21/02/2010 : The shooting
So I went to a spot in Cannes that I really like. It's located just beside the Suquet Church ... there you get a great view on Cannes.

I then set up my tripod, my brand new Canon 7D body and its 18-135mm lens.
I pushed the lens to 135mm, made an approximate focus, and started shooting row/columns of pictures ...

Result : 596 18Mpixel pictures in 40 minutes. Great ...

First issue ... Assembling the panorama ... Autopano Giga has no problem doing so ... this brilliant piece of software could easily perform the task ... but not the hardware underneath ...

Test #1 : windows 7 32Bit, Phenom II x4, 2Gb RAM 5Gb Swap Tb of temporary disk space... failure during the stitching ... not enough memory was the cause (and lack of swap)

Test #2 : Mac OSX Snow Leopard on MacBook Pro (2009) Intel Core2Duo, 4Gb RAM, 200Gb Disk space ... Stitching was done OK ... Rendering failed for well I don't know ...

There I thought I'd never make it ... so I let a week of thinking go by ...

28/02/2010
I remembered that Kolor, editors of Autopano Giga, was providing thier software on different OS ... I had tried Windows, Mac OSX ... now there was Linux ...

I got parts from several old PC and ...
Test #3 : Poor old AMD Athlon 64 (single core), 3Gb RAM, 46Go Swap and 250Gb temporary Disk Space ... running Linux Ubuntu 9.10 64bit (Karmic Koala)

Oh before I get any further ... another issue I bumped into was output format ... I had never had the encountered the following issues :
-JPEG format is limited to 64000pixel wide pictures ... and Photoshop even the CS4 isn't able to open JPEG wider than 30000pixels
-PNG, TIFF formats are limited to 2Gb pictures

The only option available was Photoshop PSB ... yeas psB not psD ... PSB stands for PhotoShop Big ...
That's because the stitched panorama was : over 155000x25000 pixels ...

It is exactly : 155638x25709 ... which bring the overall size to : 4001297342 pixels ... 4 Gigapixels ...

Therefore this was my first Gigapixel Panorama ...

But let's come back to the rendering on the Athlon 64 .... it actually worked !!! 56 hours later I had a 7Gb PSB file !!!

But wait ... now how the hell was I going to share this ?!

The solution was to use Zoomify Express ... but that meant first to open the 7Gb in PhotoShop ... but none of my machines were able to do so !!! :(

01/03/2010
But some friend of mine lent me for a test a machine ... well a HellOfAMachine ... 32cores and 64Gb of RAM ...
Well rendering the panorama on this didn't take 56hours .... but less than 2 !!!

And half of this time was needed to store the data on the disks ... yeah I should have used SSD drives (err ... I don't have that at hand :p ).


Result after the 2hours of rendering ... an 11Gb PSB file ... which could, on this machine be opened by Photoshop and exported via Zoomify ...


And there it is ...


I don't think I will make another one soon ... as I won't have the processing power ;)

However, I am glad that I could make this as I wanted !!!
And the result is great too, well at least according to me ;)