Here is how to make a panorama using free software.
(There is a full-sized version of this panorama at the bottom,
along with the individual images that made it.)
There are lots of tutorials out there on how to make panoramas using Hugin and Autopano-SIFT.
So why am I doing yet another one?
Because they all include many steps to show you some of the capibilities.
This one shows you the absolute minimum of steps required to get started.
This assumes you have 2 or more photos shot with the same camera, from the same spot, and with the zoom at the same place.
There are two pieces of software you need to download and install.
Please note: Autopano is ONLY free for non-commercial use. See their site for licensing details. Hugin and Gimp are both true Open Source software.
Click on the place that lookes like this: Save the .exe and run it and just follow the instructions to install.
Autopano-SIFT Save the .exe and run it and just follow the instructions to install.
At the very bottom of this page are links to these sites and other links.
To make a panorama
On the first tab "Assist", click "1. Load Images..." and select the images. This will be easier if they are all in one directory. If so, you can use Shift-Left-Click, or Ctrl-Left-Click to make multiple selections. If your photos are spread out, or you need to add more, go to the "Images" tab to add or remove images.
Create Control Points The control points are what tells Hugin how to join the images together. This is what you downloaded autopano-SIFT for. It will do it automatically.
Go to the "Images" Tab. At the bottom left, there is a scction that says "Feature Matching (Autopano)". Click "Create control points". It will take a little while to run. The time depends on how many images and how fast your computer is.
Align and create a preview
Back to the "Assistant" Tab. Click "2. Align..." After this runs, you should see a preview of the panorama. Don't get too stressed about visible lines or missmatched colors here. They will most likely be fixed in the final version. This preview is opened in a separate window, so close it before the next step.
Create the panorama
Still on the "Assistant" Tab. Click "3. Create panorama...". Choose where to save it. It will save as a .tif.
Open your panorama and see what it looks like. You will probably need to edit it (with, say, Gimp) to get rid of the ragged edges. But, if it looks out of kilter and otherwise screwed up, well, then, you need to go to the bottomg of this page, and go to the Hugin site for the FAQ or tutorials for further help.
Don't stop there!!!
That was just to get you started. Hugin has many features and can do many types of panoramas, including flat scanned images, images taken with different lenses, and much more. Do yourself a favor and visit the links at the bottom of this page for more information on how these packages work.
Here is a simple 4 image panorama, created with only the simple steps above.
Click on images for full size. Full sized images are less than 400k except the two links to the large .tifs
Here are the original images
panorama.tif Download this to see the original panorama. (6.1 mb)
panoramacrop.tif Download this for the panorama cropped. (5.5 mb)
Here is the JPEG of the final panorama.
Here is another one. Click on the photo to see the original photos and the full sized one.
The Official Hugin Site
Tutorials on the Hugin Site
Tha Official Autopano-SIFT site
Gimp A free graphics editor