New York, June 14, 2012. During the annual IVRPA conference held in New York, Kolor announced version 3.0 of panorama software Autopano Pro and Autopano Giga, and released a first alpha version for testing purposes.
Alexandre Jenny, founder and CEO of Kolor, presented the new features available in Autopano 3.0:
> Revamped panorama editor based on the power of the GPU (graphics card)
> Real-time preview of the rendering: get an idea of the final rendering before even launching it
> Selective anti-ghost mode: easily choose what you want to keep or discard in the overlapping areas (Autopano Giga)
> Multiple projections: choose your favorite projection, including Panini and Little Planet and tune it as you want
> Plus many user-submitted features to come in the next alpha and beta versions
Video: watch what’s new in Autopano 3.0[iframe width="615" height="376" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/901Uz6lqo-Y?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen]
Download: try Autopano Pro 3.0 and Autopano Giga 3.0
Anyone can try the alpha version of Autopano Pro 3.0 and Autopano Giga 3.0. If you already own a registration key of version 2.x, you can use it on this first alpha to remove the watermark.
About future upgrades
All clients purchasing Autopano Pro and Autopano Giga from June 14, 2012 onwards will get version 3 for free when it is officially released.
Clients owning a license of Autopano Pro or Autopano Giga purchased before June 14, 2012 will be proposed a special price to upgrade to version 3.
The Change Log
By Alexandre Jenny
This version introduces the v3 of Kolor Engine. As a first release of a new engine, we expect to have a lot of feedback ( positive feedback ) and not too many bugs. But there will be bugs of course. Nevertheless, I’m sure you will appreciate the direction we are aiming to take: easier to use and more powerful.
Let’s describe the changes in 4 categories.
Revamped Panorama Editor
We worked a lot on the editor to be able to offer you a better experience while editing panoramas. The first aspect of this work is a better design of all the tools, a new GPU rendering in the editor for a better and more accurate rendering and a beautiful and useful grid.
- Tools layout: the tools used to appear sometimes on the left panel and sometimes in a separate dialog box. Everything is now integrated on the left panel ( even the color levels ). I think it’s an improvement.
- New GPU rendering: this is really nice because the GPU mode is now as accurate as the CPU mode. Even on the zenith and nadir in spherical mode, you have a nice and accurate preview. Moreover, this change still allows to have the real-time full panorama move mode which raise the edition of panorama layout to a new level. It is fast, visual and easy.
- The grid ( over the panorama ). You have 2 flags on the right of the editor which allow you to switch on or off the axis or the grid. By default, the grid is labeled in output space dimension, meaning in pixel. As soon as you open the editor, you know how large the rendering will be. But you can also switch to angular mode and in this mode, you can draw meridians and parallels over the panorama. It can be really useful for some measurement over the panorama.
- A lot of small fixes have also been achieved to get a more uniform experience in the editor.
New projection modes
This feature has been asked for several times. It is now done. It took a while because we needed to rewrite some parts of the code that were not compatible with some projections. That’s why it was only introduced in a major release and not a minor one; we had to rewrite the projection pipeline of our engine.
Nevertheless, it is worth the wait, because when it is combined with the GPU rendering in the editor, you have the perfect experience for the choice of the right projection. This can be critical if you have an exact idea of what you want but don’t know what to do to get to it.
One note: it took us a while to design a nice projection UI, especially how to create and design good icons for the projection modes. I’m waiting for your feedback on these icons. I find them cool because it is a combination of cube faces and mapping, giving a good understanding in both lectures.
Integrated Quick Rendering
You may have noticed a small green icon near the percentage of the rendering in the editor. This is a small icon for a big feature: it is an integrated rendering directly in the editor. It does what it says: it renders the displayed zone with the final render engine as if you had launched the redering at the size of the screen with the render dialog box ( assuming you crop and adjust the percentage of the rendering ).
Why is this feature great?
Because it displays what the rendered panorama will look like in this zone without the need of doing it in full. It allows you to finetune accurately the exposure fusion panel. This is really cool ( it has been introduced in v2.6, but it is really better integrated now ).
As you have a quick rendering, you can see what decision the anti-ghost will make for this panorama. Now, the obvious question is: can I influence the anti-ghost? And this leads me to the last point.
This is the new editor mode available in Autopano Giga only. You can see it near the control point editor icon. It allows to decide for an individual image what you want to keep or remove. You just need to place green or red spots on the right image and with the Integrated Quick Rendering, you can have a direct preview of what the panorama will look like when rendered.
To create a chrono-panorama, it is now super easy with this tool. It helps also to patch the nadir in only 3 clicks. In the video, you can see that.
As we revamped a lot of the code, we used that time to improve some other parts:
- Photoshop Mode F: you can hide all the tools of the editor with a simple keyboard shortcut
- In the Move mode, you can now apply a numerical transformation: that’s nice to move or rotate a multiple selection of images very precisely
- In the Move mode again, you can now adjust the full panorama even in CPU mode ( this was not possible in previous versions )
- The underlying image reader/writer engine has been ported to UTF8 which means you can open any image with any type of charset in the application. It is funny to see Chinese image names in the editor.
- The control points editor has now two new icons, next / preview, which allow to quickly review all the links of the current selection
- Automatic stack creation was only possible through the Browse Folder icon. Now, it is also active when you drag & drop images over the application or if you select individual images
Using during beta stage
We believe in our community and in our customers that support us since a long year. The quality of a software doesn’t come only by the quality of the developer ( come on, still a bit ), but from the quality of the communication between you and us. So for the v3, we decided to do the following:
- You can try all alpha, beta of Autopano Pro/Giga for free during the pre-release stage of the products. You can even remove the watermark as soon as you have a legitimate v2 key.
- All betas are limited in time. This version for example expires end of August.
With this approach, you can already start to use v3 in production work ( at your own risk, of course ). Of course, I hope that you will enjoy the v3 and report a lot of feedback on our forum about it.
In the presentation, we also talked about user-suggested features. They have been well categorized here and we’ll implement the ones that are the most demanded. It will happen in Autopano Engine Alpha 2 for end July
- 0001367: [GPU] shader compilation on stable on all graphic cards – resolved.
- 0001381: [Editor] AutoTheta is broken – resolved.
- 0001372: [translation] Apple menu, translation in japanesse – resolved.
- 0001356: [Qt] QT 4.8.2 sur main – resolved.
- 0001175: [Editor] Multiple selection and move mode, change zoom broken – resolved.
- 0001234: [Editor] UI layer broken – resolved.
- 0001364: [Editor] Crash when using stop all detection – resolved.
- 0001362: [Editor] Quick Preview, 100% size should not display square pixel – resolved.
- 0001358: [Cortex ( rendu )] add a parameter to edit rendering marging – resolved.
- 0000987: [UI behavior] crash when too much groups opened – resolved
- 0000433: [Editor] Linear projection on a 360∞ HDR + Crop = strange display – resolved.
- 0001320: [Cortex ( rendu )] Panini projection clean – resolved.
- 0001023: [Cortex ( rendu )] TruncatePiece clean revamp – resolved.
- 0000087: [Editor] Engine revamp for new projection integration – resolved.
- 0001306: [UI behavior] Numerical transform in Move mode too – resolved.
- 0001334: [UI behavior] UI improvements – resolved.
- 0001318: [translation] create translation file for kernel – resolved.
- 0001325: [Neurone ( optimisation )] vertical tool not adpated to all projections – resolved.
- 0001196: [Cortex ( rendu )] panorama size not stable – resolved.
- 0001322: [Cortex ( rendu )] compute piece approximation – resolved.
- 0001210: [UI behavior] use lib KUI – resolved.
- 0001068: [Image I/O] Cannot load images if the directoy has an accent – resolved.
- 0001316: [Editor] Check editor open flag in APG – resolved.
- 0001209: [UI behavior] resources cleaning – resolved.
- 0001270: [Cortex ( rendu )] shader check – resolved.
- 0001285: [Editor] default GPU mode – resolved.
- 0001307: [Neurone ( optimisation )] autofit must be done in XYn space – resolved.
- 0001141: [Editor] Crop not as accurate as 2.6 or 2.5 – resolved.
- 0001308: [Neurone ( optimisation )] reduce autocrop marging – resolved.
- 0001271: [Unclassified] Code uniformization – resolved.
- 0000929: [Image I/O] Cameras.Txt behavior – resolved.
- 0001286: [Cortex ( rendu )] panini thetaPhiToXY – resolved.
- 0001262: [Cortex ( rendu )] stereographic projection behaviours – resolved.
- 0000310: [Shell Integration] No stack creation when using ‘select images’ instead of browse folder – resolved.
- 0001272: [UI behavior] Resize viewport depending on content – resolved.
- 0001249: [Neurone ( optimisation )] clean camera – resolved.
- 0001255: [Neurone ( optimisation )] clean old opengl mesh – resolved.
- 0001274: [Cortex ( rendu )] mask point position not reliable – resolved.
- 0001275: [Editor] layer selection can be done outside the extended world – resolved.
- 0001135: [Neurone ( optimisation )] New projection modes – resolved.
- 0001242: [UI behavior] placement of control point editor tool – resolved.
- 0001259: [Cortex ( rendu )] optimize cpu rendering – resolved.
- 0001261: [UI behavior] uinformize UI selection between GPU and CPU – resolved.
- 0001214: [UI behavior] Dock tools of pano editor diplay – resolved.
- 0001235: [UI behavior] redesign docked tools – resolved.
- 0001236: [UI behavior] move projection and color settings in docked tool – resolved.
- 0001238: [UI behavior] consistent tool bar access – resolved.
- 0001239: [UI behavior] quick acces of grid and vanishing point display – resolved.
- 0001240: [UI behavior] hide and display all tools – resolved.
- 0001247: [Editor] Photoshop Mode F – resolved.
- 0001243: [Cortex ( rendu )] render mipmaping not reliable – resolved.
- 0001256: [UI behavior] better ogl scale and render mipmap – resolved.
- 0000635: [UI behavior] GPU enabled setting not stored properly – resolved.
- 0000080: [Performance] CPU mode in editor could benefit of MT if we clean up the renderPreview2 – closed.
- 0000935: [Cortex ( rendu )] merge multiband fix from 2.6 – closed.
- 0000862: [UI behavior] merge quick renderer from 2.6 – closed.