Free Photo / Image Stitching Software to Make Panoramic Scenes
Make a Panorama from Multiple Pictures
Free Panorama Photo Stitching Software: Stitch Overlapping Images to Make a Panoramic Picture
There are times when you want a panoramic photo, a very wide or tall picture that captures a large scene. If you don't want to use a wide-angled or fish-eye lens for your camera (or don't have one), one way is to take separate overlapping pictures of your surroundings and then use a special program to stitch them together. The free and/or open source software listed on this page do exactly that: they allow you to automatically align and stitch adjacent shots that you may have taken of your scenery, whether horizontal or vertical or both, and create a larger panoramic photo that integrates all the side-by-side frames. Some, if not all, allow you to make a 360° (360 degrees) picture. Photos are, of course, not the only use for such software; they can be handy if you are creating other types of images as well, such as maps.
While the software may offer some photo editing features, such as the ability to crop pictures or touch up your photos, you may want to get a proper photo editor if your changes are extensive. A number of them can be found on the Free Image and Photo Editing, Drawing and Painting Software page.
If you want prefer to use commercial software for the task, the ArcSoft Panorama Maker (Windows and Mac versions available) is able not only to automatically stitch photos, it can automatically choose the right photos from a folder full of photos, auto-arrange the photos, handle a large number of image formats (both input and output, including RAW images for input), stitch horizontally, vertically, 360 degrees, and even tile (combining both horizontal and vertical stitching), etc. Amazingly, you can also create a panoramic photo from a video footage; the program does the hard work of analyzing the video for you and finding the frames to stitch.
Free Photo / Image Stitching Software: Make a Panoramic Pictures
- Panorama Tools
Panorama Tools are a collection of open source programs to blend multiple pictures into a single panoramic image. It can also create 3 dimensional (3D) pictures from 2 or more stereoscopic images. The tools work on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and BSD. Depending on how experienced you are with these things, these tools may not exactly be easy to use, so you may (or may not) want to check out some of the free front-end software to use in conjunction with Panorama Tools. These front-ends give you a visual interface that hopefully make your job easier when trying to combine your images.
- Pos Panorama Pro (Windows)
This software will stitch together any series of overlapping photos, whether horizontal or vertical, after automatically organizing the photos in the correct order. The photos are combined together into a single panoramic image, which you can then edit, enhance, print or save. The program works with JPG, BMP, TIFF and GIF files. It has a built-in image editor. This is a Windows program.
- hugin: Panorama Photo Stitcher (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)
This panorama photo stitcher lets you assemble a mosaic of overlapping photographs into a complete panorama. You can use the autopan feature to find "control points" (common features in each pair of photos) so that the pictures can be aligned, or manually enter the control points yourself. The application allows you to create rectilinear (normal flat photos), cylindrical and equirectilinear photos. Versions of this software are available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. This is an open source program (that is, the program's source code is available free of charge as well).
- Microsoft Image Composite Editor (Windows)
The Microsoft Image Composite Editor, from Microsoft Research, is a panoramic image stitcher for Windows. The software creates a high resolution panorama from a set of overlapping photographs. It supports output image formats like JPEG, PNG, TIFF as well as multi-resolution tiled formats like Microsoft's own HD View and Silverlight Deep Zoom. Features include automatic placement of images and selection of panorama type, automatic cropping, no image size limitations, etc. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Note: since this software is produced by Microsoft's research department, it is presumably free only while it is under development. Should it ever become commercial, please drop me a note and I'll update this page.
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