1. 1. Shooting photos

    Photos are taking from a fixed point with either a DSLR or a drone. The camera is rotated and depending on the situation, tens or hundreds of images are captured from different angles. These images are then edited (in RAW) and exported to JPEGs.

    When shooting with a DSLR, a crane-like device to achieve a higher viewpoint than would be possible by shooting handheld. When using a drone, you can get some stunning shots and perspectives, but you never the entire sky as the drone can't shoot above its horizon line, only below it. More on this at a later stage.

  2. 2. Stitching

    This is where my work actually starts.

    All the photos are now imported into PTGui Pro and aligned. The software will then create an initial alignment, which for aerial photos such as these, can work almost perfectly. For DSLR shots, manual correction is almost always required, and this process can take hours or even days.

    After the panorama is properly stitched, it's then exported as a massive (in this example: 19212 px by  9606px) rectangular JPEG.

  3. 3. Compositing

    After the panorama has been exported, it's then composited in Affinity Photo. In aerial shots, the sky is always missing, and sometimes there are holes in the panorama.

    Usually, a template sky (either a gradient or composited) is used. This means simply adding the sky to the composition and blending it in. Sometimes, however, building the sky from scratch is required.

  4. 4. Finishing touches

    Now that the sky has been composited, it's time to look around for errors and correcting them. Sometimes this means fixing small stitching errors, sometimes removing unwanted or duplicated elements (a car or a person walking while shooting can show in the photo multiple times). After that, the final color correction is performed and the result exported.

  5. 5. Deploying

    The website is handled by a third party, so no need to worry about that. After the panoramas are finished, they get sliced and eventually uploaded. Metadata, links and other data is also entered to the system.

    And there we have it! For a single panorama it can take from less than a day to nearly a week to go through the process from start to finish.