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I can create a collection of pictures giving a 360-degree view from a certain spot, just taking a bunch of photographs from the same spot but in a different direction. However, what software could I use (on Windows) to stitch these images together to get one big image?

I prefer something that would stitch them together without showing any seams.

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is this really 'windows-vista' specific question? –  Joakim Elofsson Jul 30 '09 at 19:58
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Possible Duplicate: superuser.com/questions/8047/… –  Diago Jul 30 '09 at 20:08
    
Not really a duplicate since this question doesn't specify Open Source (or indeed free as in beer) –  therefromhere Jul 30 '09 at 20:48
    
I'm not even looking for any free solutions. :) Just looking for quality. And it's Vista-related since I want a solution that works on Vista, but there are plenty of solutions that won't. –  Wim ten Brink Jul 31 '09 at 10:03
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7 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've tried various different programs to assemble panoramas and I'm extremely impressed by the results from the "Photomerge" tool in Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.

It only outputs flat images, so if you want "VR" style Quicktime you'll need something else, but it's very simple to use, and requires very little (or no) tweaking to produce excellent seamless results.

I think the same functionality is in CS3 and later, but note that the tool in CS2 and Photoshop Elements 5 is definitely inferior.

And here's a sample of the results, as a shameless plug of my panoramas on Flickr:

enter image description here

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Interesting. I've searched for Photoshop Elements at a local store, noticed it had gone up to version 7 and noticed that it has some other useful features. Am already moved to Adobe Lightroom since Corel made a complete mess out of the old Paint Shop Pro product, so I'm having happy feelings around Adobe. :-) –  Wim ten Brink Jul 30 '09 at 21:23
    
The Photomerge in CS3 is awesome and got even more polish in CS4. –  emgee Sep 15 '09 at 17:11
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As mentioned before, Hugin is a great free tool for photo stitching. You line the photos up as best you can and Hugin will automatically adjust the photo (pinching or expanding) in order to make seamless transitions.

GoldenGateBridge

I used it for this combination of about 8 shots taken left to right covering about a 315° FOV. Actual image is 14959 x 1306.

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i live 10 mins from this location :) –  Jason Jul 31 '09 at 0:13
    
Do you have a link to the full size photo? We just came back from a vacation in San Fran and all we saw was fog... –  Jared Harley Jul 31 '09 at 3:00
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@Jared, hmm Picasaweb is having errors. Here's another link: hyperslug.com/image/photo/GoldenGatePanoramaLarge.jpg (6.7MB) –  hyperslug Jul 31 '09 at 6:47
    
That picture is amazing in the large size. I couldn't see any stitching. –  tj111 Sep 15 '09 at 15:44
    
@tj111, it's pretty fast and surprisingly automatic. You can still detect slight artifacts at joins if you look hard: the trees on the left have a slightly blurry seam and the main cable to the left of the 1st tower is a just little off. Maybe if I took more shots it could counter this. –  hyperslug Sep 15 '09 at 16:57
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Autopano Pro gives great results, from what i tried.

It's great for this use, to create panorama from a set of pictures. It finds itself the common points, and adjusts photos to make one big picture (or eventually even a 360).

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Windows Live Photo Gallery also does automatic stiching.

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+1 for live photo gallery, excellent results. Very easy to use. –  EvilChookie Jul 31 '09 at 0:35
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Personally, when making panorama photos (something I love to do as well), I normally use Adobe Photoshop CS3's Photostitch ability, which is damned near perfect.

When I'm looking to make an actual 360 degree photo, like the ones that run from quicktime, I use PTGui. It's got a little of a learning curve, but works quite well. I made this pano "video" (3.1 MB .mov file) from our rooftop after getting my new tripod (I really am a photo dork!)

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If you are a GIMP user you can use the Pandora plugin.

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I would imagine that you could just just a simple animated GIF creator to stitch the images together into a single animated gif. You may run into problems with the size, however, for pictures that have sizable resolutions.

Edit I misread. Thought you were looking for animation, not just one big picture.

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