A new toolkit to help with an old problem

As a developer I am always creating banners for sites. sometimes this can be fiddly and time consuming, especially when background panoramic style  photography is involved.

I am in the process as part of my web design business of revamping a website for a local organisation who want to deploy a scene from the local area in the banner.

I ran around yesterday  taking pics with my trusty Nikon 1  (IMHO the perfect web developers camera!)   During the process I fired off some skyline pics as a reference to the scene for later attention.

When I got back last night I reviewed the skyline shots and started thinking about stitching them into a  panorama of some sorts.  A few Google searches later I found to my surprise  a few pretty neat open source packages I can run under Linux that  would do the job.

I installed 2 packages  Autopano and Hugin.

Autopano is used to prepare the images.  It does a lot of the work that would have to be done manually to make the panorama in Hugin.Output is a a project  file of instructions.  Hugin uses this project file to create the final product.

At first glance there seems to be a huge amount of things that can be done with these packages.    Without worrying too much about perfect results , I worked through a high level first try of the software,  the output very much surprised me.

Considering I currently know about 1% of the intricacies of how these packages work, and the fact that the images presented for the panorama creation were not great – Not having this purpose in mind when shooting. I was very pleased with the output.  Shown below, raw and uncorrected. (just converted from tif to jpg)

So if you use Ubuntu 9x and need to make nifty panoramas for fun or for work.  try  these tools .

I also found a nifty tutorial that  will help you with the initial process.  – pity I didn’t  find it before it would have saved an hour.
If you are using a current version of Ubuntu such as 12.04 or 12.10 you can skip the entire installation section and just install hugin from ubuntu software centre. Don’t forget to tick the install Autopano option before you hit the go button. All of the rest of the instructions work exactly as described.

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