blog added 12/03/2006

Realviz Stitcher 5.1 Released

Realviz Stitcher has been for a long while a major part of my panorama workflow. I especially like its speed and the ability to stencil out overlapping photo differences. This really helps in a dynamic environment and also quickly removes the panorama head support arm from the resulting panorama image.
Version 5.1 introduced some new features so I was keen to test the software for improvements and there are certainly are some.
Importantly, when I took my test photos, I was using the wrong panorama head (a matching one for my Canon 5D and 15mm lens was available at the time), so the nodal point was out and in fact out by 10 mm. PTMac and PTGui handled this error rather well but Realviz Stitcher in the past works best with nodal point spot on.
The new version introduced a new feature called sensor shift. This corrects the fact that often the CCD or CMOS chip in DSLR cameras are not perfectly centred. Of course this is the same as your nodal point being out. So this software really does help correct setup errors.
See below for my workflow in Stitcher 5.1
1. The nine original photos are fisheye photos and Realviz Stitcher for legal reasons is still unable to work with these, so on my Apple Mac, I convert these to rectilinear photos using DeFish software.
2. The DeFish setting are here:
3. The software is a batch program so it is very quick by drag and drop to produce the nine corrected photos.
4. The nine photos were brought into Realviz Stitcher, and I just pressed Auto Stitch, which resulted in the setting below. The autostitch which was spot on. I then used the stencil tool to remove the panorama head side arm from view. Note the new Sensor Shift settings.
5. I always render the results as a spherical image and then adjust overall levels using curves in Adobe Photoshop. The render settings are below. Note for most web applications I don't need the full resolution of ~12000 by 600 pixels, for print I do.
6. Note a new feature recently added to Realviz Stitcher is the enblend software, to help correct different exposure issues between photos. This works great. You need to select .tif as an output to make this option available.
7. After a quick levels fix, sharpening, nadir cap in Adobe Photoshop, the result was converted into a QTVR file by Click Here's Cubic Convertor.
The QTVR resulting movie - the result is flawless in my eyes, well done Realviz.