I'm late, I'm late, I'm late ... Yes, we did release autopano Alpha 3 this morning and the post is still not done in the announcements session !
This version is an improved version of Autopano engine v3. It will be the latest Alpha version for this engine, meaning, we are now only in bugs correction mode, no new feature will be added before v3.0 release.
There were several improvements in different part of the code. Here's a quick list of them.
Again, the editor has been really taken care of, because we really want an easy workflow:
For many tools, we added a new mecanism for validation. For example, you are adjusting values in panini projection, if you change tools without hitting the check button, then the latest changes are lost. You expect that these changes are always applied but not always.
Now, it will warn you about these unsaved changes and you can apply them or cancel them. This behavior can be changed in editor setting ( always apply, ask, never apply ).
This behavior is now applied on projection, crop, vertical line, mask, level, exposure fusion and quick preview tools.
Right click does always select when beeing in anchor edition mode.
Line tool can only be used in spherical and planar mode. In fact, in any other projection, maths behind were an approximation and didn't work well. So, we left that tool active only in projections where it has a real solution. We'll probably rework this code in a future version to bring you line tool in any projection.
It appeared that in some cases where the focal length is know, the convergence was going too far from the real focal length. The optimization engine has been improved to prevent focal length to go too far from initital value. It still can when it has too, but not as often as before. With fisheye lenses, it could happen and you could see that in layer editor, the calculated focal length there was having the value 220°. It doesn't happen anymore now.
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 application 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 Alpha 3 version will expire end of October. With this approach, you can already start to use v3 in production work ( at your own risk, of course ). I hope that you will enjoy the v3 and report a lot of feedback on our forum about it.
Roadmap to the release
There are still some bugs opened in our database and the only big one is a GPU related bug ( issue 1396 ). The linux version has also a crash at exit that prevent every settings to be saved ( meaning you have to enter the registration again ... ). Nevertheless, this kind of issue is easy to solve.
So next release will be beta 1 and I hope a lot of people will use it a lot to raise any issue that are still there before going to RC mode.