Panorama Stitching

The problem is that stitching is not a RAW operation, it is a bitmap operation. Even Photoshop doesn’t perform stitching at a RAW level; it might allow you to select RAW files but it converts them all to bitmap before doing the merge.

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I want to add to that, there’s no way to fall back on the RAW data since your composed image is made from 2 or more images.


Here’s a different workflow to achieve the same results using ICE:

  1. Confirm all files of the series were shot in manual mode (to avoid problems with exposure, focus, etc.)
  2. In PL, right click the first file of the series<Show input file in Windows Explorer.
  3. In WE, Press and hold Shift, select the last file in the series highlighting all the files in the series.
  4. Right click<Stitch using ICE. ICE will launch.
  5. Create the panorama and Save.
  6. Open the panorama in PL and edit to your taste.
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An alternate way of doing this with ICE is:

  1. Confirm all files of the series were shot in manual mode (to avoid problems with exposure, focus, etc.)
  2. Adjust in PL as desired.
  3. In PL, click the ‘Export to application’ button, set up ‘Export to’ to use ICE and click the Export button.
  4. Create the panorama and Save.
  5. Open the panorama in PL and edit to your taste.

Either way, the downside of doing this kind of export to ICE is the creation of a set of JPG files that (usually) need to be deleted because they’re no longer needed. Just an extra workflow step, from one way of looking at it, but I think that’s the attraction of having this function integrated into PL. On the other hand, the last time I used Nik plugins, the same problem of ‘extra’ temporary files existed…

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Would you explain something in your approach that I don’t understand, please? In step 2, each file is separately adjusted, then stitched in ICE.

I considered this approach, but might there be slight variations between the files that would appear in the stitched file unless the edits to the first file were copied and pasted to the following files?

My technique is to stitch first, then adjust the stitched file. This seems simpler, no copying and pasting edits, and eliminates the file difference problem.

In PL, you can select all the images at once and apply whatever edits you may want (e.g., ClearView, Contrast, Exposure compensation, etc.) to the whole selection. That avoids the problem of individual image differences. No copying and pasting of edits needed.

This works for global changes, but how do you handle selective changes? For example, the buildings on the left of this pano photo are in very deep shadow in the original, unedited file and needed selective lightening. Global adjustments copied to the individual files would not have worked.

My ‘2. Adjust in PL as desired.’ doesn’t rule out making individual PL adjustments as desired/needed, after making global adjustments (as needed). This skips sending files to WE, so simplifies your workflow.

What is the difference between this and and editing after stitching?


Doing this with the raw image before export (rather than afterward with a jpg/tif/etc) gives you more flexibility in processing (i.e., 12/14 bits v 8 bits). I also allows access to DxO PL lens corrections.

The camera is using a 12/14bits ad converter. But I think PL is using 16 bits.
Also my knowledge is that after the demosaicing, the conversion from singel channel pixels to 3 channel pixels, most tools are based on that rgb rasterimage, as I call it. As far as I know only white balance, exposure compensation and raw noise are falling back on the raw files.
When I use ICE, I export the files as tiff-16, ICE can save the pano as tiff-16 which can be imported in PL again and than save as a jpg.
Editing on a selection of more then one image does have the disadvantage that you see the effect on only one image
There’re some assumptions. Maybe somebody of the technical staff can clear the sky.


@Joanna and @George,

I think that there’s a misunderstanding.
I wrote:

Would love to see panorama RAW stitching

RAW stitching does not mean that the result is a RAW file. It’s not what I meant

Let me explain it differently. Assume the final panorama is issued from 3 RAW files. RAW stitching means than all modifications (exposure, WB, etc.) will be performed on each of those 3 RAW files individually. Local adjustments? On the one file where the local adjustments took place.

Then, you would render the 3 RAW files as per DxO usual process at the same time (so yes, 3 times the CPU power if you wonder) and only then, for pure on-screen display, do the stitching of the 3 rendered bitmap files (merging and auto-alignment).

Why not adjusting each file individually and export 3 JPG for later stitching in another software? Easy answer: because the fact that I can directly view an on-screen rendered version of the stitching helps me (a lot!) making some decisions. I don’t have to “guess” how it’ll look across the whole panorama if I can preview my result at once. For instance, maybe my exposure adjustment was OK when looked at each photo individually, but once stitched together it looks not OK.

That’s all to it! And it’s important.

When you want to make pano’s serious you’ve to work with fixed setting for focus, exposure and wb. Focus you can’t change. Exposure and wb you can but why in just 1 image? Why shooting with a fixed exposure if you want to change that individual in post editing?
Your goal is a pano. If you want to do some local or global adjustments, you must see them in that context: the pano.
Don’t use jpg for a pano, use tiff if possible.
I’m not sure for 100% if a fixed wb is important.
That are mine thoughts.


you must see them in that context: the pano.

Well, that’s exactly what I’m writing and that’s why there’s a request for doing it in DxO :wink:

Exposure and wb you can but why in just 1 image?

For instance, your pano can be a circus (mountain formation) but the east side is pretty much in the dark, so you may want to lift the shadows in that area. And for this kind of adjustment, I highly prefer doing them in RAW (probably as everyone using DxO or C1). But as I said - and as you said - you want to see this adjustment in the context of the pano.

Hence the need of being able to adjust RAW files (= no TIFF export to another software) while having a pano rendered on your screen at the same time (= the object of the requested feature).

Three images with their overlays. When shooting one tries to get the overlays as similar as possible, that’s why the fixed focus and exposure. When editing only on one image one is disrupting that aspect in post editing.
PL works intern with 16 bits. When you save to tif-16 in ICE and open it in PL you can just continue working on it.
The pano from Jim is interesting. It has a lot of moving objects. I think 2 images with an overlay in the middle.


I don’t know what you’re trying to say, but I think I made my point about why stitching within DxO PL is a real benefit.

It is interesting that there is talk about functionalities of third-party SW, although I only asked about one possibility functionality within DXO PhotoLab.

I am now using Affinity for stitching, but I’d like it to be on the roadmap for DXO PhotoLab.

Keeping everything in view!

Well consider this as well as all the other comments in here user votes to add that functionality. Panorama’s are a big deal to me and since I am currently on the free trial, it might just be a killer and cause me to use another program. Undecided at this time as I could see the better image processing within just a few minutes of opening the program for the first time. But ON1 still does a good job and allows for panorama stitching.

Gotta say MERGE functions in Lightroom are very simple, elegant and useful. I wish DxO could produce merged images as easily. Select photos, select merge and you have a new DNG in your library.
I often combine final images from several shots and spending time handling each part could be used better.
Merge function should handle both “panorama” (that is: overlapping images, not necessarily horizontal takes) and “HDR” (fit exposure of each frame to others optimally). I understand that automatic routine does make its own decisions how image should look, but mostly LR makes them look good and that level would be good enough for me. Sure if more control is needed using separate images and external app will be probably better.

I use Panorama Studio 3

I setup an “export to program” where I export 16bit tif files and then export my photos and they arrive in Panorama Studio where I stitch them and then save to the same folder and the panorama appears in DPL for further editing.

Steps for this are:

  1. Apply minimum edits such as lens correction and possibly exposure
  2. Copy edits to ALL photos in the panorama so all photos are the same
  3. Export to Panorama Studio
  4. Create your panorama from the files which open in Panorama Studio automatically.
  5. Save generated panorama to same folder as original files.
  6. Apply final edits to panorama in DPL

I get great results like this and it is simple do. The only missing thing is the ability to skew the image to fix wavy horizons and some sort of content-aware fill.