Panorama software

My friend Semko introduced me to the fun of stitching digital images into panoramas a few years ago. He had worked with panoramas, including 360 degree ones for quite a while. At first I used an inbuilt facility in some Olympus camera software that I had but there were usually some fairly serious stitching errors which usually meant that the result was not so useful.

A couple of months ago I tested the panorama software PTGui and found that it worked extremely well, especially compared to what I was using before, it allowed the creation of flawlessly stitched panoramas with little user input. So I bought the program for the €60 + vat they required.

Due to my unwillingness to carry and use tripods, most of my panorama attempts suffer from parallax errors when stitching, this probably accounts for many of the errors I had before PTGui – if you have perfectly taken photos as inputs (with the camera rotated around the nodal point and no changes in the scene) I think simple stitching software can do a good job. I found that PTGui still gave some errors where there were areas of serious parallax problems or movement in the scene.

I then found out about a different blending plug-in that PTGui can use – SmartBlend it uses algorithms to work around changes in position of elements within the blending zone and it works extremely well most of the time, creating perfect stitches on many panoramas that PTGui’s blender fails on.  And Smartblend is freeware, I think.

A gallery of my panoramas is here.

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