If you have ever taken multiple shots of a scene hoping to one day stitch them together in to one great panoramic shot, or if you hadn’t thought about it before now but like the sound of it keep reading. Photo stitching is nothing new, in fact I have heard some digital cameras can even do it for you, or at least assist you in aligning successive shots. I am a sceptic when it comes to software or a device automatically doing it for you – it won’t always work out! I prefer a more hands-on experience, with the option of automation once I find the process tedious.
Hugin is a cross-platform (meaning it will work on Linux, Windows, Mac) panorama photo stitcher (and much more). I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled across this excellent piece of software, but I am sure glad I did! I was simply amazed by the quality of the result this software produces with my photographs. Hugin brings together and utilises features of other open source projects such as Panorama Tools and Enblend/Enfuse and combines them into one user-friendly interface.
After I played around with my first few panorama photo stitches I found myself hunting through all of my photo albums trying to find photos that overlapped in any way so that I would be able to stitch them together. I started to experiment with stitching photos with close-up objects, usually stitching like this does not work out due to parallax error, the object in the foreground will change with respect to the background on each shot therefore when you try to stitch them together, the background and foreground objects between shots do not line up.
Photo stitching is not the only thing Hugin is capable of, it can also change the perspective of a single photo, it can assist in creating 3D models of objects and buildings, the photos being stitched together do not have to be in the horizontal plane nor do they have to be a single row, it can also stitch panorama’s from photos with different exposures by use of exposure blending, and it can blend multiple exposures of the same scene such as a sunset to get a resulting exposure where below and above the horizon look perfect. All of these features make Hugin a very powerful tool, and a must have for the experimental photographer. I suggest you have a look through the list of tutorials to get an idea for the capabilities of this program and have a look through the gallery at some amazing and bizarre stitches.
I’m just getting started with this program but you can check out my Experimental Panorama web album, there are a few stitches there already.
Try it out today and start stitching! It will become addictive, I guarantee it.