Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

PTGui 10 gets GPU-based image stitching engine

PTGui in action, in a tutorial video from 2011. Version 10 of the software, released yesterday, adds a new GPU-based stitching engine, accelerating the process of creating panoramas by up to 10 times.

New House Internet Services has released PTGui 10. The latest version of the image-stitching tool adds a GPU-accelerated stitching engine, a free viewer for spherical panoramas, and, for Pro users, a new tonemapper.

Although widely used by photographers, PTGui also has a strong following in the CG industry for creating HDRIs: for example, in this Aaron Sims VFX short.

Stitch images up to 10 times faster
According to the developers, the new GPU-enabled engine in PTGui 10 gives a speed boost of “anywhere between 1.5x and 10x” over the previous release of the software when stitching panoramas.

The engine is OpenCL-based, so it can make use of pretty much any graphics card, but the release notes say that you’ll need at least 2GB of graphics RAM to see much benefit from it.

PTGui 10 also comes with a free tool for viewing spherical panoramas. It’s a standalone app, not part of the core software, so whether you use it will probably depend on how much you like existing third-party alternatives.

In addition, users of the Pro edition of the software get a new, faster tone mapping algorithm for HDR panoramas, which New House says also gives more natural-looking results.

Pricing and availability
PTGui 10 is available now for Windows and Mac OS X. An individual licence of the base edition costs $110; the Pro edition costs $207. Volume discounts are available on larger orders.

Read a full list of new features in PTGui on New House Internet Services’ website