Saturday, June 7, 2008

Panoramic of Galati

Galati panoramic
Originally uploaded by enrique

I found a very good tool to make a single panoramic photo out of several single shots. It's called Pandora and it is a plugin for Gimp (a free image editor) and it all works on linux! Pandora aligns the separate shots and tries to blend them smoothly. You still have to tweak a bit to achieve optimal results. The great advantage is that it saves the work of making a set of different layers for each photo and then adding a transparency to it in order to do the blending.

While joining the photos is real easy, there is a subtle effect that needs to be taken care: the vignettation. The vignette is the effect produced by the camera lens consisting in having the center of the image brighter than the borders. This can also be solved in Gimp by fixing each individual shot first. A quick fix is to mix the original picture with a radial gradient of transparency and white, from the center out, and playing with the opacity of the gradient until the vignette is minimized.

The picture above is the result of my first attempt at making a panoramic. This was taken in Galati, Romania. It shows the Danube in the upstream direction (left) and downstream one (right). The shape of the river is distorted due to the wide field of view.

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