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Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
Apr 15, 2008, 21:25
Post: #1
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
I have discovered that Windows Live Photo Gallery (which is compatible with XP, and available here) is surprisingly good at stitching panoramas.

It's completely automatic; all you do is select the images to be stitched, right click and click "create panoramic photo".

Here is the result I got using 3 shots I snapped quickly in the back yard.

[Image: wlpg800x318.jpg]

As you can see the blending is flawless and the perspective is exellent, and would only require a slight cropping and warping in photoshop.

Here is the same pictures stitched in Hugin.

[Image: hugin800x387.jpg]

Even after running it through hugin again for perspective correction, it still didn't look as good as the WLPG-created one.


Of course, this is only a basic panorama job. I have no idea how WLPG would go at stitching a 360° panorama. I'll give it a test tomorrow sometime. But so far i'm very impressed, and would say it's worth having even just as an image viewer/organiser.
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Apr 16, 2008, 02:13 (This post was last modified: Apr 16, 2008 02:19 by zedbra.)
Post: #2
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
Nice.
I'd have a look at PTGui, and using Enblend as a plug-in. There's a large amount of control that it allows with its control points, and it matches itself to the lens you are using to get the proper lines and perspective. You can also choose what projection and viewpoint you wish, thus getting flat horizons and a change in perspective.
Out of all I've tried, I regularly use this one and find it gives me the best results with the minimum of headaches. It takes a fair few minutes to stick together a pile of tiffs though! Oh and also it lets you save each adjusted photo as a separate layer for use in PS, which can be useful.

Here's 2 I did with PTGui, each one a combo of about 9 vertically-formatted images:

[Image: 83_BWlonglogcylin-crpd copyWEB.jpg]

[Image: 47_CornPano-web.jpg]
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Apr 16, 2008, 02:21
Post: #3
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
PTGui costs money though, so I'll pass Tongue
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Apr 16, 2008, 02:26
Post: #4
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
Gosh, that was a quick reply, like you're in the room next door!
Yeahh I know mate..but I try and look at it as "amount of hours of pleasurable use" against "cost": it works out as quite good per hour and less costly than many pleasures(well, the ones that folks pay for, anyway...)
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Apr 16, 2008, 02:29
Post: #5
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
True, atm I'm trying to save as much as possible, what with an impending marriage and wanting to get better lenses. How much is the licence anyway?
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Apr 16, 2008, 07:34
Post: #6
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
I have never made a panorama.
I think the beauty I can find in the fields is not that large for a pano project. However it might be good as a practice.

I guess the technique to photograph these pictures is manual mode, and no changing setting just rotate the camera horizontally every time you take a picture.

What if you use a filter? I can imagine that with the GND wouldn't be a problem but what about the CP filter?

I'll see if I can get one.... Wink
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Apr 17, 2008, 19:13
Post: #7
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
Penguin: as I remember, about £40(UK)..but one gets free upgrades.
Irma: yes, meter off lit grass or grey card, then keep in manual. I used to use a tripod but I don't bother now: they work best if you have about 20% overlap between frames. I find the 50mm works the best: wide angles tend to introduce funny variables because of parallax. I find it easier if I hold the camera vertically, shoot the bottom row, then work back along the "top" row.
Filters are a problem, so I stay away from them. Polarisers : difficult because of the uneven effect; more reason why not to use a wide-angle too. Graduated filters too cause problems, as then you're restricted to just one panorama line, instead of a a larger mosaic.
I get round that problem by shooting without filters, but doing one of 2 things in pp:
1.convert the whole lot of raws once at correct exposure, then again at minus 2 stops. Do TWO panoramas: one correct, one underexposed. Combine the 2 panoramas in something like Photomatix so as to get a "HDR".
Number 2 I find easier: do the panorama, exposing for land rather than sky..but then use contrast masking to try and bring in sky detail once the panorama is finished. I cheat in most of mine, adding a blue or grey grad in software afterwards.
It's all surprisingly easy to start off, but many people enjoy making life quite a challenge: for instance, those working on huge(giga-pixel) images might invest in special trpod heads that minimise parallax, a little unnecessary for the occasional practitioner.
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Apr 17, 2008, 22:22
Post: #8
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
You give very good tips here, specially when you talk about exposing.

Thanks so much Zig for your explanation. Smile
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Apr 18, 2008, 10:46
Post: #9
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
Thanks for the heads-up about Windows Live Photo Gallery RB. Looks promising...

Great advice too Zig. Very similar technique to the one I use when shooting.
The main difference being that I scan the scene and meter what will be the brightest shot and the darkest shot, and then settle on an exposure that will best capture those extremes which I then use to shoot all the frames in Manual mode.
Like you, I also create pseudo-HDRs by combining two different conversions from the same original RAW file into one frame.
I also avoid wide-angle lenses too because they introduce distortion and make life more difficult for the panorama software to contort each image around the angles created by the lens. I do sometimes use polarising filters though, but as you point out they can create uneven skies so you need to be careful when and how you use them.

Zig, that first panorama of yours is fantastic! I particularly love the silhoetted trees in the background. The foreground is great too, but that background is just amazing...

Personally as far as software goes, I use AutoPano Pro which gives a lot of control and flexibility and is fairly straightforward to use and regarded as one of the better ones. But the general consensus seems to be that PTGui is the one that produces the best results.
Here's a thread with some comparison info...

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/lofi...15730.html

Adrian Broughton
My Website: www.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
My Blog: blog.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
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Apr 18, 2008, 11:16
Post: #10
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
Oh, and here's an image created using AutoPano Pro:

[Image: Pano - AB_A0244_1024.jpg]

It's just a typical summer(!) day in Hobart, taken from around the corner from my Dad's house in Feb.... with some rain and fog coming down the river. Sad
The photo doesn't really have much artistic merit but from this vantage point I can see 3 or 4 houses that I lived in while growing up plus where my mum currently lives across the river. I took it as much for a reference as anything else.

All up this image works out to be over 100 megapixels if rendered at full resolution (about 18500 x 5600) . It is comprised of 35 photos, each 10mp, shot at 130mm and f/6.3 (using an EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS). I only rendered the panorama at 50% (26mp), but below is a detail of that 50% rendering taken from near the centre of the image (look for the soccer field) which includes an overlap from left to right.

[Image: Pano - AB_A0244_1024_Crop.jpg]

Adrian Broughton
My Website: www.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
My Blog: blog.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
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Apr 25, 2008, 13:22
Post: #11
Panorama stitching with Windows Live Photo Gallery
Really spot on, Adrian; brill as always to see your stuff again.

I've done a gallery of panos and mosaics here
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