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What's new
in ImageAssembler 2.x

PanaVue ImageAssembler 2.0 improvements over Visual Stitcher 1.05
(PanaVue ImageAssembler software was formerly called Visual Stitcher)

-New image browser has been added to smoothly and rapidly move around images.

-Capability to insert and remove images in an existing project. PanaVue ImageAssembler will automatically do all proper image renumbering and flag position switching. Capability to change the relative position of an image inside a project simply by dragging the image thumbnail.

-Automatic stitching without having to place the flags. Flags are positioned by the software. User can later bring a manual correction on flags only between those images that were not correctly placed at the first time.

-Possibility to manually enter lens settings such as focal length, fisheye type, tilt angle,
distortion. For users who do not know these settings, PanaVue ImageAssembler provides a new kind of project called "Lens Wizard" which determines all lens settings.

-Zooming in and out is centered around the last-clicked flag for every opened images for faster and precise manual flag placement.

-Saving images is now possible in 1, 4, 8, or 24 bit color depth. Note that internally, PanaVue ImageAssembler continue to work in either of 256 shades of gray or 24 bit color.

-Image blending can now be set on a 0 to 100% scale. It has also been improved in order to remove blurring and ghost images (produced, for example, by somebody or something which is present in one image and not in the following one, by a moving object, or simply photos shot in a non-optimal situation).

-Photo distortion can also be corrected in an "Image Stitching" project.

Improvements in version 2.01 over version 2.0

-A problem that prevented the automatic stitching of 256 shades of gray and bi-tonal images has been fixed.

-The "Flag Assistant" is now working properly on bi-tonal images.

-In a "360 Degree Wrapping" project, the memory space taken by the source image was not cleared after execution, this could lead to a memory overload after some repeated execution of this kind of project.

-In an "Image Stitching" project, in automatic mode, the search for the right angle between each image has been increased in precision.

Improvements in version 2.02 over version 2.01

-Possibility to create QuickTime VR Panoramas that are less than 360 degrees.

-New text added to the Help and the option tips.

Improvement in version 2.02a over version 2.02

- The anti-aliasing option (i.e. the pixel interpolation algorithm) has been re-engineered. As a result, less blurring and noise are introduced in the images as they are manipulated so the warped or stitched images are now much more similar to their original counterpart with respect to the sharpness and precision of details.

Improvement in version 2.02b over version 2.02a

- We fixed a bug introduced with the new anti-aliasing option (see version 2.02a improvement). The problem was visible on the overlapping region of two images. On the stitched result, pure white pixels in this region could in some cases appear as dark pixels.

Improvements in version 2.03 over version 2.02b

- New function added for resizing (resampling) individual images. To access this new function, click on the "image size" item under the "images" menu or on the right mouse button when over an image window.

- The "distortion" factor has been increased from a -5 to 5 scale to a -10 to 10 scale. This was necessary to enable PanaVue ImageAssembler to correctly stitch photos taken with high radial distortion lenses.

- The following bug has been fixed. When using the "rotate all images" button, some computational errors were introduced in "Lens Wizard" projects. The parameters found in these projects were not adequate. The "rotate all" button also lead to a wrong positioning of the flags by the automatic stitching mode.

- The following bug has been fixed. In a "Lens Wizard" project, the distortion factor was consistently underestimated.

- The following bug has been fixed. In a "Photo Stitching" project, when the "No projection (no warping)" option was set, some color errors could occur in the stitched image.

- We improved the look of the flags and the way they appear on the images. PanaVue ImageAssembler now shows just the right number of flags on each image. This corrects the case where some flags had to be ignored by the user because they were not used by ImageAssembler.

- Lossless jpeg support for file saving and opening.

- FlashPix ".fpx" image file format is now supported on Windows 2000.

- Newer version of the TWAIN Data Source Manager.

- Possibility to set the size of the image search area when automatic stitching is chosen.

- In a "Lens Wizard" project, it is now possible to save the new created lens parameters at any time, not just when prompt by the software immediately after execution.

- After the execution of a "Photo Stitching" project, by clicking on a single button the resulting image is brought into a "360 Wrapping" project, saving the user many manual steps.

- A rounding error that occurred when computing the size of the individual source images inside the resulting image was fixed. As a result, it is now possible to set images exactly side by side without any overlapping, provided that flags are placed on the edges.

- In a "Cropping" project, it is now possible to crop a large number of images in batch. By checking a box, every change in the cropping area of a single image is equally applied to all images in the project.

- On Windows 2000, in the Open Project dialog box as well as the Open Image dialog, the initial folder presented was not the same as the last used folder, forcing the user to browse back to last folder. This bug has been fixed.

- Image resizing done with the image size command is now done with bicubic interpolation rather than closest pixel. This improves the quality of QuickTime VR movies, since images saved in this format are automatically resized by ImageAssembler as soon as their width in pixels is not a multiple of 24.

- The QuickTime module used by ImageAssembler has been rebuilt using the latest QuickTime software development kit (as of December 2000) available from Apple. We added the option to set the initial window size of the QuickTime viewer when saving a QuickTime movie with ImageAssembler.

Improvements in version 2.06 over version 2.05

- A bug related to how memory is allocated by the software has been fixed

Improvements in version 2.07 over version 2.06

- Capability to produce QuickTime .mov files from the command line (only for the command line and trial versions).

- Improved Searching algorithm

- Improved blending between the two extremities when wrapping a panorama in a "360 degree Wrapping" project.

- The "Search Area" button of the "Image Stitching" and "Photo Stitching" projects "Options" tab has been modified. It is now possible to set a specific search area for each of these two kinds of projects.

Improvements in version 2.09 over version 2.07

- To improve the support of strongly distorted lenses, the distortion correction has been increased in capacity. "Distorted" lenses are lenses that are supposedly rectilinear but in reality are not, since straight lines on the subject appear as curved lines on the photo. Many newer wide angle digital camera lenses are strongly distorted.

- To improve the support of "full-frame" fisheye lenses, and particularly the Nikon fisheye converter FC-E8 used in mode "fisheye 2" with the Nikon Coolpix, we made the following modification. The minimal focal length supported for fisheye lenses has been decreased from 15.5mm to 14.5mm.

- Since we noted that for many camera lenses, the center of the lens does not correspond to the center of the image (misalignment), we added 2 parameters to "Lens Wizard" project, which are the horizontal and vertical shift of the center of lens. For these "misaligned" lens, this modification directly improves the quality of the result by reducing ghost image and fuzziness. 

- The blending algorithm was improved to remove some visible color difference between consecutive images.

Improvements in version 2.10 over version 2.09

- Bug fix: when using a twain device to import images, saving those images in tiff format used to generate an error.

- Bug fix: when saving an image in a 1-bit tiff format, it used to generate an error.

- The installation file has improved the twain source manager installation. It strictly follows the twain organization recommendations.

- Some cosmetic changes (icons, logos)

Improvements in version 2.11 over version 2.10

- Improved lens wizard parameter finding algorithm. More accurate parameters are found which results in better stitching.

- Bug fix: when printing an image, when using the "print preview" followed by a true print on paper, the parameters entered in the print preview are saved and used in the true print. Before this fix, the user had to re-enter the parameters manually.

- Bug fix. For the command line version only. When called from the command line, ImageAssembler used to misname the resulting image file if the /f: switch indicating the resulting image file type was missing. By default, file type is bmp when no switches are used.

Improvements in version 2.12 over version 2.11

- The automatic position finding algorithm has been made more robust, ImageAssembler is less likely to send a "...cannot automatically place the image(s)..." message.


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