While at coffee today with Jim Lawson, Mike Dooney and Dan Berger, conversation at one point veered around to what I've been doing lately with the Panorama Maker 4 program. Mike made a brilliant suggestion: If this software was so good at stitching together photos, why couldn't it stitch together pieces of scans?
You see, one of the minor annoyances of life in the digital age for artists is that most scanners are not big enough to scan in one pass anything larger than 11 by 17 inch originals. What you end up doing is scanning half of the piece, then turning it around and scanning the other half. Because it is almost impossible to put both sides in at exactly the same angle, you must then carefully piece both sections together, rotating one (or both) of them JUST enough so that they match up. Depending on how complex the art is, it can be a VERY frustrating task.
So, taking Mike's suggestion to heart, I decided to try it out when I got home today. I did three experiments, and they all worked. Here's one of the more difficult tests.
I scanned this piece -- an original TMNT Volume 2 cover which Steve Lavigne had painted -- in two pieces. I even rotated both pieces a little bit more off-kilter than they were scanned, just to make it a little harder for the software. Here are the two pieces...
And here, after less than a minute of processing, is the stitched-together result. (I didn't rotate the finished piece into perfect vertical alignment, so you could see exactly how it came out of Panorama Maker 4.)
Pretty darned good, I'd say! -- PL