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CleVR is an online service that provides users with the ability to stitch panoramic photos together, upload them, and share them with others. Photo stitching is the process of combining multiple photographs into a single, seamless photo. In order for this to be possible, the photos need to have some overlapping areas.
The CleVR FAQ recommends trying to overlap about 25% of the frame, but also states that their stitcher is quite forgiving. It is also recommended that you use a tripod or monopod to ensure a high-quality panoramic photograph with few parallax errors. Be sure that you’ve taken your pictures side-by-side because CleVR will only stitch photos that are taken in this manner.
To use the stitcher, you will first have to sign up for a free CleVR account. Once you’ve logged into your new account you can use the photo stitcher. When you visit the stitcher page, you’ll see a prompt to click to install the stitcher.
You’ll have to install Adobe Air if you don’t already have it, as the CleVR stitcher is an Adobe Air application. Once you’ve installed the app, you’re ready to launch and stitch your photos together.
The CleVR stitcher couldn’t make stitching any easier. In three simple steps, you can stitch a photo: select your images, sort them in order, and click the stitch button. The photos you see in the screenshot below are from Hamed Saber‘s beautiful Tehran panorama photo.
To demonstrate the stitcher, I took Hamed’s photo and split it into five separate photos and then stitched them back together with the CleVR stitcher. Below is my stitched version of the photo. There is one parallax error that I noticed in the left half of the photo, so the stitcher obviously isn’t perfect.
Alternatives to CleVR
Hugin is a completely free and open source program to stitch panoramic photos together. It is essentially a front-end GUI for a set of open source panorama tools. The panorama tools are command-line programs that do all of the magic behind the scenes, such as selecting control points (points that are shared among photographs), blending color and brightness, etc.
Here are a few other free photo stitching programs:
One thing I like about Hugin and the other photo stitchers is that, unlike CleVR, they do not require the photos to be taken side-by-side. They will stitch together a grid of photos instead of having to place them all in a line.
What free programs have you used to stitch photos together? Share with us in comments!