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Image Stitching

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Stitching: "Stitching" is the term used to refer to taking, as input, a series of digital photos and producing, as output, a final panorama. It is one of the quickest ways to start creating high quality panoramas.

TIP: Many digital camera's sold today come with a CD full of software for your camera, including panorama stitching software. Also, more and more digital cameras have a 'photo stitch assist' mode, which helps you to take pictures with the correct amount of overlap. So before you go looking for third party solutions, you may already have photo stitching software and not even know it. Some digital cameras even have panorama stitch capabilities built directly into the camera.

The Goal: The entire goal of the stitching process is to produce a high quality, high resolution panorama. This panorama is your 'proof' copy which you always keep. You can then resize the proof copy down to a resolution appropriate for (1) the Internet, (2) advertising, (3) kiosks, (4) brochures, or whatever your final use. The point is that after going through all of the effort to produce a panorama, you don't just produce a limited resolution panorama that you need now, but rather a 'proof' version that can also be used later. For example, when the Internet was mostly dialup, most panoramas produced were small. When Internet connections became high speed connections, improving the older tour to use a larger panorama means what -- (1) resizing a proof panorama, or (2) reshooting and stitching a new panorama.

With a 6 MP DSLR camera, you should be able to produce panorama proofs that are over 15000 x 2700 pixels in size (40 MP).

PhotoVista Panorama JPEG Quality
High Quality Proof: Regardless of which image stitching software you use, after producing a panorama, you need to save it to your hard drive as a JPEG image. When doing so, you are typically given the option of selecting a size and quality for the panorama. Select the largest size and highest quality possible (avoid JPEG jaggies/artifacts). Consider the original panorama your proof copy.

You will then later resize the pano proof to a smaller size (for the web), possibly brighten portions of the image, apply sharpening, and finally save as a high quality JPEG for the web.

For example, when using PhotoVista Panorama and you save your panorama as a JPEG, you will see the dialog to the right. Notice that the best setting is not selected by default.

PhotoVista Panorama: I have personally used "PhotoVista Panorama" with very good results.

AutoStitch: Several people have recommended a stitcher to me called AutoStitch. While I have not yet tried this program, you may want to.

Other Stitchers: As there are so many stitching programs out there, just go out and try a few and see which one works best for you and your camera. Pay close attention to the quality of the actual blending of images.
Copyright © 2024 Jerry Jongerius