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Pushing the Boundaries.

One of the constraints when shooting panoramas with Hugin (and with most panoramic tools) is the No Parallax Point (NPP). There are physical and logical reasons to turn the camera around it when shooting images for a perfect stitch: Physically, pictures taken from the same NPP have no parallax. Logically, the mathematics of panoramic software is simpler when assuming that all pictures are taken from the NPP.

Photographers build or buy panoramic heads to help them keep their camera’s NPP aligned with the point around which it is rotated. Unfortunately the panoramic head leaves an undesired footprint on the nadir. One technique to deal with the nadir is to move the tripod for an additional shot, often handheld. That shot is most often offset from the center of the panorama.

PTGui was the first panoramic tool to deal with an offset NPP. It requires the control points in the offset picture to be on a single plane – not an unreasonable assumption for the ground on which the tripod stands. Hugin has lacked this feature for a long time. Now it has been introduced by Pablo, inspired by the discussions preparing Dev’s Google Summer of Code 2009 project (that yielded another type of transform for mosaic mode, implemented by Daniel very recently in libpano.

Dev’s original project was about mosaics and not necessarily the nadir shot. I’m interested in mosaics too, I want to break away from the limiting factor of the sphere.

So the other day I went for a stroll in town, and I shot a few pictures. Hand held. With my son sitting comfortably in the back pack.XYZ_previewThe sphere is still somewhat a limiting factor, and so is the rectilinear projection.

No panoramic head was used to shoot this 18.000 pixels linear panorama. What is next?

One Response

  1. Since now many years, I’m only shooting handheld panoramas. I first started with my own panohead, and I quickly come to the point that the process of shooting pictures is quite long and not flexible at all. For my point of view, it is easier to shoot handheld, almost similar as shooting normal pictures. And the result is very good. Of course, this is not applicable for pictures with a very large range of depth (especally very close subject) or if you want to do a huge print (multiple meters). To be honest, I think most of panoramic pictures are for landscape or city pictures, and the first constraint is not really an issue.



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