Monday, July 20, 2009

Autostitching the Big Apple, v 2.0

I tried out a few more panoramas again today in Manhattan, using my iPhone 3GS and Autostich.

The image on the left was built from four shots of a tower crane which was hauling up a big container of wet cement up many stories into the sky. The waviness of the tower is, fortunately, an artifact of the process, as well as my inexact positioning of the camera.

Vertical panoramas seem to be a weak point of Autostitch -- at least when one is pretty close to the subject. The following shot of Rockefeller Center (built from 11 shots) demonstrates this well -- the actual main building is much taller than it appears here. Autostitch's big brothers may well have settings to control for this prominent shortening effect.

While the kids were sacking and pillaging the M&M and Hershey store in Times Square, I stayed outside and shot 20 shots that were combined into the following panorama, covering about 135 degrees. The black areas in this and the prior shot make it easy to see where I should have gathered a bit more data.

My most successful shot was the sign at the Staten Island Ferry. The algorithms in Autostitch had little trouble with a purely horizontal pan. Four shots were combined to form this image.

Despite some of the distortions revealed with these shots, I'm quite happy with the results. I'll try to grab a few more panoramas while we're here. The Yankees vs. Orioles game on Wednesday afternoon in the new stadium should be a fine time to experiment.

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