Summary of the steps in the realization of a panorama
The stitching of photos revolutionized panoramic photography. Imagine, there's no need to even have a specialized camera, sometimes heavy and bulky, to take panoramas. A simple digital camera, possibly a special head called a panoramic head and a computer are enough! The possibilities are really very wide and the costs non-existent in comparison with the top-range in film-based photography: no need to buy another camera, only one very convenient accessory!
In all the pages of this tutorial dedicated to panoramic photography by stitching in this The guide to panoramic photography, I'm going to try to explain you how to realize a panorama by stitching photos. And nowadays, I differentiate two main trends in panoramic photography by stitching:
The realization of classic panoramas - straight or curved - possibly in a gigapixels format, detailed in these fourteen pages, .
The realization of a virtual tour, in 180° x 360° and possibly in gigapixels in this dedicated tutorial.
Lover of the panoramic format since I'm fourteen, I first owned a film-based specialized panoramic camera, a Noblex 150, but since 2005, I only use the method by stitching I discovered in 2003 and with which I'm jumping from surprises to - good - surprises! All panoramic photographies that could be taken with three types of film-based panoramic cameras can be taken with a simple digital camera and a special. It's a revolution!
If you're a beginner...
A new part of this guide is now dedicated to you. There you'll find pieces of advice easy to implement to stitch nice panoramas, choose your software, your equipment...
In this tutorial dedicated to panoramic photography, we'll see how to stitch a panorama by stitching several photos together: how? with what equipment? How: with what software? How: with what method to have regular results?
It's only about taking several photos that overlap slightly, possibly with specific equipment to guarantee the result, in order to stitch them with specialized software. Here is an idea of the result and of the possibilities.
Before/After in images
These six photographs taken with a 35mm have been stitched with Autopano Giga. Note that the vertical lines are perfectly straight while the photos have been shot with the body tilted downwards. Two photos must be stitched as a minimum but it's possible to stitch many more like the 2346 photos of the project paris-26-gigapixels.com.
Once the tripod set, it must be levelled for the rotary axis to be completely horizontal. Or the photo will be wobbly! Of course, it's also possible to make panoramas with your camera hand-held that would stitch very well if there are no subjects too close from the lens.
First of all, you need to define the general exposure that all the photos will receive and check the right/left contrast differences. Also plan a slight exposure correction between the views. This will all preferably be done in manual exposure mode.
Develop RAW files if needed. Check that the levels of luminosity, color etc. are homogeneous and make necessary adjustments. Aesthetics edits can be made at that point or at the end of the stitching. Then, correct if needed the optical distortions if your stitching software needs it. It will depend a lot on the nature of the distortions of your lens.
The images are ready to be stitched with a stitching software. You only need to let it work... or almost, depending on the software! With Autopano Giga, there are not necessarily lots of things to do but they're essential to fully express your vision.
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