Tutorial: Panoramic photos with autostitch

Developed by Matthew Brown and David G. Lowe, autostitch is a software tool for creating panoramas. It is proprietary, but free to download and use. The only restriction is that you must acknowledge that you used autostitch for your panoramic photos.

In this article, I will try to explain how to use autostitch to create 360-degree panoramic images.

First of all, you must take your photos. I found that it is easier to stitch when the photos were taken in portrait (i.e. vertical) mode. Here you can see the images I used for this panorama:

Note that the photos cover more than 360-degrees. The photo IMG_2821.JPG is almost the same as IMG_2823.JPG. That is why my first photo will be IMG_2821.JPG, and the last one IMG_2837.JPG (because they partly overlaps).

Neighbor photos must overlap. And the bigger the overlapping area -- the easier will be to stitch them together:

When you download and unzip autostich, you just have to start autostitch.exe. Autostitch works fine even on linux (I tried it on Ubuntu 6.10 with wine).

This is how it looks like:

Next thing is to tell autostitch about the width of your panorama. Select Edit->Options and select your desired with in the in the field Width (pixels). Default value is 1400px. I usually choose 5000 or 6000 pixels:

Click OK, and then File->Open and then select your images:

When selected autostitch will automatically start the stitching process:

When stitching is finished -- autostitch will create a pano.jpg image in the same directory:

As you see - pano.jpg have those black areas at the top and bottom. You must crop them out... Here is how to do it with GIMP:

But you can use any other photo-processing software...

And then you can play with the saturation, contrast, color balance, and similar options... And here is the result:

Click here to see it on panoye.com.

This is how I make my panoramas. But, I'm a programmer, not a professional photographer and there are many subleties I don't know. Feel free to comment on how to make this tutorial better!


  1. Hats off. Thanks for the input.
    I think no further explanation is necessary.

    Btw, in my panos I always apply a sharpen filter because gives me a crisper image.

  2. @Bernie: Same here, but before sharpen -- I select unsharp mask but with a very small radius (0.5 or less in GIMP).

  3. Thanks for the tutorial, I also set the jpeg Quality to 100%.

  4. I tried it myself, the result is impressive! Thanks!

  5. Nice! I've just tried it and was realy positively surprised! Thanks for the idea and tutorial.

  6. i've try with only 2images but it's dont work!!! :(
    i need help please

  7. @annina: I can't help you because I don't have your images. But usually the problem is that the overlapping area of the photos are too small.

    @matic :)

  8. @annina: just like Puzz said, too small overlapping area may be a problem. I tried to autostitch some non-problematic landscape photos, taken with my Canon PowerShot S3 in panoramic mode, but the overlapping area was far too small and the result was quite a funny pano :). Then I tried to take some photos inside, of an inner place of cca. 20m^2, and regarding very different angles and perspectives of 18 photos (3 rows x 6 photos), with considerable vertical and horizontal overlapping (cca. 40-50%) the result was ok!

  9. If you are doing a 360 degree panoramic, can you select where in the finished image the left and right edges will be?

  10. Thank you for posting this great tutorial. The instruction is easy to follow! Love it!

  11. I love the amount of details you gave in your instructions through this tutorial. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    panorama stitching