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Readme PTStitcher 1.9.1

PTStitcher combines images to panoramic views. You simply
drop all input images onto the application icon of PTStitcher
and a panoramic file to be viewed with all major VR-viewers
is generated in one step.

This is the first release for Macintosh and Windows platform.
An updated version of the Photoshop plug-in 'Panorama Tools'
is included. Please use only the same version numbers of
these programs together.

Changes to 1.9.0:
=================
o First Windows version.
o Panorama conversion capability added: Almost any
output format can be generated using any input format.
o More formats available: LivePicture Cylinder.
o VRML-output now includes Zoom-tool.
o Viewer scripts can be customized via templates.
o Script file can be dropped together with image files
on PTStitcher.
o Some bug fixes

Changes to 1.0b1:
=================
o More output formats available: VRML-cubes and LivePicture-Java
(spherical/cylindrical).
o Fully Apple-scriptable: Build your Web-Panocam.
o PTOptimizer finds optimum image position automatically,
see separate documentation.
o More options for panorama creation: see examples.
o Several bug fixes.

Changes to 1.0b0:
===============
o Fixed error in PICT-reader, which only worked for 72dpi images.
(Copied faithfully from Apple's sample code site...)

Output options:
===============
o QTVR movie ready to be viewed with Quicktime plug-in.
(Windows version requires free VRMakePano utility).
o Smoothmove full spherical panorama ready to be viewed
with Infinite Images (iMove) plug-in.
o RealVR full spherical and cylindrical panorama ready to
be viewed with LivePicture's ZoomIt viewer.
o LivePicture Java format: Cylindrical and Spherical
ready to be viewed with LivePicture Applet
o VRML-Background node (Cubes)
ready to be viewed with VRML-browsers.
Viewer Script with Zoom tool generated.
o Panoramic images for viewing and printing
o Multilayer Photoshop file containing one image per layer for
editing.

Input options:
==============
o Rectilinear lenses with any focal length
o Fisheye lenses with any focal length
o Panoramic cameras
o Any orientation possible (multirow etc)
o PSphere images, allows conversion of
almost any format to any format.
o Can read PICT(mac)/ uncompressed BMP(win) and JPEG images.

Installation:
=============

Macintosh:
----------
Drop the file 'pano12.lib' onto your 'System Folder'.
Your system should then move it to the 'Extensions'-folder.
It replaces the pano-library which comes with my
Photoshop plug-in 'Panorama Tools'. This library only
works with the current version 1.9.1 plug-in which
is included in this package.

Windows:
--------
Put the library file 'pano12.dll' in your
\Windows\System directory. This library also works
with the current 1.9.1 version of the Panorama
Tools plug-in. If you do not use that plug-in
you can also leave the library together with
PTStitcher.

General:
--------
The folder 'Templates' has to be in PTStitcher's
directory. It contains HTML and VRML templates, which
are used to generate the output files. You can edit
them to suit your needs. They can be opened with any
plain text editor, and hold a C-language format
string. The placeholders starting with a '%' sign
are used by PTStitcher to insert proper output
values. You can move them, but not delete them
or change order.

You need one file with name 'Script' (Windows: 'Script.txt', the
extension is invisible!) in PTStitcher's directory. This scriptfile
holds the information about how to assemble the panorama.
If PTStitcher can't find this file, you will be asked for it (only mac).
See the tutorials section below for details.

Getting Started:
================

With the original Script of the distribution we can
start making a spherical pano using two fisheye images.
The Script should reside in PTStitcher's directory. Now
open the folder 'fisheye', then 'Images'. You can open
these image in any graphics program. They resemble
scaled down fisheye images. Grab both images and drop
them together(!) on PTStitcher's icon. PTStitcher
starts up and asks for a name and location for the panoramic
output file. Choose whatever you like (eg 'pano'), and
click 'ok'. After several transformations, the program
quits, and generates two files:
pano.JPG, which is the panoramic image, and pano.IVR,
which is required by the LivePicture ZoomIt viewer.
To view the panorama, you have to download and install
this viewer from http://www.livepicture.com into your browser.
Then open 'pano.IVR' in the browser (if you use Netscape,
you can simply doubleclick 'pano.IVR', only mac).

Please note that the images for this tutorial are heavily compressed
for bandwidth reasons (JPEG quality 25%) and display many artifacts.

Other Formats:
==============
Open the file 'Script'. It contains the commands for
panorama generation and a comprehensive list of all
commands available. There are a couple of scripts included
in this package to show the various options:

o Smoothmove spherical panoramas can be generated using
the script 'Script_Fisheye_Smoothmove'. Grab this file
together with the two images, and drop all three files
at once on PTStitcher's icon. Alternatively, you can
activate this script as default script by moving it to
'PTStitcher's directory, and renaming it to 'Script'
(On Windows: Script.txt, extension is invisible). First you have
to move the old Script out of the way. Then drop the two fisheye
images onto PTStitcher's icon. A file with extension 'pan' is
created, which can be viewed using the Smoothmove plug-in from
http://www.smoothmove.com

o QTVR-panos can be generated using the script 'Script_Fisheye_QTVR'
Repeat the steps from the last paragraph, and you get a QTVR-movie.
On Windows, a 'bmp' file with QTVR-dimensions is generated, which
has to be processed by Apple's free program 'VRMakePano'. It is
available for download at Apple's Quicktime site (developers->sample
code). Also, be sure that Quicktime is installed on your system.
To use VRMakePano, start it up, then open the 'bmp'-file.
The next dialog asks for a hotspot image, which you can dismiss
if you have none. Then VRMakePano generates the QTVR-movie.
Plug-in available at http://www.quicktime.com.

o Multilayer Photoshop files can be generated using the script
Script_Fisheye_PSD. Open the outputfile in Photoshop, and examine the
various layers and masks. This is the perfect format to edit the
final image.

o LivePicture offers a free java viewer, which enables viewing
on any platform without the need for a special plug-in. Use
the script 'Script_Fisheye_Java_Sphere' to create a spherical, and
'Script_Fisheye_Java_Cylinder' to create a cylindrical pano. Three
files are generated: pano.html, pano.IVR and pano.JPG.
Additionally, you need the Java applet files 'lpjpano.zip' and
'lpjpano.cab'. You can download them from LivePicture's site
http://www.livepicture.com, they are part of the Java-developer's
package. Put both files into the same folder as the other three
files, and open pano.html in your browser. If you use Netscape,
simply double-click pano.html.

o VRML-background nodes are an alternative to spherical panoramas.
Viewers are available for almost any platform, eg the Cosmo-viewer
for the Macintosh. Use the script 'Script_Fisheye_VRML'. Seven files are
generated, which are six cubic-face images and pano.WRL, the
VRML-scriptfile. Open this file in your browser to view the scene.
VRML-viewers have no Zoom-control. The pano.WRL file generated
by PTStitcher implements such a control via javascript.

Multirow Stitching:
===================
A second example using 10 images resembling a 14mm wide angle
rectilinear lens is available in the folder 'rectilinear'.
These images correspond to two rows made at pitch angles of
+/-43 degrees. Scripts are provided to create the same formats as above.
Be sure to drop _all_ 10 images at once.

Panorama Conversions:
=====================
See the directory 'conversions' for examples of Panorama
format conversions. First, generate a Master-panorama using the
script 'InputPanorama' and the two fisheye images. This is in
'PSphere'-format. Then generate different formats using the
scripts 'to_VRML' and 'to_QTVR'. By editing these scripts
any input format and output format can be combined.

More examples:
=============
The examples from my site http://www.fh-furtwangen.de/~dersch
for 'Panorama Tools' also work in PTStitcher. Try the images
from the tutorial 'HowToStitch' as an example for spherical
panoramas made with full frame fisheye lenses. Use the example
from http://www.fh-furtwangen.de/~dersch/coolpix/coolpix.html
for the Nikon Coolpix with fisheye adapter. In this latter case
you have to add the commands 'mx900 my900' to the script, see
the example 'fisheye' in this distribution.

How to go on:
=============
To use PTStitcher with your setup, you have to generate a script
for your needs. Even if you use something similar to the examples
you probably need some finetuning. This can be done in various
ways:
o 'Panorama Tools' (included) has a robust and fast position optimizer
based on feature points. Setting these points, however, is somewhat
tedious, and not feasible if you have many images to stitch.It can
determine image positions, correction parameters, and automatically
generate scripts.

o 'PTOptimizer' in this package uses 'PTStitcher' to generate
panoramas with different parameters until they fit. It is very slow
but does not require setting feature points. See the separate
documentation.

o Manual alignment. Generate a Photoshop file (PSD_mask or PSD_nomask)
in PSphere-format. Then edit this image, in Photoshop or any other
suitable Graphic program (eg move the layers and set seam positions),
and save the result in lossless PICT(Mac)/ BMP(Win) format. Then use
one of the Conversion scripts to generate the panoramic file(s).

The images dropped onto PTStitcher are processed in alphabetical/numerical
order. Be sure that is the same order they appear in the script.

Scripting PTStitcher:
=====================

Macintosh:
-----------
PTStitcher is fully scriptable. PTOptimizer uses this feature to interact
with it, and lets it generate various trial images. PTStitcher responds
to 'DoScript' Apple Events embedded in a launch. The data sent should be
text consisting of a list of full paths in Apple-notation, ie with
':' as delimiter. Each line including all whitespace characters is one full path.
The first line describes the location for the result panorama, ie what PTStitcher asks
for when run interactively. This file should not exist yet.
The second line describes the scriptfile location. It can be anywhere with
any name. It need not be in PTSTitcher's folder. This file should exist,
and have the same syntax as the ones used interactively.
The next lines describe input images, one per line. They are processed
in the order they appear in this text, not alphabetically as in the
interactive case.
Example text to be sent to PTSTitcher via 'dosc'-Apple Event:
Macintosh HD:panos:result
Macintosh HD:images:myscript
Macintosh HD:images:image1
Macintosh HD:images:image2
Macintosh HD:images:image3
Macintosh HD:images:image4
Macintosh HD:images:image5

Windows:
--------
PTStitcher can be controlled via commandline arguments.PTOptimizer uses
this feature to interact with it, and lets it generate various trial images.
The syntax is as follows

PTStitcher -o outputpano script.txt image1 image2 ....

The outputpano describes the location for the result panorama, ie what
PTStitcher asks for when run interactively. This file should not exist yet.
The scriptfile is identified via extension 'txt' and need not appear
as second entry, nor has to be named 'script'.
All input images follow, and are processed in alphabetical order, not in
the order they appear in the command line.

Enjoy

Helmut Dersch
der@fh-furtwangen.de

-------------------------------------
Spherical Panoramas, Macro Panoramas,
Free Panorama Software:
<http://www.fh-furtwangen.de/~dersch>


Original file name: Readme - converted on Saturday, 2 October 1999, 18:08

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