360×180° Panorama Tutorial – Pt.3: Stitching in PTGui (1)

360×180° Panorama Tutorial – Pt.3: Stitching in PTGui (1)


Hello and welcome to part 3 of my little
panoramic photography tutorial series. My name’s Florian, and I’m really good at shameless
plugs — so please make sure you visit my website www.Pano.ie In the first part of this tutorial series I showed
you how to *shoot* panoramic images out in the field. In particular, I was using 3 techniques: The first one was called
“Philpod pitch variation technique” and I used an 8mm fishey lens
on a full frame camera. Today I will show you how to stitch the
images shot with this technique. In the next tutorial (which will come after this)
I will show you how to stitch the images from the third technique
that we did at the time, which involved an 8mm fisheye lens
on a crop camera, but using a tripod. So we’ll have a little bit more editing
to do in the next tutorial where we have to remove the tripod. This tutorial today will be very straightforward,
I’ll just show you how to load the images into PTGui, make a few adjustments here and there, stitch the images together and we’re done. So this is just a very
“no-frills” tutorial to PTGui. You can do the same stuff with “Hugin”
which is a free tool, whereas PTGui costs a little bit of money,
but I just ended up purchasing a license and I’m very happy with it,
so I can really recommand it. Anyway, let’s get started. So, we’ll open up PTGui . . . here are the images that I exported in the
second tutorial from LightRoom and those four images here are the ones that we shot with the . . .
(ah, I need to grab a different window) these are the images that we shot
with the first technique. First thing we’re going to do is to adjust
the crop of the images, as you can see the image circle projected by the fisheye
onto the camera sensor. What we’ll need to do is to tell PTGui
what part is the image, and what isn’t. So I’ll adjust that crop — and this is now being
propagated to all four images automatically. Another thing that I will do
— especially because I shot hand-held — is to tell the optimizer to go really “hardcore” and
optimize virtually everything, except the viewpoint. We don’t need to optimize the viewpoint because
we shot all the images from the same position. Well, roughly at least. That’s all we need to do and then we’re just
going to hit “Align images”. Now, PTGui is going to do its magic. It’s trying
to find some corresponding points in the images and then that way it figures out how those images need to be arranged
in order to completely cover the 360° sphere. So let’s have a look at that.
That’s actually looking pretty good now. If I go around . . . it is almost straight . . . Here’s another trick on how
to see whether it’s straight or not: Just spin your panorama like that. If it’s wobbling a little bit
then you know it’s not straight. Another problem that we have,
if you look down, are these flare issues here that come from the
Peleng fisheye, which has some serious flare issues, especially because we have a huge
bright sky above us. There was flaring right along the
bottom edge of the images — you can see that here. This is what we’re going to do
in the last tutorial — I will show you how to edit the vertically down perspective. Anyway, what we do now is
to level the panorama. The best way to do this is
to give PTGui a few extra clues: We need to tell it what are some
vertical lines in the images. To do that, we have to select the *same* image
in *both* of the editor windows — you can see image 0 in both windows — and I will selected point along a same vertical line in the image.
You can see, I have added two “vertical line” control points. Now, another line that we’re going to pick
in this image would be this one here. It’s always good to have two lines because
if one is not very precise it’ll average out with the other one. So let me just add some more
in the other images . . . Here’s one there, let’s use
one of those church windows . . . By the way — the further those points are apart,
the more accurate your result would be. I don’t really have very far apart
points in these images here . . . so I’m just going to stick with those. Where’s another one . . . ? We could just use . . . maybe that . . . rain pipe here — it’s not very clear, as you can see there’s a bit of camera shake
in this image here. But that’s not too bad, especially because I’m not going to sell this image,
this is just a tutorial image. Okay, so he’s another one . . . Last but not least let’s grab one over here,
I think there’s another rain pipe . . . They are not too clear vertical lines, but they will do from now. That’s roughly it. I’m just gonna go back to “Initialize and optimize”,
now PTGui is going to ask me “Do you want to optimize the pitch and roll”
— which normally it is not doing — and I’m saying “Yes, of course”
because we have vertical control lines in there, so please do that.
And, as you can see, the result is pretty good! An average control point distance of ca. 3
that’s very good, and we get a green light here. So let’s look at this turned out . . .
there we go . . . and if we turn around it has stopped wobbling. Another way of seeing whether your image
is straight is to just go along that edge, keeping your eye on the edge of the frame and compare the verticals in the image with the frame of the preview here. That’s looking pretty straight to me. If I go around here — it’s not perfect;
I might go back and fiddle with it, but for the sake of this tutorial
that should be enough. Now, if we look down again
we have those flare issues here, and as I told you earlier,
we’ll be dealing with those in another tutorial. So that’s it, we’re basically ready to go,
just tell PTGui to put it all together. My lens+camera combination typically
gives me around 8200 pixels but I prefer to use multiples of 2,
that’s just more beautiful. (But that’s completely random) I will use TIFF as file format,
but I will not use “Blended and layers”. What this option would do is
it’ll export not only the blended panoramas
but also the original, warped images along,
so you can do some post-processing. Basically, if you sometimes have problems with
objects being inside or outside overlapping areas you can do some fine tuning with that.
There’s a pretty good tutorial about this on the PTGui website as well. But I’m quite confident in the panoramas,
so I’ll just select “Blended panorama only”. As my blender I will use the “SmartBlend” plugin. There’s also (if you google it) an
installation guide on how to install the SmartBlend plugin on the Mac. On Windows it’s
straightforward, but on the Mac it’s not, you’ll need to install Wine and then use the windows executable,
but it works pretty well. As for interpolator I will just choose the “Lanczos16” which is
typically the best one. All right, so that’s it. At this point,
all I do is just hit “Create Panorama” and PTGui is going to start its work,
warping the images in high quality, blending them together and then
saving it into a file. That takes a few minutes, so I’ll just pause
the recording at this point and come back to you once the export is done. All right, so welcome back. PTGui has finished exporting the image
so let’s have a look at what we got. For that, I’ll use the free tool “PanoGLView”
which is part of the “Hugin” suite. That’s a useful tool to have. It’s Mac-only,
but on Windows there’re enough viewers as well for panoramic images.
I don’t know them off the top of my head, but I’m sure you’ll find them. So . . . let’s have a look . . . That’s looking quite nice . . . If we look down we’ll see the flare problem
and as I told you, I will show you in the tutorial after next how to edit this out, in no time at all. It’s looking good, I don’t see
any stitching errors here . . . all the lines nicely join up . . . I will upload this panorama (when i’m done
with it) to “360cities.net” and I would post a link here
in the video comments so you can have a look at the panorama yourself. By the way, if you’re wondering
how I shot the first tutorial — there is the one camera that I used,
and the other camera’s there. I was all alone that day,
and it was very cold. The image is quite noisy because that was
shot at ISO 800, and it was hand-held so there’s some . . . I think that one over here has quite a bit of camera shake. As you can see,
it’s not the most pristine quality but that has nothing to do with
the lens or the stitching — that’s more just my shaking hands
in the cold. All right, so that’s us done with this image.
I will see you in the next tutorial where I show you how to stitch the images that we shot on the tripod. Okay, so thanks for your attention and
talk to you soon. Bye!

63 thoughts on “360×180° Panorama Tutorial – Pt.3: Stitching in PTGui (1)

  1. @Photographysbest There are a bunch of tutorials about that on the web, here's one for instance: wiki . panotools . org / Leveling_a_Finished_Panorama

  2. @davidismaname You're basically talking about a virtual tour. For that, you'd need a "proper" panorama viewer (typically flash based, but KRPano also has a very well working JavaScript based viewer) and a lot of time for programming and figuring things out in order to connect the images. On the other hand, you could also look at 360cities . net, I think with a pro account you can make virtual tours using a convenient online interface…

  3. @davidismaname Shooting: Maybe 10 minutes, stitching maybe a couple of hours, making the tour (including the lighting up of the doors and map) maybe 20 hours total? But's that's also because I did it for the first time, so should be a bit less than that now.

  4. @Chasela511 Provided you have a full frame sensor, 6 around the horizontal (in portrait orientation of course), one up, one down. On a crop camera, much more than that.

  5. Good tutorial but it's hard to make those panoramas. I use a Nikon D300 together with a Sigma 10-20, how many pictures do you think I need and how make a proper panorama picture with this lens? Should I do as you did in the video but take several pictures of the ground and sky instead of one single picture?

  6. @sogatt You'll need a good few more images, and definitely a panoramic tripod head. You'd be looking at two rows of 6 or 8 images each, shooting 30 degrees below and above the horizon. Then one or two images for the zenith, and possibly a few for tripod removal.

  7. @markomnen Thanks for your kind words. There's a fundamental difference between capturing and displaying a panorama. The "look" you refer to is just a question of the zoom setting ("focal length") used at the time of *displaying* the panorama. The moment you are talking about shows the panorama with a very wide angle setting. Zoom in (in the viewer) and it'll look what you mean by more "realistic". Note that the way your (360×180) panorama looks does not depend on the lens used to *capture* it!

  8. Of course you can, but you'll need about 30 or so shots to capture everything you need, which is hard without a panoramic tripod head. Better use an 8-10mm fisheye lens…

  9. Hi, thanks for the tutorial, but I have tried to find the panoGLview unsuccessfully, can you tell us where to find the panoramic viewer?
    Thanks

  10. Seriously mate, have you tried any of the common search engines? A download link pops up on the second hit. I can't post the link here in the comments as YouTube doesn't let you.

  11. Hi, yes I have searched, I am using a mac, and the links I found some don't work, others have missing link to the mirror, I'll keep trying anyway 🙂

  12. Brilliant tutorials! Thanks for sharing so much. With an 8mm lens, how many shots should I take?

  13. Great tutorials. In this tutorial you put in you're camera/lens combination. Must these be a recognised "pair" for the software to work, or can a "cheaper/ add on fisheye work. Love the 360 panaramas but dont want to go to the expense of a nikon fisheye just yet. Great website by the way.

  14. Any combination works of course, and as you saw in part one, I used the Peleng fisheye, which is probably your cheapest option around . . .

  15. can i shoot this kind of pictures with a "normal" 18-55 Kit lens?
    If yes, how many pictures do i have to shoot? And in what direction?

    Greetings

  16. You can shoot panoramas with any lens, it's just a question of how many images you will need to take. Check this excellent overview for a large number of shooting patterns: vrwave . com / panoramic-lens-database

  17. I used to shoot panos with such a kit lens on an APS-C. I finally build a robot ( not the lego one from my channel, that's just a fun project, no nodal point set option! ) to do it. Automation allows for faster runtimes and makes HDR much more feasible.

  18. Hi,Thanks for the Tutorial, I wanna know How about Kolor Autopano Giga 3.0? have you tried it?

  19. hi there, great tutorial, i did it and it worked perfect but i have a question: what if I want to load that image onto my website???

  20. You can use PTGui's "Export to Web" function for a no-frills viewer, or you get a KRPano License, or Pano2VR, or Flashificator, or . . .

  21. For this tutorial, the "regular" version is fine. However, I would still recommend getting the Pro version for its viewpoint correction abilities (next tut…)

  22. Thanks for the tutorial, excellent work, I will certainly give this a trial, I tried my first panorama in the early 70's, using a 50mm lens in my room at home, then, did the rest of the processing in the darkroom, eventually taping all the B&W prints together in a circle! LOL! The next was courtesy of Canon's stitch software with my first digital camera. We certainly have it easier now, don't we? Cheers

  23. Bro I create new *.tiff ,from your pictures. I how upload website ? 
    Have you told the installation video? , If you have , share video ?

  24. I think you are using control points wrong. As mentioned in this link at ptgui.com  http://www.ptgui.com/ptguihelp/main_controlpoints.htm you have to "select two overlapping images by clicking on the numbered tab above each pane". Not the same images…

  25. Hi Florian. Just followed your tutorials and gotten this out of your taken pictures 🙂 [ http://oi59.tinypic.com/24o3l21.jpg ]

  26. Hi Florian,
    I brought nodal ninja MN-III pano head and  as well as all require equipment ( canon 70D camera and 8mm sigma fish eye lens) for Panoramic photography, every things is  going ok. But problem is that, when i try to stitch photograph, it is not stitched seamlessly, 

    for seamless stitching, i follow several video tutorial as well as your also, problem still no resolve. 

    If you give me your mail id, then i can send my photograph for your testing to clear about my promlem

    Please guide me how can i stitch panorama seamlessly.

  27. Hello Florian,

    Regarding the size for SV|T panos, as you know the minimum is 8000×4000 for google.
    If I set the best size for pano in side PTGUI, It some times give less than the minimum as google instructions.
    If I set it manually to the minimum is that will effect he quality of panos?

    What should be done to get the minimum size if I have Sigma 8mm and Full Frame Camera?

  28. Hi Florian, i used rokinon 8mm fisheye not detachable lens hood and the image is not circular as yours… So i did 4 shots to have 360 panorama but in PTgui it appears that there is empty portion (or black portion) on the floor and on the ceiling or sky? Is there any remedy to make it perfect? I tried some cropping but it get worse… fyi this is my first try… hope to hear from you soon. thanks

  29. Thanks for a very helpful tutorial Florian! One question you may be able to answer – I've been using PtGui pro for a while now and have generally left the stitching settings at default. I'm currently putting together an image with a lot of positive and negative masking. When exporting with ptgui blender, those masks are honored. When I use smartblend and lanczos16 the image blending is better, but the masks have been ignored. Is there something simple I could have missed in the settings?

  30. Man, these are by far the best °360 tutorials. Straight instructions and just enough jokes, thanks for supporting the community with these!

  31. Hi @Florian Knorn this is Karthikeyan, I have a doubt? I am using Nikon DSLR Camera model: D3400 which Fisheye Lens , Tripod Panoramic Head and along with PTGuie Software. I am waiting for your valuable Replay!.

  32. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.israel.madcat.camera360fullsphere
    Удобное приложение для заготовки фотографий для PTGui

  33. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.israel.madcat.camera360fullsphere
    A convenient application for storing photos for PTGui

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