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Author Topic: What's your favorite stitching software for big panos?  (Read 3066 times)
bill t.
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« on: January 09, 2013, 12:05:52 AM »
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Setting up a new pano-computer.  Software is on my mind.

Bottom line...should I upgrade my solid, utterly reliable, well understood, and rather fast PTGui Pro 8.3.1, or should I have a fling with some younger, prettier upstart?

I just tried out PSCS6 on my standard super stress test pano.  It flunked miserably on an image that barely makes PTGui blink.  So I definitely need something better than CS6, and I suppose the day I can forget about control point editing on complicated images has not yet arrived.

So what are you using for your approximately 1/5 to 1/2 gigapixel panos, and how do you like it?  And is it fast working?  Would appreciate your thoughts.

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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 04:43:09 AM »
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Setting up a new pano-computer.  Software is on my mind.

Bottom line...should I upgrade my solid, utterly reliable, well understood, and rather fast PTGui Pro 8.3.1, or should I have a fling with some younger, prettier upstart?

Hi Bill,

Since you already have PTGui Pro, I'd upgrade to the latest and benefit from the improvements. Upgrading is cheaper than investing in a whole new application (and its timeconsuming learning curve), and frankly there is not much wrong with PTGui. In fact it's still at the top of being able to handle hard cases, and simple cases are easily done on full automatic in no time.

AutoPano Giga has improved a lot, especially since the improved control point editing, and being able to cope with more complex lens distortion models. Its use of the GPUs of you graphics card also improves the user experience with live updates of the display as you drag things around (just like PTGui Pro). My only reservation is that it attempts to do a lot of things automatically, which is not a problem when everything works fine, but becomes a bit of a struggle to override when a problem surfaces. I'm somewhat of a quality/control freak, so I prefer the PTGui approach which gives me full control over each and every parameter, but the APG automation can save a lot of time, especially on large image sets.

You can also have a look at the free Hugin, it has become a serious panostitcher with lots of useful features, and the price cannot be an objection.

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I just tried out PSCS6 on my standard super stress test pano.  It flunked miserably on an image that barely makes PTGui blink.  So I definitely need something better than CS6, and I suppose the day I can forget about control point editing on complicated images has not yet arrived.

Exactly, the need to be able and intervene manually in Photoshop makes it a relatively poor choice compared to the dedicated stitchers. It is not possible to influence the position of the horizon or the centering of the lens, something I need when working with Tilt/Shift lenses, and there is no way of adjusting control points, so e.g. moving clouds may create issues.

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So what are you using for your approximately 1/5 to 1/2 gigapixel panos, and how do you like it?  And is it fast working?  Would appreciate your thoughts.

PTGui Pro works very fast, AutoPano Pro works fast when multiple batches of large projects are started but will take time when the automation needs to be tweaked. Strangely enough, I often still use PTAssembler, because I know it best (it has the same roots as PTGui) and it offers a huge array of projections to choose from, and was/is often the first to offer some very useful practical solutions because it's programmed by a photographer. Occasionally I use Hugin to see if it can improve on others.

Cheers,
Bart
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 11:20:20 AM »
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I use the latest PTgui Pro on a Mac mostly for multi-row stitched images.  It's fast and does an awesome job.  Highly recommended.

Sal
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bill t.
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 01:13:31 PM »
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Bartvander, thanks for reminding me of PTAssembler.  I stopped using it years ago because of speed issues, but in looking at Max's revision history I see he has made many optimizations including a 64 bit compilation, and he is still working on it.  Will have another look at that.  In the meantime, I am off to upgrade PTGui.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2013, 01:49:59 PM »
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Bartvander, thanks for reminding me of PTAssembler.  I stopped using it years ago because of speed issues, but in looking at Max's revision history I see he has made many optimizations including a 64 bit compilation, and he is still working on it.  Will have another look at that.  In the meantime, I am off to upgrade PTGui.

When you also upgrade your PTAssembler, make sure you replace the Autopano plugin for the Panomatic one. The old Autopano plugin doesn't work with an 64-bit OS, while Panomatic does, and it gives a nice even spread of controlpoints across the image tile overlap zone.

Cheers,
Bart
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Neil Vanderwolf
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 04:13:26 PM »
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I have used AutoPano Pro for several years and it has always been excellent, the results are stunning. A few months ago I upgraded to Autopano Giga 3 and it just has a number of extras that I found to be worth the extra expense.

Check it out for yourself: http://www.kolor.com/autopano-pro-giga-comparison.html
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 10:20:52 PM »
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PTGui Pro 9.1.6 here. 
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
snoleoprd
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 08:18:37 AM »
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PTGUI Pro, that has always worked best for me.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 04:08:01 PM »
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Still using bot PTGui and Autopano, latest versions.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Stephane Desnault
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« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 06:14:31 PM »
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Hi Bernard,

Can you elaborate on what would make you choose one over the other for a specific job ?

Best,

Stephane
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bill t.
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 09:53:46 PM »
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Have been very pleased with my upgrade to PTGui 9.1.6.  PTGui is much less feature-rich than Autopano, but OTOH much more direct and to-the-point.  And I really like the PTGui editor screen.  Whereas Autopano is very "modal", with PTGui's rather modeless approach I can experiment with the image in a very free form way, in no particular order, without needing to access any dialogue boxes.

Except for tossing out a few of the worst control points affected by wind, parallax, and cloud movement, PTGui's stitches have been excellent on the very first try even on images PSCS6 could not handle at all.  And in most cases architectural interior shots would not need any editing of control points or angles.  In Autopano I missed PTGui's screwy but often useful "Verdutismo" projection.  Autopano's "Panini" projection is pretty close and has some useful optimization sliders, but Verdutismo is better and would keep me from going with Autopano unless I'm missing something.  In case you're wondering, Verdutismo can extend a pseudo-rectilinear look to images that extend well beyond the approximately 100 degree limit imposed by normal rectilinear projections, as with most non-fisheye wide angle lenses.

But in general Autopano seems to have good options for grinding out a lot of not-too-challenging panos at the same time.  For instance, its most remarkable feature is that you can point it to a directory containing a messy heap of images from unrelated panos, and sooner or later it will sort them all out and deliver a neatly stacked pile of pretty good panos.  But for image-at-a-time fine art poseurs like myself, I would be perfectly happy with PTGui, which at least lets one batch process large numbers of panos once they have set them up individually.

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