How to make panorama photos of vertical scenes

Some of the panorama photo-making tools

If everyone does not already understand that I am really “into” making panorama photographs, then let it be said. I am.

New software arrived today from Serif.com - cost me a whole 15 bucks, and it works like a champ. Used the same individual vertical frame shots. Didn't have to rotate the images... and the vertical panorama is shown along with the original panorama made using the Canon "stitcher" program and the same individual frames. Check out the difference. Hey - I think I got my 15 bucks worth. Sure was good of Serif to have a big software sale. Saved 50%. Old Rednecks like me love such nice things.

See information below about panorama "movies" and how this new software handled the job of making vertical subject panorama photos.

I really go for those long, skinny photo views of outdoor and indoor scenes. So far, the collection of panorama-production software loaded into this computer totals four program packages.

One of the programs is a demonstration offering from a commercial software company. It is a temporary lodger on the hard drive, at least it is so declared to be by its producer. I am not sure when it is going to leave me, but the company said that it will become unusable after a while. There is another introductory trial program here that can be downloaded from the Serif.com Web site. It works well, at least most of the time. One of these days I might purchase the regular version, sort of an act of conscience because of my no-cost use of the freebie version.

Another of the programs, a full-scale assault on panoramography, is named “Hugin.” I don't know where the program's name came from, but it can handle pretty much all of the various sorts of panorama productions anyone might desire. As an “open source” program, you can download it from SourceForge.net. I guarantee you that you do not have to have a ton-and-a-half of experience with this type of photography to put “Hugin” to work for you. I can testify to that. Watch me raise my right hand with my left hand placed atop my old camera. That's how you do it in this HubPages courtroom, right?

Because I find it perhaps the easiest of the panorama-making programs to use, I probably call up the software I downloaded from the Canon.com Web site. They didn't ask me to pay for the download, and that alerted me to the fact that I did not have to pay anything for the software. (Makes sense to me, anyway...)

Do you need a special camera?

So now you know about the programs I have over here for use in building panorama photographs from individual digital camera image frames. The several digital cameras available here are “oldies.” In fact, they are some of the camera offerings available to nice folks like you and me back ten or a dozen years ago. (Hint: the picture frames made with them do not contain nearly as many “pixels” as do photo frames made with today's digital cameras.) For use of the single photo frames and of the frames combined into panorama presentations for display on the Internet, their photos are more than adequate.

Everything is not always on the level

Until now I had produced panoramas of subjects that were laid out horizontally. The panoramas were stitched together from individual photo frames shot side to side, that is; from left to right or from right to left. I had not yet tried to produce a panorama of anything that might present vertically, such as a tall building, a big tree, or a mountain. I decided to give that a try.

On the way home the other day I visited the parking lot of a reasonably tall pair of buildings to see what it required to capture images of the buildings, frame by frame, from the ground to the building tops so as to see how they could be stitched together as a panorama, just as can be done with horizontally situated subjects.

I really did flip over my photo frames

What I learned was that my several panorama-production programs don't function the same way for image frames made in vertical progression as they do for the horizontal kinds of images. The way I got the separate vertically-shot frames to be properly stitched together was to flip each frame over onto its side before stitching. In other words, they had to act as though they were horizontally-shot frames before they allowed themselves to mate up with the “next” frame. That is what the software was expecting of them, so that's the way they had to be arranged. Fortunately, the program-designers knew all about that. The programs had “rotate-the-frames” tabs at the ready. I had seen those tabs early on, but had often wondered why anyone would want to rotate the frames. (Shows you what I knew, doesn't it?)

Base of the buildings
Base of the buildings | Source
Second frame
Second frame | Source
Third frame
Third frame | Source
Fourth frame
Fourth frame | Source
Individual frames stitched together while they were still all vertically oriented
Individual frames stitched together while they were still all vertically oriented | Source

First you don't see it. Then you do

Here are screen shots of the individual frames and the panorama made using them. The first set shows what you get in the way of a panorama when you leave the individual frames as each came out of the camera – all vertically oriented. This made for a collage-like image.

The first actual panorama photo was made by rotating the progressive frames counter-clockwise, followed by stitching them together. That idea worked.

The final set of photos shows the panorama made by stitching together clockwise-rotated individual photo frames. Note that the lamp posts seem to be curved more than they are in the panorama for which the individual frames were rotated counter-clockwise. Additionally, the stitching was "off" to an amount that caused the bottoms of the lamp posts to look elongated.

As is often the case, you have to experiment when using no-cost software, particularly when your only user manual is the “help” file.

Screenshot of counter-clockwise-rotated individual photo frames used for construction of the panorama image
Screenshot of counter-clockwise-rotated individual photo frames used for construction of the panorama image | Source
Pamorama from counter-clockwise-rotated individual frames
Pamorama from counter-clockwise-rotated individual frames | Source
Panorama from clockwise-rotated individual frames
Panorama from clockwise-rotated individual frames | Source
Panorama made from un-rotated (vertical) individual frames using my "just-now" installed Serif Panorama Plus X4 software
Panorama made from un-rotated (vertical) individual frames using my "just-now" installed Serif Panorama Plus X4 software | Source

New software arrives with some nice new features

As you can see from reviewing the last three images of the tall buildings, the third image produced using my newly acquired Serif Panorama Plus X4 software is far superior to the other two pictures made using Canon's program.

The new software also allowed me to make a video panorama which works nicely using "Quick Time" video display software. That video functions here on HubPages when used in a "video hub" but not within a "hub capsule" stuck into an existing hub. There is a difference between the video types permitted in a video-dedicated hub versus a hub containing an added video capsule. The former allows ".mov" video formatting, whereas the latter (the added capsule only) does not.

I did attach a "Quick Time" (.mov) panorama video file to an eMail sent off today, and it worked very nicely in that environment. To watch the panorama "movie," the user clicks on the originally shown image and holds the mouse button down as the scene moves across the screen - or vertically if that was desired. Direction reversing is also accomplished by re-clicking the left-hand mouse button.


One "Dunkin Stick" computing away on the "eat 'em" keys
One "Dunkin Stick" computing away on the "eat 'em" keys | Source

The schedule revealed

My next project will be to find out how to convert the "mov" formatted videos into one of the several formats allowed to be used in video capsules here on HubPages.. I will probably tell you all about it when I get to trying it out. It will not be done tomorrow, however. I have an appointment to shoot some pix of our little rat terrier, “War Dog.” That should pacify the mutt some until our mutual boss, my bride, points toward the northeast once again. That is when I know it is time to head for the H-E-B pantry store again, there to buy whatever that bossy gal put onto her list and, on my own, to get several packages of cookies. “Dunkin Sticks,” and a couple of gallons of ice cream – oh, and some more dog biscuits for “War Dog.”

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Comments 17 comments

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative hub. Again...I learn much from this hub. Good job, Gus. I try to capture the old building in my town with your tips. Thanks for sharing with us. Voted up and useful :-)

Prasetio


sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk

Nice one Gus. Personally I have never tried doing a Panarama though I would like to one day. Guess you need a sturdy tripod to take the images in the first place! I have one, but truth be told it is rather a burden for a Gal to lug around.

Hope war dog gets to choose which biscuits he fancies. Have a great week-end.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hola Szally (sallybea) -

Thanks for the kind words. I have used my sturdy tripod one time for pano work - that was when I made a three-shot pano of the Bellaire Post Office with the heavier camera, the Mavica-91 deal. I will be more careful when and if I get serious about pano pix, but I typically hand-hold the little Canon digital and try to hold it like an old-man tripod as I shoot the individual frames. I do lose some of each frame that is stitched into the panorama whole, but, so far not as much as my shaky old body would cause me to believe I'd lose.

I forgot to add some screenshots to this hub that show the rotated individual frames. I'll attend to that pronto.

"War Dog" got after me this morning - "Biscuit time" was what he barked at me as I was attempting to pour out a cup of coffee to try to wake myself. He likes the great big biscuits. I have often wondered why so little a dog had such a large head. It is his oversize brain. God was good to the mutt as to providing him with such thinking power. Of course he likes the big biscuits. Of course.

Gus :-)))


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Prasetio - Hello Good Friend...

Thank you for those nice comments. When you make your photos of that tall building (and any others,too) I'd like to see the photos here on HubPages.

Gus :-)))


Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren Morgan M-T 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

Thanks, Gus. I had not even considered the vertical problem. I guess that shows how many skyscrapers i photograph! lol


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hi Maren (Maren Morgan M-T) -

You are welcome... and, you can see by the sorry look of those panorama photos here on this hub that I am far too new to this vertical nonsense. In time things may improve. Some of the more complicated computer programs handle vertical scenes better than do these little pieces of low cost and no cost software, but perhaps mediocrity beats poverty, right? The "Hugin" software will probably cut the mustard with those skyscrapers, but I am a lazy one, and perfection with the use of the super-good "Hugin" code has my blessing to elude me all day long. I'd not even know it might have been available to me. :-)

Gus :-)))


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

You are earning the title of Prince of Panorama Photography the hard way, Gus, by constant experimentation. But your efforts are much welcomed by yours truly and other Hub readers, I am certain.

When you mentioned shopping for ice cream at the market, you reminded me it's time for my nightly treat - love the stuff. What's your favorite flavor? Just wonderin'.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Good Doctor bj (drbj) -

Last things first here - I really like 'em all, those ice cream deals. I suppose I go for the kind with chocolate chips in them. Perhaps a good example would be the peanut butter ice cream loaded with big hunks of chocolate. Yeah. That's probably the best of them.

As to the panorama photo stuff, it tends to keep me out of the kitchen and out of trouble.

A new task is showing itself above the horizon. It will be to finalize the building of one of my really ancient "brainstorms" - I named it the power cube some time back. It's a gadget to help folks who have difficulty getting in and out of bathtubs. Plenty of such things around, but they are very costly and need large bathrooms in which to work. Mine fits nicely, takes up no room outside of the tub, and should not cost as much as do the ones currently available.

I'm hoping that I don't "take a bath" myself in getting this show underway - but who knows?

Gus :-)))


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hey Gus...good luck with your brainstorm bathroom gadget idea. Those of us of a certain age can use all the help we can get. Hope it is a hit and I can say "I knew you when you were just a HubPage writer." :)) As to your panoramic photos...thanks for doing the groundwork and testing out these venues. Good info! Up and interesting votes.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Howdy Peggy (Peggy W) -

I wish that I could claim "the bathroom gadget" as my own original idea, but it has been around for more years than you and I might think of... I simply changed what was there and put stuff with it to adapt it to the big problem faced by the elderly and by post-op folks, etc. There is a good possibility that there is a manufacturer ready to make the things. Here's hoping about that, anyway.

As to the pano pix, I am still trying to learn the how-to of them. I did advance things a wee bit the other day - went to MicroCenter and spent my allowance on a new color printer for the computer. I got lucky, too. The printer is a really nice one made by Canon. It came with some fine software. Got lucky on the price. It was only 30 bucks. Prints any size up to a full 8-1/2 x 11 sheet, plain paper or glossy photo paper.

Got a phone call from my lawyer buddy as I was in the middle of replying to your comment here. We have a trial to pursue that has been pending for more than 2 years and there was another delay. The judge originally assigned to the case retired (as the case aged as much as he aged). His replacement judge is a "horse nut" and he was out horsing just before our last scheduled trial opening and one of the horses kicked him. He had surgery and some of his middle was removed. Now he may be on the bench sort of half-time. We may get to trial in several weeks - or maybe not.

If not - lots of extra time for the bathroom gadget and for pano pix. I will not complain.

Gus :-)))


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

That power cube you mentioned, Gus, appears to be a really neat idea and much needed by those of us who are aging even as I write. Good luck to getting it into the marketplace.

With regard to your favorite flavor of ice cream, I knew we were bosom (you'll pardon the expression) buddies. My favorite is those big dark chocolate chips when surrounded by mocha flavor. Hmmmmmm! Hope all is well with you and your bride.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Good Doctor bj (drbj) -

The "power cube" deal came about back in the late 1970s. One of these days I may have to write a piece about how "inventions" or "discoveries" or "oh-yeahs" occur. I have long wanted to read more about the processes, but there is not altogether too much written about it that really tells how those things actually work. It is an interesting subject with which to play around.

The mention of ice cream at this moment causes a break in replying to your welcome comments - off I go to the freezer for some of the cold stuff.

Gus :-)))


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

It sure looks like you have a lot of fun with your photos! Great job. Anyone who buys a couple of gallons of ice cream is certainly all right in my book. Pictures of the rat terrier? A friend has one and he's almost as active as my MinPin.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Hi Mary (tillsontitan) -

I apologize for being so long in getting back here to the comments. I've been busy messing around with that 15-buck (sale price) Panorama Plus X4 version I just got in from Serif.com. As with all new stuff, this program had a glitch or two to be worked around. Finally figure it out. Tried to make a pano "movie" which my various freebies don't let me produce. Nope. Promised, but not there. Then I hit the sack last might, kinda unhappy over that "no movies" deal. Then it came to me that the folks who wrote the program did not have things like thumb drives and other kinds of disk storage other than "Drive C." That was the answer, as I learned this morning after waking up and doing a "Drive C" pano run on the same p;ix that wouldn't work yesterday. Today I even got to eMail a nice big (6 megs) pano movie file to one of my nutty inventor friends. Worked like a champ. Talked to the Serif tech folks to let them know that they should fix their otherwise wonderful program so that people can choose where to store their image files for workups. They were surprised, but the tech guy tried it and azgreed with me that it needed fixing. My work around is OK for me - no extra charge anyway. Now I have to find out if I can upload those movies to HubPages :-)

War Dog, our little mutt, now talks to me. He barks and barks whenever I go to get a cup of coffee - wanting another one of those huge dog biscuit "bones." Dogs are just to cool, aren't they?

Gus :-)))


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

You're going to wind up getting a job as a tech in one of those photo companies ;) Yes, dogs are just cool. Mine's chomping at the bit right now 'cause its time for him to eat.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 3 years ago from USA Author

Well, Howdy again Mary (tillsontitan) -

Gotta smile a while at THAT comment :-)) Hey, the last time I got hired was in 2001. Let's see...I was age 70 at the time - just a kid. Actually still very able to walk into the place and bug those disbelievers for gainful (?) employment. Right now I am too senile to walk into the E.R. on my own. Gotta tell you this, too - I did get that panorama video ".mov" into a hub (which I rapidly deleted), but the crazy video did not show "side-to-side." The thing ran up and down its horizontal screen instead. Crazy stuff. So I got hold of some video format conversion software and changed that ".mov" format pano movie into ".mpeg" format. (Could have changed it to many others had I some extra weeks of time on my hands.) Again it went up and down instead of sideways. Some kind of tech I be, right?

I do hang around this place (my overstuffed little home office) a lot and try to NOT dream up too much stuff to be done. Like the other day when in conversation with another would-be inventor, I came out with my idea to use one of my house water pipes to motivate a little electrical turbine, boxed in series with the water flow, to be able to keep a battery charged enough to power a radio, a small digital TV, or some LED lights, or other small stuff. The horror of that is, had I been employed somewhere to do a boss's bidding instead of being left without a keeper here, I'd have never thought of a water-powered battery charger in the house plumbing.

Now, of course, that is a task that has to be worked on whenever my bride is not looking. :-)

"War Dog" has been mooching around for one of those big bone biscuits all day long. He and I both believe that his tactics have worn down my will power. Yeah, dogs are overly-well gened.

Gus :-)))


ElizabethWhite 3 years ago

There's one photo stitching software named Panorama Maker, which allows users to make panorama photos at home like a pro in minutes. It's all about automatically photo stitching and you're allowed to do pretty manual correction if you're not taht satisfied with the auto-effetcs. It can do 5 stitching modes: Auto, Horizontal, 360, Tile, and Vertical. To find how easy it is to stitch photos with Panorama Maker, you can go to http://www.arcsoft.com/panorama-maker/how-to-make-...

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