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Spin_1
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-16-2009

Is Stitcher now end of life?

1910 Views, 28 Replies
09-16-2009 04:31 AM
Seeing as how there seems to be no comment at all from Autodesk about the future of Stitcher and the removal of professional features like batch processing, is this software now end of life? I have a substantial investment in Stitcher over the years and the last upgrade actually removed features I specifically purchased it for. The user base deserves an upfront and honest statement by Autodesk as to it's intentions regarding the future of both the software and support for it.

Thanks

Rick
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Active Contributor
Sam Rohn
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-20-2008

Re: Is Stitcher now end of life?

09-16-2009 12:13 PM in reply to: Spin_1
yeah, its strange that they would buy realviz and then abandon this product, but it has been over 1 year and nothing but downhill since autodesk's acquisition -

seems pretty clear they dont give a hoot about the users of this product, which i had used since version 3.0

glad i didnt buy the last version, money which was better spent on PTGUI -

sam
Sam Rohn :: Panoramic Photography :: www.samrohn.com :: Location Scout :: www.nylocations.com :: New York City
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Active Contributor
Sam Rohn
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-20-2008

Re: Is Stitcher now end of life?

09-16-2009 01:47 PM in reply to: Spin_1
i actually got a better response to this on autodesk's facebook page, where it seem that somebody is at least paying some attention -

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Autodesk-Media-Entertainment-User-Community/122525584362
Sam, we spoke to Sticher product management and received the following response:

Details on development plans for future versions of Autodesk Stitcher are currently unavailable. We are unable to comment on future development schedules at this time. Further details will be communicated as and when these become available.

We will keep you posted on any news as soon as we receive it.


unfortunately, this is the same form letter non response that they have always given, perhaps if enough stitcher users visited and posted on the facebook page someone might motivate the stitcher team to actually respond to customer questions and feedback ?

sam
Sam Rohn :: Panoramic Photography :: www.samrohn.com :: Location Scout :: www.nylocations.com :: New York City
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Active Member
egarreau
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-10-2008

Re: Is Stitcher now end of life?

09-17-2009 08:06 PM in reply to: Spin_1
Hi Sam and Rick,
I'm Elisabeth Garreau, Stitcher Product Marketing Manager at Autodesk. As of today, there is no plan to abandon Stitcher. We continue to provide 30-day support, as it has been the case since the Realviz acquisition. Unfortunately, we have no dedicated resource for the user forum...
I would be happy to discuss with you about the problems you may have experienced with Stitcher. Please feel free to contact me directly and I will make sure the dev team get your feedback.
Elisabeth
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Active Contributor
Sam Rohn
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-20-2008

Re: Is Stitcher now end of life?

09-17-2009 11:48 PM in reply to: Spin_1
thanks elisabeth, but it seems kind of rude for autodesk to continually ignore the fundamental questions here, asked by myself and others many times -

"Why was batch rendering removed from autodesk stitcher 5.7 & Stitcher Unlimited 2009 ?"

and also

"Will it be returned in a FREE patch to users of stitcher 5.7 & stitcher unlimited ?"

many users who had paid for previous versions of stitcher where batch render worked felt burned by the silent removal of this feature from stitcher 5.7, a paid "upgrade", and autodesks subsequent refusal to respond to or address the issue in any way

batch rendering is a CRITICAL pro feature, it was somewhat buggy, but did work in 5.6.2 and before - removing this critical feature makes autodesk stitcher now unsuitable for pro work, and reverting to a previous version is not an acceptable workaround...

please, addressing this question once and for all in autodesks own public forum is not too much to ask, autodesk is a large company, surely they have the resources to participate in their own forums and address customers issues with their products ?

offering to forward our feedback to the devs is nice, but forums are now an important part of the way most modern software companies support their customers, why don't the devs already pay attention to the feedback already here ?

sticking with realviz long established policy of ignoring customer feedback & issues posted in your own public forum only alienates existing and potential customers

and 30 days is a trial period, not a support plan, all of your competitors offer excellent support for the life of the product !

is this explicitly saying that Stitcher users are totally on their own 30 days after autodesk receives their money ? clearly, many long time users are still having problems after using the software for years, is this saying that there is now no support offered to these repeat customers at all, we don't care about any probs long time users have with our product, good luck ?

all of Stitchers competitors, PTGUI, Autopano, Hugin, Pano2VR, Panotools, etc, also offer very large and helpful user communities & developers who pay attention to paying customers - if a company with Autodesks resources cannot muster the same, then this product really is dead -

thanks

sam
Sam Rohn :: Panoramic Photography :: www.samrohn.com :: Location Scout :: www.nylocations.com :: New York City
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Valued Contributor
badders_1
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎12-18-2008

Re: Is Stitcher now end of life?

10-01-2009 01:17 AM in reply to: Spin_1
I think the Dodo is looking livelier at this stage...
Andrew Baddeley
360 Tactical VR
Immersive Imaging Solutions
www.360tacticalvr.com
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New Member
SeanYoung
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-31-2006

Re: Is Stitcher now end of life?

10-05-2009 11:23 AM in reply to: Spin_1
Sam and all,

I understand that you are concerned about the removal of batch rendering, a Pro feature that is essential to your workflow. It was removed because of instability. It’s not an excuse, but the explanation is that there was a lot to cover in the transition from Realviz to Autodesk, and we simply did not have time to effectively restore the stability of this feature. Unfortunately I am not allowed to comment on our plans for future releases. I don’t want to encourage or discourage, but I do want to be honest with you: the requirements of the professional photo-stitching market are relatively unique in the expansive universe of Autodesk’s broad product portfolio, and consequently get less attention than they deserve. That being said, we are interested in this market, and we continue to invest and derive real value from our Realviz acquisition. Since the time of the acquisition our priority has been to share the wealth of Realviz technology with as many relevant Autodesk products as possible, and Realviz technology is now an important ingredient in our product mix. We’re also exploring methods to grow the Stitcher userbase, which will have the most impact on our ability to respond quickly to your requirements.

Thank you for expressing your concerns, and keep them coming. Stitcher is not the only product I manage, but I will make an effort to check in from time to time.

Regards,
Sean Young
Product Manager, Autodesk Media & Entertainment
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Active Contributor
Sam Rohn
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-20-2008

Re: Is Stitcher now end of life?

10-14-2009 12:35 PM in reply to: Spin_1
thanks sean, i have a few suggestions & questions

if autodesk is looking to expand the market for stitcher as you say, being more open with your customers would be a good start, as it is realviz/autodesk has completely alienated sticher's long time paying customers through neglect and abuse of our trust, as the many displeased users here attest

not commenting on future plans for this product sure looks like having no plan at all to us, do you think this encourages new users to purchase this product ? would you buy stitcher, compared to the other more capable and better supported products on the market ?

microsoft, adobe, etc all offer SOME info on upcoming products, even apple is more forthcoming !

how do you think it looks when so many customer questions are completely ignored for over a year, and it requires my going above the stitcher teams head to get a response ?

and 30 day only support ? seriously ? is that for all autodesk products or just stitcher ? this policy seems unique in the software world, would you buy a car from a company that offered such limited support compared to all of its competitors ?

the market for panoramic photography is today larger than ever, with panos being used in a variety of 3D applications, image based lighting, etc, we all hoped that this products acquisition by a company such as AD would mean a better product, but it seems autosdesk has squandered this opportunity, autodesk stitcher as of october 2009 seems hopelessly dated, incredibly slow compared to PTGUI or autopano, no multi-core support, no batch render, no customer support, disinterested devs, and updates which (frankly) seem like a total rip off, charging for branding updates while removing critical features w/ no explanation or response

continuing these policies will only further erode the user base of this product, it has been over a year and a half since the AD acquisition of realviz, and it has only moved backwards since then - this reflects poorly on ALL autodesk products, and the company as a whole

as a long time user of this product, i am incredibly disappointed with all this, and could not recommend anyone else purchasing autodesk stitcher, as it seems pretty clear there is no future for this product

unless we hear of some positive developments very soon, and this app is brought back to its once respected place, you might as well discontinue it now

even the latest version of Photoshop CS4 includes spherical stitching (photomerge), which doesn't yet work as perfectly as it might, but i bet adobe will get it right before autodesk even starts trying to catch up, as adobe listens & responds to customer feedback, fixes bugs rather than remove working features, etc

the old stitcher forum had a very active user community, now this place is like a graveyard, does that tell you anything ?

sam -

oct 14 2009
Sam Rohn :: Panoramic Photography :: www.samrohn.com :: Location Scout :: www.nylocations.com :: New York City
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Active Member
jhawkins_1
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎05-04-2009

Re: Is Stitcher now end of life?

11-24-2009 09:22 PM in reply to: Sam Rohn
Sam,

I disagree that the market for panoramas is larger than ever. If you look at any of the panorama sites you see that it is mostly populated by hobbyists and the same hobbyists of five years ago. Most people either use in camera stitching or a basic application. There isn't a lot of demand for any high end stuff with the exception of a few projects. I think that is why you only see a couple of panorama applications and not a flood of them.
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Active Contributor
Sam Rohn
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-20-2008

Re: Is Stitcher now end of life?

11-25-2009 09:05 PM in reply to: Spin_1
maybe i'm just judging by the increase in clients contacting me interested in virtual tours for their websites and other print usage of panoramic images over the last few years, but if you look at sites like these

http://viewat.org
http://www.360cities.net
http://www.panodigg.com
http://www.flickr.com/groups/equirectangular/

and also these

http://www.panoguide.com/forums/
http://www.nodalninja.com/forum/
http://gardengnomesoftware.com/forum/
http://www.autopano.net/forum/
http://groups.google.com/group/ptgui/topics
http://krpano.com/forum/
http://flashpanoramas.com/forum/
http://flashificator.com/forums/
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/PanoToolsNG/
http://ivrpa.org/
http://www.tawbaware.com/forum2/
http://www.hdrlabs.com/cgi-bin/forum/YaBB.pl

you will see the work of hundreds (if not thousands, the flickr group alone has almost 1000 members) of competent new panographers creating full 360x180 spherical panoramas using ptgui or hugin, and plenty of new folks curious about it all the time - true that many are hobbyists, but the high end pano scene is definitely larger than it was 5 or 10 years ago, and growing all the time, as is the market for such content -


there are now many more pano discussion forums than 5 years ago when we basically just had the apple qtvr and yahoo panotools lists for online discussion of such things, hardly any of the sites i listed even existed 5 years ago !

DSLRs are also now much more affordable than ever, nodal ninja pano heads are also more affordable than the kaidan (now out of biz) heads of old, we all have cheaper & faster computers for both stitching and display, ubiquitous broadband, robust flash authoring tools like flashificator etc have all contributed to this increase in quality & interest in viewing nteractive panos on the internet, not to mention the removal of the ipix patent bs, which cost the entire scene years of wasted time

equirectangular panos are also used for HDR image based lighting in 3D modeling, etc for special effects in feature films, etc, and we are now seeing many more "virtual tours" consisting of multiple panoramas for restaurants, hotels, etc than in years past, as this fringe technology moves into the mainstream -

google street view has done quite a bit to raise public awareness too :)

in camera stitching is a different thing altogether, not suitable for equirectangulars etc, and basic apps like canon photostitch or photoshop photomerge are not pro solutions, which stitcher at one point was :(

autodesks involvement with high end 3D modeling and SFX industry seemed like a good match, but they have taken one of the few high end stitching apps out there and let it die - i believe autodesk stitcher is the most expensive stitching app out there as of 11/09, about $100 more than the pro versions of ptgui & autopano, why would anyone pay more when there are now more capable, better supported, faster, and cheaper apps on the market ? maybe if they cut the price to $40 it would be in better company, although the freeware hugin would still be a better app

the pano market is increasing, just not around here - too bad autodesk has abandoned the ship

sam
Sam Rohn :: Panoramic Photography :: www.samrohn.com :: Location Scout :: www.nylocations.com :: New York City
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