PTAssembler 5.0 Released

PTAssembler by Max Lyons
Max Lyons has just recently posted an update to PTAssembler, his popular panoramic and high resolution image mosaic creation software. This program give tremendous control over the output of stitched and stacked images and is the software I use for my larger or more complicated panoramas.

Version 5.0 Features/Changes:

PTAssembler 5.0 is major upgrade from PTAssembler 4.0, largely due to the fact that it now includes its own stitching and optimizing program: PTAStitcher. PTAssembler can now operate completely independently of Panorama Tools, although it can still be configured to work with Panorama Tools if desired.

PTAStitcher performs the same image optimizing duties as PTOptimizer, and the same image stitching duties as PTStitcher and/or PTMender. However, PTAStitcher adds a number of enhancements such as faster operation, multi-threading, better ability to handle very large images, new output formats, more image projections and other features.

PTOptimizer, PTStitcher and PTMender are still supported, but PTAStitcher is the default choice for both optimizing and stitching. Support for PTOptimizer, PTStitcher and/or PTMender may be removed in future versions of PTAssembler.

Feature: Added support for Photoshop large file (PSB) format (PTAStitcher only).

Feature: Added support for new standard output projections (PTAStitcher only):

  • Miller Cylindrical (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/MillerCylindricalProjection.html)
  • Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/LambertAzimuthalEqual-AreaProjection.html)
  • Orthographic (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/OrthographicProjection.html)
  • Cassini (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CassiniProjection.html)
  • Cylindrical Equal Area (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CylindricalEqual-AreaProjection.html)
  • Lambert Cylindrical (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/LambertCylindricalEqual-AreaProjection.html)
  • Behrmann Cylindrical (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/BehrmannCylindricalEqual-AreaProjection.html
  • Cylindrical Equidistant (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CylindricalEquidistantProjection.html)
  • Miller Equidistant 1,2,3 (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/MillerEquidistantProjection.html)

Feature: Added support for several newly created, non-standard output projections (PTAStitcher only):

  • Squeezed Rectilinear. Rectilinear in central region, and “squeezed” towards edges to minimize stretching typically visible in rectilinear projections. Both horizontal lines and vertical lines are rendered as straight lines throughout entire image.
  • Compressed Rectilinear. Horizontal and vertical lines are straight, user can configure the amount of compression.
  • Rectilindrical. Configurable projection that can produce “intermediate” projections that are a combination of rectilinear, cylindrical and equirectangular projections.
  • Trans Merc Rectilinear. A combination of transverse mercator and rectilinear projections. Both horizontal lines and vertical lines are rendered as straight lines throughout entire image.
  • Recti-Perspective. Vertical and radial lines are straight. Useful for “perspective” type images.
  • Recti-Cylindrical. Rectilinear in central region, transitioning to cylindrical at edges.
  • Hybrid. User selects one projection for each quadrant of output image, creating a composite projection.
  • User Defined. User specifies formulas that are used to perform all projection math by PTAStitcher/PTAssembler. User defined projections are slower than built-in projections, but are useful for experimenting/prototyping new projections. Little error checking…The user is responsible for ensuring that the formulas are valid.

For more information, including details and descriptions of projections, visit his website at Tawbaware.com

Author: Galen

Combining a lifelong passion for photography with an ever growing fascination with the properties of light, Galen specializes in portrait, fashion, and fine art photography with the goal of producing dynamic, quality images through focused effort and attention to detail.

2 thoughts on “PTAssembler 5.0 Released”

  1. Photoshop CS3 (and CS4) has a surprisingly capable PhotoMerge function; unfortunately, it doesn’t allow for much control over the output. Sometimes the resulting panorama or mosaic will curve upward or downward, giving it a distorted look. Other times it may leave pieces out or put them in the wrong place(s).

    Usually, I’ll run my images through Photoshop first to see how it handles the job, or simply as a preview. If it doesn’t come out the way I want it, then I use PTAssembler. PTAssembler has many more projection methods to choose from as well as the ability to select matching control points within adjacent images. Read the link in the original post for an excellent summary of PTAssembler features and a description of control points.

    PTAssembler is a complex program, but it has allowed me to create large or complicated panos where Photoshop or other simple methods have failed.

    On a side note – and this is something I haven’t tried yet – PTAssembler also has the ability to “stack” images, as well as stitch them. By stacking, you can take, for instance, two photographs at different exposures, and blend them into one high dynamic range image. Or you can take photos of a scene at different points of focus and blend them so that the entire scene is in focus. Combine these options with stitching multiple images into a panorama or mosaic and the resulting image is something that would be impossible to capture (as far as I know) in a single photograph with any camera and lens currently available. More details on stacking and blending can be found here:

    http://www.tawbaware.com/ptasmblr_help_stack_example.htm

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