I would definitely look into Hugin. Photoshop won't stitch the different exposures in the same way each time, so they won't overlap properly.
Of course, couldn't you create the HDRs from your bracketed shots, and then stitch the HDRs together?
Ah, yes. I didn't realise Photoshop allowed you to stitch HDRs. I still think Hugin would give you more control over things like keeping the horizon straight though. Let us know how you get on anyway!
Edit: Actually no, you can't! PS won't stitch 32-bit images, I just tried it.
Ok...so this is what I am talking about...so it is necessary to use 32 bit images? Regardless, I've downloaded hugin...so I thank you for that advice.
Why does it have to be 32 bit?
If you are creating an HDR, then that is a 32-bit image format. But the individual images would be jpegs, say 3 bracketed exposure for each camera position. Theoretically you could let Photoshop stitch all the jpegs for each exposure, then merge the three panoramic images into one HDR. But as I said earlier, the automatic nature of Photoshop's photomerge utility means that the stitches wouldn't be exactly the same. Some elements would not be aligned, giving you ghosting in your final HDR. And for skies I reckon Photoshop would have a hard time actually doing the stitch anyway, as it only looks for visual features without taking the shot order into account.
The nice thing about Hugin or Autodesk Stitcher is that you can actually stack your exposures and just run the stitching solver the once to get your final image.
the best and affordable stitching software is ptGUI.
This is what I use. You can get a lot of info from Christian Bloch website as the others suggested. He has a free software to create sibl and one free software for tone mapping.
For more info you should go to panoguide.com forum to learn about shooting panos.
self promo. this is one of my most popular hdri environments http://www.the3dstudio.com/product_d...product=139041
oh yes there is no easy way, one tutorial that will answer all your questions or at least I did not find it yet. Mainly beacuse one software does that good but not the other one. You have to find your own best workflow based on time, budget equipment and skills you have.
Ok...so getting a little off topic, I have a shooting questions regarding the maps...how does one not get their feet/tripod in a photo when shooting the ground? A lot of these spherical images/sIBL's have a complete 3 axis set with no feet in the way!
I'm sure this is a stupid question, but I've never shot one of these before, and I don't want to shoot a jobsite, just to get it back to the office and have my size 10's in the way.
the size of your nadir hole depends on your camera, lens, the way you shoot. To eliminate the nadir hole you shoot down off center and then in your stitching software you mask the tripod legs out. Photoshop is not the best tool for that because it does not allows for manual control of your stitch - at least cs5. Even so, Photoshop is "heavy" especially if you have have to handle 100 raw images to get your HDR sphere.
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