Seb Przd 2:19pm, 18 May 2006
It could be interesting to share what we do to get an equirectangular panorama. I tried to tell it in pictures:
Getting all the shots, in this case 14 (6 shots titled down 30°, 6 shots tilted up 30°, one shot above - or what the tripod head will allow, and one shot below, hand-held).
How to shoot a spherical panorama (1)

Then it's a matter of aligning the pictures with autopano-sift, correcting and finishing the alignment of the pictures with hugin. This last program will distort the pictures so that they look like this one. I correct the errors by erasing (see notes over the picture).
How to shoot a spherical panorama (2)

enblend will seamlessly blend the images. Then I color correct the image and I get this image.
In the living room

Update: here are the steps with my current technique.
hangglide Posted 11 years ago. Edited by hangglide (admin) 11 years ago
That is a great description of your method. I will look into some of those programmes. My method is simpler but does not get as good results. I think that the nodal ninja would help a lot. Maybe I will ask for one for my birthday.

My method:
1. Take 40 - 50 handheld (or sometimes tripod) photos to cover the whole scene.
2. Run autostitch on the whole set.
3. Hope and pray the result is good.
4. Try tweaking autostitch settings when things don't stitch right. (ugh)
workname PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by workname (member) 11 years ago
I am just trying to get the QTVR versions of some of my things on to a web site - it's still in a fairly embryonic state but I have also posted some short movie files of my workflow from camera to equirectangular. I'm on a mac and I guess things may be a little different although of course stitcher (which I use is cross platform)

Hugin on a mac sort of works but seems a bit buggy and crashes too often wheras stitcher has always been rock solid - it uses enblend for some of the rendering too.

The nodal ninja? I have no experience of other panoramic heads but I bought one a few months back and I think it is excellent - no complaints or niggles at all.
Gespür für Licht PRO 11 years ago
I very much appreciate your technique of doing it with 14 shots only and still getting it perfect. You get rather smal panos with 10mm, right?

I get much bigger panos (200 Megapixel) that are trouble to handle on the computer sometimes with my 24-mm-130-shot-system.

I have my own panohead teribly in need of an upgrade...


hangglide 11 years ago
I just bought the nodal ninja pano tripod head. Looking forward to testing it out.
manyone1 Posted 11 years ago. Edited by manyone1 (member) 7 years ago
i use a nikon coolpix 4500 with a swivel lcd viewer and a coolpix FC E8 fisheye lens (which has a vertical field of view of 183 degrees). i use no tripod or panohead of any kind.

i do the following to build a panorama.
1. i pick a location and stand there facing any direction
2. i take one step back and hold the camera steady at chest level such that the fisheye lens is in front of my sternum and i can see the lcd viewfinder by looking down. i take a picture
3. i take one step forward and i slowly rotate clockwise about 120 degrees making sure that the new image in the viewfinder overlaps the previous one by around 15% (ie. the leftmost area of the new image was the rightmost area of the previous). for example, a tree that was in the rightmost part of the viewfinder earlier has "moved" to the leftmost part.
4. i take one step back as before and take a picture
5. i repeat steps 3 and 4 one more time
6. voila

i took these 3 shots

fisheye images

and stitched them with PTGUI to produce this

group picture

oftentimes i use pano2qtvr and paint shop pro to do retouching later.

nowadays when i use my more portable panorama gear that fits in my shirt pocket (samsung blackjack camera phone and a "toy" fisheye lens from, i take 8 hand held shots (click below for more details)
faces8 rincon park at folsom and embarcadero, south beach, sf by manyone1

and stitch them with ptgui to produce an image like this:
rincon park at folsom and embarcadero, south beach, sf by manyone1

if you have a fisheye lens with a FOV greater than 170 degrees, you can also avoid taking the zenith and nadir shots when you follow this tetrahedral strategy
h a n g i n g p i x e l s [deleted] Posted 11 years ago. Edited by h a n g i n g p i x e l s (member) 11 years ago
Nodal Ninja is a god sent, together with a Canon 10-22mm.

1. Eight shots of panning 360 around the scene.
2. Six shots of +45 degrees.
3. Six shots of -45 degrees.
4. Two-Three shots of the nadir.
5. All of the images is loaded in to PTGui or Stitcher (if i need to remove somthing). This will pump out an equirectangular image.

---Done if you don't want to remove the tripod.

6. Equirectangualr image is then loaded in Pano2QTVR to make 6 cube faces for easy edit.
7. Load the edited six faces back into Pano2QTVR to generate a new equirectangular or QTVR.
8. Final colour contrast touch up in Photoshop.

I would be interested to know how people are doing or using to do their nidar.
Aldo PRO 11 years ago
With my 8mm fisheye lens, I do only 4 shots around. I stitch them using PTGui, and patch up the zenith and nadir in Photoshop.

I use the Panotools 'Adjust' plugin to extract and insert the top/bottom 'cubefaces' which gives me the freedom to extract less or more than 90 degrees in one 'face'.
pano_philou Posted 11 years ago. Edited by pano_philou (member) 11 years ago
I just find your descriptions very clear. Nonetheless I have difficulties with my technique, please feel free to comment this picture to help me improve:
pano_philou Posted 11 years ago. Edited by pano_philou (member) 11 years ago
For all those interested and beginners in panorama, I suggest you this website and bluffing video.

Also available in French. Cheers!
Khalil Younes Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Khalil Younes (member) 11 years ago
I was working on an equirectangular panorama, using Hugin.when I got to the stitching tab, I was shocked, the dimensions of the panorama are 21474836 X 9782981. When I am trying to stitch or align the panorama Hugin is freezing up for some reason.
PhotoComiX 11 years ago
well it will be not help much but i suppose some reason is that 21474836 X 9782981size...i don't think much processor could handle it
domejunky Posted 11 years ago. Edited by domejunky (member) 11 years ago
I've been using a Coastal Optics 4.88mm + iPix IS. The fisheye has 188º FOV, so only two shots are nessesary. I've had some sucess with Panotools in Gimp (I had to hack the code to get more than 160º FOV). We also use an iPix rotator.

This setup is expensive, but was bought to send into the field with non-experts. The results are fantastic, the advantage of a 2-shot system when there is action in the shot is massive...
Pablo Baslini 11 years ago
I have a Powershot S2IS, i´ve made the shots tiled up and down, the zenits and the nadirs, but when it comes to stitch them...ufff!
i couldnt make the autopano shift works on installs two scripts on mi PC, and no executable program, si i cannot use it.
I´ve been trying to set the pints manually, but it takes 4 ever...besize, i tryied to made it all at once, and came out a mess... so, here is my question..
should i stitch first the 30º up. then the 30ªdown, and then stitch those two panos within together...and then insert the zenith-nadir shots?
or how should i do, all at aonce?
is an operating error, mine?
i´ll appreciate some help!
Josh Sommers PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Josh Sommers (member) 11 years ago
@Pablo - no you should usuallys titch everything at once. Sometimes it is good to leave the zenith and nadir out, but I usually stitch everything at once in hugin. Autopano-Sift does work fine for me on windows, but now I just use Autopano (not sift) which is a command line program, but the newest version of hugin executes it automatically when you click the Align button on the assistant tab.

Oh, and it would be nice if everyone could afford a $5000 180 degree fisheye wouldn't it?
BBBright 11 years ago
Hugin will use autopano-sift instead of autopano if you tell it to. Just select autopano-sift in the dropdown box at the top of the Autopano tab in Preferences.

Freddy Stapersma PRO 11 years ago
I am using my home made panorama head
To take 5 raw pictures, 4 horizontal and one from the nadir.
when there are no persons in sight I also use bracketing to build a HDR image.
Put it in ptgui and in 5 minute I can start rendering. lancoz3, enblend.
In HDR I render 3 panoramas from each set in 16 bit tiff and put them together as a HDR in photoshop.
after that I export the one image again to 16 bit tiff.
In Pgui I change the pitch and roll and render it again so I can add the nadir image trough photoshop.
I turn the image back to his original form and copy the rendered image (with nadir patch) over the original tiff. brush the center away and collapse it into one image.
somtimes I use noise ninja to get rid of some noise.
all in all it takes around 2.5 hours to build a full HDR image.
I wonder if you guys think it is a good way.
Pablo Baslini 11 years ago
Pisco: I drean every nite with that lens!!!!
I´ve solved the issue on autopano-sift, but it takes too long, maybe i´m setting it wrong...
anyway, i´ve achieved mi first equirectangular...
(i´ll post it soon)
coul´dn´t find my own lens angle, so i´m making them manually (can´t get a nodal ninja 3 in Argentina:-( )
It takes arround 52 5 Mpx shots!
i´ve just downloaded Flexify this evening, so i´ll try to do an Stereographic projection of my equirectangular panorama if i can find how-to!. hahaha
wmliu PRO 10 years ago
i use a Canon 30D with the 10-22mm lens. for about 50% overlap, 21 shots are needed for a 360x180. i usually shoot them this way (22 shots in this case), and the result is about 50 mega pixels:
i could have shot them with two rows plus a zenith and a nadir, but i think it would work better if i had a row with zero degree tilt if there are moving objects or people. here is the result:
i have since settled for the 3-shot method for the nadir -- two shots on tripod and pano head rotated 180 degree and one handheld shot. it's also helpful to change the stance of the tripod so that the legs would be all under the rotation plate of the pano head.
ruthdeb 10 years ago
do you haaaaaaaaave to use fisheye lenses to make these? I love this effect.. I don't want to wait until I have $600 for a lens before I can try it.

The little diagrams above with the teeny square pictures -- are those just shown as squares just to make it easy to understand, or are they really shot with a regular lens?
hangglide 10 years ago
@ruthdeb. You can shoot these with a "regular" lense. You may just need to take more photos to cover the whole sphere. The wider angle the lense, the fewer photos you will need. Some people prefer to shoot with a regular lense (in some instances) because more photos result in a higher resolution finished product.
brunalleschi 9 years ago
I use a sigma 4.5mm and a self made head for the tripod. I take 4 shots + 1 top (which I never use, but I always take just in case...) + 1 down 8 years ago
I am using 2x Canon A 570 cameras with Nikon FC-E8 conversion lens. So its single-shot, but with two cameras.
Highly synchronised by SDM custom firmware and USB cables.
What do you think?
Layne Chin 6 years ago
I rarely stitch for panoramas. All I know is Hugin recommended by Flickr, Acropano picked by Giveawayoftheday. And I think hugin is good for professional users, on the contrary Acropano is designed for beginners.
Groups Beta