The difficulty making a 360° Panorama from Thermal or Infrared images is the lack of definition in the images so that there is nothing ‘solid’ for PTGui to use to create Control Points.

The solution is to use PTGui’s Template function, which works by saving the parameters for a specific shooting pattern such as Yaw, Pitch and Roll and camera details, but not the Control Points as they are specific to the detail in the individual images.

To create the Template the first task is to determine the ‘shooting pattern’ because the order, orientation and pattern must be the same for all the Panoramas.

A starting point for designing a ‘shooting pattern’ is an overlap of 35% both horizontally and between rows which provides a good overlap for Control Point generation in the Panorama used to create the Template, but this could be modified as 20% overlap between rows is probably sufficient.

As the rows move away from the horizontal both up and down fewer images are needed in the horizontal rows to maintain a good overlap. 

The 360° Panorama to generate the Template should be made in an enclosed environment with plenty of detail to ensure good Control Point coverage, such as the Church used in the example.

The Template only needs to be made once and does not have to be the same scene as for the Thermal Panoramas.
Once made will be used for all the 360° Thermal Panoramas, but the shooting patterns
must be identical.


Creating the Template

The images for the 360° Panorama used to generate the Template are imported into PTGui and the first operation is to check that PTGui had applied the Crop correctly.
Select Crop from the left menu to check the cropping of the images.

Go back to Project Assistant and Align Images [Shift + F5].

To get the best result the worst Control Points can be deleted.
Select Control Points > Delete Worst Control Points [Ctrl + Shift + W].
If any Control Points are deleted PTGui automatically runs the Optimizer, but if no Control Points are deleted run the Optimizer [F5].

The desired result is to achieve “This is very good “, but “This is good ” is probably acceptable as any small errors in the stitching will not be noticeable in the Thermal Panorama.

I have set my Control Point parameters as 200 per image pair and 10,000 per project which works for me.

You can view the results in the Panorama Editor [Ctrl + E] and the Detail Viewer [Ctrl + Shift + D], but it is useful to use Create Panorama [F3] so that the image can be looked at in detail to ensure a good stitch.

Close PTGui and Save the *.PTS file for possible future use.

Click the *.PTS file to open the Panorama again.
Use File > Save as Template… [Alt+ Ctrl +T] to save the template, then close the Panorama without saving any changes to the *.PTS file.

The Template is now ready for use with the Thermal Images.


Creating the Thermal 360° Panorama using the Template

The Thermal (Infrared) images for the 360° Panorama are recorded using exactly the same shooting pattern (number of images, orientation of images and sequence as used for shooting the panorama used to create the Template).

Once these images have been adapted to be suitable for use in PTGui they are imported into PTGui.
File > Template brings up the stored templates which will include the one created previously.

PTGui aligns the images using the Template and the 360° Thermal Panorama can be viewed in the Panorama Editor [Ctrl + E] and the Detail Viewer [Ctrl + Shift + D] and using Create Panorama [F3] outputs the 360° Thermal Panorama.