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Thread: Panoramic software options

  1. #1
    Davey's Avatar
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    Panoramic software options

    I was wondering what software people used for making panoramas. I'm new to this and so far only experimented a little. I am using panotools (2.9.14) and hugin mainly and they seem good. I do have photoshop and briefly tested the pano stitching in it but didn't seem as good, but I'm yet to test on the cs4 machine, only tried on cs3 one, so it may have been improved.

    Enblend doesn't always do a perfect job but I kind of expected that since I'm yet to find a programme for anything that is 100% automated processing, that processes variable/none identical data (like photo or sound files for example) that outputs something that doesn't need tweaking. Usually tidying up on joins, often easy stuff like sky joins too which only takes a minute to fix.

  2. #2

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    Re: Panoramic software

    My primary weapon of choice is Panorama Factory (www.panoramafactory.com) - they used to have free trials if this helps

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    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic software

    Why don't you try Photomatix http://www.hdrsoft.com/de/index.html

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    Re: Panoramic software

    Not tried photomatix, I didn't realise it had had pano features I thought it was just for HDR generation and tone mapping so thanks for heads up or I wouldn't have realised. I have downloaded the trial for the one you recommended too colin but not tried yet. Panoramas are something I'm interested in as well as HDR and I hope to get to grips with them more so I practising/experimenting a little each week.

    I'd like to compare results between a few and use the best suited to me, and as long as it doesn't cost an arm and a leg I'd happily buy it over using free stuff like panotools if is significantly better than panotools in some way. My reasons for asking are in part general interest as a hobby, since switching to digital there are more aspects of photography that are open now like easy HDR photography and panoramic stuff and because it's just a hobby I can afford to dip into many areas and don't have a need to master any or concentrate on one area. I really like panoramas and am having fun experimenting with them.

    The other part is to fulfill a particular specific wish, which is to have a decent panoramic shot of liverpool to put on my wall (my home city before I moved across the river). I have seen a few in local shops that include pretty much the exact composition I am thinking of but they are not very good and lack sharpness, clarity, wrong tide times and seem pretty poor quality etc etc (and severely overpriced). I thought it'd be more satisfying to do it myself and I could get a better result than what's on offer here.

    I want to print it quite big, at least 22" wide, that's the biggest I can get done locally that I've found, at decent price and one I trust anyway, any bigger I'd send away to be done but I only want one copy (although I think my dad might want one too). As a result of the print size (it would be viewed close up by me so want it sharp up close), my cameras low resolution and lens angle, and the stitch technique & cropping etc I will need something that can handle rows as well as columns. I have taken a few test shots of what i want (see below), panotools is the only one I've really experimented with like i say (and not extensively) and it seems ok but I have no reference to others so will try both of those programmes thank you. I managed to get panotools/hugin to stitch 45 images together (3 rows of 15), overkill but was experiment to see what was possible however I was surprised it managed it albeit with minor blending issue (easy to fix joins mainly) and very slight alignment prob on 1 or 2 shots (due to control points and full auto but I sorted that). Realistically I'm looking at 2 rows of 16 to get what i wan't (taking final crop into account etc).

    Panoramic software options

    An example of what I'd be interested in the software doing is this (not processed much as was test and working in gimp and it downscaled a bit wrong but gives you idea of what i want the software to do, I made from 1 row of around 9 images, one of my first experiments, I've only performed a few pano experiments so far). I'd be capturing similar image but twice the horizontal size to get the cathedrals, arena and docks in with less atmospheric haze and when the cathedrals are lit up. Also I need more rows to get more sky and river in to give me more choice on the cropping, the river is only that reflective at high tide when stops for short while (15sec exp). Water usually murky and even long exposure doesn't cancel the waves as it's a sediment river (cue jokes from those who know the mersey hehehe) and has fast currents.

    The reason I ask about the software is not just for this though one scene, like I say I'm interested in pano stuff in general so suggestions/recommendations of anything is of interest. Anything that relates to capturing this particular scenario is a bonus. With thanks.

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    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic software

    sorry, wrong software as mentioned

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    Re: Panoramic software

    no problem but thanks for reminding me as meant to try that anyway. I got trial of photomatix as I'm interested in HDR too. I've only experimented a little with HDR in pshop and qtpfsgui. I found qtpfs interesting but hard to get natural looking images which is mainly what I'm interested in. I'm interested in HDR more for capturing nice shadow detail without blowing highlights as opposed to artistic or stylistic reasons.

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    Re: Panoramic software

    for HDR, don't forget the stuff from mr _GUI_ (more of that in the HDR section of the forum)
    His latest ZigZag pic is quite impressive

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    Re: Panoramic software

    I use Photomatrix and Gimp. Both really easy to use, and great results

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    Re: Panoramic software

    A program that also deserves mention is PTAssembler, based on Panotools. It is perhaps the most powerful of all the stitching software options. While at times this comes at the cost of usability, and also can be somewhat intimidating, if you take the time to learn it the payoff in stitching quality/flexibility can be pretty substantial. Oh, and it's pretty cheap too...after the trial period.
    Last edited by McQ; 21st February 2009 at 12:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Davey's Avatar
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    Re: Panoramic software

    thank you, having a look at ptassembler site now. I don't mind userbility issues (I got used to blender ) as I find it's just familiarity and am patient enough to slowly pick anything up. Also ideal I don't know what I'm doing (as usual ), strange suggestion but since I'm learning it's ideal stage to pick up the more complex or less friendly ui because have no expectations or formed way of doing things yet or gotten into habit of doing things the easy way.

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