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You want to create your own panorama, but do not want to bother with messy details like control points and blending options? Here are 5 ways to get you up and running with your own panorama without getting embroiled in advanced photographic terminology.
Clevr is a website that allows you to upload your overlapped photos, sort them in order and automatically stitch them together. The site works with your choice of Adobe AIR or Java. Clevr allows you to zoom in, pan, save, and to share your panorama via email, or on Facebook and MySpace. You can also embed the panorama in your own website. You can read our in-depth look at Clevr here.
Magtoo is another website that allows you to easily create slideshows and panoramas from photos on your computer or online photo-sharing sites like Flickr. The site allows you to stitch your photos automatically, and its viewer lets others ‘look around’ the panorama. Though you need to use Internet Explorer to create, viewers can use any browser/platform to view your panoramas. You can geotag and embed the panoramas in your own website.
Autostitch is a Windows desktop application that allows you to stitch panoramas automatically. Mac/Linux versions are planned but not available at present, but it works under WINE. There is no installation required, you simply extract the files from the zip archive and run AUTOSTITCH.EXE. Though it offers a plethora of options, you do not need to use them by default. Autostitch works only with JPEG files and creates a JPEG file of your panorama. In most cases, you will want to crop and tweak the output image to suit your requirements.
Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor takes a set of overlapping photographs and produces stunning panoramas easily. It can handle very large photographs (in gigapixels), and can create output panoramas as static images (TIFF/JPEG/PNG) or interactive viewers using Silverlight technology. Support for a wider range of input/output formats, ease-of-use, and the right level of advanced options make this a superior alternative to Autostitch.
All of the above methods to create your panorama require that you take multiple overlapping photographs. But it is very likely that in the excitement during a vacation, creating panoramas was the last thing on your mind and you only shot a single image of a great scene. Enter Rsizr.
One of the intelligent things this free website allows you to do is to stretch a single image into a panorama, without distorting any objects in the scene. The flash-based site is very easy to use and lets you stretch and resize JPG, GIF, and PNG files using a technique known as seam carving. Read more and watch videos of Rsizr in action here. Also, note that Resizr is different than Rsizr, in case you enter URLs directly in your browser.
Apart from the above, you might want to check out these other panorama creation tools:
Wrapr – website that pulls images from pre-selected groups in Flickr to create panoramas
ViewAt – website that geotags panoramas created by users all over the world
Hugin – cross-platform, open-source, image stitching application with advanced features and powerful control over the stitching process
– free Windows desktop application to create panoramas