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Graphics Software

Panoramic Image Stitching Tools for Unix? 27

jbuberel asks: "I just got myself a fancy new Canon Powershot S400 camera. One of it's nifty features is it's 'Panoramic Assist' mode that helps you line up a series of images that can later be stitched together to form one larger panoramic image. Of course the software that ships with the camera to do the stitching is Windows-only. After spending some time probing and, I came across one dead project, and another relatively academic project who's tools are largely undocumented. So are there any up-to-date tools for composing panoramic photos in Unix? With so many digital photo afficianados out there, I was surprised there wasn't an easy-to-use GIMP plugin for this."
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Panoramic Image Stitching Tools for Unix?

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  • by Pathwalker ( 103 ) <> on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:07AM (#5612933) Homepage Journal
    Check the archives of Apple's QTVR Mailing List [] - this question comes up all the time, and the pros and cons of every existing image stitching program for every operating system have been discussed at great depth many times.

    You might want to try Pano Tools [] if you can track down a copy, I've heard good things about them, but I think there was a problem with iPix claiming they infringed on a patent related to unwrapping spherical images.

    Personally, I use Vr Worx 2.1 [] for stitching together panoramas, and making simple QTVR scenes []. I've been very happy with it. It does only run under OSX, so it may not be suitable for your needs.
    • by crisco ( 4669 ) on Friday March 28, 2003 @02:01AM (#5613271) Homepage
      Panotools is a wonderful toolkit for panoramas. While the main site is down, you can find mirrors []. It isn't an automatic solution - you can't provide it with a series of images and let it try to automatically line them up. But with a little manual work it does a wonderful job of stitching images and correcting for basic lens distortions.
    • It (as of solutions disk version 9.0) runs just fine natively under MacOS X.

      Or were you looking for something open-source that could be ported to _all kinds_ of UNIX? ;)

      • I just wish I could get hold of a copy of the latest PhotoStitch for my PowerShot 100. It's not available for download, and Canon said they couldn't sell me the CD either. Out of stock, or some such crap.
  • by Judg3 ( 88435 ) <jeremy@ p a> on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:44AM (#5613181) Homepage Journal
    Check out this link at The ScreenSavers []. They had this guy come in talking all about the equipment, software, etc that he used to make 360 degree Panoramic views.

  • Sorry if this is too vague, but maybe someone who knows more (or has more time to google) can follow up. There was someone who wrote freeware for this application, and then got sued by someone who claimed to have patent rights on the whole idea of digitally assembling a panoramic view. IIRC, he had to stop distributing his software.
    • Re:patent abuse (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pathwalker ( 103 )
      That was Panotools - you can read the story here [].

      iPix claims to own the concept of flattening out an image taken through a fisheye lens into a panorama. They are rather aggressive in going after anyone they thing might infringe.

      This is part of the reason that iPix has a rather bad reputation among many people (the other reasons are the low quality of the images their software generates, and the per-image-generated fees they charge for the use of their software).
      • I'd fully endorse the use of Panotools. I have obtained amazingly good results - hand-held 3M-pixel images stitched together with pixel-perfect accuracy. But it does take some time to optimise the settings.

        I am dismayed to hear that iPix are giving Helmut Dersch grief over his software. I wondered why the site had been down for so long. It is outrageous that they should attempt to stop him publishing his own work just because they think it is too similar to something they are doing.
        • Well, a few seconds with Google show that he is alive and well, as are his tools, and they can be downloaded from a site at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
          • Are you sure that it is actually his site and not a mirror? The google link to a .de page for his site, and apparently he is in Germany, is still shut down with a "come back after Sept. 20th" message...
            • Re:patent abuse (Score:3, Informative)

              by bcrowell ( 177657 )
              The software seems to be available here [].
            • Re:patent abuse (Score:3, Informative)

              by g4dget ( 579145 )
              Well, who can ever be sure. I didn't post the link because I'm reluctant to post links to potentially small university sites to Slashdot. But here is the link:


              The path "/~dersch/" suggests that this is a UNIX system and that Dersch actually has an account. Creating an account would seem like unnecessary trouble to go through for simply mirroring a site. But, of course, it could just be a weird setup.

          • Re:patent abuse (Score:2, Informative)

            by iangoldby ( 552781 )
            I couldn't find the site you refer to, although one of the other posters to this thread has given us another mirror.

            A bit more searching though, and it appears that the IPIX trouble may not be the cause of the current outage - see this [].
  • by foxx ( 110508 ) on Friday March 28, 2003 @02:38AM (#5613450) Homepage
    I also searched for easy to use panorama software. So far the best solution I have found is running The Panorama Factory [] with wine. Works great.
  • I have a feeling I've seen a tutorial somewhere on how to do this with the Gimp manually. ... unfortunately I haven't a clue where to begin googling for it :/
  • There is an 'app' I have used before called Freedom VR -
    Short sweet and does a good job. You can see an example I put together here:
    Just wait for the images then click and drag.
  • Take another look (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bazzargh ( 39195 ) on Friday March 28, 2003 @06:41AM (#5614242)
    The comparametric project *has* a GIMP plugin. Its there in the download (or it was last time I looked a year and a half ago)
  • I googled for "gimp tutorial panorama" and followed a link...

    Here you go! []

  • Panotools! (Score:3, Informative)

    by GoRK ( 10018 ) on Friday March 28, 2003 @11:15AM (#5615470) Homepage Journal
    Panotools is available for many platforms and compiles and runs fine on linux. The software is a bear to use but is regarded by many to be the best panorama software out there. It works great for me.

    The java frontend is even pretty good and works fine on about anything that can run java (and is REALLY fast)... if you're on Windows, though, PTGUI is pretty much the same as the java interface, just faster, and on the mac, PTMac fits the bill for a front end.

    Just search the net for panotools to find it; it's everywhere.

  • The free Netpbm [] toolkit includes a pnmstitch [] program which can do what you describe (lest the fact that right now it can only join two photos, left and right). It's a relatively new addition to the suite. These operations can be easily strung together to join multiple images (via pipes, most operations with these tools [] employ the use of stdin/stdout, though other options are availible).

    These tools are the default utilities for mainipulating images serverside with the Gallery [] web based photo album.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel