3D Photography by Brian Greenstone, Austin TX

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HOW TO: Pano Workflow with PTMac or PTGui

The workflow for all stitching apps is generally the same. PTMac and PTGui used to be nearly identical products where PTMac was the Mac version and PTGui was the PC version, however PTGui really evolved in 2007 to become a very high-end stitcher, and it has left PTMac in the dust. As a result, many steps that used to be necessary to produce a stitched panorama are now done automatically by the app instead of manually by the user, so some of the steps below are only necessary for PTMac users. In such cases, I have made appropriate notes. PTGui now runs on both Mac & PC, but it costs much more than PTMac.

Creating a hi-rez spherical panorama is a multi-step process that may seem daunting at first, but once you've done it you'll realize just how easy it is. The key is patience. It takes time to go through all the steps, but the more panos you make, the more efficient you'll become at it. From start to finish it usually only takes me about 15 minutes to create a hi-rez pano with PTGui, and I could probably cut a few minutes off of that if I upgraded my old Mac G5 since most of that time is just waiting for Photoshop or the stitching app to do its work.

This tutorial is designed to take you step-by-step from the ground up, and it's broken down into sections:

Section 1: Assembling a pano rig

Section 2: Calibrating your lens (PTMac only)

Section 3: Shooting a scene

Section 4: Converting your RAW files to TIFF

Section 5: Creating the Nadir Image

Section 6: Stitching with PTMac or PTGui

Section 7: Cleaning up the Equirectangular Panorama

Section 8: Building the QTVR with Cubic Converter

Section 9: Put the Pano on a Web Page

Section 10: HDR with Exposure Bracketing

Section 11: Making a Mirror-Ball

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©2005-2009 Brian Greenstone