Align a stack of photos

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{| style="margin: 1em auto 1em 1em;background:#FFFF99;color:#FF0000;text-align:left;border: solid #FF3300;"
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! '''2013-02-10:'''
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! This page is rewritten to reflect the state of the new designed GUI of the 2013.0 version.
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This 2013.0 version will be released in Quarter 1 of 2013.
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|}
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''('''These instructions but then for the current stable release version 2012.0 can also be read in this wiki as an [http://wiki.panotools.org/index.php?title=Align_a_stack_of_photos&oldid=15021 older version]''')''
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There are occasions where it is necessary to align a set of otherwise identical
 
There are occasions where it is necessary to align a set of otherwise identical
 
pictures:
 
pictures:
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* Aligning photos taken over a period of time to create a time-lapse movie.
 
* Aligning photos taken over a period of time to create a time-lapse movie.
 
* Aligning [[Bracketing|bracketed]] shots to create a single [[HDR]] or [[Contrast Blending|contrast blended]] image.
 
* Aligning [[Bracketing|bracketed]] shots to create a single [[HDR]] or [[Contrast Blending|contrast blended]] image.
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* Aligning photos taken at different focus distances to merge into a single extended [[Depth of Field]] image.
  
 
[[Panorama tools]] is particularly useful for this process since it allows
 
[[Panorama tools]] is particularly useful for this process since it allows
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== Aligning with hugin ==
 
== Aligning with hugin ==
  
* Start up a new hugin project for each series and load the images.  Set the [[field of view]], [[lens correction model|lens parameters]] and [[projections|projection]] type, ie. if your lens is a [[fisheye Projection|fisheye]], set this for both the input and output projection.
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* Start up a new [[hugin]] project for each series and load the images.  Set the [[Field of View]], [[lens correction model|lens parameters]] and [[projections|projection]] type, ie. if your lens is a [[fisheye Projection|fisheye]], set this for both the input and output projection.
 
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* Create control points via the [[Hugin Photos tab|Photos tab]].  [[Align_image_stack]] is specialized for this task. But also [[Panomatic]] or [[Cpfind]] work for this use case.
* Create a few hundred [[control points]] between each pair of consecutive photos with the '''g''' key in the '''control point''' tab.
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* Select "Positions (y,p,r)" and "Optimise now!" in the [[Hugin Photos tab|Photos tab]].
 
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* If necessary, fine tune the control points in the [[Hugin Control Points tab|Control Points tab]] and optimise again.
* Fine tune all points and delete any with a correlation less than 90% (ie. enter -0.9 in '''select by distance''' and delete).
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* In the [[Hugin Main window|fast panorama preview]], the images will be on top of each other. Select "Move/Drag" and "Fit", then select "Crop" and "HDR Autocrop".
 
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* In the [[Hugin Stitcher tab|Stitcher tab]], select "Calculate Optimal Size", then deselect the default panorama outputs and select "No exposure correction, low dynamic range" in the "Remapped images" section. Select "Stitch!".
* Optimise positions and delete any control points with an error greater than 0.2 pixels, reoptimise.
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* Adjust the field-of view in the '''stitching''' tab to something slightly smaller than the input size so there are no transparent edges.
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* Stitch to '''multiple TIFF''' format.
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[[Category:Tutorial]][[Category:Tutorial:Specialised]]
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See a more detailed view of this article [http://www.lemis.com/grog/photography/aligning-with-Hugin.php here].
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[[Category:Tutorial:Specialised]]

Latest revision as of 09:00, 11 February 2013

2013-02-10: This page is rewritten to reflect the state of the new designed GUI of the 2013.0 version.

This 2013.0 version will be released in Quarter 1 of 2013.

(These instructions but then for the current stable release version 2012.0 can also be read in this wiki as an older version)

There are occasions where it is necessary to align a set of otherwise identical pictures:

  • Aligning red, green and blue channels to correct chromatic aberration.
  • Aligning photos taken over a period of time to create a time-lapse movie.
  • Aligning bracketed shots to create a single HDR or contrast blended image.
  • Aligning photos taken at different focus distances to merge into a single extended Depth of Field image.

Panorama tools is particularly useful for this process since it allows sub-pixel alignment and has a sophisticated lens correction model for applying distortion - Even photos taken years apart with different cameras can be aligned perfectly.

Most tools for HDR generation such as photomatix have some level of automatic alignment, so this may be sufficient for most purposes. Otherwise the hdrprep perl script automates the process described below:

[edit] Aligning with hugin

  • Start up a new hugin project for each series and load the images. Set the Field of View, lens parameters and projection type, ie. if your lens is a fisheye, set this for both the input and output projection.
  • Create control points via the Photos tab. Align_image_stack is specialized for this task. But also Panomatic or Cpfind work for this use case.
  • Select "Positions (y,p,r)" and "Optimise now!" in the Photos tab.
  • If necessary, fine tune the control points in the Control Points tab and optimise again.
  • In the fast panorama preview, the images will be on top of each other. Select "Move/Drag" and "Fit", then select "Crop" and "HDR Autocrop".
  • In the Stitcher tab, select "Calculate Optimal Size", then deselect the default panorama outputs and select "No exposure correction, low dynamic range" in the "Remapped images" section. Select "Stitch!".

See a more detailed view of this article here.

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