I am running the trial version of Autopano Giga 2.6 and am trying to get my stitching down before plunging into the entire package. I'm having problems when sitching images that contain swaths of sky. AutoPano wants to recognize these as entirely separate panoramas and then the one panorama that I'm trying to get has missing areas of sky. (Or, I like to think that the Star Trek geeks might call it a "temporal rift." ; -) that perhaps stuff might fall through.)
What is the best way to handle areas of sky? Currently, I am shooting 9 shot brackets and it takes approximately 35 pictures to cover the entire panorama but it seems to happen even when I am not bracketing my exposures. The only solution that I have found is to try to only shoot pictures when there are textural clouds or close enough to trees that they provide an anchor for the frame. I'm sure there is a way to do this with Autopano? It would be nice if there were a good way to align the images prior to Autopano trying to figure out how they all stitch together. The Gigapan importer tries to do this but is pretty buggy IMHO.
(Speaking of buggy BTW, AutoPano crashes each and every time I close the picture editor -- I'm running Windows 7 64bit.)
Optimially I'd like to see a grid where I can put them in order and move the pictures around. Then have it look for control points but also realize that there is a standard overlap so when it can't find control points (such as with the sky) just rely on the standard overlap. Since I'm using a Gigapan, I have real regular overlaps so this should be possible (The Gigapan importer is buggy which is why I haven't been using it and instead importing the images directly.) I can't see why this wouldn't work with other mechanized heads or tools such as the Nodal Ninja where the overlaps should be quite regular.
Since you have shot the pictures in a regular pattern this is fairly easy to fix.
First you have to select the 'Force every image to be in one panorama' option before starting the detection phase.
All photos which the program cannot recognise will be dumped into one spot, usually near the bottom, left corner,
Then go into the 'Move images mode' in the Edit window.
You will be presented with numbered images laid out on a grid.
Just move the 'clustered' images one by one to their correct place on the grid.
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