Smartblend? Smartblend!

Brief guide

Published with permission of Michel Norel the author of Smartblend plugin

This program made revolution in technique of taking panoramic picture. Things seemed impossible turned out to be easy.

Smartblend eliminates lightness differences on the edges of processed images and allows solving problems caused by parallax and moving objects what is especially important for correct аssembling of panoramic images taken on the streets.

Taking pictures and blending of profesional quality panoramas becomes easy without of expensive panoramic heads. Even a tripod is not obligate.


Hiding seams

Stitched without further processing


Processed with Enblend


Processed with Smartblend.

This example shows that Smartblend is an obvious leader.

Smartblend automatically eliminates "mistakes" due to parallax. That allows us to take a set of panoramic pictures with a hand hold camera


The source images for this example are made by Oleg Gaponiuk (Olevka). Taken from a helicopter flown over Grand Canyon (US).


Below is the blended panorama.

Here are front stage crops made with Enblend and Smartblend.

Any comments needed?


Pictures with moving objects taken on the streets.

The result of Smartblend work is on the left. It's fantastic! By the way you can control blending with masks. Before rendering a panorama unwanted objects can be masked in a photo editing software and the pictures are to be saved as TIF. Everything covered by a mask on the overlapping parts of images will be removed.


How to use Smartblend with PTGui

That is simple. Download and unzip the plugin. It is better to place the unzipped folder on the same hard drive (physical or logical) where you are planning to assemble and keep you panoramas. The best is to have a separate hard drive with a free space over 10 Gb and a swap-file placed there. Here is the way to assign a swap-file in Windows XP.

Right-click on My computer icon. Choose Properties and click on the Advanced tub. In the field Performance choose Settings-> Advanced. Click the button Change In the field Virtual memory. Select the drive you want and point at System mamaged size.

Then the button Set must be pushed !!!!!!

The screenshot below shows a paging file assigned to Drive D.

After you pres OK the system will prompt you to reboot. Having rebooted launch PTGui and configure it to work with Smartblend. Choose Options in menu Tools.

In the opened window choose Plugins tub and in the field Smartblend indicate the path to the plugin using button Browse. Then press ОК.


In the field Stitch using choose PTGui (but using Panorama Tools)  and in the field Blend using point at Smartblend plugin.

Now it's ready. When the source images are warped Smartblend window will be opened and in the most cases you'll get a panorama that wouldn't need serious retouching.

As an additional example you can download the archived project with pictures taken by Oleg Gaponiuk (Olevka) we have already reviewed in this topic.

Download the project

Try here if the first link doesn't work

There are two projects in the archive. One of them uses Smartblend and the second works with Enblend. Launch both of them and compare.

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