PTGui 5 is a major update from previous versions. Although the user interface will still look familiar to existing users, a lot has been changed. The most important improvements:
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- PTGui now has its own stitcher, optimizer and blender
- PTGui can generate control points by itself
- The Project wizard has been removed, and is replaced by the Project Assistant tab
- Simple / Advanced project mode
- Control Point Assistant
- Straighten Panorama function
Since PTGui 5 includes its own stitcher, optimizer and blender, it does not rely on Panorama Tools anymore and can be used stand alone. However, Panorama Tools is still fully supported; the user can choose whether to use Panorama Tools or PTGui for stitching/optimizing.
The PTGui Stitcher replaces the functionality of PTStitcher. Features:
- Currently supports TIFF, JPEG and Photoshop output. More formats will be added later.
- Can output all layers together with the blended panorama into a single Photoshop document. Individual layers are laid above the blended image, using a transparent blend mask, which probably is the easiest configuration for retouching.
- Blending can be done using either Enblend, Smartblend or the PTGui built-in blender.
- Warping can be done by PTGui itself, or by pano12.dll
- When using the PTGui blender, the layered output can contain color corrected layers. This makes retouching of seams very easy.
- Should be able to create output of unlimited size (if enough disk space is available).
- Uses compression in Photoshop files
- 16 bit output will be included later, currently creates 8 bit output only
This is a simple multiband blending implementation. It should be able to handle panoramas of unlimited size.
It uses as much as possible of the overlapping area of all images, e.g. to get smooth transitions in blue skies.
Works similar to the Panorama Tools optimizer. Is able to optimize the field of view even for most partial panoramas. Supports all control point types, except for line-type (t3) control points.
Control point generator
PTGui can now generate control points, using its own algorithm. It uses the field of view of the source images, to take into account the wide-angle distortion of the images. As a result, control points will be generated even in the corners of wide angle images.
Project Assistant, simple/advanced mode
PTGui can now run in a 'simple' mode, showing only the Project Assistant tab, plus the tabs that are relevant to the current processing stage. The new Project Assistant tab has buttons for each stage of panorama creation. It should allow novice users to create a panorama with just a few clicks and this is sufficient for most types of panoramas. By switching to Advanced mode, all tabs become visible, as in the previous versions.
Control Point Assistant
This is an extra tab in the Control Point Table window. It will warn when a project contains orphaned or clustered images (i.e. groups of images not interconnected by control points). Further it will warn when the project has overlapping images with no control points between them.
Straighten Panorama function
One of the most common problems when creating a panorama is a curved horizon. PTGui uses several techniques to attempt to straighten a panorama. Should work for single row panoramas, multi row and even spherical panoramas. For spherical panoramas, it assumes that any nadir and zenith images are the last images in the project. Straightening will be done automatically in 'Simple Project' mode (after generating control points), or it can be activated manually by a button in the Panorama Editor.