Panoweaver 6 (Standard Edition) review

There are several tools available for creating 3D panoramas. Apple’s QuickTime VR authoring page (www.apple.com/quicktime/resources/tools/qtvr.html) lists a solid dozen, while Photoshop users will be familiar with the 3D functions of CS4.

Panoweaver beauty is in its straightforward workflow, ease of use and uncluttered interface. The tool enables you to import a sequence of digital images that can be tweaked, then assembled automatically into a 3D panoramic shot. The results can then be output as flat image files, or interactive Flash or QuickTime 3D environments.

You’ll need a minimum of four photographs mapping a scene, which you can open in the program by shift-selecting in the open dialog. Once in Panoweaver, you can fine-tune parameters. Then, when you’re ready, you click a button and create the panorama.

Panoweaver 5.0 added HD and Raw support, but this version doesn’t seem to have many new features to match that in the standard edition. The main benefit is improved performance, with support for dual-core processors – and a slew of bug fixes. We still struggled with some of the tweaking tools though, which seemed less than responsive.

OUR VERDICT

Ideal for web tours, online galleries and perhaps even interactive gaming, the standard edition offers support for ‘normal’ photographic imagery at a reasonable price. To get wider image type support, including fisheye lens images, you’ll need to pull five times the dosh out of your wallet to get the Professional Edition.

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