by Mike McNamee Published 01/04/2013
Following on from the feature on the previous pages we look at some options for stitching images together and concentrate specifically on a review of a panorama program called Hugin.
Photoshop has a highly unreliable stitching facility called Photomerge. This can be activated via the Automate Button in Photoshop or via Bridge using Bridge>Tools>Photoshop>Pho tomerge. At best you might expect success 50% of the time. We have found this to be true for both Mac and PC operating systems. As luck would have it, the example we chose here stitched perfectly first time (and indeed for the first time ever!). There is a workaround which consists of loading the files into Photoshop layers, followed by Auto Aligning Layers, followed by Auto Blending Layers. This almost always works, the computer systems seem to be able to cope with the process when it is split down (it is interesting that the specialist software available seems to rely on their ability to multi-thread operations across many processors).
Outside of Photoshop there are many other panorama stitching programs, indeed we found 59 listed on softscan.
com although they did include things such as Microsoft's GroupShot. The software is listed on the site by 'number of downloads last week' and PTGui comes out on top. This is a paid-for application, €79 in the standard version, €149 for the pro version (which allows for batch processing). It is the weapon of choice for many people who make panoramas as it has a high level of sophistication and an ability to handle very large files (gigapan sized).
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