Posted on Mi 02 Mai 2007

On Using Hugin

On popular request, here are a few suggestions how to make best use of Hugin for stitching your panoramas. You probably should have read some of the tutorials at Hugin's web site before reading these suggestions.

  • Use manual exposure settings in your camera. On Canon cameras this means you should be using the "M" mode. Make sure choose good exposure times and aperture so that the entire range you plan to take photos of is well exposed. If you don't know how to use the "M" mode of your camera you probably should be reading an introduction into photography now. The reason for setting exposure values manually is that you want the same exposing on all photos from your settings.
  • Disable automatic white balance mode. You probably should have done that anyway. "Semi-automatic" white balance mode is probably OK (i.e. selecting the white balance from one of the pre-defined profiles, such as "Daylight", "Cloudy", ...)
  • Also manually set the ISO level. You probably should be doing that anyway.
  • Using autofocus is probably OK.
  • Try not not move around too much while taking the photo series. Hugin doesn't like that too much. It's OK to move a little, but you should do all the shots for your panorama from a single point, and not while moving on a circle, line, or even Bezier-line.
  • When doing 360° panoramas it is almost guaranteed (at least in northern countries) that you have the sun as back light. That will overexpose the panorama in that direction and lower the contrast in the area. To work against this, you might want to choose to do your panorama shots at noon in summer when sun is in zenith. Gray-scaling the shot and doing some other kind of post-processing might be a way to ease this problem.
  • To work against chromatic aberration it is a good idea to use large overlap areas, and doing your shots in "landscape" rather then "portrait" (so that only the center of each image is used in the final image)
  • Running hugin/enblend on an encrypted $HOME (like I do) won't make you particularly happy.
  • Pass -m 256 to enblend. At least on my machine (with limited RAM and dm-crypt) things are a lot faster that way.
  • Sometimes moving things (e.g. people) show up twice (or even more times) in the resulting panorama. Sometimes that is funny, sometimes it is not. To remove them, open the seperate tif files before feeding them into enblend into Gimp and cut away the things you want to remove from all but one of these images. Then pass that on to enblend.
  • If regardless how many control points you set in Hugin the images just don't fit together, you should probably run "Optimize Everything" instead of just "Optimize Positions".
  • When doing your shots, make sure to hold the camera all the time at the same height, to avoid having to cut too much of the image away in the final post-processing. This is sometimes quite difficult, especially if you have images with no clear horizon.
  • Remember that you can set horizontal and vertical lines as control points in Hugin! Good for straitening things out and making sure that vertical things are actually vertical in the resulting panorama.

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