Interview: Harald Meyer, mobile imaging application developer (TeqUnique.com)

After sharing many shots with different smartphones, I figured you'd just like to read some information for a change :-)  Recently I posted about some Sensational smartphone Gigapixel panoramas, realized with Pano Assistent, which is an app developed by Harald Meyer in Austria.

In that post, I promised you I would share his answers to the questions I had about that specific application. It's not an in-depth interview, but I hope it will give you some insight on the way it works, what you can expect from it and how you can work with the results it gives you.

Harald Meyer develops mobile applications for all major platforms and is mainly interested in photo- and multimedia related topics. He is most well-known for the camera application CameraPro which is available for Symbian, Windows Phone 8, Meego, and Android.

If you don't remember the post I mentioned, I'll share one of his results once more, just click on the shot to view the original file - you probably won't believe your eyes...

Harald Meyer - 1

You will find much more of his examples here (don't forget to check them out). Below, you'll find the short interview, as done by e-mail.

- Mr. Meyer, how many shots do you need to creat these incredible more than 360 degrees panoramas?
Nokia 808: 35-40 shots, Nokia 1020: 40-45 shots, and iPhone 4S: 50-60 shots. The number of shots depends on how "good" you rotate around the center axis.

- Do you provide software for the stitching itself as well? (I can see it's not possible on the phone).
I do not provide software for this, but there are plenty of excellent tools available.

Free:
- Hugin
- ICE
Commercial:
- Autopano
- PanoTools, Photoshop, and many more.

The stitching process takes several tenths of seconds (up to minutes) on an Intel Core i7 8-core CPU and uses all 24GB of my machine's RAM. So, it's still a bit too much for mobile devices :).

- Which software did you use to stitch these shots?
I used Autopano and Microsoft ICE for the final panoramas. I also experimented with the panorama function built into Photoshop, and some other tools.

- What's the best software to use with the results you get from Pano Assistant?
Hugin, Autopano, Microsoft ICE, PanoTools are very good tools. Autopano has a lot of options to adjust the panorama output but it's very slow.

A big plus point for Autopano is that it supports multi-viewpoint stitching. This can improve quality significantly because when you move around your device, then the center of gravity (usually) changes unless you use a tripod. By the way: all panoramas I made are free-hand without a tripod.

- What's the cheapest software that will also do the trick?
Hugin is freeware. It's very powerful but requires more manual intervention than most commercial solutions.

Well, that's all folks, hope it was helpful and I'd like to thank mr. Harald Meyer for his time - you'll find all his different applications over at his site TeqUnique.

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