Panorama Tools Download

Last Updated: January 23, 2007

What's on this page? From this page, you can download the files from Dersch's Panorama Tools software used by PTAssembler. The four files are:

  • Pano12.dll
  • PTStitcher.exe
  • PTMender.exe
  • PTOptimizer.exe
  • PTAInterpolate.exe
The first four of these files can be used to create panoramic images using PTAssembler and other "front-end" programs for Panorama Tools. The version of Pano12.dll is the latest Sourceforge version (see below) as of June 11, 2006. The version of PTStitcher.exe is the most recent versions (see below) released by Helmut Dersch. The versions of PTOptimizer.exe and PTmender.exe are from July 2006 with some of my own modifications.

A little history. Until mid 2002, German math professor Helmut Dersch was the sole developer of a suite of software programs called Panorama Tools. In 2002, Dersch "disappeared" from the internet community. His website closed down, his mailing list ended, and all e-mail communication ceased. It is still unknown exactly what happened to Dersch although there has been much speculation about Dersch's silence being forced as part of threatened patent litigation. Dersch's site has recently reopened, although he no longer distributes Panorama Tools.

In 2003-2004, it started to look increasingly unlikely that Dersch was going to continue developing his own software, Panorama Tools. Luckily Dersch had released some (but not all) of his source code for Panorama Tools and a number of software developers (myself included) started to work on improving Panorama Tools...trying to pick up where Dersch had left off. As good as Panorama Tools was, there was (is) still room for improvement. While improvements were made to Pano12.dll (the main library of "stitching" logic), progress on PTStitcher and PTOptimizer (the "controller" programs used to execute the stitching logic) was slow because Dersch never released the source code for these programs. Both had to be completely rewritten from scratch. PTOptimizer was created quite quickly due to the simplicity of the program. PTStitcher is significantly more complex.

PTOptimizer and PTMender. In early 2006, volunteers started work on rewriting PTStitcher from scratch. I have been contributing to this effort along with a number of other volunteer programmers. The result is a program called PTMender. The work is ongoing, PTMender doesn't yet replicate all of the features of the original PTStitcher, and there are likely to be bugs. However, it has progressed to the point where it is able to able to produce output in TIFF_m, TIFF_mask, TIFF, JPG, PNG and PSD (both flattened and layered versions), and does so much more quickly than PTStitcher. Moreover, it uses considerably less memory than PTStitcher and, as such, should not crash when creating very large panoramas...a problem with PTStitcher.

The version of PTMender distributed here is designed as a "drop in" replacement for PTStitcher. This means that any program that uses PTStitcher should (in theory, at least) be able to use PTMender. It uses the same script syntax as PTStitcher with a couple of additions:

  • Cropped TIFF. PTMender will output "cropped" TIFF files in TIFF_m or TIFF_mask format if the output format (on the "p" line in the script) is specified like as "TIFF_m r:CROP" or "TIFF_mask r:CROP". Cropped TIFFs can be processed by Enblend 2.5, and are much smaller, and quicker to generate than uncropped TIFFs.
  • LZW Compression. PTMender will output TIFF files using LZW format if the output format includes the string "c:LZW" (e.g. "TIFF_m r:CROP c:LZW"). Not only are these files smaller than the default Packbits compressed files, but they also work around a bug in some versions of Photoshop that was unable to read large Packbits-compressed TIFF files.

PTAinterpolate. In late 2006 and early 2007, I wrote an enhanced version of PTInterpolate -- one of the other original Panorama Tools programs -- from scratch. Like the other programs in the original Panorama Tools distribution, no source code was ever released for the original PTInterpolate. My rewritten version of PTInterpolate is included (with source code) with the distribution on this page. In order to reduce confusion between my program and the original, I have named my program "PTAInterpolate". This program should function as a replacement for the original PTInterpolate, and includes the following enhancements:

  1. When used with the accompanying source code in the accompanying distribution, the output is in TIFF format, not PSD (with an incorrect extension)
  2. The output filenames produced by this program include a numeric value indicating the amount of the interpolation position between left and right images
  3. If no valid "i" lines are included in script, then this program triangulates the c lines, and overwrites the script file

A note about setup. The zip file that can be downloaded from this page includes only a subset of the source code and executables that were part of the original Panorama Tools distribution. A more complete suite of Panorama Tools may be found at the Sourceforge site. There is no automatic setup for Panorama Tools. Pano12.dll should be placed in the Windows "system" directory (typically c:\windows\system32), and PTStitcher.exe, PTMender.exe and PTOptimizer.exe can be placed in any other directory.

License. Panorama Tools is distributed under the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE.

Download. Download Panorama Tools

Disclaimer: I am providing this release of Panorama Tools as a service to other users of Panorama Tools. This software (and source code) are provided 'as is' without warranty of any kind. Use them at your own risk. I disclaim all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall I be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages.

--Max Lyons ( e-mail | Discussion Forums | Image Galleries | Software )