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Old Dec 19, 2005, 5:50 PM   #1
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Hi,

I took this panorama a few days ago during a trip to Guanajuato, Mexico. I really like it, the picture doesn't show much detail, but the original one is 7361x2228, so it has a really good level of detail. The only problem I faced was that the different pictures have different illumination characteristics, which causes the sky to look different. I could get rid of the sky and get another sky (wouldn't like it as I like the clouds), or I could use this sky and find a good way to retouch it.



So, retouching it with PS is possible but I'm lazy, is there some utility for photostiching which will do this kind of adjustments automatically? I used Canon's Photostich, I use a Canon Powershot S2 IS.

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Old Dec 19, 2005, 6:58 PM   #2
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Autostitch is still in beta and free. It will even out the sky if you restitch it with Autostitch: http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~mbrown/autostitch/autostitch.html

In the future shoot with the same settings for all of the shots and you won't get lines in the sky. Unless you have a Pentax, panorama mode will keep the same exposure, WB etc for all of the shots. If you don't have a panorama mode, a slow continuous mode will also keep all the settings the same.

For a shot like that where you have plenty of time, manual exposure with a preset WB will make stitching easier if you have manual modes available.


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Old Jan 4, 2006, 9:41 AM   #3
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Even if you shoot with the same settings image to image, you may still get lines in the sky - you may have light falloff on the outer third of some lenses, for example. What brings this to mind is that your image doesn't have blending issues so much as it has dark lines that suggest light falloff. And sometimes the pano stitching program gets confused if the sky changes color radically from one end of the pano to another. I know this from painful recent experience - I'm shooting a number of panos at sunset but facing away from the sun. Sky color can range from red to yellow to purple to blue and back to red. I seem to always have to tidy up the sky.

If you're using photoshop, try these tricks. I use the patch tool, selecting highly irregularly shaped areas and then sampling to the left and to the right of the lines, effectively creating the blending that the software didn't get. I will often do this "patching" onto a new layer over the top of the image so that it's easier to blend. I will also sometimes select large areas of sky with a very, very soft edge and paste it to the upper layer, blending by hand. That's how I'd attack the discontinuity in the contrail on the right of your image. I have also had the stitching software make a pano of JUST THE SKY - crop each image as precisely as possible, and let the pano software stitch it, then overlay it on the full image as a layer, and do selective blending. I find that the software does a whole lot better at blending if it's just blending.

And, I sometimes do everything I list. Autostitch is wonderful at blending, but no version out there will handle images of the size I'm shooting - roughly 1 to 10, height to width, shot with a D2X in vertical position. That's a lot of pixels, but if you print it 18 inches high, and 15 feet long, it's breathtakingly detailed. Autostitch does a great job if I downsize the images, but what's the point? And the other packages seem to have horrible problems stitching night "city lights" images. I have found that photoshop CS2 stitching is the only package that'll handle images of that size and detail reasonably well no matter what the image.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 10:09 AM   #4
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Hi,

I think this was rather a lense issue this time. I used a 0.7x Raynox lense on my Canon S2 IS, so I used an equivalent 27mm, which can cause this kind of illumination issues. Here's a postprocessed image I have; the original is about 7MB, so I'll be posting reduced images.


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Old Jan 4, 2006, 2:54 PM   #5
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Use Panorama Factory, it corrects for this problem if you are just close! to the same exposure. It also corrects for the vignetting, I still see in the shot above. Free is good if you don't mind cheap results, you want something that works! you have to pay for it.
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Old Jan 4, 2006, 3:02 PM   #6
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Here is an example of a shot I took sometime back. Notice the even exposure both in the sky, and subject areas. Panorama Factory made all the needed adjustments.


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Old Jan 4, 2006, 9:09 PM   #7
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Steve40 wrote:
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Use Panorama Factory, it corrects for this problem if you are just close! to the same exposure. It also corrects for the vignetting, I still see in the shot above. Free is good if you don't mind cheap results, you want something that works! you have to pay for it.
I have used Panorama Factory, and liked it very much. Haven't upgraded in years though.

I agree that most free thingsare worth everynickleyou pay, but the best of the stitching programs is free - Panorama Tools. Of course, to make it work without driving yourself nuts, you will need a graphic front-end. There are free GUIs for PT, though the best do charge something like $50 (PTGui and PTAssembler). Even with a GUI, PT is not easy to figure out, but it is well worth the effort.
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Old Jan 10, 2006, 11:38 AM   #8
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BillDrew wrote:
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Steve40 wrote:
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Use Panorama Factory, it corrects for this problem if you are just close! to the same exposure. It also corrects for the vignetting, I still see in the shot above. Free is good if you don't mind cheap results, you want something that works! you have to pay for it.
I have used Panorama Factory, and liked it very much. Haven't upgraded in years though.

I agree that most free thingsare worth everynickleyou pay, but the best of the stitching programs is free - Panorama Tools. Of course, to make it work without driving yourself nuts, you will need a graphic front-end. There are free GUIs for PT, though the best do charge something like $50 (PTGui and PTAssembler). Even with a GUI, PT is not easy to figure out, but it is well worth the effort.
I use hugin as a front end to Panorama Tools and, if you're OK with the slightly quirky interface, it's fantastic... and free! I have also started using enblend to combine the output images and find that its is particularly good at the skys... and it's also free (and included with the hugin distribution).

I'm sure that the tools that you pay for are better in some respects but I'm happy working around the interface quirks and the results speak for themselves.

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Old Jan 10, 2006, 8:40 PM   #9
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Underscore wrote:
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I use hugin as a front end to Panorama Tools and, if you're OK with the slightly quirky interface, it's fantastic... and free! I have also started using enblend to combine the output images and find that its is particularly good at the skys... and it's also free (and included with the hugin distribution).

I'm sure that the tools that you pay for are better in some respects but I'm happy working around the interface quirks and the results speak for themselves.
I've not used hugin, though I have heard good things about it. Now that I know what some of Panorama Tools does, I am sure that hugin would suit me nicely. But it did take me a bit of banging my head on the corner ofthe desk to figurePT out. Not sure that having a quirky interface would help with that already steep learning curve.


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Old Jan 11, 2006, 3:08 AM   #10
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BillDrew wrote:
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Underscore wrote:
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I use hugin as a front end to Panorama Tools and, if you're OK with the slightly quirky interface, it's fantastic... and free! I have also started using enblend to combine the output images and find that its is particularly good at the skys... and it's also free (and included with the hugin distribution).

I'm sure that the tools that you pay for are better in some respects but I'm happy working around the interface quirks and the results speak for themselves.
I've not used hugin, though I have heard good things about it. Now that I know what some of Panorama Tools does, I am sure that hugin would suit me nicely. But it did take me a bit of banging my head on the corner ofthe desk to figurePT out. Not sure that having a quirky interface would help with that already steep learning curve.

That's certainly a fair point. I started with the demos of PTAssembler and PTGUI, which allowed me to get my head around PanoTools. Before buying PTAssembler - which was my fave out of the two - I came across hugin and haven't looked back but I certainly wouldn't recommend it for a complete beginner.

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