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I recently took the photos for a panorama in Chicago. Unfortunately, I didn't think the situation through properly, and I shot at a wide angle. When I first attempted to stitch the photos, I got this result: enter image description here

Notice the misalignment in the beams in the middle.

Trying to correct this, I ran the images indivdually through Lightroom 4 and ran the default lens distortion profile for my lens.

For some reason, the resulting panorama was worse:

enter image description here

Is there anything that I can to do to align the images better?

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3  
See my answer to photo.stackexchange.com/questions/42418/… and pay close attention to points 2) and 3) there. –  Esa Paulasto Sep 30 '13 at 0:15
    
Have you tried Microsoft ICE? I find it much better than other panorama tools I've used and it's simple to use too (and free!). research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/ice –  Mark Whitaker Oct 2 '13 at 4:46

3 Answers 3

Tools like Hugin give you a lot of control over perspective; both of the resultant image and the constituent photographs. There is quite a learning curve to it and IME is worth the effort doing that learning!

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How do I properly set the control parts? When I enter them manually, I get an error saying that some may be "bad". When I try to use the Feature Matching in the Images tab, I get an error telling me that the program cannot find the path. –  Evan Pak Oct 2 '13 at 0:52
    
It sounds like your control points may be ambiguous / inaccurate, are they definitely the same points in the preview square that pops up? It's a bit fiddly sometimes, so try other points. If Auto-find isn't checked then this may initially help until you have sufficient points to 'help' the detector. –  babelmonk Oct 7 '13 at 9:37

Well, for my personal job I use PTGui on my 360º pictures, It's not free but works very well. One thing that is really importante when you shoot wide angle panoramas is to move your camera keeping the front of the lens at the same level that the axis (using a especific tripod, like nodal ninja). This tip is to get near of a perfect result, but if you don't have a tripod like this you can try it with your hands (it's not guaranteed, but you'll get better results). I hope that this will help and if doesn't please let me know.

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Shoot with a tripod and panohead that lets you rotate the lens/camera around the no-parallax point. This type of misalignment can happen with parallax that comes from shifting the camera position. The relative position of objects shifts and no amount of warping can make them come together cleanly.

If you don't do panos often enough to justify the cost/trouble of a tripod and panohead, you could also consider using a plumbline or y-string (aka philopod).

You can possibly "clean up" this panorama with manual definition of control points, or a judicious use of masking. If you're stitching with PTGui or Hugin, there are masking features built into the stitcher that can let you specify which bits of a member image should or should not appear in the final stitch, or you can output the image as a multi-layer TIFF/PSD file, and use masks and layers there to "fix" things.

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