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Old 05-29-2006, 06:01 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: West Sand Lake, NY
Posts: 5,857
TUTORIAL: Creating Panoramic Photos Using Autostitch

TUTORIAL: Creating Panoramic Photos Using Autostitch

I got inspired after reading this thread and decided to learn Autostitch. This is fully functional freeware, but does not save your settings when you close the application. It only takes a few seconds to enter the settings.

STEP 1 - Take the photographs. You need to keep the camera level and have the edges of each picture overlap slightly so Autostich can properly connect the images together. I have tried connecting pictures that do not match just to see what happens. I received an application error and it does not complete the panoramic image. It also helps to have your camera set to panoramic or manually set the camera's settings (do NOT use automatic settings). This keeps color and contrast balances uniform.

STEP 2 - Download Autostich. It includes this tutorial.

STEP 3 - Enter the settings exactly as shown below. Some settings are unchanged. Sometimes setting the blending bands to 3 instead of 2 helps with tough edges.

STEP 4 - Open each picture from your camera in your photograph manipulating software of choice (I use Photoshop, but it costs money so for a free option visit this post). I use the auto levels feature in Photoshop to make the brightness and color balance in each picture the same. Because sunlight's impact is different from picture to picture you need to have all the pictures for your panoramic as close to the same brightness/contrast as possible. You'll need to toy with your particular photo software's settings if you're not already familiar with how to do this.

STEP 5 - In Autostitch go to File --> Open. Select all the pictures you adjusted in Step 4, holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while clicking on each filename (this allows you to select more than one file at a time). Click the open button and Autostich will start to create a panoramic photo for you. It takes several minutes depending on the processing power of your computer. Once completed it tries to open the generated jpeg file into your default image viewer. This may not work and you might have to open the pano.jpg file into the software used in Step 4.

STEP 6 - Once you've loaded the pano.jpg into your photo editing software, you will need to crop the picture. Below is a screen shot of one of my panoramic photos, showing the selected areas to be cropped. You obviously want all the black areas to be removed and have as much of the photographic content selected as possible.

STEP 7 - Once cropped you will want to make minor brightness/contrast changes and resize your panoramic photo to your needs. Here's the final result from above:

Last edited by Kevin; 10-09-2007 at 12:12 PM..
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