Lens not wide enough - why not create a panorama (free tool)

posted on 5th of october, 2010

My first experience with stitching photos into panoramas/mosaics was using the Canon PhotoStitch application. It has come along way since I first used it in 1999 however, still seems to struggle with many stitching scenarios, especially if the photos are not captured panning about a perfect axis. I am sure the proper way to do this is to buy a purpose-built pan head, such as Manfrotto's 303 Precision QTVR Panoramic Head. Personally I find that too much gear to carry for most of my travel photography.

I have since found Microsoft's Image Composite Editor (ICE). It is a free application that produces panoramic images from sequences of photos. I have not had ANY failed attempts at this point with great quality TIFFs to show for very little effort! The most impressive performance was when it managed to stitched a 9 scene, 3 image HDR panoramic (27 images) hand held and each seam was spot on.

I have not read up about what it is doing behind the scenes but I think it was come out of the same Microsoft Lab effort that produced the PhotoSynth tool which seems to back calculate relative locations that photos were taken and uses the focal length to create a pseudo 3D model. Amazing stuff!

It is free however, there is a non-commercial limitation on its use so not sure how this limitation relates to microstock?

To use the tool, simply drag your images onto the workspace area of the tool and it does the rest. Once it is complete, you can change the projection that the images are reprojected onto. The "Automatic" setting for the "Stitch: Camera Motion" setting seems to do a good job most of the time.

The resulting image can be saved as a TIFF, JPEG or published up to a Photosynth

It is well worth a try given it is free!

Down load it from here

Comments (12)

Posted by Bevanward on October 12, 2010
Thanks everyone for the comments and details - happy panoramas. Bevan
Posted by Onime on October 10, 2010
Very informative, thanks for sharing. Its very useful.
Posted by Virgilxxn on October 09, 2010
Nice one, thanks for sharing
Posted by Goosey on October 09, 2010
I will have to try this. I have found in the past that Panorama Factory did the best job, but the Open Source tool Hugin which bundles with a few other open source products is a fantastic panorama maker. Just a bit tricky to understand.
Posted by Freedomphotos on October 07, 2010
He Bevan
This is also a programme that I use, and have mostly found it great. There have been a couple of panoramas, that have not quite stitched without seams, but I also am doing hand held images, so am really impressed with the quality of the resulting image.
Posted by Laurasinelle on October 06, 2010
Thanks for the info! Oh no!its only for PCs!
Posted by smartview27 on October 06, 2010
thanks for sharing!
Posted by Sobek85 on October 06, 2010
any mac ones?
Posted by Scottysally2 on October 05, 2010
I have downloaded this for future use, thanks for the info. :)
Posted by Swamin on October 05, 2010
PShop is much better.

nice tool, thanks for the info.
Posted by Egomezta on October 05, 2010
Thanks for this great tip...
Posted by Jaykayl on October 05, 2010
Thanks for the tip! Downloaded and tried...works a treat! Really fast to spit it out too! :)

Comments (12)

This article has been read 1889 times. 3 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Bevanward.

About me

I moved to Adelaide, Australia in 1978 from Auckland, New Zealand, as a child. Raised in Townsville, North Queensland, I left home to work in Central Australia where I first became interested in photography as a field geologist. From there I took a role in Johannesburg, South Africa, returned to Australia to marry, moved to Santiago, spent five years there in the capital of Chile and since have moved back to Brisbane, Australia where I am now based. I live with my wife of eight years and our three year old son. I have spent the past 10 years travelling all over the world and as part of my trav... [Read more]

confidential info

Blogs Exclusive user
May (1)
April (1)

Stock Photography that BLOGS!

Interact, make friends, share tips and techniques, have fun. Dreamstime wants your ideas and thoughts whether you are a photographer, designer or regular user. Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite images and photographers, post tutorials or simply exchange opinions with your with fellow dreamstimers.

Don't forget words and pictures go great together so make sure you choose some Dreamstime favorite pics to brighten your article. For inspiration, check out the hottest or the most useful blogs on the left.

Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite stock images and photographers

Create your blog

My favorite articles


More favorite articles

Related image searches

panoramas mosaic ICE Microsoft pan

Microsoft related stock images