Sometimes, I want to create a 360° panorama with a person standing in the middle. The problem is that when I move the camera around, then the person will move slightly. Idea:

  1. Create just one shot of the person, then let her walk away.

  2. Create the remaining shots.

  3. Before stitching, cut away part of images that show the background in front of which the person was standing.

If done well, will that yield a good panorama?

In general, I am using Microsoft ICE for creating panoramas since it stitches automatically. Of course, I am open to other using other software as well.


I just stitched a batch of images that I still had. In these images, the person was moving. So I cropped the part where she was standing in all but one of the images. In fact, I realized that not making her walk away makes things easier, because then I know where to crop or - on location - which part not to put inside the frame. The result is very good, though not perfect, which probably has to do with me moving the camera free handed without a tripod, and not about the lens' nodal point.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why not just try it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Unapiedra
    Sep 7, 2013 at 9:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Unapiedra Because typing is faster, and perhaps it's a good addition to the knowledge base here. \$\endgroup\$
    – feklee
    Sep 7, 2013 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ two good reasons :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Unapiedra
    Sep 7, 2013 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


I have done something similar before (can't post the result because I don't have a model release). I only did it for non-360˚ but the technique will work for 360˚ as well.

Essentially, do it the normal way and make sure your model is not at the loop-closure.

  1. Start one image left of the model/person. (Here is where you will match it with the end of your panorama.)
  2. Take your panorama in the normal way panning right. The next image will be the one with your person in it. Try to do it, so that you only have one image with the model. That will save you time later because you don't need to do masking. If you want you can take multiple images of the person. Later pick the one you like most and throw away the rest.
  3. Continue with your panorama until you reach the point where you started of.

This techniques works so well, because you won't have problems masking your person's movements. Starting just left (or right) of the person will make it easy, so that the next image will have the person completely in it.


Even if the person is still, you need to make sure you rotate your camera orotund the nodal point of the Lens. This is more critical as a subject gets close. To understand what the nodal point is close one eye and hold out one arm opwith a finger up. Now rotate your neck and see how the background changes relative to your finger. That parallax is because you are rotating at your neck and not your eye. Using a trips head for panoramas can address this.

If you can get it perfect then just taking a shot with the person in the middle of a frame is fine, then export your pano to a layered photoshop file so you can Mask the image to manually blend adjacent images.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, ICE does a good job of automatic stitching even if the camera is not rotated about the nodal point, unless - of course - the objects being photographed are very close. \$\endgroup\$
    – feklee
    Sep 8, 2013 at 8:24

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