PTGui and PTGui Pro: What’s the Difference? (Infographic Included)
People say you get what you pay for, and we want to help you figure out exactly what you’re paying for when you purchase a Pro subscription from PTGui.The main difference between the two versions is PTGui Pro supports HDR stitching, masking, viewpoint correction and vignetting, exposure and white balance correction.Click To Tweet
Here’s a list of paid features you will get to enjoy by paying for PTGui Pro:
Breakdown of each feature:
1. Batch Stitcher:
The Batch Stitcher allows users to prepare multiple projects and have them stitched at a later time when you are not using your computer. After accessing the Batch Stitcher in your toolbar, you can begin queuing projects and choose to ‘Save and Send to Batch Stitcher’ under the Create Panorama tab, and click ‘Send Temporary Copy’ to add more ‘Jobs’ to the Batch Stitcher. You can check out all jobs in your Batch List and the status of each one. In addition to stitching panoramas, the Batch Stitcher can also generate control points and align images.
The combination of the Batch Stitcher and the Batch Builder enables PTGui Pro to set up and stitch hundreds of panoramas semi-automatically.
You can visit PTGui’s official website for a detailed guide on how to use the Batch Stitcher together with Batch Builder, or click on the headings to access said pages directly; also you can watch this video tutorial below.
2. Batch Builder:
PTGui’s Batch Builder analyzes source image folders to find groups of images that can form a panorama. Project suggestions are consequently created according to existing templates, which then the Batch Stitcher can process.
The Batch Builder’s workflow goes like this:
1. Create a template (optional)
To create a template, start a new PTGui Pro project, set the desired parameters and choose File -> Save As Template. Note for creating templates with the Batch Builder:
- Use the default file names first, and set the desired output file name in the File Naming section under Project Settings, or all your projects will be generated to the same panorama file.
- Be sure to enable ‘Do Align Images and save the modified project’ at Batch Stitcher Actions in the Project Settings; this ensures that control points will be generated for the new projects.
When the template has been set up, choose File -> Save As Template to save it.
2. Detect panoramas
After bringing out the Batch Builder, choose Generate New Projects. This opens the Detect Panorama Settings dialog, where you can use three different detection methods:
- One panorama per folder (when you have your source images for each panorama in a standalone folder):
This will make PTGui Pro search through the chosen folder and all of its subfolders, and generate project files for each folder using all the images found in that folder.
- Multiple panoramas per folder with a fixed number of images
- Group images taken around the same time:
For this one, you can further refine the criteria to filter images based on the focal length, exposure time, aperture and/or ISO value.
3. Modify Source Image Groups
Use the Image file extension field to restrict the search to files with certain extensions, and click ‘OK’ to start the detection process. Before creating the actual project files, you can modify the image groups by removing images, add images, or remove a project altogether; clicking between two images to trigger a scissors icon can split one project into two; along the same line, a project can be combined with the next one.
4. Generate the projects
You can choose to generate the project files when you’re ready. You can choose a template you’ve created previously, or begin a new project to let PTGui Pro use the default project settings to prompt new projects.
Press Generate Projects to create the project files and the Batch List. When done, PTGui Pro will launch the Batch Stitcher for you and start processing the generated projects.
3. HDR Support:
Before you go about HDR panorama stitching, make sure that every image is taken at the same set of exposures, and preferably in the same order; you can do this with your SLR camera’s automatic bracketing function. Also don’t forget to set the camera to Manual (‘M’) mode as the automatic exposure function would adjust the exposure times between shots in any other mode.
For a full walkthrough, click on the title to read PTGui’s official guide on stitching HDR panoramas.
4. Project Customization:
The Project Settings goes hand in hand with the Batch Stitcher for any specific project or template.
This feature can generate control points automatically, and align images based on the generated control points if the optimizer is run after you’ve roughly arranged the images; it can also straighten your panorama to parallel the horizon in your shot to the center line of the panorama; Choose a suitable projection according to the horizontal and vertical field of view of the panorama; Maximize output size to prevent loss of resolution; Perform automatic exposure and color adjustment.
If bracketed images are loaded and the bracketing order is strictly repeating, PTGui Pro will be able to detect this and enable HDR mode automatically.
Physically rotate images with EXIF Orientation tag upon loading;
Use EXIF data to set lens parameters;
If optimization fails, asks if the project should be re-initialized.
We’ve omitted customizable Batch Stitcher and Batch Builder settings as they’ve already been included in the previous sections.
5. Viewpoint Correction, Masking, Vignetting, Exposure, White Balance Correction:
PTGui Pro’s automatic color and exposure adjustment corrects vignetting, flare, exposure differences and white balance differences. By analyzing overlapping images, PTGui Pro can determine the vignetting features of your lens and compensate for it.
Any paid features you can think of? Let us know in the comment section below!