My So-Called (Digital) Life

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

An (auto)stitch in time, saves nine

There is a free download called Autostitch that lets you quickly and easily create panoramas. It does, however, require you have some image editing software that lets you select the final result and crop the rough edges (if you care). Here are the results of five photos of the nearby Burlingame train station stitched together using Autostitch:

Here are the results using Photoshop Elements (under New-Panorama in the file menu). I typically use this because it is easy for me to put the pictures in the Picassa photo bin then open Elements within Picassa -- this saves me the time of searching for the files within Elements. Here’s the result:

The main advantage of Autostitch is that it automatically takes care of exposure issues (there is some banding in my second version where I didn’t bother to fix the sky using a clone or blending tool). Autostitch is also very fast, and occasionally Elements can’t figure out how to fit the puzzle pieces together and asks for manual help. Photoshop Elements, does, however, allow me to "straighten out" the perspective issues, and handled the colors a little better -- with Autostitch things occasionally look a little muddled.

If you visit Flickr, and search the “Autostitch” tag, there are lots of good examples of panoramas. Note that neither Elements nor Autostitch require a panorama, per se. They both accept a patchwork collection of photos so you don’t need to meticulously hold the camera at the same level while you pan the horizon.


Post a Comment

<< Home