Image Alignment and Stitching: A Tutorial

Rick Szeliski

MSR-TR-2004-92 |

This tutorial reviews image alignment and image stitching algorithms. Image alignment (registration) algorithms can discover the large-scale (parametric) correspondence relationships among images with varying degrees of overlap. They are ideally suited for applications such as video stabilization, summarization, and the creation of large-scale panoramic photographs. Image stitching algorithms take the alignment estimates produced by such registration algorithms and blend the images in a seamless manner, taking care to deal with potential problems such as blurring or ghosting caused by parallax and scene movement as well as varying image exposures. This tutorial reviews the basic motion models underlying alignment and stitching algorithms, describes effective direct (pixel-based) and feature-based alignment algorithms, and describes blending algorithms used to produce seamless mosaics. It closes with a discussion of open research problems in the area.