Stitch It Up, Maximize Details On Large Panoramas
In this tutorial, we’ll be showing you how to stitch together a seamless and high-quality panoramic photograph using a 100% free software that’s not only free (duh!), it’s also faster, lighter on resources, and produces great final panoramas as well!
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Back to the subject…
The Software – Hugin
Hugin is the software I’m referring to and you can download it directly from Hugin’s website.
We won’t bother explaining what the software is about since it’s all on their site, but here’s a video on how to use the software to create great panoramas.
You can view the full-sized, rendered image on my Flickr page.
Quick Panorama Tips
Here are some quick and dirty tips to make your life easier when shooting panoramic images. The tips will not only save you time, it’ll also make your workflow faster and results better as well.
Shoot with Low-Distortion Lenses and Focal Lengths
When you shoot wide angle, it’s almost guaranteed that the edges of your images will have distortion.
Besides, why bother shooting a panorama if you’re not maximizing the details captured from a zoomed view in the first place.
Use at least a 50mm focal length setting (actual lens focal length, not crop factor adjusted focal length) to minimize distortion, and if the distance allows it, use an even longer lens.
Make Sure Your Camera Is As Level As It Can Be
Your camera should ideally be level with the scene. Meaning, the lens should not be pointing up or down the horizon as you’ll introduce perspective leaning effects on straight-edge elements like buildings and such.
Provide Enough Overlap
You should always at least overlap 1/3 of your image frames so that there are enough anchor points for the software to match edges to.
While you’re at it, try to leave the top and bottom 10% of the frame empty as it’ll be cropped off by the software when you stitch, so don’t compose your scene too tight along the edges of your frame.
Avoid Scenes With Minimal Hard Edges
Again, the software needs reference points to create anchor spots to stitch images accurately. If your frames have little to no edges to work with, the software will not be able to tell where one element starts and another ends.
Imagine putting together a blank, single-color jigsaw puzzle.
Shoot Vertical Panoramas
If you want a wide panorama, shoot vertical images. If you want tall panoramas, shoot horizontal images. You’ll capture more of the scene that way.