A Step-by-step Guide to Autostitch
Autostitch produces panoramic images from a stack of digital images with no action needed to be taken by the user. The images fed into Autostitch may be of different dimensions and different angled shots which are digitally aligned, completely automatically. Autostitch fully retains image resolution throughout the stitching process, which enables very high resolution panoramas with the resolution of the original files added together into the final image. The user does not have to number the images or set scale or orientation of any of the digital photographs to be composited together, Autostitch handles all of the various possible permutations itself.
Autostitch enables a user to build images that are more closely aligned 1:1 with the human visual system, whilst a camera typically has a field of view of 35 x 50 degrees the human visual system has a much larger field of view of about 135 x 200 degrees. This means that the output from a normal camera is only part of the scene. Personally, this has been why traditional photography never interested me, it could never actually show anyone what one saw, just a massively cropped representation of a scene. Now, with multi lens systems and/or capable manipulation and stitching software such as autostitch it is possible to simulate and convey real life experiences from one corner of the planet to another, for the first time in history. If traditional photography enables one to expose how they see the thing, the object, panoramic or spherical format photography enables one to show how they see the world.
There are two parts to the equation that creates impressive, immersive digital composite images, good data and the right stitching software. Autostitch is free software that is able to take your stack of images of an area and stitch them together automatically, by itself, to create a seamless panorama. While Autostitch handles this job incredibly well, it does not allow any manual manipulation of the photos it has been presented with so you cannot edit or manipulate the result autostitch presents you with.
Autostitch was developed by researchers at the University of British Colombia. It can recognize, align and blend a stack of digital images seamlessly to produce a high resolution 2d panoramic image. The software is able to carry out this task automatically with absolutely no human involvement to edit the images whatsoever. You can apply Autostitch wherever at least two images are to be stitched together. Autostitch may seem small but it’s an extremely powerful tool and is utilized in various industry, for example, itr is used in virtual tour creation, chip makers and image editing software. At its heart, it is an algorithm and is used in commercial software as an option. Autopano Pro www.autopano.net (Windows, Mac, Linux) Serif PanoramaPlus www.serif.com (Windows), Calico www.kekus.com (Mac) all use Autostitch. Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) www.ilm.com, a Lucasfilm Ltd. company, uses AutoStitch software to produce panoramas for film production.
Autostitch enables fully automatic stitching of multiple 2d digital images, therefore, to complete this tutorial you will require a stack of images an overlap of about 30% with one another and the software itself which is available as a demo free.
Autostitch is a very simple piece of software to use as its totally automatic. This free demo version assumes that the image you are creating is of a cylindrical projection and that the camera rotates around a fixed point. Dor more options there is a commercial license available with full tech support which will code to a companies particular needs.
To use Autostitch, you must first unzip it to a directory. Once done, double click the Autostitch.exe.
1) Double click the autostitch.exe to open Autostitch and you shall be presented with a window as shown below:
2) Click on the cog and the settings window shall appear, shown below. Set the Output Size to 100%. Set Multiblend to 10 and turn on gain compensation. Choose where you wish to save the image then click the OK button. If the program crashes you will want to raise the max memory in 1 gb increments until the software does not crash and you can still use your computer whilst it is stitching the desired image.
3) Click the folder button on the left and navigate to where you stack of images to be stitched together are located.
4) Select all the images and click open. Autostitch shall now load the image set and begin to process the stack of digital photos.
5) Autostitch will now load then analyse and match features within the stack of images. This process may take some time depending upon how many images and what resolution they are. Finally, Autostitch will carry out a final alignment upon your image data.
6) If, after having viewed the panorama, you wish to change the options on this panorama, click the cog and change your options and click ok. Clicking the play button will now recreate your panoramic image with the new settings and taking much less time to stitch as it has various control points etc already loaded.
7) Enjoy and share or print out your panorama.
Dimona is a VR evangelist and spherical content creator based in London, UK. They have been experimenting within this arena since discovering VR as empathy machines whilst studying psychology at university. Dimona can be reached at Dimonauk@360camerasandfilm.co.uk or on social media by searching for dimonauk.