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  1. Hello Having arsed around with a lot of panoramas & having seen a few questions about them on threads here, here's a summary of the last few years of experimentation with software. All mostly Windows-centric, presumably some of the commercial software will be out for Macs... I'm going to list the software in the order I'd try it, if I had none & a proper 360� panorama to play with, but first: Tips If you haven't got a 360� panorama to produce, just a few rows of pics, then Photoshop (after CS2 I think) would probably work, just File -> Automate -> Photomerge, & play around with projections settings depending on what you've got. It's a total CPU hog & slow as hell with decent photos though, & if you've got any kind of 360� to do then forget it. Really. Unless the newest version has done something magical (I'm on CS5, CS6 is the same). Don't worry about relative colour light balance too much, apart from real extremes most of the software will compensate surprisingly well, sticking a load of unaltered images in is always your best bet. Trying to change white balance on-site may result in patchy pics, sticking it all on auto is the best bet. Having said that if the sun comes in/goes behind a cloud half way through then try again. If you can't use a tripod then try to rotate yourself around the camera, rather than standing in one spot & turning (if that makes sense). The closer the foreground objects are the more important this is. If there are visible sharp shadows then you've got about 5-8 minutes before they noticeably move. So try & take any overlapping photos of shadows first, then complete the rest of the scene in rows so you can keep track of where you've been. I'll add more to that when I think of anything. Software 1: Microsoft ICE - link Pros Free Lightweight Very good auto colour & exposure correction Tends to work if all your images are perfect Cons Tends to fuck up if all your images aren't perfect No options for manual image tweaks Less forgiving if you're standing a bit wonky 2: Panotools Panotools is an open source set of, well, clue's in the name. At the moment there are 2 (worthwhile) programs which use it which I know of... a: Hugin - link Bit of a half arsed attempt, may work fine with the right source photos, with no objects too close, no repeating textures. Auto colour correction on source images tends to screw up too. Pros Free Quick & lightweight Manual tweaking possible Cons Tends to have trouble with challenging environments Auto colour & exposure correction is a bit hit & miss Manual editing may induce nausea, migraines, psychosis, &/or your PC to spontaneously jump through the nearest window Ever so slightly shit b: PTGui - link Good program, & my default go-to program for checking things while on-site, will work on a relatively crap laptop to produce previews in a couple of minutes. Pros Quick & lightweight Very good auto colour & exposure correction Manual editing better thought out than Hugin Cons Manual editing on really awkward set ups can be painful Pro (ie worthwhile) version is 150 Euros 3: Autopano Giga - link Pretty fully featured, but the user interface seems to assume you've read some kind of manual. You have to kind of keel your way round by trial & error, & work it out, whereas with PTGui you can install, point it at a hundred photos & hit the button. I can see how some people prefer it to other programs too, it's just the learning curve, PTGui seems more intuitive. Pros Good auto colour & exposure correction More scope for manual setting of point detection algorithms with tricky sets Cons Resource intensive program, not as quick for on-site Not really for casual use, I got my head around if 6 months ago, have just fired it up to refresh my memory & can't remember a damn thing. Maybe that's just me... 200 Euros More to follow...
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