Open Source Panorama Tools finally mature

The view from Twin Peaks

I love the *idea* of stitched panoramas. I've been more in love with the idea until very recently.

I've tried the open source panorama tools as well as whatever commercial software I've had, and there's always been some sort of obnoxious issue with them or another.

The Canon tools sort of work, but only just barely well enough to suggest that it might be your fault. So you might get some excellent stitching work one day and proclaim that it works, but then the next day get some wretched stitching and blame yourself.

So I try to make panoramas every now and then, find they didn't work, and then get frustrated and resentful. I've got a LOT of panoramas sitting on my drive.

I've tried hugin before, but I could never quite get the hang of it. This is pretty much one of those standard open source problems... it's far easier to write the software than it is make the interface nice. At least a year or two has passed since the last time I tried, so I got annoyed again recently and decided to see if time had allowed for improvements.

I'm happy to say that Hugin is finally at the right point of maturity. At the default settings, everything just sort of works. You drop a bunch of pictures on the application, it leads you through the steps required to stitch, and it all just seems to work and produce decent results.

So, now I'm finding myself hunting down every single panoramic set of images I've taken but never managed to stitch, with the goal of actually properly stitching them. They stitch just fine, actually.

You might ask yourself "Silly photographer, why don't you just use the stitcher in Photoshop or some other application?" The problem is that I'm on Photoshop 5.0 and have been successfully avoiding the upgrade ever since and I'm too cheap to pay money for an application that

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