Stitching panoramas from camcorder footage

I finally got around to testing out my theory that a decent panorama could be made from frames pulled out of a slow pan using a camcorder.

I used Premiere Pro to extract all the frames and AutoStitch to stitch a selection of them. Photoshop’s Photomerge was unable to automatically place all the frames correctly. AutoStitch got it all right. The quality is not great because of the camcorder and footage, but it worked well enough for me to want to give it a shot with my newer camcorder and a better subject. This is from 2000 shot using a Sony TRV-510.

I need a better process to extract frames — having Premiere Pro extract all of them and then picking some by hand to use was tedious. This got me to the stitching without a lot of grubbing around for a better extraction tool, though. My plan next time is to find or write a tool that will take the captured AVI and pop out every nth frame as a BMP or JPG. I imagine one could take a tool like that and license AutoStitch to automate even more of the process.

With a sufficently nice camcorder and patience you could assemble a pretty high resolution image of a scene given how much optical zoom is on the typical camcorder. I’d be surprised if it beats taking a few high resolution pictures with a good still camera but sometimes what I have is a camcorder and what I want is a big still image…