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hugin-0.7.0 release candidate 1 (or: don’t gray me out!)

Bruno Postle published a first release candidate for hugin-0.7.0 and a recent change in the user interface behavior generated some confusion. Hugin’s workflow was designed when generating a panorama was a simple one-way process: align, warp, blend. But with the advent of exposure blending and HDR an additional dimension was added, which brings about decisions. Is this a single exposure or a stack of multiple exposures? and if it is a stack, should it be fused with enfuse or merged into a fully fledged HDR and tonemapped? Up until recently, these decisions where left to the user. A single exposure process requires different input than the multiple exposures process. And if the input images are fed into the wrong process, inexplicable errors occur and grievances are expressed in our bug tracker.

The developers intimately familiar with the bug tracker, specifically Pablo and Gerry, thought of a simple solution: make only the pertinent processes available and gray out the rest. But how should hugin know?

When the project is ready to stitch, a single exposure panorama will have only partial overlap. A multiple exposure panorama will have 100% overlapping stacks. But what with handheld stacks? and with single exposure panoramas using auto-exposure and relying on hugin’s photometric adjustments? and with the user that simply loads the pictures and heads straight to the stitcher tab?  don’t ask me why, ask him. When pictures are freshly loaded their default position on the stitching surface is (0,0), making it look like a big exposures stack – even if it is a single exposure panorama waiting to be distributed on the surface by the control point generator and the optimizer.

Long story short: the subject requires more analysis. And the key learning is not to introduce user-affecting change so late in the release process.

In the heat of the discussion, Guido Kohlmeyer made the most sensible suggestion: leave this change out from the release. The next release cycle should anyway focus on the user interface. The debate is still on, but it is very likely that another release candidate will follow. Dear users, thank you for your patience.

5 Responses

  1. Please leave this change out from the release. I want fused my single exposure panoramas with enfuse. With enfuse i can make perfekt panoramas.

  2. wow!
    that sounds like I will not update my svn copy for a lot of days… it runs perfect for me now, giving me the freedom to select whatever option I want, enfuse, remapped images, hdr or anything I need manually in every moment. And I like this.

    manual control = power & expert results

  3. My view is that one doesn’t learn from an experience denied.

    In other words, how are you going to learn the best way to do something if you are denied anyway of doing it?

    My suggestion is to leave the options available and learn from the successes and failures of the larger community. Then make a decision based on the dominant use trends.

  4. I am waiting on final word from the project admins (Bruno or Pablo) on whether they want this change left in or pulled. As the panotools meeting is happening right now, I expect it will be a day or two before a reply.

    In the mean time, I am still missing what is wrong with how things are. Please bear with me and help me understand. If one has stacked images, you can’t pass that as input to enblend: it dies complaining about invalid masks. A fusion/HDR merge step must occur first. No?

  5. Great article,I have added your blog to my favourites I really like it!

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