Panorama tools applications

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Revision as of 19:57, 23 July 2005 by Erik Krause (talk) (Perspective correction: linked to lens distortion)

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There are a couple of tools in the panorama tools package by Helmut Dersch that are intended for other use than mere panorama creation or display. And of course there are lots of possibilities to use panorama tools core functionality for non-panoramic purposes.

Tools in the package

For most of these tools there is a small readme inside the package. Apart from that there is almost no documentation found on the web. Any contribution is welcome!


reduces noise in digital images by averaging several scans. Example on Helmut Dersch's page: [1]


given two images of the same scene taken from different viewpoints, this tool creates any intermediate view.


morphing tool. A nice tutorial is found on [2]


creates 3-dimensional objects from pairs or many images


combines images into movie stripes for viewing in Object-viewers.

PTViewer Extensions

These extensions are described in total on Helmut Dersch's page: [3] (Descriptions taken mostly from there)


Inserts a user defined image which rotates synchronized with the pan-angle. It may be used as navigation and orientation aid. The image may be placed anywhere in the appletwindow, and it can rotate in both directions: like a real compass, or opposite.


Inserts a set of images into the panoramic image or the viewer window, depending on the warp-parameter. If warp is true (default) the images are inserted into the panorama and they have to be warped to the panoramic projection. They are displayed perspectively corrected in PTViewer and appear like natural elements of the VR-scene. Example on Helmut Dersch's page: [4]


Many media formats are available in PTViewer if JMF is installed on the host computer. These include avi-video, linear quicktime video, flash 2, mpeg1/2/3, many soundformats etc. See for supported media types.


displays 3D-objects using a set of images similar to the Apple QTVR-viewer. The images are organized in horizontal stripes, and may cover several rows. There is an optional mask image, that can be supplied to make portions of the original image transparent. Example (with a panorama as background!) on Helmut Dersch's page: [5]


High resolution zoomable images can be inserted using this extension. These images are seamlessly integrated in the viewer window, and automatically show up when the user pans and zooms into the respective feature. PTZoom uses rectilinear images from any normal or telephoto lens. Example on Helmut Dersch's page: [6]

Non-panoramic uses of panotools

Due to its incredible flexibility panotools core functions can be used for a wide range of non-panoramic uses including (but not limited to) the following:

Lens distortion correction

Barrel, pincushion and even wavy lens distortion can be corrected with panotools lens correction model. A project dedicated to this purpose is PTLens by Thomas Niemann. Tutorials on how to find suitable lens correction parameters are several on the web. A small selection:

  • Philo's tutorial on how to correct distortion and perspective in one go: [7]
  • Thomas Niemann's description of the calibration process: [8] (eventually follow 'Calibration' 'Lens Distortion')
  • Using straight line control points: [9]

Perspective correction

Panotools is able to simulate (geometrically exact) a shift lens. See Perspective correction for details.

Another nice tutorial by Philo, showing how to correct perspective and lens distortion in one go: [10]

Chromatic aberration correction

Since transversal chromatic aberration is essentially a different lens distortion for different colors panotools can correct it by using different correction parameters on the different color channels. See Chromatic aberration page for details.

Different uses with 'Correct' plugin

The panotools Correct plugin can perform various tasks including:

Photographing in Tight Spaces

Since a fisheye allows for a very wide field of view it can be used to shoot in tight spaces or if you can't get enough distance for a wide angle shot. Panotools will remap to a more conventional view:

  • A nice tutorial on tight spaces by 'Big' Ben Kreunen: [11]
  • Architectural example on Helmut Dersch's page: [12]

Stitching Flat Images

such as a large paper document, scanned in pieces on a flatbed scanner. See How to stitch flat images.

--Erik Krause 12:14, 16 Jul 2005 (EDT)