Beta versions

A new version of PTGui will be released soon, and you can download a beta version already. This beta version is now being tested and may still be unstable. If you don't encounter problems with PTGui 10.0.17, it is better to wait for the next release version.

PTGui 11 beta

After two years of preparation we're proud to release the beta first version of PTGui 11!

Why the long wait? Over the years we've gathered many ideas for improvements and new functionalities in PTGui and many of those features have been implemented over time. But we've found that more and more ideas remained on the shelf because they would require major changes to the inner workings of PTGui.

PTGui was originally released in 2001. Over the past 16 years software development technologies have evolved significantly. Some of the original design decisions were hampering the implementation of certain features. And of course user interface design has changed a lot over the years and PTGui was starting to look dated. So we've taken a step back and rebuilt much of PTGui's foundation, and PTGui 11 beta is the result!



The most obvious change is a new modern, dark themed user interface. PTGui 11 uses collapsible panels to make the tools available where you need them but without occupying precious screen real estate. The familiar row of tabs at the top of the window have been moved to a vertical panel at the left side, to be more consistent with current user interface concepts. The side bar can be collapsed to make more space available. The numbered tabs for selecting images (e.g. in the Control Points tab) have been replaced with image thumbnails, so you can see which image is which. And PTGui 11 is fully compatible with Retina screens and supports per-monitor high DPI under Windows.



In the Pro version handling of HDR panoramas has been much improved. Throughout the entire user interface bracketed sets of images are now treated as a single image. Each bracketed set is represented by a single exposure fused thumbnail image. So for example, when using 3 step bracketing you now only have to deal with 5 images instead of 15! The control points editor simultaneously shows all control points for the combined images in two bracketed sets. It is also possible to view individual images (a.o. using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Up/Down on Windows, or Cmd+Alt+Up/Down on Mac). The Image Parameters screen can be collapsed to show bracketed groups or it can be expanded to edit the parameters of individual images in each set.



The Panorama Editor and Detail Viewer now use the same stitching engine as used for the final render. This gives a true WYSIWYG preview of the panorama, in real time, properly blended and anti aliased at screen resolution. No more blurry previews in the Panorama Editor or shimmering in the Detail Viewer! The panorama editor in PTGui Pro 10 had limited functionality when working with HDR panoramas. Not so any more: you now get a live tone mapped or exposure fused preview. HDR settings can be adjusted right in the panorama editor, in the collapsible side bar panel. The Panorama Editor and Detail Viewer now benefit from OpenCL GPU acceleration.

EXIF metadata parsing has been improved as well. PTGui can now read most manufacturer dependent 'maker notes'; this allows it to not only determine the focal length but in many cases also the actual lens brand and model. The lens parameters will be initialized correctly, whereas PTGui 10 would sometimes mistake a wide angle rectilinear lens for a fisheye or vice versa.

Speaking of lenses, PTGui changes the parametrization of lens data: instead of characterizing a (rectilinear or fisheye) lens by its horizontal field of view, PTGui 11 stores the focal length. Lens shift (i.e. the offset of a lens' optical axis) is now stored as relative offsets on the short and long image dimensions, instead of absolute x/y pixel offsets. These two changes finally make it possible to mix portrait and landscape images in the same project. There's one caveat: for portrait images PTGui needs to know whether the camera was rotated clockwise or counter clockwise in order to apply the lens shift in the proper direction. This can be selected in the Lens Settings tab.

For fisheye lenses PTGui 11 introduces a new fisheye projection parameter (k in the formula below), allowing it to perfectly model all practical fisheye projections (equidistant, stereographic, orthographic and equisolid).

For some background see Fisheye Projection. Presets for many known fisheye lenses are included, and selected automatically when a known fisheye lens is recognized in the EXIF data. By knowing the exact fisheye projection PTGui is able to find more control points, particularly in the edges of fisheye images. Furthermore it allows PTGui to set the cropping circle (for circular fisheye lenses) more accurately.

The lens database has been redesigned and now includes the circular fisheye cropping parameters as well. Due to the new lens parametrization the same entry can be used for both portrait and landscape images. Lens database entries can be linked to EXIF data, resulting in the lens data to be set automatically when loading an image from a specific camera/lens combination. Similarly there's now a camera sensor size database for automatically setting the sensor size / crop factor based on the EXIF data.

PTGui now supports multiple cameras and lenses in the same project. For example a gigapixel panorama might be taken with a long 300mm lens but such level of detail is not necessary for the sky. The sky images can now be photographed with a wider angle lens and stitched in the same project. The control point generator will find control points between images from different lenses. Exposure and vignetting optimization will use separate curves for each lens. In PTGui 11 it is possible to use vignetting correction when merging camera images with an already stitched equirectangular panorama.

Viewpoint optimization for an image can be enabled right from the Project Assistant, by right-clicking on the thumbnail. If viewpoint correction is enabled for an image, the control point generator will notice and it will find control points even if the image was taken from a significant viewpoint offset.

Over the years the PTGui .pts project file format has extended upon the original script file format used by Panorama Tools. All the new (and future) changes no longer fit well in this format; therefore PTGui 11 switches to a new JSON based file format. This will make it much easier to incorporate new features in the future. Of course PTGui 11 can read project files from previous versions. Also an 'export to PTGui 10' function is included to enable interoperability with previous versions and third party software, although this will not cover the new functionalities and parameters. Due to all incompatible changes the Panorama Tools optimizer can no longer be used with PTGui. However, the PTGui optimizer now natively supports 'line type' control points and thus covers all functionalities available in the Panotools optimizer.

Other changes:

Beta updates

Feedback

Since this is a beta version it may contain bugs; therefore your feedback is much appreciated. Post any bugs, comments to the PTGui Google group but please check the Known Issues list below before posting.

Known issues

The following problems are known to exist in the current beta, we're working hard to solve these:

Installing multiple versions side by side

You can try the beta version without overwriting your existing copy of PTGui. On Windows select a different installation folder when prompted during installation (e.g. C:\Program Files\PTGui Beta). On Mac the PTGui application can be copied from the install disk image, renamed, and installed in any folder on your mac, not just the Applications folder.

If you have accidentally overwritten your copy of PTGui you can always download the former version again from this website.

Download

Download PTGui or PTGui Pro, version 11 beta 3

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