virtual tour example

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Step A -- Stitch the first row

All photos used in this demonstration are 2006 Stephen Wateridge.

In this step, you stitch the first row of images into a horizontal panorama.  This first row is used as the starting point for the full panorama.  It establishes the focal length and the horizontal axis of the panorama.  I recommend you start with the row that is closest to having tilt angle zero because it is the reference for all other rows.

Very special thanks to Stephen Wateridge for the use of his photos in this demonstration.

  1. Start a new project and immediately Cancel the Wizard.

  2. Use the Import images... command (File menu) to import the images for all rows into the project file and make sure they are arranged left to right in each row, one row after the other.  Here are the images we'll be using in this example:

  3. Select the thumbnails in the first row (I recommend you start with the row closest to tilt angle zero) and choose the Stitch with the Wizard command (New image menu).

  4. Choose Manual photo stitching on Wizard 2/9.

  5. Select Automatically detect focal length and Correct barrel distortion on Wizard 3/9.

  6. I recommend not selecting any checkboxes on Wizard 4/9.

    • You should disable automatic fine tuning of the image alignment because stitching is a lengthy process and may require some back-and-forth in the program. Fine tuning in the Wizard will slow things down. You can apply the Fine tune command (Image menu) after stitching is finished, so its often best to postpone this step until everything else is just right.

    • If you have used your camera in manual exposure mode, exposure matching and exposure correction should be unnecessary.  If you decide later you want to try these options after you're done stitching, you can use the Blending properties dialog box (Tools menu) to change the settings.

    • Sharpening is best applied to the final image, not to each stitched row individually. so we disable it for the individual rows.

  7. Select Partial panorama and Spherical projection on Wizard 5/9.

  8. Place stitching points on Wizard 6/9 to stitch the first row of the panorama.  I recommend this procedure for placing stitching points:

    • Place stitching points on one image pair. I recommend using distant points and/or points all in the same plane.

    • After placing 5 points, you should get a dot in the Images list.

    • Once you have the image dot, go back to each stitching point in turn and examine them at large zoom scale (400% or 500%).  Adjust the stitching points so that they match well on the two images.

    • Repeat this procedure for all image pairs.  It's important to get a dot in the images list for each pair of images.

  9. Advance to Wizard 7/9.  In this step, you'll use the warping grid to correct the manual stitch to be level and square.  For more information about the warping grid, refer to the section "Wizard step 7/9 Preview at low resolution" in Chapter 1 of the online help.

    When you first enter this Wizard step, it will show you the results of the manual stitch before applying the warping grid.  In our example, the image is rotated very slightly counter-clockwise from level.

  10. We're going to use the "vertical line method" as described in the section "Wizard step 7/9 Preview at low resolution" in Chapter 1 of the online help to straighten the image.  It can be helpful to increase the Preview resolution to make it easier to see how the warping grid relates to the vertical line.  Increasing the preview resolution also slows down the program, so in the example we only increased it to 50%.

    In our example, we place a pair of handles (red dots) on vertical lines at the left and right ends of the church.

    After placing the handles, click Apply warp.

  11. Examine the preview image.  After applying the warp, all vertical lines should be perfectly straight and plumb.   If not, adjust the warping grid until you are satisfied. There is no loss of image quality if you apply the warping grid multiple times because the image is recomputed from the original image data each time you rewarp.

  12. Advance to Wizard 8/9 and select Prepare for internet display and Maximum size.

  13. Advance to Wizard 9/9 to complete the stitch and click Done to exit the Wizard.

  14. At this point, you should see a stitched and cropped thumbnail in the upper pane and the cropped image in the lower pane.

  15. Choose the Properties command (Image menu).  Write down the W value from Image size (pixels) in the Image properties dialog box.  We'll need this value in a later step.  We'll refer to it as StepA_W.  In our example, this value is 2242.  Click Cancel to close the Image properties dialog box.

  16. Choose the Panoramic properties command (Image menu).  Write down the HFOV value from Horizontal field of view (degrees) in the Panoramic image properties dialog box.  We'll need this value in a later step.  In our example, this value is 65.972.  We'll refer to it as StepA_HFOV.

  17. FOR THE BOTTOM ROW ONLY:  If you are starting with the bottom row, also write down the Below value from Vertical field of view (degrees) in the Panoramic image properties dialog box.  We'll need this value in a later step.  In our example, this value is 11.0153.  We'll refer to it as StepAB_Below.

  18. Click Cancel to close the Panoramic image properties dialog box.

Advance to Step B -- Stitch the remaining rows

Up to The list of the major steps

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Revised: January 10, 2007

 2007 Smoky City Design, LLC and John Strait