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PTGui 11 will stitch Samsung Gear 360 and photos from other 360 cameras

PTGui 11 will feature 360 camera stitching
PTGui 11 will feature 360 camera stitching

PTGui 11 will be able to stitch 360 photos from 360 cameras including Samsung Gear 360, Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere, and Yi 360 VR.  Here’s how that can benefit 360 camera users.

PTGui is one of the most popular stitching software.  Its next version, version 11, is currently in beta and one of the new features is the ability to import double-circular fisheye files from 360 cameras and stitch them into various projections including equirectangular.

360 video stitching from double fisheye to standard equirectangular
360 photo stitching from double fisheye to standard equirectangular

Although 360 cameras typically include their own stitching software, many of them can run into issues such as inconsistent exposures or white balance between lenses, or stitching that is otherwise not very smooth.  Moreover, some of them don’t have Mac versions for their stitching software.  PTGui should be able to stitch photos more smoothly, and is available for both Windows and Mac.

According to an email from a company representative, the feature will reportedly work initially with Samsung Gear 360, Xiaomi Mijia Mi Sphere and Yi 360 VR (which has vertical double circular fisheye files), with possible support for additional cameras.  This will improve the workflow and photo quality for supported cameras.

Thank you very much to Ash Blagdon for bringing this to my attention!  Check out Ash’s 360 photo blog here.

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Mic Ty

23 Comments

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    • You were too fast! This is new in PTGui 11 beta 4, which has just been released today.

      PTGui 11 is available here:
      https://www.ptgui.com/beta.html#beta4

      From the release notes:
      – Dedicated support for dual fisheye images from the Samsung Gear 360, Xiaomi Mijia Sphere and YI 360 cameras. These cameras produce a single image containing two circular images side by side. When adding such an image to a PTGui project the image will automatically be loaded twice, with different cropping circles and masks, positioned at -90 and +90 degrees yaw. This behavior can be disabled in Project Settings – Miscellaneous if necessary. This even works in the Batch Builder. Due to manufacturing tolerances there will be small differences between individual cameras of the same type, resulting in different small offsets of the image circles. A template can be created for each individual camera by taking a photo (outside, with no objects close to the camera), adding control points and optimizing. Then do File – Save As Template. This template can be used via File – Apply Template, or in the Batch Builder.

      • Hi! Could you please try implementing the automatic pitch and roll adjustments based on camera gyro data (saved to EXIF by Xiaomi Mi 360)? Having a hundred of images with misplaced horizon to be fixed manually is really frustrating. 🙂

        The Mi Camera Converter app can fix the horizon in batch processing mode at 1/20th of PTGUI Pro cost. 🙂

        • Possible adjustments:
          1. Lens view angle – fixes the phenomenon with double or missing objects along the entire stitch line. This is the most important one.
          2. Crop position for one of images – fixes shifting to a side, which causes linear objects to split on stitch line.

          If there is some inconsistency between two lenses and sensors:
          3. Pitch and yaw for one of images – fixes the phenomenon when on one side of frame there are double objects along the stitch line, on the other side the objects are missing.
          4. Roll for one of images – fixes the incorrect angular position between lenses, which causes linear objects to split on stitch line.

          You can also do as advised by PTGUI support – make a photo outdoors while holding the camera horizontally, then add the control points on objects far from you, and after optimizing you’ll get some clues about the values ##1,3,4.

          But as of PTGUI 10 the panorama made with automatic stitching was horrible, with huge distortions due to wrongly calculated lens correction parameters (a,b,c) – they shall be around zero in our case.

        • Hi Nick,

          Due to manufacturing tolerances there will be small differences between individual cameras of the same type, resulting in different small offsets of the image circles. You need to create a template (only need to do this once for your camera):

          – Start a new PTGui 11 project

          – Load a Xiaomi picture (preferably one taken outside, with no objects close to the camera)

          – Go to the Control Points tab and add a few control points. Image 1 is the leftmost image circle, Image 2 is the right hand one. Just click once in the left image, then in the corresponding point in the right image.
          It can be helpful to use the Generate Control Points Here function: Shift+drag to create a rectangle, right-click in the rectangle and choose Generate Control Points here.

          – Optimize the project (menu Project -> Optimize). The result should be ‘good’ (otherwise you’ve misplaced a control point somewhere)

          – Open the panorama editor (Control+E on Windows, Command+E on mac) and check the result.

          – File -> Save As Template

          That’s all. For subequent images: load the image, File -> Apply Template. Then go straight to Create Panorama.

          If you need more help, please post to the PTGui support forum and make a set of images available. See 3.15:
          http://www.ptgui.com/support.html#3_15

          • ..also, in PTGui Pro 11 you can get great HDR stitches from bracketed Xiaomi images!

            Instead of one image, load 3 bracketed images at once into PTGui. They will show up as 6 source images.

            In the Project Assistant, select ‘enable HDR mode’ (and link the bracketed images). The 6 source images are now shown as 2 merged images.

            Do the control point placement (as I explained above), run the optimizer and save as a template.

            Exposure Fusion or tone mapping can be adjusted in the side bar in the Panorama Editor. You can switch between exposure fusion and tone mapping in the Exposure / HDR tab.

          • Great news
            Thank You for the information
            Xiaomi Mi Sphere and Insta One both shoot raw .dng

            setting the White balance and other things in Camera Raw in PhotoShop or Affinity Photo for a later Stitch in PTGui 5 Beta Pro makes a perfect Stitch and color correction
            Regards Svendus
            we shall try to make an Tutorial when time allow us

          • I have followed the steps, and unfortunately I am still getting a HUGE misplacement on the stitch line, even though when I optimised it said “Too good to be true”. Has anyone else managed to successfully optimise for the Xiamoi Mi Sphere, if so could you post the image parameters?

            I am determined to do this, as it would be great to use the Mi Sphere for basic 360 tours, as opposed to my normal camera and NN3.

          • We made A small Screen cast
            with the nwe PTGui 11 Beta 5 Great update The weather was bad so the image did not Shine 🙂
            we need more Cameras in the list instaONE and Samsung also shoot in Raw, but i do not know if Ricoh THETA V does.
            Regards Svendus

  • PTGui is great software, and it’s possible to stitch the 360° photos from Xiaomi etc. right now. You only need the proper template and double set of photos (via copying to the same folder). The “Pro” version may perform batch stitching and HDR stitching (another template is needed).

    I’ve made a set of templates for myself: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_jDMWFEI8f_xAd_D87_GKyZJyvX7wp0e/view?usp=sharing

    It would be great if PTGUI 11 could fix the horizon based on EXIF data.

    • Thank you very much Vladimir. Yes you’re right and thanks for sharing your template! I really appreciate it. One thing that makes stitching Xiaomi tricky is that every camera is different (which is why the 3rd party MiSphere Converter app requires calibration). I think the others are like that too. I’m hoping that PTGui will make it simpler to stitch double circular fisheye files from 360 cameras. 😀 Thanks again!
      Best regards,
      Mic

      • You’re absolutely right, every camera is different. I had to fine-tune my template by crop positions, lens view angle and roll axis to ensure the best possible stitching on my camera.

        Unfortunately some adjustments shall be made by editing the template file in notepad, as there are no appropriate tools in GUI. I mean the synchronization of crop properties between 6 images in HDR mode. Within each triplet the crop values must be exactly the same.

      • Hi, I cannot seem to get this to work in PTGui 11 Beta?? What is the workflow I need to use? I am currently importing 2 copies of the image (left and right) but even when using this template it doesn’t work.

        • 1. Make a copy of source image (e.g. by dragging it to the same folder with right mouse button).
          2. Drag both image files to PTGUI.
          3. Select File – Apply template, choose the template.
          4. Go to Tools – Panorama editor (Ctrl+E). Drag the image with left and right mouse buttons to align it properly (it’s assumed by default, that the image was taken in upright camera position). Left button corrects pitch and yaw angles, right button corrects roll.
          5. Go to Project – Create panorama (F3).

          Works for me.

          • PTGui 11 beta 3 has no induvidual cropping
            like PTGui 10 Pro has
            it still need at least two imagefiles to be aple to Stritch
            i think to stritch a sinkel dual fishey .jpg or .dng raw file
            are still on the to do table on the PTGui dev team
            tutorials have newer been their Strong site
            Regards Svendus