo separately. Some particularly problematic stitches have required me to adjust as best I can, flatten the layers and clone out any small remaining stitch "evidence". This usually happens when...

- I screw up and don't lock the exposure and white balance when shooting
- I used a lens that vignettes, requiring non-uniform (radial) exposure correction
- I used a polarizer, and there is significant shift in sky color with direction

All in all, though it is not the friendlies software, PanoTools is IMO the best there is.
04/03/2004 05:26:22 PM · #12
I know that PS & Elements are memory hogs. Are these other programs any better?
04/03/2004 05:30:27 PM · #13
PTGUI also has a 'make the colours match' option that works pretty well.

Though I usually use that, and also output 48 bit photoshop layers with masks and fix it up later. The 'match colours option in photoshop CS is fantastic for this too (the photomerge automation is also pretty good for doing quick panos without much effort to start with too)

04/03/2004 05:32:44 PM · #14
Thanks for the input. I've now tried both the PTGUI and PTAssembler front ends for PanoTools. Both work in a similar fashion. I managed to eliminate the stitch evidence by selecting the adjustment for colours and brightness and setting the feather amount.

The two images I am joining were not actually taken for the purposes of creating a panorama. When I downloaded them from the camera I noticed that they could be used for that purpose.

Do you use the psd with or without layer masks? I'm not too familiar with masks yet so would like to know the advantages of creating the layers with masks as apposed to without.
04/03/2004 05:33:33 PM · #15
Originally posted by faidoi:

I know that PS & Elements are memory hogs. Are these other programs any better?


Any/all programs that deal with multiple images at 3,4...6, or more Mpx are going to eat memory like there's no tomorrow. Last thing you want when trying to stitch a panorama is the program needing to page to disk; it will take forever to stitch it! If you experience this, only thing to do is add memory.
BTW, PanoTools is about the least memory intensive program, since there is essentially no user interface. it is very compact. The user interface that I use, PTGUI, is also pretty spartan.
04/03/2004 05:50:48 PM · #16
PTGui result: (the righthand image had a red colour cast) I did a colour match using the left image as reference.

gp2-thumb.jpg

Now I'm being cheap, is there any front end helper for panotools that is free? Both PTGui and PTAssembler are trial for 30 days then you have to register (and pay).

Message edited by author 2004-04-03 18:25:50.
04/03/2004 06:51:24 PM · #17
Originally posted by cpanaioti:



Do you use the psd with or without layer masks? I'm not too familiar with masks yet so would like to know the advantages of creating the layers with masks as apposed to without.


With the masks, it means I can go back in and tidy up the stitching - depending on the scene that can be vital to getting a good result.

E.g., this Times Sq pano - I had to use masks so that I could control the start and stop of the cars - which panotools doesn't handle well at all, because they moved from frame to frame. Masks let me do that easily. Even then it isn't perfect, but it looks a lot better.

medium.jpg

Same with this pano - I used edited masks to add/ remove people:

medium.jpg

Message edited by author 2004-04-03 18:52:59.
04/03/2004 08:04:25 PM · #18
Not selling anything here, but I thought I would add a key factor (at least to me) in Panorama Factory. Besides the exceptional job it does, the thing I like most about it that the other tools don't have, is you get great results AUTOMATICALLY, with no futzing.

Since you get good results in 1 or 2 minutes or so of effort, I never noticed whether or not it was a memory hog (I don't think so) because it's not necessary to have it running more than a minute or two!

A five shot panorama from Glacier Bay Alaska this August. Especially difficult because this was shot while I was on a moving cruise liner (though we were going slow ;)

54769.jpg
04/03/2004 09:29:00 PM · #19
I've now tried Panorama Factory as well. My guess is that it will work very well with perfectly aligned images. Ones requiring slight rotation to line up need manual adjustment.

The image I posted earlier in this thread would require much tinkering with Panorama Factory whereas with PTGui it did all the calculations and adjustments for me. The only trick was to get the feathering just right to eliminate all signs of stitching. Also, it created a layered photoshop file that could be adjusted further.

PTAssembler did pretty much the same as PTGui but has a problem when you use a teleconverter attached to the lens. I can't seem to get it to make the proper calculation for Horiz. FOV in order to get the proper finished image size. If anyone has a suggestion for this, that would be appreciated.

Thanks for all the help so far.
04/03/2004 11:52:11 PM · #20
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

I use the Canon software that came with my camera. It does a good job IMO. It's very easy to use though may be too limited compared to others described here.


I tried the Canon software once and it totally screwed up the stitching. I wasn't happy with it at all. You said it worked for you? I may have to give it another shot.

I did download Panorama Factory awhile back (the free trial) and have used it a few times. I thought it worked wonderfully. Do you have to purchase PF as a download or can it be bought in stores?

Edit:

Gordon: Those are awesome shots! Really love the TS one. Wow!

Message edited by author 2004-04-03 23:53:11.
04/04/2004 12:40:26 AM · #21
Check out this site - it might be useful ;-)

Message edited by author 2004-04-04 00:41:00.
04/04/2004 03:59:57 AM · #22
Anyone try Ulead Cool 360?
04/04/2004 08:14:15 AM · #23
Originally posted by ButterflySis:



I tried the Canon software once and it totally screwed up the stitching. I wasn't happy with it at all. You said it worked for you? I may have to give it another shot.



The automatic stitching doesn't always work but you can select any join point and adjust it yourself. You can even select matching parts of the images being merged, similar to the control points in PanoTools. The limitations I've discovered are that there is no colour/brightness matching and the result is not a layered photoshop file.

In playing with PhotoStitch again I've discovered more features which I will have to try.

edit: spelling

Message edited by author 2004-04-04 08:14:41.
04/04/2004 01:14:39 PM · #24
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

I've now tried Panorama Factory as well. My guess is that it will work very well with perfectly aligned images. Ones requiring slight rotation to line up need manual adjustment.

The image I posted earlier in this thread would require much tinkering with Panorama Factory whereas with PTGui it did all the calculations and adjustments for me. The only trick was to get the feathering just right to eliminate all signs of stitching. Also, it created a layered photoshop file that could be adjusted further.

PTAssembler did pretty much the same as PTGui but has a problem when you use a teleconverter attached to the lens. I can't seem to get it to make the proper calculation for Horiz. FOV in order to get the proper finished image size. If anyone has a suggestion for this, that would be appreciated.

Thanks for all the help so far.


Actually, I doubt many of the panoramics I've used PF are "perfectly aligned". I take most my panoramics hand held, and I also did a number while on a moving ship.

Glad you found something you liked, but I thought I'd mention that you can also fine tune PF.

Regards--Neil
04/04/2004 01:26:49 PM · #25
Originally posted by ButterflySis:

[quote=cpanaioti]
..snip..
I did download Panorama Factory awhile back (the free trial) and have used it a few times. I thought it worked wonderfully. Do you have to purchase PF as a download or can it be bought in stores?
..snip..


I don't know about "in stores" (probably); but I am sure you can also order it in physical package form online from them.

Also, note there is an older free version you can download which is very similar, but doesn't do some of the adjustments the newer PF does. I personally decided to buy, but I have used both:

http://www.panoramafactory.com/download.html#freeware

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