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Last post Author Topic: Photo panorama creation  (Read 23879 times)

Carol Haynes

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Photo panorama creation
« on: June 02, 2006, 03:11:51 PM »
Thought I'd show off a panorama I took the other day. All three images are thumbnails - click on them to see the full image.

This is a picture of Wensleydale looking south (the East end of my village is at the left hand end of the the photo)

To give a bit of background:

12 large/fine JPEG quality photos taken left to right with a Canon EOS Rebel (300D)
Hand held (yes I know ideally I should use a tripod but it was a spare of the moment decision)

I tried three different applications on basic settings (just whacked in the photos and used all the default settings):

This was the best image I got - and I am really quite impressed:

PTGuiPano_sm.jpgPhoto panorama creation

Note the original image created is 11Mb so this is significantly reduced in size (and it shows a bit). The software I used for this image was PTGui (latest build) (cost 65 Euros). There is also a very active forum where the author contributes a lot (which is based on the original PanoTools).

Other applications I tried were Panorama Factory (latest version, $70) and PanaVue Image Assembler (version 2.12a - current version is 3, $64-$129) and Autostitch (free beta version - time limited, available in other commercial products at a price).

Panorama Factory had distinct areas of non-alignment (in various places trees on the skyline appeared as elongated blobs because they appeared more than once but not quite in the same place). It produced a file of 24.5Mb. Here is a small version of the output file:

pano_sm.jpgPhoto panorama creation

I haven't upgraded to the latest version of PanaVue Image Assembler because it seems hard to justify the price ($32 for the upgrade) when I originally swapped to Panorama Factory because of marginally better results. Version 2 produced an image with a slight bend, misalignments and some colour banding at overlaps. It produced a file of 20.1Mb. Here is a small version:

PVIA_sm.jpgPhoto panorama creation

Autostitch ... produced a 24.9Mb file with good alignment. It is hard to tell but I personally think the image is a little more banded at the original pictures overlap areas than in PTGui - but for free it produces a good result - plus it is the easiest to use - you can add any set of photos (in any order) and it sorts out the positions of the all photos even if there are multiple rows and the pics are not straight without any further user input.

AutoStitch_sm.jpgPhoto panorama creation

This is a very unscientific test really - one stitching job on default settings is hardly good practice - but then I was really impressed with the accuracy and colour matching of PTGui.

If anyone is interested I could do a little review and try to identify (and zoom in on) some of the problem areas. I could try PanaVue version 3 too (using the demo version).
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 06:06:39 PM by Carol Haynes »

Darwin

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2006, 03:56:03 PM »
This is really interesting, Carol. I'd be interested in seeing a minireview of these apps. You could add Autostitch (http://www.cs.ubc.ca...itch/autostitch.html), or one or more of the apps that are based on its code to round out the review...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

mouser

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2006, 05:04:59 PM »
panorma app review!
panorma app review!
panorma app review!

Carol Haynes

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2006, 05:32:21 PM »
OK I'll get onto it ...

Anyone got other apps for this they would like covered (but only if they have a free or properly working demo version)?

Carol Haynes

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2006, 06:13:35 PM »
Added an 'Autostitch' section to the first post.

tsaint

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2006, 09:12:48 PM »
http://www.autopano.net/ looks good but the price makes me cringe. It is a licensee of autostitch
I love autostitch  :D

Carol Haynes

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2006, 05:11:58 AM »
http://www.autopano.net/ looks good but the price makes me cringe. It is a licensee of autostitch
I love autostitch  :D

That's what I thought - given that you can download AutoStitch why would anyone pay $100 for AutoPano which is just AutoStitch in a new skin (I presume)? Maybe the SDK from AutoStitch offers a lot of other options that aren't in the beta.

My only criticism of Autostitch is that it isn't perfect at blending colours and getting the match right with the main parts of the pictures so you get a slight banding. It is pretty damn good for a freebie though ...

Carol Haynes

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2006, 01:34:20 PM »
Had a look at RealViz Stitcher Express ...

I am using the demo version which I downloaded. By far the biggest package (100Mb).

To be fair to the other software I have not read any instructions (because I didn't for them) and tried to build the same panorama again.

First off I can see no way to get it to automatically put the photos together. Each one has to be placed in approximately the right place and then stitched to the existing panorama before adding the next.

The only trouble is I can't save the project I am working on (presumably a demo restriction) and having spent the best part of 40 minutes trying to do this I get an error every time I try to render the output "Stitcher has run out of memory" - the program then exits without any option to save what you have done.

I have tried doing only a third of the pano (4 pictures) and it does the same.

Given that I have a machine with 1Gb of memory (and well over half of that is not in use) I am not really too impressed with this!

I'll investigate a bit further before I unistall it but so far this looks the least promising (and one of the most expensive) options.

I have also contacted AutoPano (and got an almost instant reply) so I will definitely add that to the review and I have also contacted Serif Panorama Plus (since there is no demo download available).

Anyone got any other programs they would like checking out?

elpresi

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2006, 06:21:30 PM »
Hi,
I have tried a number of stitching programs, including a few of the mentionned above, so I'll pitch in.
Some programs can only stitch one row of pictures to create a traditional panorama, such as PanoFactory.
While others can do multiple row stitching (Autostitch, PTGUI, Realviz, AutopanoPro, etc...)

In my experience Autostitch, PTGUI, Autopano do a noticeably better job at automatic stitching than Realviz or PanoFactory, especially in difficult situations.

There is also a substantial difference in functionality between programs such as PTGui/AutopanoPro and Autostitch. With the first two you can choose the projection to be used:
- rectilinear<wideangle lens like - no curved lines->
- cylindrical <panorama>
- spherical
And on top of that you can preview-tune the result before rendering. Autostitch can only do spherical and no preview (and jpeg only, no tiff, no psd, etc..).

AutopanoPro has also the capability to merge 2 different exposures of a same pic to achieve a High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo (haven´t tried it).
And, VERY USEFUL for those that shoot pictures in RAW format is AutopanoPro´s support of RAW as an input format.

I think that Autostitch does the job for the casual panorama while PTgui and Autopano offer far better creative possibilities and control to the enthusiast photographer.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2006, 06:32:14 PM by elpresi »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2006, 05:15:21 AM »
Thanks I think we are on the same wavelength. I have tried all of these (and also PanaVue ImageAssembler) and think AutoPanoPro and PTGui are coming out tops. There is also Hugin (similar to PTGui but free).

Stay tuned ...

Plasma Man

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2006, 09:26:22 PM »
Carol,

I'm using Panorama Factory which I settled on after a fair amount of testing (a few months ago). Aside from a few panorama sequences, I've been mainly using PF for "over-sized" document archiving (plans, maps, posters, broadsheets etc) and it's been rock solid with excellent rendering quality. The documentation is comprehensive as well. The current version doesn't support mosaics like say "the original and the best" Autostich does, but this is planned for a future release.

As for the other products I looked at, I'll have to look through my notes and report back.

Andre

Carol Haynes

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2006, 04:53:51 AM »
Thanks Andre - I like PF too

androsk

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2006, 12:47:07 AM »
Hi. I am new in this area. I would really appreciate if someone of you give me some hints about making a room panorama (in order to make a virtual touring... this is another story  :D) TNX!! :Thmbsup:

Perry Mowbray

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2006, 06:40:26 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts on this (as I'm thinking of diving into a more powerful programme: I'm just using the Canon provided stiching software).

This is not really panorama, but has anyone looked at PhotoSynth? It's not released yet, but the videos (sales pitch) look amazing!

http://labs.live.com/photosynth/

- Perry



Perry Mowbray

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2006, 06:47:37 AM »
AutopanoPro has also the capability to merge 2 different exposures of a same pic to achieve a High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo (haven´t tried it).

I'd be interested in what you thought of this functionality: I've been creating HDR images in PhotoImact quite successfully, but there is no auto-registration which means that the images have to be set up and shot with a tripod (which isn't a huge drama, but does kill the spontaneity)

- Perry

oBFusC8r

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2006, 02:59:40 PM »

Here is a cool panorama that has been made with Autopano Pro

http://davemelges.co...ilverleafdemoone.htm



Perry Mowbray

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2006, 03:05:03 AM »

Here is a cool panorama that has been made with Autopano Pro

http://davemelges.co...ilverleafdemoone.htm


Excellent image!

Carol Haynes

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2006, 06:11:47 AM »
Hey that is a brilliant image ...

Why don't you see if AutoPano want to use it in their gallery ?

oBFusC8r

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2006, 06:24:55 AM »
Just to clarify things. I did not shoot that image, a photographer named Dave Melges did. He wrote in a post over at dpreview.com that he used Autopano Pro to make it. Someone posted a link to it on the Autopano forum as well.

I have been playing a bit with Autopano Pro myself lately, processing lots of photos from a vacation to Iceland. Really neat app.

Perry Mowbray

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2006, 11:12:00 PM »
I have been playing a bit with Autopano Pro myself lately, processing lots of photos from a vacation to Iceland. Really neat app.

I'd be interested in what you thought of the HDR stiching. Does it auto-register the images (like it does for other stiching)?

- Perry

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2006, 10:53:55 AM »

HDR is something I have yet to explore, though the tests I have made indicate that Autopano registers and aligns the images automatically. Check out the Autopano online wiki documentation, it has a HDR tutorial.

kimmchii

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2006, 11:52:54 PM »
there is another one here:

ArcSoft Panorama Maker
If you find a good solution and become attached to it, the solution may become your next problem.
~Robert Anthony

lanux128

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2006, 12:34:09 AM »
ArcSoft Panorama Maker

this is quite good, i got mine via a freebie cd with the purchase of my Canon scanner. ArcSoft also have a sister-app that can be useful for documents. It's called Scan-n-Stitch.


Carol Haynes

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2006, 03:52:49 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions I have emailed ArcSoft - but I think I will look at Panorama Maker only as Scan-n-stitch is not really designed for panorama making (though it may do that).

Sorry guys I haven't forgotten about this but I have been away and am snowed under with work (and vistors) at the moment as well as a few other commitments. It will get done (honest) it is just taking a while to get to it.

tsaint

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Re: Photo panorama creation
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2006, 03:59:45 AM »
WB Carol, haven't seen your posts for a while - starting to worry.
Here's another panorama maker, recently mentioned at snapfiles
 (http://www.snapfiles...r/zonerpanorama.html)
Its Zoner Panorama Maker for $9.99, website http://www.zoner.com/

Haven't tried it, I'm messing about with a hdr app instead
tony