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Painless Panorama Stitching in Linux with Hugin

Getting Started With Hugin

  • August 26, 2010
  • By Akkana Peck
A previous article described how to make small panoramas with fotoxx. But when you get serious about panoramas on Linux, there's really only one answer: Hugin.

Named after a raven of Norse legend who brought information to the god Odin, Hugin and the Panorama Tools libraries have been around for years. But until recently they've been quite difficult to use. That's no longer true: today, with just a few clicks, anyone can create a spectacular panorama in Hugin.

Hugin does a great job even if your initial photos aren't so great. It can handle differences of exposure, rotation, and even photos taken at different zoom levels or with different cameras. It's so easy you'll want to go back over all those years of vacation photos looking for all the panoramas you shot and never got around to assembling.

Hugin is available as a package on most Linux distros -- so install it and take a look!

Basic Panoramas

The main window starts in the Assistant tab (Figure 1), showing the steps you'll need to follow.

<em>figure 1</em>
figure 1

Step 1 is to load your images. In the file selector, you can use Ctrl-click and Shift-click to select all your images at once; no need to load them one by one. Unfortunately, hugin doesn't take note of the directory you're in and there's no way to pass it images from the command line, so you'll have to navigate to wherever your images are.

Step 2: click Align, then go make coffee. This step takes quite a while -- Hugin is doing a lot of math under the hood to adjust for lens warp, find the places where your images overlap and match them all.

Eventually, the Fast Panorama Preview window will appear (Figure 2).

<em>figure 2</em>
figure 2

You may need to resize it if it comes up too small.

You'll see obvious seams where one image is darker than the next. Don't worry about that -- Hugin will handle those details later.

Assuming the fast preview looks okay, proceed to Step 3:

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