We had a discussion about 'forgot your wide angle lens' and it turned to pano production. I enjoy making panos and thought it would be cool to compare my usual two with a third option mentioned in the above thread.
So we have Kolor Autopano Giga, Microsoft ICE and Photoshop CS5
Pano number one is a monster. 27 images stitched together. I was stood about 4 metres from the corner of the church and even the widest lens would be hard pressed to see it all.
Here are thumbs of the original images in my folder DSC02453 to DSC02476. Taken on my NEX5 with the Minolta 35-70 f3.5 macro lens attached:
OK in this section I have made a screen grab from each of the programs after it finished putting it together. Kolor Autopano Giga and ICE have some control over the overall shape. I chose the best from each, Photoshop has no control over this.
I am surprised that ICE produced the bend to the church roof, and yet the others did not, did it do this in auto output or just one of the three optional formats? I have never had a lurch in a line like that, but when a mismatch occurs it can be overcome by cropping the shot before ICE processes the shots. I also correct the perspective a bit before ICE in the Gimp, if I suspect problems might arise with 45 degree lines.
ICE was mainly developed to make images for mapping project images, rivalling Goggle Earth. I would expect the more dedicated and expensive programme to work as well or better, but ICE is free. There are forums for more advanced work with it on line.
Post by paulhofseth on Aug 14, 2014 2:23:18 GMT -5
I will have to try ICE.
I use Photoshop CS4 and it seems to just make a number of layers that fit like a jigsaw puzzle, but not much attempt to fish out separate better bits of each layer. Slightly varying exposure is handled, but this does not for instance salvage well exposed clouds in parts of a landscape if the program thinks that an overlapping lighter exposure is better.
Chester certainly lends itself well to panos. I would expect that the city wall with a spectacular gate would be well suited.
Some programmes are just easier to use than others. Some will give better results, but might take more learning to get to use them properly. As Stephen says it is sometimes necessary to alter at least some of the files before processing. That said, the best do it all for you, and are easy to pick up and use.
I tend to use Photoshop. I have tried several others but none seemed to give results that were better than Photoshop delivered. I haven't used CS4, but there was a big jump up in stitching quality from CS3 to CS5. Interestingly, I have just tried CS6 and the results didn't seem as well blended as CS5.
Sort of lost for words right now... A most well done job comparing these pano pieces of software! I did not ever think of putting such a number of images together as a panorama, very impressed of Autopano. It do not only assemble complicated images, but also counteracting distortion and get sort of coherent exposure between the whole finished image. Photoshop not too bad either, I suspect knowledge of the program itself increase the success factor.
As Stephen says, if one knows how the software works, its limitations can be overcomed by do some initial image processing or cropping, before assembling.
Thanks Phil for doing this comparison, it will be of benefit of others coming to this site through search engines, I have learned a lot also from my initial puny pano thread. As a pano beginner, I will stick with ICE, to learn and develop a working flow.
ICE is the easiest and the fastest. Taking only a few minutes to process the church photo. I played with the outputs but the angle was still there. So I kept it as it was. It is a comparison after all.
Kolor Autopano Giga took second longest, about 8 or 9 minutes to render and Photoshop took 10 minutes to align the layers, then ran out of memory when I asked it to blend them (its a 2-part process). I cleared the cache, resized the image and then it was ok, it took another 10 minutes to blend the layers.
I will use ICE a little more,I like it. Not all my panos are as ambitious as the church and York Minster.
Photoshop does need plenty of RAM. The panorama stitcher is operating within what is already something of a greedy programme memory-wise. A stand-alone programme will, all other things being equal, be quicker as a result. Bang in the RAM.