Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

submit your photo

Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I bought a fisheye converter for my SLR. Just for a first try I wanted to create a "little planet" panorama. A first quick hack with hugin and 5 pics resulted in this panorama: panorama with nadir center

It is clear that the nadir and some artefacts have to be corrected. That's not the problem. What is a bit nasty is that black border on the left.

I am absolutely sure, that the source pictures have some part of the ceiling on them. When I move the roll, pitch and yaw angle in live preview, the projection "continues": I can change the center of the image to e.g. the window. Then I can clearly see the ceiling. It just appears as needed.

Same panorama centered at window

So hugin knows of tis part, it is not cutted out something like that. Only the first added image (the table on the right) is projected completely. In the preview you can see the problem in advance.

PS: I found out that except for the first image the position offset is not 0. Thos was due to the fact that all pics were taken handheld. On settings these values to 0 I get a complete projection. Is it in gernal impossible to do stereographic projection with offsetted images?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

The answer to your question is this. It is possible to stitch an equirectangular panorama or a stereographic projection from handheld offset images but you are likely to end up with problems like the one in your images, especially when you are that close to things you are photographing.

You see the problem with the ceiling may not necessarily be connected with the image offset. The software may not be able to find control points on plain surfaces without any features and therefore will not include this part of the image in the output panorama/projection. I use a variety of stitching software and whenever I'm shooting indoors, I often have problems with stitching the ceiling.

That's why if you are serious about your projections, especially inside buildings, buy a dedicated panorama head and use a sturdy tripod. Then, you images may have fewer control points due to the lack of features but the software will still stitch them and will not have any problems aligning them either as the parallax error is minimal.

I'm not saying it is impossible to shoot and stitch a good panorama/projection handheld (I did that a few times) but in my opinion it is not worth it. You will always waste time on photoshop correction and control point optimisation due to parallax errors.

Also, consider switching to a more dedicated stitching software such as AutoPano Giga. Just a friendly suggestion.

Check out my photostream for my stereographisc and equirectangulars and if you have any more questions just ask:

Best Greg

share|improve this answer
Hugin is not dedicated enough, you say? How come? –  Jan Dvorak Nov 8 '13 at 9:09
I used Hugin from the beginning of my photo stitching adventure and have to say that I eventually switched to. I appreciate it's free, open source and the new version is a huge improvement over the first edition but I noticed the following: it uses more memory, it doesn't have a good and flexible control point interface, it isn't intuitive to use and, most importantly, often crashes on Mac. This is just my opinion. I'm not trying to advertise other software here. –  Greg Nov 8 '13 at 9:21
as for the control point interface: what does AutoPano have that Hugin doesn't that is so important? As for intuitiveness: It is usual for complex software to have steep learning curves. I find the interface pretty intuitive. As for crashing - that's not what I observe (I'm on Windows). –  Jan Dvorak Nov 8 '13 at 9:27
Does Hugin allow you to chose segments of your panorama where you want to set / optimise control points? Does it allow you to select which part of the image you want to use (for fisheye lenses)? Can you run several projects at the same time? Like I said I haven't used it for a long time. Anyway, let us know if you make any progress with the problem in your images. –  Greg Nov 8 '13 at 10:05
Hugin lets me make individual control points for any pair of images by displaying them side-by-side and letting me click into the images - it even features auto-align with subpixel accuracy. In good cases, it even places the second control point based on the first click only. Also, hugin features control point autodetection. Hugin has inclusive masks (preferentially use this specific part of this image), exclusive masks (preferentially don't use) and strong exclusive masks (never use), all of which can apply to all images or just to one. You can save and load projects, enqueue renders... –  Jan Dvorak Nov 8 '13 at 10:18

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.