"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." (Robert A. Heinlein)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Migrating to Linux: hugin

I use my desktop computer (Sempron2400) mainly to manage my personal photos and videos. Often it happens I have to join two or more shots in a single panoramic photo. Of the many panorama tools I tried the one that permitted  me to obtain the best results with minimum effort is hugin.
Hugin is a multi-platform open source panorama software, it implements many complex image joining algorithms but keeps a simple and effective user interface.
Installation
I installed hugin the easy way, by simply selecting its components in the Gnome application installer (the add/remove applications menu voice).


A simple two shots panorama
Working with hugin is easy: let's take a simple example about joining these two shots I took:

after loading the shots in hugin joining them it's only matter of selecting some matching points in the two photos overlapping areas. Control point selection can be managed automatically by hugin or manually operated by the user with a simple user interface.


Once control points are selected the panorama preview window let you experiment with image projection geometric parameters until you find the result that is optimal for you.


At last by simply pressing a button the the image merge process starts. Here is the final result:
 
Concluding
Hugin user interface is easy to use and highly flexible at the same time: you can use it in fully automated wizard or decide to manually manage the many parameter involved in the complex image joining algorithms. Hugin is a really valuable software, a live demonstration of how far open source software can go. It left me literally enthusiast and I'll keep experimenting with it.
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