1.1 PTMac / PTBatch / LensFix and the plug-ins... Which is right for me?
PTMac is for stitching individual panoramas. It is also the program I use for determining many of the lens correction settings included in LensFix. PTBatch is for batch processing of panoramas and is useful if you have a lot of panoramas you want to process overnight. PTBatch requires PTMac projects for stitching so you need both PTMac and PTBatch to batch process panoramas. LensFix and the plug-ins are focussed on correcting individaul images for distortion or converting a fisheye image to a rectilinear (normal) image.
1.2 Where can I find an introduction to PTMac?
Because of the many lens and panorama types supported by PTMac, the best place to start is to see if one of our introductory tutorials is similar to what you want to stitch. The best place to start with PTBatch and LensFix and the plug-ins is to read the manuals included in their downloads.
1.3 Where can I find an introduction to PTBatch?
PTBatch includes a good place to start.
1.4 Where can I find an introduction to LensFix and the PanoTools plug-ins?
The user manual included with the Lensfix and PanoTools
1.5 Are there discussion lists where I can learn more about Panotools and Quicktime VR?
Yes. Check our our fourm here. Other good resources include International VR Photographers Association, the PanoTools.info site, and the general PanoTools discussion group at Yahoo here. A Quicktime VR discussion list is hosted by Apple at http://lists.apple.com/mailman/listinfo/quicktime-vr
2.1 I lost my registration code
Please contact support at Kekus help desk with as much of your registration information as you can remember and we will try to find your registration key.
2.2 My registration code doesn't work
All programs: If registeration fails, it may be a problem with the permissions on your computer. Go to Applications > Utilities and launch the DiskRepair program to repair the permissions on your startup drive.
PTMac and the plug-ins: If you have one of the old style long registration codes and are installing PTMac 3.0 or later or LensFix 2.0 or later on a new computer, contact us for a new short registration code. Please include your original registration email.
Plug-ins: If registration fails using About > Plugins, load an image in Photoshop, select one of the LensFix or PanoTools plug-ins and follow the registration link.
3.1 I am trying to make a panorama from fisheye images and get a message saying the input field of view is limited to 160 degrees or less.
PTMac uses the PanoTools library for image processing. Versions of the library later than 2.5 are limited to re-mapping fisheye images of less than 160 degrees. This limit does not apply to other image formats (spherical, panoramic, etc.) or to the correction filters such as radial luminance, etc. The laws of physics prevent you from making rectilinear images of 180 degrees or more (they would be infinitely large files). Some users have re-compiled the pano12.lib (and panotools.bundle) to remove the fisheye field of view limitation. Some of the re-compiled libraries can be found here.
Some companies claim to hold patents on the use of fisheye images in certain applications. It is the user's responsibility to determine if their use of fisheye images infringes on the patents of others. While many question the validity of such patents, we do not encourage the violation of patent laws and cannot be held responsible for those who do so.
3.2 Can I use PTMac for OS X in a non-Administrator user account?
Yes. The OS X version of PTMac is the most powerful panorama stitching program available and enjoys the many benefits of Apple's newest operating system including better memory management and the ability to accurately stitch large panoramas. Here is how to use it on a non-Administrator user account:
You may have to log on using the same account as when you installed PTMac or as the main computer admin account.
Step 1. Go to 'System Disk' >> Library >> Application Support and select the PTMac folder. This is the folder that holds the temporary image files created by PTMac.
Step 2. Do a 'Command + i' on the PTMac folder.
Step 3. Click the 'Show Ownership' arrow to show the ownership properties of the PTMac folder.
Step 4. Change the Group Access to Read and Write and the Other Users access to Read and Write. Press the Apply to Enclosed Items button.
PTMac should now be available to all accounts on your computer.
Note that this PTMac folder is the folder that contains the temporary files created by PTMac. If you want to save a preview panorama, go to this folder and copy the temporary file to a new location.
3.3 Are 16 bit images supported?
Additional 16 bit support was added starting with PanoTools.bundle 2.7KK24. Using PanoTools.bundle version 2.7KK24 or later will allow you to create 16 bit panoramas in most of the supported output file types except formats that don't support 16 bits (e.g. JPEG, QTVR, etc.) and any of the layered PSD formats. In addition, input images cannot be cropped or masked by PTMac during stitching or they will be reduced to 8 bit images prior to stitching.
3.4 PTMac fails to make a preview or a final panorama.
While PTMac can read file names and paths containing accented and special characters, Panotools cannot. When creating previews or final panoramas, PTMac passes your image files to Panotools for processing. If the file name or any directory or drive name associated with your images contain an accented, special character or double byte letter, image processing will fail because Panotools cannot find the image. Place your image and project files in folders and on disks named using non-accented letters or numbers. Name your image files using only non-accented letters or numbers.
3.5 The horizon in my panorama rises and falls.
If the horizon in your panorama rises and falls, it is probably due to the pitch and/or roll of your anchor image (the image not selected to have yaw, pitch and roll optimized on the Optimize tab) being different than what you specified on the Image Paramater tab. For example, if you set the yaw, pitch and roll of the anchor image as 0, 0, 90 degrees, the actual pitch may be 10 degrees and the pitch 85 degrees. This is especially true if the images were taken hand-held. The yaw value is arbitrary in a full circle panorama. There are two ways to fix a rolling horizon in PTMac.
Occasionally you can also find a horizontal feature and do the same only select "align vertically" as the alignment type. However, you may get strange results as Panotools optimizes the line to be horizoontal in the final panorama. Horizontal lines will appear to bend when re-mapped to the cylindrical or equirectangular projections and should probably be avoided in most cases.
Option 1. Manually adjust the position of the control image (typically image zero) in the editor window then optimize the panorama as you would normally. To do this, open the editor window (command + e) and uncheck the box "show all images". Use the image selector at the top of the window to show your anchor image. Move the image so the horizon is level and at zero degrees. Finally, go to the optimize tab and optimize as usual.
Option 2. Use the optimizer feature in Panotools to determine the pitch and roll of your control image. You really only need to keep the yaw of one image set in your anchor image when optimizing if you set a horizontal or vertical control line control. To use this method, find two or three vertical features in your image. On the Control Point tab, set a contol point at one end of the vertical featue and one at the opposite end. Next, go the control point box in the lower right corner of the Control point tab and select the control point you just set by clicking on it, then click again on the Alignment type portion of the control point. This brings up an option to select alignment type for that control point pair. Select horizontal alignment for a vertical line as points on a vertical line have the same horizontal location. Note that subsequent control points inherit the same alignment type until it is changed. After setting two or three vertical lines, go to the Optimizer tab, add check marks to the roll and pitch options of your control image and optimize.
Control points for horizontal, vertical and lines can be selected from the same image and do not have to be on separate images. To set a line on a single image, set both images on the control point tab to be the same image then set your points. To set pairs of control points along the vertical feature.
For more information on alignment options when picking control points, go to the Control Points tab then click on the help button.
3.6 PTMac crashes when I try to load images when using version 2.6b1 of the pano12.lib (OS 8.6 to 9.x).
The first release of version 2.6b1 of the pano12.lib was missing some files causing PTMac and Photoshop to crash. Downloading the bug-fixed version found on the PanoTools site solves this problem. Unfortunately, the bug-fixed version has the same version number but can be found on the PanoTools site under the main PanoTools download as "Bug fix for Macintosh". Also read the question above for additional information.
3.7 I get a scrambled image when I try to make a large panorama. (OS 8.6 to 9.x)
This is caused by the PTStitcher application running out of memory. You can increase the memory available to PTStitcher by highlighting the PTStitcher application then pressing command + i. Select Memory in the Show pop-up list and increase the Preferred size to your desired value. Alternatively you can move up to PTMac for OS X which offers better memory management and does not have this problem.
3.8 When using the masked Photoshop option, one or more of the masks completely covers the image. (OS 8.6 to 9.x)
This is also caused by PTStitcher running low on memory as described in the above question. Increasing the preferred memory size should fix this problem. This is not a problem in the OS X version (see the preceding topic).
3.9 My images are reduced to a small dots when I try to stitch a partial panorama.
Optimizer determines the optimal placement of your images and the correct field of view for your images by minimizing the difference between the calculated position and the true location on your images. If you are stitching a panorama that does not make a complete circle and optimize the field of view for the lens, the minimum distance the control points can be apart is if the field of view of the lens is reduced to a small area and the images are moved close together. Uncheck the optimize field of view option in the optimize tab to avoid this situation. At some point you should calculate an accurate field of view for your lens as described in calibrating your lens below.
3.10 How do I calibrate my lens?
Calibrating your lens is actually very simple. You only need only to shoot and make a 360 degree panorama. Optimizer will calculate the correct field of view and lens parameters for your camera and lens combination. The field of views calculated for each panorama will be very consistent between panoramas while the a, b and c values will vary slightly. There are other methods for calibrating your lens but creating a 360 degree panorama is the easiest. Note that your lens calibration values will depend on your camera's orientation (portrait v.s. landscape). This is also true of the a, b and c values for your lens. Check out his and many other tutorials on our tutorial page.
3.11 How do I find which control points are best matched and which ones may be wrong?
You can find a list of the control point optimization results by selecting the Table button on the Control Points tab after optimizing your control points. The results are sortable by distance by clicking on the Distance column header then clicking the up or down arrow in the upper left corner to toggle the sorting direction.
3.12 Why are the thumbnail and panorama editor images so blurry?
PTMac uses reduced size images for the warped image preview and in the panorama editor window. The scale of the thumbnail images had to be reduced to gain acceptable performance on older computers. You can change the scale of images used for the editor window via the pop-up in the lower left corner of the editor window. You can choose one of the pre-selected options or enter your preference via the custom setting.
3.13 The preview image in panorama editor does not look like the final panorama.
The preview image in the panorama editor is an approximation of what your final panorama will look like. The images in the panorama editor and the warped image previews for equirectangular panoramas are approximations useful for image rough image alignment. The final panorama will be somewhat different.
3.14 Publishing panoramas on the web.
You can publish your on the internet using Quicktime, PangeaVR, Flash or any other suitable viewer. See the documentation for your chosen viewer application for details on how to build a web page.
3.15 I still need help.
You can contact support at Kekus .