Articles, Blog

Tutorial: How to Create a Panorama (Shooting & Stitching)

November 10, 2019


Hi everyone. In this much requested
tutorial, I’m going to show you step-by-step, how to create a panorama. In general what you need are several individual photos that you will later
stitch together using 3Dvista Stitcher4 so, accordingly the first part of our
tutorial, will be on how to take these photos, while the second part will be on
how to use the software. It’s really easy. Watch this one’s practice a couple of
times and you’re good to go. Quick recap. What is a panorama? A panorama is the
result of stitching multiple photos to get one single image that covers a wide
field of view of up to 360 degrees horizontally and 180 degrees vertically. For this stitching process you merely
need 3DVista Stitcher4. A software that automatically merges your photos. Should you want to display your panorama spherically? Rather than in a flat format
only? You should have a look at 3DVista Virtual Tour Suite. Please keep in mind
that 3DVista Virtual Tour Suite, already contains Stitcher4, so you do not have
to patch a stitcher apart. Before using the software, you need to take
your individual photos. Here’s how. For a full 360 degrees panorama you need to
capture every single spot in your surroundings with your camera. Depending
on your lens, this will require more or less photos to
take There are a couple of things that you
should remember when taking the pictures for your panorama. Basically, you can use
any camera and any lens. Whether it’s a DSLR camera or even a mobile phone. Nonetheless there is some equipment that will make your life a lot easier. The
common problem in panoramic photography are so called “parallax arrows”. They are
misalignment that occur whenever you’re not rotating above your camera’s optical
center or no parallax point. This makes it seem as if objects in the foreground
had moved in relation to the background. Note how after rotating the camera to
the right for taking image number 2, the tree doesn’t cover the buildings
door anymore but rather seems to have moved to the left It’s the same effect
that you get from holding up a finger and switching between closing your left
and your right eye. When stitching these images together, the object will appear twice, an arrow that cannot be eliminated by panoramic software. Therefore
especially in small rooms, or whenever you have objects in the foreground and
the background, it is essential that you find the optical centre or nodal point
of your lens and rotate exactly above it. This is easiest to do with a fisheye
lens and a panohead. A fisheye lens covers a wider field of view than a
conventional lens and thus requires taking less photos for a full term and less movement of the camera, usually means less error sources. To really take
advantage of a fisheye lens you should mount your camera on a panohead and
the panohead on a tripod. In fact, the panohead is what helps you make the
lenses nodal point rather than the camera body pivot around your tripod. Depending on your camera, your lens and your panohead you’ll get a different
nodal point. To find yours, consult your panoheads manual which
tends to bring a list of camera types and their coding panohead coordinates,
or head over to a tutorial on how to calibrate your personal no parallax
pivot point. Don’t worry, you only need to figure this out, once take a note of the
coordinates or play stopper and then always bring your
camera to that same position on the panoheads rails. This does not generally exclude other
equipment from being adequate. Like I said, it really depends on the scene and
the situation that you’re capturing. If objects are far away for example, it does
not matter as much if you didn’t rotate exactly above your camera’s nodal point
or no parallax point. In that case you might be perfectly fine using almost any
kind of camera and lens even without a panohead. As soon as objects are closer
to your camera however, you should do anything to avoid changes in perspective
between the individual shots. In general and no matter what equipment you use, the
individual photo should overlap by approximately 20 to 25 percent. This means that those photos that are next to each other in the panorama, need to overlap by 20 to 25 percent. Contrary to what you might think, having
way too much overlap is as bad as having too little, because it might produce
ghosting or other stitching errors. A good will of thumb is that no single object should
appear in more than two photos. So let us have a look at the different scenarios
of equipment and how you should take the pictures depending on what devices you
have. Let us start with the most simple equipment, let’s assume you only have a
point-and-shoot camera or even just a mobile phone. What you do is you select
your camera’s portrait mode, to have a wider vertical field of view, you hold steady, and you start spinning clockwise around your rotation axis. When taking the individual photos make sure that you have an overlap of about 20 percent, don’t stretch your arms, keep them as close to your rotation axis as possible
to avoid changes in perspective between the individual pictures. So in case you have a tripod and a DSLR camera, the process will be much quicker, easier, and
more accurate. What you do is you set in your camera again in portrait mode and you repeat the process explained before. You rotate the head of the tripod taking
the individual photos. Again make sure that between the individual photos you
will have an overlap of about 20%. Okay, so in the best case you have a tripod a panohead and a DSLR camera with a fisheye lens. The panel hat
will help you improve your results in two ways: First of all it makes sure that your lens is directly on top of the rotation
axis, so that you avoid changes in perspective between the individual
photos that you’re taking, so when mounting the camera on the panohead make sure that your lens really is on top of the rotation axis not in front and not behind. Secondly, the panohead helps you in indicating up to which
point you have to rotate the panohead with the camera. Depending on what
fisheye lens you have for a full panorama it can take you between three and eight pictures. So you rotate up to the first click, you take the picture, you
rotate again, you take the picture, you do this the whole way for a whole turn and
if you want to complete your panorama you can also take a picture of the
ceiling at the very end. Ok, so much for the theory. Now let’s create a panorama
together. Obviously I start off by mounting my tripod, when shooting outside
make sure to adjust the legs so that everything straight. Your tripod usually comes with a little
connector plate that is on the very top of the tripod and that serves to attach
your camera to the tripod. Take that off the tripod and attach it to the bottom
of your panohead- Now place the panohead on your tripod
and make sure everything is secured and fixed. If necessary, adjust the tripod to
make sure everything is straight and upright. Next, I grab my camera too which I
already mounted the fisheye lens. Take off the lens cap and very importantly,
yet often forgotten, any lens hood or ring that might limit your field of
vision. Then I mount the camera on the panohead with the larger part where
you would normally hold the camera up. This way you can later take a photo
upwards without the camera body choking against the tripod. As I explained before make sure to mount the camera in such a
way that the lens is exactly on top of the rotation axis so that it does not
move when spinning the panohead I usually orientate on this small golden
ring trying to bring it exactly to the middle of my panoheads horizontal bar double check and if necessary adjust the tripod head so that your levels bubble is
centered and your camera a straight vertical Now this is what the whole construction
should look like. I suggest you place your belongings
under the tripod to avoid it showing in any of the pictures or to spare you the hassle of having to move things between shots. In fact, I highly recommend you
taking the individual photos of one panorama straight in one stretch as
this minimizes the chance of things moving or changing in the scene. Once everything is mounted the last thing I do before actually starting to shoot is to set up my camera. This really all depends on personal taste so try to take
this as a guideline only, and feel free to play around with settings on your
camera until it gives you the panorama you like best. First I set my lens on
manual focus to make sure it maintains the same focus throughout the panorama
serious and won’t refocus between shots. In order to avoid changes between the
individual pictures I then choose exposure and aperture values that will
be maintained throughout all shots of the panorama. If possible, try to maintain the ISO
value at a hundred or as low as possible really If it’s a very dark room you
could however increase it to about four hundred and remove the noise later in a
photo editor In a panorama you usually want to have both close and far objects focused. This is why your aperture value should be fairly high. in our case we set it to f-22 this will obviously reduce your shutter speed so you might also want to set a shutter timer to minimum two seconds in order to reduce vibrations provoked by pressing the shutter release I recommend that the first photo contain
both areas with a lot and little light so it won’t be the most luminous nor the
darkest of the series. So I arranged my camera accordingly and before actually
pressing the shutter, I manually focused, so that everything is sharp and keep
this focus for the whole series. It is important that you not touch it
again or refocus in between shots. Then the moment of truth has finally come. I press the shutter release and with a delay of 2 seconds the camera takes the photo. I then rotate the tripod up to the click or resistance and take the second photo. For the equipment I used you could be
fine taking horozintal shots and one up. I for myself however found six
horizontal and one app to work better for me. Like I said these are tips and
guidelines, so simply try to find your most comfortable way and then stick to it. A couple of things to remember: Try to stay out of the photo which is actually much harder than it might seem when using a fisheye lens. Once you manage that, make sure your image doesn’t reflect in a mirror or window. And finally I usually tend to step back from the camera a little bit to avoid having my shadow appear in the photo. Finally and without having to rotate
again I take one picture up. Therefore I bring the lens to face the
ceiling though not quite perpendicular to the floor, Press the shutter release and since this lens covers an angle of up to 180 degrees you might want to duck a little bit. Throughout the whole process make sure that you are not touching or moving the tripod so especially when walking around the
tripod try not to kick it. So that’s it for the photography part. Congratulations the hardest job is done. Now you simply take your photos seven per panorama in my case and put them to your computer and let them magically be stitched
together by 3DVista Stitcher4. I will just quickly lead you through the
software because it is fairly easy to use. Should you wish to see a more
detailed tutorial on it though click on the link and discover all features
functions tips and tricks. So first of all we open 3DVista Stitcher4 Select single panorama and normal panorama And now I select the type of lens that I was using when shooting. In my case it was a circular
fisheye lens. This makes the browser window open up
where I will navigate to where I stored the photos. I select my seven photos and
click on automatic stitching. And now basically the program does the
job on its own. There we go, I automatically receive a
lower quality preview of my panorama which when you took the pictures
correctly tends to turn out perfectly. This is simply so I can see how my
panorama would turn out before actually stitching it in high quality. I can now enhance the panorama with these controls on the right. Or set exportation sizes. Finally, I click on Stitch and Save, give a name to my panorama, and wait for the high quality panorama to be stitched. And we’re done. Now you can have a look
at your high quality panorama. Remember that even though you can check
your panorama in a 360 degree viewer 3DVista Stitcher only allows you to export
the flat panorama. For exporting this immersive or spherical 360 degree panorama, you need to use 3DVista Virtual Tour Suite. Keep in mind that Virtual
Tour Suite already carries 3Vista Stitcher4, so you would not have to
purchase stitcher apart. And that’s already it. I really hope this tutorial
made the whole process a little more clear. Thank you for watching.

43 Comments

  • Reply Tomáš Baránek August 18, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Whitch tipe of objective we used?

  • Reply LE DUC MEDIA October 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I woul by this sofwa , i am come from Ha Noi, Viet nam
    my email: [email protected]
    Thanks for your Hepl

  • Reply Shirin A. November 28, 2015 at 6:39 am

    thanks. that was very nice. what is the model for the panohead and what is the price of vista 3D

  • Reply Babak Sarjoughian February 24, 2016 at 3:40 am

    You did well, but one mistake; as you also mentioned to change the AF mode to MF mode, but you didn't during recording the tutorial.
    Anyway, thanks.

  • Reply Ed DeGroat March 2, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Wonderfully clear. Can't wait to try it.

  • Reply Giovanni Guevara March 21, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks for the informative video, can you tell me what tripod did you use when filming the tutorial?

  • Reply Tiger Lin devilgorgor.com April 22, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Thanks for the tips, how about nadir point, can your software remove shadow and tripod?

  • Reply Jasur Yahshi June 17, 2016 at 7:52 am

    Very nice!! Thanks a lot for detailed clear steps

  • Reply ShinMagnusGinza July 14, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Great video. What pano head are you using? And, do you have any really good recommendations of other heads?

  • Reply Ferenczi Róbert July 19, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    you are so sexy and beautyful!

  • Reply Edwin van 't Hek August 12, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    In the video you say manual focus the lens, but I see it autofocussing all the time when you do the example. Thanks for the tutorial in general!

  • Reply Nader Nasr August 20, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    What is the best lens to use ? and why ?
    Thank you

  • Reply 4D October 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Saludos excelente programa y videos! felicidades. Pudieran darme por favor las especificaciones de la camara, tripod, lente y demas accesorios que recomiendan como los mejores para conseguir la mejor calidad panoramica complementando con su software? Muchas gracias.

  • Reply Hữu Nghĩa Lê October 25, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Can i use mirrorless camera (eg: sony a6000 ) and 8mm fisheye lens to shoot 360*180 panorama…thanks 🙂

  • Reply Panda Parade October 26, 2016 at 1:42 am

    Great video, thanks for the tutorial.

  • Reply Josep Josep November 4, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Hello, thanks for the tutorial, I have a samyang 8mm, when i make the panorama with stitcher i can't move in 360º the panorama, what can do? i'm very worried.

    Thank you

  • Reply miko kiko November 12, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    velmi dobry navod na tvorbu panoram…len by som este spomenul ako sa nastavuje nodalny bod objektivu. Pre fotenie panoram mobilom a fotakom z ruky plati to iste ako pre fotenie s panoramatickou hlavou

  • Reply Marc Lois December 2, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Thank you.

  • Reply elsrdelosaritos January 7, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    3dvista: Nice video but, I see ¿a little? error.
    In the video I can see that you have the Af activated; that isn't a good idea. You have de risk that each photo have focus to different distance. I think that in this kind of panoramas (360° for example), the focus must be the same in all photos.

  • Reply keerthi Harish January 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    My name is Harish, I really like your Vr photography.. Is it possible to shoot in 18-135mm lens. These Vr shoot.. In 7d mark ii, Wright now I have only 18-135mm lens is there.. If it is possible means, how many photographs I will shoot.. Please help me..

  • Reply Mahmoud Al-Nafei February 6, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    I just need to understand if i have 8mm Fisheye Lens, in which point i rotate my camera to take each photo?
    Is there a specific measure when i rotate the camera?

  • Reply David Hughes March 1, 2017 at 3:12 am

    This is an excellent, step-by-step tutorial. Just started shooting panoramas and I really appreciate it. Thank you!

  • Reply 360ºTourVirtual April 2, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    3:15 – Based on the tripod shown in the video, It would be better to remove the conventional head and use only the panoramic head (with an optional leveler) directly to the tripod base. This way the undesired handlers would not appear in the images, providing cleaner photos to work with. 😉

  • Reply 360ºMix April 2, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Great video! Keep them coming!! =)

  • Reply Goody Morillas June 9, 2017 at 5:10 am

    Great video, thank you. My gear is Sony A7R2 and 14mm lense. Would this work? Unsure what pano head to use, Nodal Ninja or Really Right stuff thought not sure since I don't have a fisheye lens

  • Reply Dee Flecto June 12, 2017 at 12:06 am

    great video….

  • Reply Fish Chris August 8, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    i really did come here to learn about panorama stitching… and it was a good vid….
    but wow, this girl is so hawt !!! ☺

  • Reply THE TROLL August 9, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    MARRY ME

  • Reply gopang kumar December 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you

  • Reply Darren Cousins January 6, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Thank you for such an informative and descriptive video, really easy to understand and follow with lots of great tips.

  • Reply Video works February 14, 2018 at 1:54 am

    nice one thanks

  • Reply Photography By Lenny February 25, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    I have a Nikon D7100 DSLR (crop sensor camera) and a 10-24mm ultra wide angle lens (not fisheye). Can I use this set-up on 10mm and get good results?

  • Reply Gazaly Samsadeen March 26, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    ( 10:57 ) 0.5 is the best focus setting in Sigma 8mm lens.

  • Reply Chris71319 June 26, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Very usefull information. Thanks

  • Reply Alireza March 7, 2019 at 5:53 am

    great, easy way to sharing 360 images on website (smooth and Customizable)

  • Reply Christian von Recklinghausen March 24, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Thank You for your tips.

    To Check exactly around which piont you pivot:
    Here is a good explanation:
    "How to determine lens nodal point for panoramic photography" by Lester Picker

  • Reply David Found April 7, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    It's great to watch your techniques, but I spotted that you did focus and said that you only use manual focus but then each shot you took the lens was hunting for focus which indicates that the camera and lens are not set to manual focus, but otherwise your video is very helpful for all pano photographers. Thanks from David

  • Reply Nodal Ninja Panoramic Gear April 15, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    A pano head is a must – the further the foreground object the less critical rotating around the no parallax point of the lens such as distant landscapes.

  • Reply KBee795 April 23, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Okay you may have overlooked two things: I would switch to back button focus so you cannot forget and refocus with the shutter release button and that to find a Nodal point isn't a guessing game to move your lens over the tripod until the gold lens ring is over top. There is a process to find the nodal point where you use a guide line on cardboard with a elevated point at line start and end (use tooth picks or small nails). Set it flat on a stand and align the camera on a tripod slightly above it so you can see the line and it's straight. All you need on the tripod is a rail and on the camera a "L" bracket. You turn the camera left (or right) and if the elevated points defract from each other, the rail position is off. Move the camera on the rail – if the points are closer you are going in the right direction but if they are further apart you need to move the other direction. Soon when you move the camera in any direction the points remain together and you have the Nodal point – – only for that focal setting. So you must do this for all the zoom focal ranges you think you might use and record the data in a small note book to reference in the field. Also if you don't want the scene to look distorted, use a lens that isn't a fish eye – – because you are stitching shots together and don't need one! Take as many shots as you want and put together your enormous picture and crop away. Also remember that clouds move so once you are ready to shoot, get it done quickly before the sky moves everywhere and don't shoot into the sun as the panoramic will have too bright a sky where the sun was (so in essence, can keep the sun to your back). The ultimate way to take panoramic shots is with a PC lens but it only allows three perfect shots but they are perfect because you don't have to move the camera but rather shift the lens for each shot and they will stitch together perfectly (but it's a very expensive lens). With a PC lens your equipment is only the tripod, lens and camera though the PC lenses are totally manual to use so you need to be careful to check your focus … everywhere!

  • Reply Nodal Ninja Panoramic Gear May 13, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Good tutorial – always good to see different workflows.

  • Reply Masresha Yayeh July 20, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Is That A normal photo you take before make single panorama ? What is the latest camera that can fit for this right now?

  • Reply Mr.ashley tripsss October 4, 2019 at 7:57 am

    very nice tutorial

  • Reply norman ziegelmeyer October 7, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks for the great video. I have a question I hope you can answer.
    I just bought a Pan Head and "L" bracket for my Canon Rebel T3I(in the past I used a fixed homemade pan Head with the camera permanently mounted in the portrait position). I have
    the arca fitting with a center marking on the pan head. The center of
    the "L" bracket on the camera is not marked either horizontal or
    vertical and has a slot for mounting on each side. When mounting it in
    landscape mode I have no trouble determining the center point because of
    a mark
    on the camera over the mounting hole, but when trying to mount it in
    the Portrait position I don't know how to determine the proper point to
    put it over the pivot point. Is it critical that it be directly over the
    pivot point as in landscape mode and if so can you describe a way to
    determine the point to be centered in the arca fitting on the head it?
    Thanks

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