Don't ask me why but one of the things I've always wanted to do is have a simple way of taking a bunch of pictures and seaming them together into a large format panoramic image. It's cool to just quickly take, in a fairly uncontrolled way, a bunch of images and have this program seam them together. D Joiner accomplishes this trick and is a very useful, albeit quite specialized, tool from the folks at D Vision Works.
Just for fun I decided to take a bunch of pictures sitting in a chair at my desk in my office. I photographed all the way around trying to be reasonably careful that each photo had some overlap with other photos.
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A VRML view of the background stitched photos output in a cubic mapping.
The process of stitching with D Joiner is quite straight forward. You import the photos into a tabular layout type interface arranging the photos so they are in the correct order a fairly rapid and even fun task.
The tabular layout area for D Joiner.
Then you must match up portions of each image with corresponding points on neighboring images (a not so fun task). It's actually not that difficult especially if you're not trying to be too careful. You can at any point click on a preview button and get an idea of how the seaming process looks. The preview is a low resolution render of the cylinder or sphere that would be output in high resolution when completed.
One annoying thing is that during the process of selecting corresponding points no errors are generated and when you go to render, if the system has problems matching up something, it complains and you might have to delete a matched set or try to move the endpoints of the mapping lines. It can be painful to fix but was never all that difficult. It would be better if the system indicated earlier where mapping problems were occuring.
The pricing is approximately 300 pounds sterling which isn't all that cheap, however if you need a flexible way of creating panoramic images and/or backgrounds for real time scenes it's worth the price. The ability to output the stitched image in spherical, cylindrical, flat, cubic or in a Java applet (a very cool trick!) give you unmatched flexibility.