A few years ago I purchased a product called Stitcher by Realviz. This product was sold to Autodesk and updated further (and split into a vr tour application as well.) While Stitcher still seems to win out over most competitors by any number of factors, new entrants are chipping away at its heels.
The most interesting advantage of a package like Autopano to me is that it seems perfectly happy with some ‘fuzzy’ overlap. Stitcher requires precision for quality, but I’ve been testing Autopano with some files that I haphazardly took out of the tower at San Marcos square in Venice and have produced surprisingly high quality results.
Keeping in mind that very little post processing, masking, or any touchup at all has been done to these source images … I just grabbed a handful out of each window and tossed them into Autopano. A workflow for a client requires considerably more time and energy, but this is great for family shots or ‘I was there’ slideshows. The spherical JPG output provided a surprisingly solid starting point, and turned into a little planet, it’s almost passable (save for the conspicuous watermarks on my trial version output:
Viewed through a flash panorama player, the results display some horizon line issues, but that’s quite fixable in post processing.