Hugin and small, silly mencoder tip

From time to time I like making panorama pictures. When I started several years ago, Autostitch was really popular, but it didn’t have a Linux version, which sucked. Actually, it still doesn’t. However, it worked under wine, so I just used it via emulation. It was very simple and worked ok.

Sometimes I’d look for alternatives under Linux (if possible, free) and I had seen a tool called Hugin. It looked complicated (at least compared to Autostitch’s select-pictures-hit-ok-there-you-go), and for some reason I never really used it. It probably wasn’t packaged for Debian or something like that.

A couple of days ago, though, I arrived from a trip where I took a couple of panoramas, and Autostitch had a quite suboptimal behaviour: it didn’t recognise one of my panoramas, and some others were completely destroyed perspective-wise. So I decided to give Hugin another go. And boy am I happy with it. It’s very easy to install in Debian, and although I had some problem with the path to enblend (apparently I had to specify the absolute path to it in preferences), everything worked fine. Selecting the points to join the pictures is not that hard, and actually has one advantage over Autostitch, namely that if it doesn’t recognise your panoramas automatically, you are giving “hints” about which points are the same in other pictures to Hugin, so it will work. Another advantage is that it has several ways of joining the pictures, which solved my second problem with perspective destruction :-)

Apart from the panorama pictures, I also had some videos… and one of them was recorded as “portrait” instead of “landscape”. So I needed a way to rotate the video. Fortunately, that was easy enough with mencoder (using command-line, though):

mencoder -vop rotate=2 MVI_2352.AVI -ovc lavc -oac copy -o MVI_2352.avi

I found the tip in some thread in Ubuntu forums, and had to look up the values for “rotate” in @mencoder@’s manpage:

0 Rotate by 90 degrees clockwise and flip (default). 1 Rotate by 90 degrees clockwise. 2 Rotate by 90 degrees counterclockwise. 3 Rotate by 90 degrees counterclockwise and flip.