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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

PhotoStitch or other 360 Degree Photo Options
Chris Halper, Photographer
Toronto | On | Canada | Posted: 11:19 AM on 10.10.07
->> Hey All,

I need to merge a series of photos taken in a circle from one point.

I normally use the "PhotoStitch" software that comes with the Canon cameras, but it seems to be having trouble merging some of the details.

Are they any other options out there?
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Steven Mullensky, Photographer, Photo Editor
Port Townsend | WA. | USA | Posted: 12:07 PM on 10.10.07
->> Photostitch works remarkably well for me.
I'm sure you know this but there is more to stitching images than just expecting a program to do it. The camera has to be level, the exposure and focus locked in and there has to be a certain amount of overlap of the images to be fully successful. There are brackets available the help you take into account the 'node'factor. Don't ask me to explain it but you can do a search.
I find that I have best results when using something other than a wide angle lens. I recently did a hand held panorama of 13 verticle images at about 100mm.

There is another app that I used, VR Worx. I used it for a real estate job I did and it outputs the final result as a Quicktime movie.

Steve
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Martin Fernandez, Photographer
Woodbridge | VA | USA | Posted: 12:27 PM on 10.10.07
->> Like Steve said, if you used a special tripod head to shoot the images and have good overlap you can use PhotoShop's "Photomerge" command - it's under the file:Automate menu.

Photomerge gives you a little wiggle room in case you did not use a special head.

I'm still using Apple's QTVR toolkit - unfortunately it only runs in OS 9 and it's hard to come by.
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Joel Kowsky, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | United States | Posted: 1:03 PM on 10.10.07
->> I'm a firm believer that the 'killer app' for panoramas and QTVR is PTMac, or if you're on a PC, the equivalent is PTGui. Which now PTGui supports both Mac and Windows.

PTMac (Mac Only)
http://www.kekus.com/software/ptmac.html

PTGui (Mac and Windows)
http://www.ptgui.com/

Both of the programs are shareware, so there's a demo period where you can try them out before purchasing.

I've used both of these programs and had great results. The auto-match tool in both of them is amazing, it can pick out the smallest things that are similar in two photos.

If look at the additional galleries on my ss page there is a gallery of panos.

--Joel
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Gerry Pieper, Photographer
Schoengeising | BY | Germany | Posted: 2:17 PM on 10.10.07
->> I agree with Martin and Joel!
The Photomerge on the new Photoshop CS 3 ist much better than the old one and produces reasonable results with less work.
PTGui requires quite more manual work and time, but the results are technical perfect. So it's on you...
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Adam Hemphill, Student/Intern, Photographer
Willimantic | CT | | Posted: 3:42 AM on 10.11.07
->> After using it over the summer for dozens of panoramas, I find The VR Worx to be a great tool. It's not a cheap program by any means, but its features help overcome problems associated with non-specialty lenses and heads.
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Drew Broadley, Photographer
Wellington | NZ | New Zealand | Posted: 7:01 AM on 10.11.07
->> http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~mbrown/autostitch/autostitch.html

Amazing auto brightness/contrast balancing, auto stitching, auto perspective.

Basically THROW images at it and it will sort it out 9/10.
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Melissa Macatee, Photographer
Dallas | TX | | Posted: 8:25 AM on 10.11.07
->> There is a company called Easypano that makes a variety of programs one, Panoweaver,is for 360 degree flash stitching. http://www.easypano.com/panorama-software.html
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Jeff Gritchen, Photographer
Long Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 1:17 AM on 10.12.07
->> Calico works great for Mac OSX

http://www.kekus.com/download/index.html
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Chris Halper, Photographer
Toronto | On | Canada | Posted: 5:06 AM on 10.12.07
->> THANKS FOR THE FEEDBACK

Yes, I know to take the photos in full manual mode and have had great results with distant scenery.

The specific problem I am having is with interiors and virtual tours of rooms.

I have a 16mm lens, but Photostitch's widest setting is 20mm. Even at 20mm, the program seems to have trouble with the top and bottom of the frame. It does not 'warp' the image enough to line up the photos properly. This is especially visible with straight lines like ceiling support beams, or near foreground objects (like tables and chairs).

I will try some of the other programs suggested. Ideally, I would like to use my full 16mm wide lens.
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Karl Stolleis, Photographer
Santa Fe | NM | USA | Posted: 12:00 PM on 10.12.07
->> VR Worx - it has a custom lens correction tool that can account for distortions. None better, aside from the original Apple software
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Joel Kowsky, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | United States | Posted: 1:04 PM on 10.12.07
->> Chris,

If you're going to be doing a lot of QTVR's and other assorted virtual tours, purchasing a pano head or one specifically designed for making QTVR's would probably be a pretty good idea.

The skewing of support beams and other objects probably has something to do with the 'node.' I know from shooting w/ a pano bracket that we had to set up the whole thing by shooting a stationary object and then moving the camera one point left and right on the pano head and adjusting the 'node' until the object stopped shifting in frame.

This sounds like what you're experiencing....
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Tony Donaldson, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 2:55 PM on 10.12.07
->> Photomerge in CS2 often had problems with panos, especially from any kind of wide angle lens. The version in CS3 is night and day. It handles everything really well, the advanced masking is unbelievable and very intuitive. I liked Photostitch, but it takes a long time and can't handle anything above 8 or 10 megapixels. I've done 4 GB panos using a 17mm lens and a LOT of images, the results are stunning, and automatic.

You have a lot of control in Photomerge, but even the fully auto settings are usually spot-on. And unlike some of the panorama software out there, you don't need to be an engineer to understand the UI.
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Tim Williams, Photographer
Evansville | IN | USA | Posted: 11:46 PM on 10.13.07
->> I am doing VR photos for realtors and Panorama Factory is INCREDIBLY easy to use and works for 90% of the pics and is great for partial pans (270 degree or 180 degree).

3D Photo Builder 1.2 is the best I have used for 360 degree pans (don't get the Pro 2.x version - that one crashes for me and another guy doing the VR) You can get a fully functional trial at :
http://www.anything3d.com/product/software/download.php3#builder
It's only 60 bucks... now it's problem is the interface is bass-ackwards. After you make the pan you will think... where is it? You have to go the resulting pan, right click and "export" (like Darkroom!).

But it is fairly fast and does the BEST job of the ones I tried. I would like to try Panoweaver, but this one's price is good.

BTW - I am using Nodal Ninja for a pano head. It's around $230 shipped and has worked great for home interiors (using 10-20mm Sigma zoom).
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Thread Title: PhotoStitch or other 360 Degree Photo Options
Thread Started By: Chris Halper
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