Making panoramic images
Command line options
The gnomonic projection
These suggestions assume you have successfully taken a ‘spherical’
panorama with a 360° camera or a drone. For example, the DJI Mavic
Pro takes 34 still photographs from about 40° above the horizon to
−90° below (one image is taken straight down).
PanGazer loads spherical panoramas from a single ‘equirectangular’
(see the Wikipedia article »
for an explanation) image which must be constructed from those multiple
There are various ways of constructing the required equirectangular
image (these instructions all assume you have copied the images to
a folder on your PC). The programs listed here are free software.
Hugin can give better results than Microsoft Image Composite Editor
(MS ICE), but is slower. You may prefer to create panoramas first
with MS ICE then use Hugin to re-process the most promising.
Microsoft Image Composite Editor (MS ICE)
- Select “New Panorama From Images” and select all (and Open) the
images that form the panorama. Leave the defaults ‘Simple panorama’
and ‘Camera motion – Auto-detect’ unchanged.
- Click the ‘Stitch’ arrow/tab. This will probably take a minute
or so to align and combine the images.
- When the stitch has completed, ensure that “spherical” and “auto
orientation” are selected. You should see a distorted 360° panorama
with a somewhat ‘puffy’ top edge.
- Click the ‘Crop’ arrow/tab. This will project the image (rather
more quickly than the last step). This will then show a possible
cropping rectangle (the bottom should be fine, at −90° but the top
edge will be above the content of some of the images). First try
‘Auto crop’ to move the top edge down so it is all within the drone
images; if this doesn’t move the edge enough then drag the edge lower.
- Click the ‘Export’ arrow/tab. Select Quality ‘Superb’ (this should
show a value of 90; you can increase this to 100 if desired).
- Click ‘Export to disk’ to save the image. You should then be able
to view the saved image with PanGazer, which should show its title
annotated with “360° spherical”.
Hugin Panorama Stitcher
- Click the Assistant tab (probably default) and then click “Load
images...” and select all (and Open) the images that form the panorama.
The temporary display of the loaded images, at this point, will probably
- Click “Align...”. Hugin will then analyse the images (this may
take 5–10 minutes or more; progress is shown in a ‘Running assistant’
- When done, a plausible panorama should be shown (with uncorrected
exposure bands, etc.). Click “Create panorama...”. Check that the
settings are: LDR format JPEG, Quality 90, and ‘Exposure corrected,
low dynamic range’.
- If the automatic crop looks wrong, you can click the ‘Crop’ tab
to adjust it.
- Click OK. A ‘project file’ will then be saved (accept as-is, or
you can rename this, and/or delete it later).
- Similarly accept the suggested ‘output prefix’ or modify as desired
– this will be used to name and place the final output file. Stitching
will then begin, with a ‘Stitching’ progress window and a ‘Batch
Processor’ window (leave both open). Again, this will take some
- When the ‘Stitching’ progress window closes, you can close the
‘Batch Processor’ window. The output file should now exist on disk
and you should be able to view it with PanGazer, which should show
its title annotated with “360° spherical”..