Once you have stitched your first Equirectangular Panorama (please read my previous post on Equirectangular images), you may now turn it into a Stereographic Projection with Hugin. These images are often called Circular/Polar Panoramas, Little Planets or Planetoids and are gaining increasing popularity, constantly appearing on the Internet and even in various forms of advertising.
This post will guide you through the process of creating a Stereographic Projection.
Launch Hugin and load your Equirectangular panorama. Remember, for best results you will need to use a full 360˚ Equirectangular, uncropped, 2:1 ratio (length equals twice the size of height) image. Next, Hugin will ask you to enter the lens type and the HFOV (Horizontal Field of View). Enter Equirectangular as the lens type and 360 as the HFOV.
Next, go to the ‘Stitcher’ tab and select Stereographic from the drop down menu. You can also adjust the size of your image in order to make it a square (works best for these projections).
Finally, click on the ‘Preview Panorama’ icon on the top of the screen. The preview screen will appear where you can fine tune your projection. At first, your image may appear distorted and out of focus. Use the bottom adjustment slider to zoom in to the desired level. Once you have composed your projection and the image appears sharp, left click on the centre of the Nadir (the point where you were standing while shooting your panorama) to achieve a round shape of the projection. You may experiment and shift the centre of your projection in order to achieve various creative distortions. If you set the Zenith (the point directly above the place you were shooting your panorama from) as the centre of your projection, you will achieve a reversed Stereographic projection. Right click at any point of your projection to rotate it. As I said, try experimenting with your image to achieve the desired effect.
Once you manage to compose your projection, just close the preview window, go back to the ‘Stitcher’ tab and stitch your projection. The stitching shouldn’t take too long and soon you will have your first Stereographic image.
For inspiration visit the following Flickr groups full of wonderful projections:
Thanks for reading and good luck with your photography.
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