Classic step 6 – Sharpen the resized image

Use the Sharpen command to sharpen the image
Use the Improve quality command to reduce generational degrading


Use the Sharpen command to sharpen the image

Be subtle – it’s easy to overdo sharpening!  If you’re one of those folks that hate sharpening, just skip the sharpening.

In response to the Sharpen command (New image menu), The Panorama Factory displays a preview rectangle and runs the modeless Sharpen image dialog box.  You can adjust the sharpening parameters and see the response interactively within the preview rectangle.  Refer to the Sharpen image dialog box for explanations of the sharpening parameters.

When you place the cursor over the various parts of the preview rectangle it changes to show you what editing actions are possible:

This cursor

Means this


Indicates that the cursor is over one of the sides or corners of the preview rectangle. Dragging changes the size of the rectangle.

Indicates that the cursor is not over any part of the preview rectangle. Dragging draws a new preview rectangle.

When you are satisfied with the sharpening parameters, use the Approve command (Image menu) to generate the sharpened image. The sharpened image is added to the end of the computed thumbnails list.

If you want to change the sharpening parameters later, select the sharpened image and use the Show source command (Image menu) to redisplay the Sharpen image dialog box.

You can also sharpen a group of images by selecting a group of thumbnails before choosing the Sharpen command.  All the images will be sharpened by the same amount.



Use the Improve quality command to reduce generational degrading

After sharpening, you can use the Improve quality command (Image menu) to reduce generational degrading of the image. This command recomputes the image more precisely at the expense of speed. You use your own judgment to determine whether this time-quality tradeoff is worth it.

In normal operation, The Panorama Factory computes images by resampling their immediate predecessor images with bicubic sampling. For example, when you crop the stitched image, The Panorama Factory samples pixels from the stitched image. This can lead to a generational degrading of the computed images.

The Improve quality command recreates the current image by tracking each pixel back to its corresponding location within the original imported images. This improves the image quality by replacing multiple image generations with a single generation.

The quality improvement may be subtle. A typical panorama only has three significant resampling generations: (1) trimming the imported images, (2) warping the trimmed images (includes barrel correction and fine tuning), and (3) cropping the stitched image. Other image processing steps do not introduce the type of generational degradation that is addressed by the Improve quality command.

There is a time-quality tradeoff involved here. The Improve quality command takes a significant amount of time to recompute the image. You may or may not find that the improvement is worth the time spent.

Images whose quality has been improved are marked with this symbol above their thumbnail images:

Please note also that quality improvement is temporary. The next time you recompute the image for any reason, the quality improvement is lost and you must repeat the Improve quality command. So you probably should use this command only immediately before printing or otherwise publishing a panorama.

To learn more about generational image degradation, see “Improving the quality of multi-generation images” at

If you are working from scanned photos (negatives, slides or prints), you should color correct the final image before going on to Step 8.  See “Color correct the imported images in Chapter 5, “Extra steps when working from scanned photos.”


© 1999-2009, Smoky City Design, LLC
Updated: March 6, 2009