CNET Editors' review
Hugin is a panoramic photo tool from Ippei UKAI. It's a large, flexible, and capable application that is based on the same open-source code as many expensive pro-level tools, but Hugin is freeware. It takes your digital snapshots or other series of similar images and stitches them together to form a single, seamless panoramic image. Unlike many other tools, it can consider your camera model and the shape of its lens in creating panoramas, which helps reduce image distortion. Despite its size and capability, Hugin is also portable.
If you don't have a series of images suitable for creating a panorama, get out your camera and shoot four images all around you; Hugin will make good use of them. The program's tabbed interface starts with the wizard-like Assistant and progresses through Images, Camera and Lens, Crop, Mask, Control Points, Optimizer, Exposure, and Stitcher. We added some images from our library, a process that lets you load saved data on your camera's lens and helps Hugin automatically configure its panoramic effects. With our images loaded into the assistant queue, we began walking through the various steps involved in selecting, aligning, and stitching together images and rendering them as a single exposure. Make no mistake: Hugin is an extremely capable tool, with commensurate complexities, but never did we feel overwhelmed by its options or processes. We created a small but satisfactory panoramic image that opened in Windows Photo Viewer when we clicked it. It's easy to see how, with more input, it's possible to create large, detailed panoramic images that look like they were shot with special lenses and equipment instead of a pocket-size digital camera or even a cellphone.
As we noted, Hugin is a large package for freeware, and it seems more than capable of handling professional demands as well as putting a top-quality photographic tool in the average user's hands. We especially like the way you can load and save data on multiple lenses and apply them to a single project. Before you start, gather data on your lenses from manuals or online; Hugin can use it to improve its results.
From Ippei UKAI:
Hugin is an open-source panorama photo creation tool. It can put multiple photos together very easily and the end result is smooth and stunning. Hugin uses the same open source library used by many other software including shareware like PTMac from Kekus Digital. Hugin is, however, free and you can start making panoramic photos without buying any expensive software or equipment. Unlike many similar software, Hugin considers the shapes of the lens and can adapt to the particular distortion profile of your camera.
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All versions:3.7 stars
out of 3 votes
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"Good and bad at the same time..."
Version: Hugin 2011.4
Does the job efficiently, numerous features and possibilities of adjustments.
Likes to crash. Some of the features appear counter-intuitive at the first sight.
No problems with download and installation on Win7 (64 bit). Hugin 2011.4.0 is a free full version software, no additional bundled garbage.
When using "assistant" feature and sufficiently overlapping images everything works very well. Select pictures - press "align" and wait for processing (with output written on the screen! - must be a fun feature for programmers, but may annoy casual users) - panorama preview shows in a new window (here one has possibility of some adjustments) - close the preview window and press "create panorama" to finish (again new windows appear). All of the actions are saved in software-specific format, but the resulting images are saved as tiff (default), with jpeg and png available).
Using the advanced features, one can change apparent focal length, adjust type of panorama projection, crop and mask individual images, select custom stitch points, adjust and optimise exposure, etc. Software automatically and quite efficiently corrects and optimises different exposures (although in the preview this sometimes does not show).
An obvious glitch: after making the adjustments, one must return to the "assistant" tab and select "Align" to process panorama - using "stitch" generates an error. Another problem is with overwriting existing files - sometimes works and sometimes just shows a failure message.
The programme crashed several times for no apparent reason and thus lost a full star. Fortuitously, it loads quickly to try again.
Overall, it is a good software, with many advanced features. Some features may appear difficult and frustrating to a casual user. Minor glitches require fixing.
"Think GIMP is a mess? Wait till you see this disaster."
Version: Hugin 2011.4
Free. Not my time, mind you. In fact, I'm probably going to pay a few bucks for a program that doesn't require three hours of my time just for basic operations.
This program brings the following question to mind: "what exactly is happening here?" Imagine a microwave where the controls aren't labeled. Bunch of blank buttons. You put the food in... what next? Push a few buttons randomly, and learn that... no! You've done it all wrong! Same deal here. Oh, your error will be crystal clear, because Hugin will warn you that, "the linear dimensionality of the glernelbixal slomonotionizer is not sufficiently exposified in proportionate divestiture in accordance with the externally pre-selected flux capacitor inputs." I'm paraphrasing, of course. Eventually you manage a sorta-image and think, "finally! Time to save this thing!" Unfortunately, the default (and unchangeable) file extension isn't registered with the OS. The icon representing the (image? file?) is indeed a Hugin graphic, but double-clicking it confuses the OS, which cheerily reminds you that "Windows can't open this file," prompting you to spend EVEN MORE TIME SETTING UP THIS PROGRAM.
Wow. That was actually fun. I have no doubts the programmer(s) of Hugin are brilliant at what they do. But they apparently failed to test their product with a dummy, like me. I have no earthly idea what is happening when I open their program. Fortunately, it was FREE, and removing it from my hard drive only took a couple minutes.
Version: Hugin 2010.4
Comprehensive features, but also includes an "assist" mode which is easy and effective for 99% of users. Superior results. Free.
Installation disk space and memory usage are pretty large. Processing is slow compared to some other (less capable) stitching programs.
Went looking for this because I was not satisfied with the results from the free stitching program that came with my Canon camera (PhotoStitch). Hugin processed a challenging (because the images were fairly close up, maybe 50ft or less) 360deg sequence of 26 images of a museum courtyard, 14MP each. It produced a flawless result. This was done with the automated assist feature, and required no additional tweaking (although the tweaking features are impressive). PhotoStitch had required adjustment before it would even process the photos, and the result was horrible, with mismatched seams everywhere.
I've given Hugin 5 stars despite the disk and memory usage and speed issues, because the results are that good.
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