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Panorama software: Autopano Pro / Giga 4 Final

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AP4-Final-Header
The final version for Autopano Pro/Giga 4, our image stitching software, is now available!
We’ve improved this version 4 bit by bit since the launch of the first public beta in December 2014 and we are now ready to launch the final version. All that would not have been possible without your feedback so, once again, thank you for your help.
As a reminder, every customer who purchased a license for Autopano Pro or Giga (or a bundle including one of these two items) after the 17th of December was been given a license key for Autopano 4 and can now use the licence key to register the final version. For all users who purchased a license before this date, you can upgrade at discount price. If you do so, you’ll have access to all the following updates for free (bug fixes, various improvements and new features) until we release Autopano 5. We don’t release paid-for upgrades unless a new version offering several new features and improvements is developed (2 years have passed since the release of Autopano 3).
If you already have a license key for Autopano 4 you can skip the following section and move directly to the next part which presents the new features and improvements in this new version of Autopano.

How to upgrade to the latest version?

Log in to your customer account. If you don’t remember your password don’t worry: you’ll be able to retrieve a new one, you only need to remember what email you used to create your account.

On the main page of your account you should see under “My Updates” the list of software you own a license for and the price to upgrade to the latest version. Choose the right platform and then hit the “Add to cart” icon

You should be redirected to your cart. Please make sure that there is no other item in your cart, don’t go any further if the total amount differs from what was indicated in the table in the previous page. If the total is correct click on “proceed to checkout”.

Go through the standard order process and as soon as your payment is complete you’ll receive an email with your Autopano 4 license key! Your new license key will also be displayed in the the homepage of your customer account under “My Apps”.
 
You can now download Autopano 4 from here or by clicking on the button below and then register using the license key provided.
If you want to try Autopano 4 before purchasing it, please go ahead and download a free trial version from the link below.
Then if you are convinced, go to our store and purchase a license for Autopano Pro or Giga. You’ll receive your license keys by email as soon as your order is complete.
But what’s new in Autopano 4? We worked hard to improve the stitching results in automatic mode to save time but we also add and improved customization options in order to satisfy more advanced users, check that out:

New color correction engine

Have a look at this panorama stitched with Autopano Giga 3.7.1: nice cloud-free sky, beautifully stitched but you can see some obvious vignetting in the sky. This annoying phenomenon happens sometimes with big panoramas, especially in blue sky or star filled sky.

Autopano 4 includes a new color correction engine that prevents this vignetting effect. Thank to this new correction engine your panorama is simply perfect straight from the box. Thanks to Jérôme Pouille for his really nice picture which also happens to illustrate very well the vignetting effect. In the previous engine, the software decided for you the default anchor image, the one that would be used as color reference for all others. It worked well, but could be better. Now, by default, there won't be any color reference image, all images will be optimized. The result on the panorama is that the global panorama is closer to all images, instead of close to the reference image. Basically, the global color optimization system has been deeply changed to give better results in automatic mode!  

Fast(er) editor

Any gigapixels creators here? You are going to love this new feature! The fast editor simply reduces drastically the time needed to open the editor, it's not even comparable especially for huge panoramas, Gigapixels for instance. How much faster is it? Have a look at the video below, not the most exciting video of all time, but pretty straight forward: To be able to accelerate everything, some compromises had to be made, which has resulted in possible temporary visual artifacts. These artifacts don't stay on screen very long, they are there during only a few seconds until the calculations are done. Note that if you prefer the previous version of the editor you can simply disable the fast editor from the general settings in the menu.  

Antighost visual feedback (Autopano Giga only)

Autopano is still the only stitcher that has an automatic anti-ghost algorithm that works for small project up to gigapixels. For this version 4, we decided to work on this algorithm to make it even more efficient and usable:
      • Seams visual feedback: what we did here is that you can now see visually where the anti-ghost algorithm decided to put the seams between images. The visualization of the seams really helps understand overlapping / moving objects better . It is also compatible with our masking markers ( green / red ) in the mask editor and it really helps you choose which moving objects you want to keep and the ones you want to erase. Have a look at the screenshot below to understand better this improvement.
      • Stability of the anti-ghost decision: in previous versions, it could happen that the decision taken by the antighost algorithm in the editor, was not the same as the one taken in the rendering. It is not the case anymore and you'll even notice that the seams will refine themselves in real time according to the decisions you are taking with the masking markers. This new system requires a quick render of the whole panorama when entering the the mask editor thus it slows down a bit the opening of the preview.
Ghost

4K / High DPI / Retina display support

Due to technical limitations, we were not able to add high DPI display support in Autopano 3.x. It is now done in version 4 and the result is that we now have a better interface, with Retina icons / high DPI screen support even for 4K screens. The switch also accelerate every part of the software which are related to displaying something on the screen.  

Miscellaneous improvements

Autopano 4 brings many other improvements such as:
      • Area selection tool: For editing big panoramas, you can use the ctrl/cmd key while dragging. It will create a rectangular selection zone. Any image with its center inside this rectangle will be selected. This is a nice tool to move several images at the same time, for sky patching on gigapixel for example.
      • Zenith and nadir blending: In some rare cases, you could notice a strange behavior at the zenith or nadir where a spot is visible, as if the blend didn't work well on that zone. We found the solution and this problem will not occur again.
      • Group management: When sorting images, it appears that some of the functions that were on the right click on group were not that easy to use. We improved them. Now, if you split a group at a given selected image, both groups stays together. Previously the new group was created at the end of the group list. You have new function 'keep selected', just select some images in a group, use that, and it will remove all other images.
      • Memory optimization: We measured memory usage when working on big projects. There was space for improvement in that area and now it should be possible to do 10,000 images panorama on much smaller computer than before.
Want to know more? Please read the change log below:  

The change log Autopano Pro/Giga 4.0 Final

Main changes

This version is the final version of the next generation of Autopano engine, the version 4. With this version, we tried to address issues that people are still having when stitching panoramas.

New color correction engine

This is the first big change under the hood. Visually, you won't see many changes, everything is behind.

What is the color correction engine?

First, It is not only about color, but also about exposure, hdr calibration, etc. This algorithm is the way we calculate relative exposure between images, color cast, etc. The real name is radiometric calibration. For the lenses, we calculate lens distortion parameters. Here, for the color, we calculate color parameters for images and lenses, depending on exposure, aperture, iso. So, what's new in the new color engine ?
  • Vignetting correction: In big panoramas, especially with blue skies, it appeared that vignetting was an effect that prevented us from getting a perfectly stitched panorama without any banding in the sky. Now, we can measure that effect and remove it.
  • Gradient correction: This is a new concept that we discovered when stitching blue skies. It appears that some lenses have some coating that have an effect on the color in the sky. It also happens when you put some IR filter on the lens. It modifies the way the colors are transmitted through the lens and creates a strange gradient on the images. That effect is different from vignetting and it seems that we are the first in the world to have found this new type of color calibration effect. We found no literature about it yet.
  • Default anchor: In the previous engine, the software decided the default anchor image for you, the one that would be used as color reference for all others. It worked well, but we could do better. Now, by default, there won't be any color reference image, all images will be optimized. The result on the panorama is that the global panorama is closer to all images, instead of close to the reference image.
  • Color correction on big panorama: As the optimization system has been changed, now it is possible to easily have global optimization done on big panoramas. Even if you decide to have just one reference anchor in a big panorama, it will work, as the color/exposure propagates its values now to all the panorama.
  • WIP UI: The UI has been improved to support the new engine. Everything is now happening on the right click on an image. You can decide from there what you want to correct for that image. You can also globally change the default settings of color correction in the column menu while you are in the color correction mode. There is room for improvement here and we are waiting for feedback on the UI for color correction.

Fast editor

When we looked at feature requests from users, we found out that it was more important for you to be able to work fast in the editor than to render fast. Rendering can be run during night, but if you need to edit a panorama, you need to be behind the screen. So we decided to concentrate on how we could accelerate the editor. The fast editor is the result of that speed up. Again, that's not really a visual feature, as everything again is behind the scene. You will just see a new flag in general setting that says, fast editor, enabled or not. By default, it is on, of course. So, how does the fast editor work?
  • Zooming / panning: When panning, zooming in, zooming out, you should feel that everything is super fast now. We use clever gpu techniques to be able to get you instantaneous feedback in the editor. In Autopano 4, we opened the Paris-26-gigapixels panorama on a laptop and were able to work on it, having no problem looking at every zone of the panorama, even at 100%. It is really, really fast.
  • Small visual artifacts: To be able to accelerate everything, some compromises had to be made, which has resulted in possible temporary visual artifacts. These artifacts don't stay on screen very long, they are there during only a few seconds until the calculations are done. It doesn't prevent the use of the tool, makes it really fast, but visually, it might be distracting. Tell us what you think, if you are ok with these glitches or not.

4K / High DPI / Retina display support

We've always cared about the visual comfort when using our software, and the experience should be enjoyable during use. But with the latest computers / laptops, everything is quickly evolving to use high resolutions on screen and high DPI. Our software should adapt to that evolution. Having an interface that adapts itself to high DPI / Retina display depends on the way the software is built. We use Qt for almost all our software. Qt should then be providing us with the solution for High DPI / Retina Display. It happens that Qt has provided this only really recently, with Qt 5.4. Our software relied on Qt 4.8 ( quite old ). It wasn't possible to make the switch before, as it does impact a lot of the codebase. We could only plan the switchover for a major update, as it also impacted the minimal OS configuration needed for the software. The result is that we now have a better interface, with Retina icons / high DPI screen support even for 4K screens. The switch also accelerates every part of the software related to displaying something on the screen. With this upgrade of Qt, we are also ready for Windows 10 and Mac Yosemite.

Anti-ghost visual feedback ( APG only )

In the Autopano engine, we are still the only stitcher that has an automatic anti-ghost algorithm that works for small projects, up to gigapixels. It does really save a lot of time for fixing ghost / parallax in hand held panorama, and it does so automatically. We decided to work on this algorithm to make it even more efficient and usable. What we did:
  • Seams visual feedback: you can actually see where the anti-ghost algorithm decided to put the seams between images. This visualization of the seams is a great improvement and really helps understand overlapping / moving objects, etc. It is also compatible with our masking markers ( green / red ). Working in the mask editor is improved now.
  • Stability of anti-ghost decisions: in previous versions, it could happen that the decision taken by the antighost algorithm in the editor, was not the same as the one taken during the rendering. This was not acceptable anymore if you have a visual feedback on seams. The problem with having the same decision is that a render is needed for the whole panorama before we can display anything on the screen ( even if the editor is opened on just a small part of the panorama. The whole panorama influences the antighost, not just the displayed zone ). So, even if it means an initial, global slow down of the preview at first, we decided to do a quick render of the global panorama when opening the mask editor so we can guarantee to display the real seam locations. You can also notice that when zooming into the realtime preview, the seams will refine themselves depending on the zoom factor, but they won't change location anymore.
With these 2 improvements to the anti-ghost system, managing ghosts is really better. And we think that it is way faster than painting into input images. We were asked several times to add that feature. But with these improvements, we are waiting for feedback to see, if it is still considered needed or not.

Miscellaneous

  • Small screens supportOn some small displays, it was not really simple to use our editor because the tools were really big. We added sliders on several zones so that it is now easier to use on laptops for example.
  • Qt and compilers updatesTo be really up to date in the development tools, we used here the latest version of both Qt and Intel compilers. You should notice a small improvement in terms of performance.
  • PSD/PSB compressionYou can now activate PSD/PSB compression in RLE mode. It reduces the file size, but it can in some cases increase the rendering time. One note: if you really want to get the smallest file size and if you don't have embedded layers ( just a plain panorama in PSD/PSB ), uncheck the embedded checkbox and use RLE compression mode. This is the case where the file size will be the smallest. Still, if you open a PSD/PSB through Photoshop and save it again, depending on the case (with/without layers, compatibility mode or not), the file size can still be reduced.
  • A clearer obsolete key messageThe message now states which version of the key you need to register the software with, which is clearer than the previous 'obsolete key' message. You know what to use directly in the software.
  • Remove support of KRO file in inputIt happens that some users did try to use KRO files in input. The issue is that we don't support gigapixels in input, in any format. We removed that format in input to prevent injecting gigapixels.
  • Gigapan import improvement: In some cases, with a lot of unlinked images, the Gigapan import could fail. We a lot of did work on this algorithm to make it more robust. With current Gigapan tests cases, the system is much more robust now, even in cases where you don't have the exif data anymore.
  • Area selection tool: For editing big panoramas, you can use the ctrl/cmd key while dragging. It will create a rectangular selection zone. Any image with it's center inside this rectangle will be selected. This is a nice tool to move several images at the same time, for sky patching on gigapixels for example.
  • Zenith and nadir blending: In some rare cases, you could notice strange behavior at the zenith or nadir where a spot is visible, as if the blending didn't work well on that zone. We found the solution for that and made it compatible with the automatic anti-ghost. You won't have any blending issues at the zenith anymore.
  • Group management: When sorting images, it appeared that some of the functions that were on the right click on group were not that easy to use. We've improved them. Now, if you split a group at a given selected image, both groups stay close. Previously, the new group was created at the end of the group list. You have new function 'keep selected', just select some images in a group, use that, and it will remove all other images.
  • Memory optimization: We measured memory usage when working on big projects. There was space for improvement in that area and now it should be possible to do 10,000 images panorama on much smaller computers than before. This is a good news for record breakers ( go out and shoot! ), but also for small configurations who will be able to stitch bigger projects.

Fixes since 4.0.0 RC 1

- 0004626: [Main Editor] Export Papywizard: missing braketing tag - 0004629: [Import plugins] Export Papywizard: exif focal written instead of computed focal - 0004442: [UI behavior] Qt translation - 0004567: [Main view] Fisheye images badly cropped when the circle is decentered

Fixes since 3.7.1

- 0004440: [UI behavior] update URL address - 0004293: [Crash Dump] move points in vertical lines tool - 0004255: [UI behavior] Download manager user agent - 0004447: [Cortex ( rendu )] Editor windows size - 0004458: [Crash Dump] corrupted or empty texture - 0004469: [Crash Dump] crash in final rendering cut - 0001039: [Import plugins] Pictures developed by Bridge doesn't keep EXIF tags only XMP tags - 0003427: [Import plugins] Updated bundle ID of Bridge/Lightroom/Aperture/Picasa plugins - 0001008: [Import plugins] plugin Bridge : info exif - 0002367: [Import plugins] Lightroom export doesn't include GPS coordinates - 0004424: [Performance] Better obsolete key message - 0004413: [UI behavior] add tooltip on the full optim icon when disabled by "keep current value" optim option - 0004412: [UI behavior] update optimization settings when an opened panorama is reloaded - 0004279: [Crash Dump] disable kro file as input - 0004232: [Crash Dump] Render final kic - 0004400: [Crash Dump] Pano access while fast drawing - 0004399: [Main Editor] crash when deleting an optimization group - 0004374: [Crash Dump] Cache disk manager - 0004210: [Image I/O] PSD - PSB file size - 0004230: [Crash Dump] Fast editor rendering - 0004249: [GPU] White rendering in preview - 0004272: [Internal optimization] SparseMat_t is not thread-safe - 0004247: [Performance] Autopano doesn't start - 0004248: [Qt] Autopano is black - 0004246: [Crash Dump] Crash at 1st detection in FindPanorama4.cpp : 550 - 0004273: [Main Editor] Quick preview can halt the application - 0003463: [Ctrl Editor] Manual CP positioning jittering on Mac - 0004225: [Import plugins] Gigapan import - optimization failed - 0004219: [UI behavior] Color tools UI - 0003793: [Performance] memory issue - 0001581: [Main Editor] Review UI on local/global geometric analysis - 0003509: [Shell Integration] Extended save as, qt::copy - 0003657: [Main Editor] Fisheye output projection FOV can be rounded when leaving and reopening the projection editor - 0003833: [UI behavior] Modify description for the "What's This" of "Vertical Lines" tool. - 0004231: [Crash Dump] Sift under mac - 0004228: [Crash Dump] Preview GPU - 0004240: [Crash Dump] Color constraints - 0004035: [GPU] fast editor behaviour - 0003805: [Import plugins] Gigapan case fails with 'satelite' images - 0004135: [Image I/O] Added new camera RAW support - 0002975: [Synapse ( detection )] rethink setting "group/detection_auto" - 0003190: [Neurone ( optimisation )] remove optimization step Final 2 - 0001471: [Neurone ( optimisation )] Color anchor only - 0001536: [Image I/O] pink dng fuji S5 Pro - 0001799: [Image I/O] Crash when double click on a corrupted JPEG in a group - 0002096: [Main Editor] Jump when switching projection - 0001895: [Cortex ( rendu )] better giga pixel rendering - 0000219: [Main Editor] Big panoramas edition is slow - 0003775: [Main Editor] Display the "Visual similarity" of links and ctrl points into the ctrl points editor - 0001341: [Qt] Qt 5.0 target decision - 0001282: [Main Editor] Copy to new panorama - pano name wrong - 0001470: [UI behavior] Area selection tool for big panorama - 0000063: [Neurone ( optimisation )] GPU / CPU mode : la correction couleur est differente - 0000458: [Neurone ( optimisation )] Color correction a passer en jacobian complete - 0000969: [Cortex ( rendu )] Vignetting or not vignetting - 0001315: [Neurone ( optimisation )] Vignetting, new color model - 0001466: [Neurone ( optimisation )] Color correction issue on big panorama - 0001534: [Main Editor] Better mask mode - 0002036: [Cortex ( rendu )] Exposure fusion/HDR zenith problem - 0002175: [UI behavior] Better antighost preview - 0003945: [Image I/O] strange pixels row when doing little planets - 0003170: [Main Editor] Visual feedback for ISO mode - 0002304: [Cortex ( rendu )] Mask decision depends on rendering size - 0003889: [UI behavior] Cutting visualisation - 0003888: [UI behavior] new color correction - 0003570: [UI behavior] Qt 5 integration - 0003537: [Neurone ( optimisation )] New color correction model - 0003536: [GPU] Refound preview GPU for incresing editor performance - 0002787: [Cortex ( rendu )] Color issue on Zenith - 0003751: [Image I/O] Anti-ghost choice on the right border of a full spherical equi - 0003538: [Neurone ( optimisation )] New color correction solver

New raw formats supported

Fujifilm S1 Fujifilm X100T Fujifilm X30 Leica D-LUX (Typ 109) Leica V-LUX (Typ 114) Nikon D4 Nikon D4s Nikon D5500 Nikon D610 Nikon D750 Olympus E-M5MarkII Olympus E-PL7 Panasonic DMC-GF7 Panasonic DMC-GM5 Panasonic DMC-LX100 Samsung NX1 Samsung NX10 Samsung NX11 Samsung NX3000 Samsung NX5

New cameras supported

    • Apple
Apple iPhone 6
    • Canon
Canon EOS M3 Canon EOS 5DS Canon EOS 5DS R Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS 750D (EOS Rebel T6i / Kiss X8i) Canon EOS 760D (EOS Rebel T6s / EOS 8000D) Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Canon PowerShot SX400 IS Canon PowerShot SX410 IS Canon PowerShot SX520 HS Canon PowerShot SX530 HS Canon PowerShot SX710 HS Canon PowerShot SX610 HS Canon PowerShot ELPH 170 IS (IXUS 170) Canon PowerShot ELPH 160 (IXUS 160) Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS (IXUS 275 HS) Canon IXUS 165 Canon PowerShot G7 X
    • Casio
Casio Exilim EX-TR50
    • DJI
DJI Phantom Vision FC350
    • Fujifilm
Fujifilm S9800 Fujifilm S9900w Fujifilm X-A2 Fujifilm XQ2 Fujifilm XP80 Fujifilm X100T Fujifilm X30
    • GoPro
GoPro 4 Black Edition GoPro 4 Silver Edition
    • Kodak
    • Leica
Leica X (Typ 113) Leica M Edition 60 (Typ 240) Leica D-Lux (Typ 109)
    • Nikon
Nikon D5500 Nikon D7200 Nikon D750 Nikon D810 Nikon D810A Nikon Coolpix P610 Nikon Coolpix P900 Nikon Coolpix AW130 Nikon Coolpix S33 Nikon Coolpix L31 Nikon Coolpix L32 Nikon Coolpix L840 Nikon Coolpix S2900 Nikon Coolpix S3700 Nikon Coolpix S6900 Nikon Coolpix S7000 Nikon Coolpix S9900
    • Olympus
Olympus PEN E-PL7 Olympus Stylus SH-2 Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Olympus Stylus Tough TG-860
    • Panasonic
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS6 (Lumix DMC-FT6) Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30 (Lumix DMC-FT30) Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS45 (Lumix DMC-TZ57) Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 (Lumix DMC-TZ70) Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000
    • Pentax
Pentax K-S1 Pentax K-S2 Pentax Q-S1 Pentax XG-1
    • Phase One
Phase One IQ280 Phase One P30+ Phase One P40+ Phase One P30+
    • Ricoh
Ricoh WG-M1 Ricoh WG-5 GPS Ricoh WG-30 Ricoh WG-30W
    • Samsung
Samsung NX1 Samsung NX500 Samsung Galaxy S+ (GT-I9001) Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-I9100) Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-I9300) Samsung Galaxy S4 mini (GT-I9195) Samsung Galaxy S5 (SM-G900F) Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000) Samsung Galaxy Note II (GT-N7100)
    • Sigma
    • Sony
Sony Alpha 7 II Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX30 Sony Alpha QX1 Sony Alpha a5100 Sony Xperia Z1 Sony Xperia tipo
    • Hasselblad
Hasselblad H5X Hasselblad Ixpress 96

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