Why, you ask? The free version of PTGui produces stitches with conspicuous watermarks. Neutralhazer filters, distortions, and HDR are integrated.
Features of PTGui and PTGui Pro
It also provides automatic compensation for image tilt, vignetting and exposure inconsistencies, making it quite resilient to input issues.
It supports the usual 8-bit workflow, plus a bit workflow for improved image quality. There are two versions of PTGui, the standard one and the Pro version reviewed here. There are no limits on image size and the bit workflow is supported by both versions. The former is useful feature to producing a high volume of panoramas such as for Time-Lapse photographyContinuous capture of images usually presented as a video sequence..
User Experience PTGui starts up directly with two windows open. The main window appears with a single tab labeled Project Assistant which provides a fully automatic workflow. One can jump directly to a manual workflow by clicking the aptly-named Advanced button. Regardless of which initial workflow is chosen, PTGui offers complete control over the whole process.
The Automatic workflow involves three phases: Load Images: To select images that form the desired panoramic photo.
Align Images: Position images relative to each other and stretch them to define the seams. Create Panoramas: Render the panorama by blending images together. Completing each step makes to corresponding advanced tab appear and fills it with automatically chosen values.
This lets the user tweak any parameter and, to some extent, get a better understanding of how the process works. The Mask feature is extremely useful for dealing with moving objects and lets the user paint over areas which are to be included or excluded from the panorama. Obviously, such areas have to be in the overlap otherwise there will be discontinuities.
This where parameters can be interactively modified by manipulating the whole panorama or individual images. The interactive experience varies tremendously depending on the complexity of the panorama. It can range from slightly choppy for a panorama of a few images to excruciatingly slow for a complex one.
A number of really useful tools appear in the Panorama Editor toolbar: Edit Panorama: This lets the panorama be moved and rotated along the projection surface. Set Center Point: Manually sets the center point of the panorama. Center Panorama: Automatically centers the panorama. Straighten Horizon: Automatically straightens the horizon to account for non-uniform camera movements. There are direct buttons for the most common projectionsPlanar, Cylindrical, Spherical.
It is then possible to review and edit control points individually, in case details were not matched correctly. The final phase jumps to the Create Panorama tab which allows the usual parameters of size, quality, format and output file to be specified.
The automatic stitching is good and works well for the most part. The main difference is that PTGui allows control-points to be tweaked, so one can improve upon the automatic solution. It turns out that most photographers considering HDR would actually prefer Exposure-Fusion which is a lighter process that produces readily usable results since there is no need for tone-mapping.
Tone-mapping is the step usually responsible for ruining HDR images. With Exposure-Fusion, tone-mapping is built-in to the algorithm which generally gives natural-looking results. There are even parameters to tweak parameters specifically for Exposure-Fusion in case a different look is desired.
Given the extensive image alignment technology required to stitch panoramic photos, it is unsurprising that PTGui can blend exposure-brackets that are not perfectly aligned, even supporting hand-held shots. Performance of PTGui Pro is rather good. Larger panoramas take a toll on performance as the complexity increases dramatically.
Giving PTGui a 50X larger panorama took 4 hours instead. If it scaled linearly, it should have taken about 30 minutes. Conclusion PTGui Pro provides very good output quality and a huge amount of control over the stitching process.
While there is a moderately easy to follow automatic workflow, true beginners may find it somewhat overwhelming. On the other hand, users willing to take control of their panoramas will greatly benefit from PTGui’s transparency. Since the automatic workflow drives the process, setting parameters as it goes, it becomes easy to experiment tweaking parts of the process. Both output quality and speed of operation are really good.
PTGui Pro really stands out by its blending algorithm which maintains excellent sharpness along seams and renders them invisible. Built-in Exposure-Fusion is a great bonus as well, providing an all-in-one workflow for creating panoramic photos of high-contrast scenes. All in all, this product will certainly appeal users who take the time to perfect their panoramas and demands high-quality rendering.
PTGui is available for both Windows and Mac directly from the publisher’s website. The binaries provided natively support bit and bit operating systems. To improve chances of capturing perfect panoramas, check high-grade tripods and heads from Manfrotto. Stitching a panorama photo is very complex so the panorama software can make a huge difference.
8. Panorama Plus Starter Edition/X4, Windows, $12.99
Video Tutorials If you are new to PTGui, be sure to watch our video tutorial. PTGui comes in two versions: PTGui and PTGui Pro. The main difference. We’ve created a series of video tutorials to help you get started with PTGui!.
PTGui Pro 11.18
It also provides automatic compensation for image tilt, vignetting and exposure inconsistencies, making it quite resilient to input issues. It supports the usual 8-bit workflow, plus a bit workflow for improved image quality. There are two versions of PTGui, the standard one and the Pro version reviewed here.
Originally started as a Graphical User Interface for Panorama Tools hence the name , PTGui has evolved into a full featured, industry leading photo stitching application. Fast PTGui is blazing fast!
VIDEO: PTGui and PTGui Pro: What’s the Difference? | VeeR VR Blog
Buy a PTGui License. Purchase a PTGui license for: Personal use or single. Batch Stritching Mi Sphere Camera Spheres are now running like a Charm in PTGui Pro has Support for single shot degree cameras. The main difference between the two versions is PTGui Pro supports HDR stitching, masking, viewpoint correction and vignetting, exposure.