The official version 0.8.0 of the open-source stitcher Hugin has been released.
See the download page at sourceforge or download a Windows version compiled by Allard Katan.
Of course, the new version has a bunch of new features added, but there are some which i consider worth a special mention:
* The new openGL preview window. - This is a big step towards visually oriented panorama editing!
Now you can drag and rotate the panorama with visual feedback and identify images by moving the mouse over the panorama.
Especially the latter was a desperately needed feature to edit my gigapixel panoramas: During photometric optimization (the only one available which actually functions in conjunction with de-vignetting) you have to define some well thought supporting images to prevent the optimizer tending towards pure white. Former versions only offered the option to "switch off" an image and recalculate the whole preview. For several hundred images this was simply useless.
* Celeste sky identification: A built-in engine which helps identifying and eliminating control points on moving objects. The release note says that this feature is currently trained to ignore clouds. As far as my tests revealed, it actually works - a promising and high-potential feature.
* Revamped batch processor: Still has some rough edges but it is already an useful tool for creating larger number of panoramas.
* "Official" GPU support for nona (the stiching engine): Well, i didn't give it a try yet, but i can't wait doing so ;-)
If you want to keep in touch with the latest developments regarding Hugin, also give "This week in panospace" - a blog by Yuval Levy a try...