View of Penang Island: Hugin and Panorama Tools

My 3-month tourist visa for Malaysia was running out in June, which meant I had to leave the country. I originally planned to go to Myanmar and stay for a month, but in the end it proved to be too difficult to arrange. In a way I was lucky, because just that month AirAsia announced it was beginning flights to Myanmar, and the price of going dropped drastically and I now have a ticket to go in November.

This time tough I decided to return to Angkor. The main reason was that since my trip in March I had found some software that could make excellent, seamless panoramas, and I had visions of panoramas from the Bayon that would, like their originals, be wall-long. Also my good friend and supporter Colin Low was willing and able to accompany me on the trip.

Here I had tried out the software on the very scenic views from this monastery. The way it works is to take overlapping sequential photographs and then load them into the Hugin software, and it more or less takes care of everything from there on in, although there are plenty of options for tweeking the output. Hugin is basically a front end for the Panorama Tools collection, which is a free suite of tools developed by Helmut Dersch, and it really gives excellent results on landscapes and other scenic views.

Here I give a sample of how it works, but note the photograph is not of the highest quality. I have been waiting for the skies to clear for the past month or two!

This panorama of Penang Island was made from the following 5 photos:

They were then assembled by the software to produce the following (thumbnail view):

It was then possible to crop the photo which produced this (slide view):

The original is 13,019px x 1609px wide, and retains the high-definition of the original. Perhaps you can see why I was excited about the prospect of making the wall-long panoramas. However it didn’t work out as expected. See tomorrow’s post to find out what happened, and how I fixed it.

If you’ve ever wanted to make panoramic landscape photographs and didn’t know how, I really recommend Hugin, which is available from this site and comes in version for Windows, Mac, Linux and FreeBSD. The PanoTools suite which Hugin acts as a front for is available here. Both are open source tools, and we have to thank their creators for taking the time to develop them and then making them available freely so everybody can benefit from them.



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