If my pano software meets 99% of my needs while my below par physical conditions makes me arrive late on top of mountains for the sunrise, then I'd rather spend time in the gym instead of looking for ways to gain 1% on a process that basically already works.
I agree completely. I lost 10kg on my last trip to Nepal. I've now put it all back on, sitting in front of the computer, processing images and chatting to people on LL.
Before getting Autopano I was fearful of the effect that even more time sitting in front of the computer would do to my overweight situation, especially with huge 100 image projects.
I recently tried stitching with Autopano 103 images taken with my 20D, 3 rows of 33-35 images. Because the process was automatic, it didn't worry me too much when things didn't go quite to plan.
The first obstacle was a lack of space on the hard drive I had allocated for the temporary scratch folder. When I attempted to render the image (after it took an hour or so for the preview to be created) I got a message to the effect that my hard drive had only 24Gb of free space when 44GB was required. I had to close the program, after renaming the path of the temporary folder, and start again.
The second obstacle occurred about 4 hours into the rendering. A minor storm blew up. There was a bit of thunder and lightning and the usual power cut. I'm connected to a UPS and the computer shut down nicely, but I had to start the rendering a third time when the power came back on. This time I had it running all night. There was no power cut and the stitched, rendered file seem to have been saved okay.
However, the third obstacle was the file size. I'd calculated that 103 x 24MB images should not be larger than 2.5GB at most. I therefore felt safe in using the TIFF file format which has a size limit of 4Gb. I'm sure I clicked on the 8 bit option before rendering but for some reason the saved TIFF file was 4.11GB which appeared to be 16 bit, or maybe that's due to the alpha channel. Anyway, I couldn't find a way of opening the file so I had to begin the rendering again, a fourth time, selecting the PSB format and being very sure I specified 8 bit.
This 4th attempt has worked fine, but oddly enough the finished file size is shown as 4.73GB. However, after opening in CS2 the file size diminishes to 1.77GB. Don't know why this is.
The point of the story is, if I'd had to spend hours doing manual adjustments prior to rendering these images, I'd be tearing my hair out by now.