I have chosen this specific project because having worked with many panoramas before, I know how useful it would be to have a more powerful mask editing system built into Hugin. That being said I also believe that a large part of the masking process should still be left to the responsibility of the editor and see a great potential for making the process easier and quicker.
I think that the current cropping tool in Hugin has been lacking for quite a while now, and most of the time, even for very simple cropping, I have found myself having to leave Hugin to open the files in an editor in order to mask unwanted sections/vignetting. I understand that the automatic tools are designed so ghosting is minimised, but these tools cant catch everything so when these tools may fail, or when a more manual approach is wanted, I believe a polygonal editing built into Hugin would be very advantageous.
This will also greatly improve the number of panoramas which can be taken from source to finished image (as far at the stitching is concerned), completely in Hugin. I believe that once you can edit out sections of the source images in Hugin, you will be less likely to need to heavily edit the source images prior to stitching, and it will minimise the amount you will need to do afterwards.
Although a polygonal edit may be appropriate a lot of the time, I believe that in a huge number of cases, a gimp plug-in would be invaluable. Currently if you wanted to apply enblend after having Hugin stitch your panorama, it involves exporting all the layers then either using the command line or a GUI (e.g. ImageFuser) to blend them all together, which is very time consuming.
Being able to open up the multi-layer stitched output from Hugin and edit them completely in the GIMP would be extremely useful to a lot of people (myself included). I also believe that it will increase the general use of Enblend, because it will enable people to use the program in an environment they already know and use.
I plan on working 40hrs+ for the duration of the Summer of Code. I will have finished all of my exams by the 15th May, so am free to invest my time accordingly. Also, as the Summer of Code finishes on the August 17th, and my term does not start until the beginning of October, I will be able to carry on working for another 6 weeks on a part time basis, either extending the work that I have done or contributing on other projects. I have been part of the Hugin community on the user side for some time now and am eager to join the developers community to continue improving Hugin.
A preliminary schedule for my work is as follows:
- Weeks 1-2: Developing the GUI for the crop section of Hugin to have it include a simple polygonal editing function
- Weeks 2-4: Modifying the appropriate sections of the Hugin codebase to accept the crop dimensions to be non uniform.
- Weeks 5: Testing, bug-fixing etc
- Weeks 6: Start work on GIMP plug-in. I have reserved this time to learn more about the ins and outs of the GIMP API and understand the internal representation of layers etc for the following stages.
- Week 7-11: Modify Enblend to accept image data from my plug-in.
- Week 12+: Testing, bug-fixing etc.