If you capture a 360-degree photo while the camera is not completely vertical, viewing the resulting image can be confusing. Here is a sample where it is intentionally used for effect:
Legoland airplane ride – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Suffice to say, for conventional shots, it is desirable to have a perfectly vertical orientation. In fact, decent 360-degree cameras have a built-in gyroscope exactly for that purpose – to automatically correct vertical orientation.
But sometimes the gyro doesn’t work as intended:
When this happens, it is possible to fix the vertical orientation in post-processing. Two such software that can be used for that are Hugin and Flexify 2.
Hugin is a free panoramic editor with powerful features, however it does not have a very user-friendly interface.
Flexify 2 is a Photoshop plugin for manipulating spherical panoramas and polyhedra.
I used Hugin to fix the vertical orientation in the shot above. This is what I got:
Looks ok until you look at the middle, which is a little messed up.
I then tried Flexify 2 to correct the same image:
Here’s a closeup (Flexify on the left, Hugin on the right):
No that’s not a stitching error on the Flexify image. My belly is really that big. I appreciate Hugin’s attempt to give me a slimmer figure, but the winner for this brief test is clear!