Image stitching


To impress my friends I have taken it upon myself to scan in the group sixth form photo. Since it is too large for the scanner I’ll have to make a scan of either end and stitch the two halves together.

I have had a good scanner in the Epson Photoperfection 2450 for several years and I used to hook up to my old PC. The PC died in multitple deaths a while back, which put off by Windows, for years I lived without a home computer a spirit cleansed of the tyranny of email refreshing. Smugly I went the way of the Apple buying a MacBook three years ago, and have only now got back into the scanning and photography bug.

I can scan in images rather well, but there is too much dust, and too many scratches. I used to be happy to do this by hand, but now I can see the efficiency of getting something like that done in the scanner, which will have to wait. So it took me an hour to make the two scans. The scans kept freezing in the middle, suggesting that it was sipping the data over USB, and stumbled. So with a reduced resolution I got the images through! Found the colours were hideous and then had to scan again with a more human palette.

So to pasting the two images together; I don’t think I’ll try it by hand. So onto the interweb to look for image stitching software, I thought I could do this online. Hugin seemed to be a good idea, although with no out of the box executable, but that is OK I grew up on a diet of type-in software in the 80s, and with the aid of some instructions to guide me through I should learn how Unix builds work, surprising myself as to how much I knew in building source code software on Unix. Extracting code from subversion, tweaking and renaming files (surely one shouldn’t have to do this?) and kicking off make (CMake does look rather cool).

Crunch. There is an image format called Openexr, it does look interesting, but macports doesn’t have it. Well it works out the dependencies, cleans the directory, and then goes back to the command prompt. Stumped I remain a dilettante in Unix software (trying to branch out from Windows development).

However I do enjoy watching code build, a logical machine and its gnashing cogs,  and finding out how things work. I do like Unix tools how they feel like thousands of smart people have used them and made small improvements. For me I haven’t reached the pay off of stitching my images together and posting them to Facebook. Well not today anyway.

Edit: There is DoubleTake which does it all, it does seem a bit much though to buy a piece of software for a single use. Rumour has it that one doesn’t have to go through the obstacle course of building Hugin from code, intriguing as it is, but DoubleTake is as simple and polished as Mac software should be.

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~ by zeristor on November 3, 2009.

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