Autodesk has announced Stitcher Unlimited 2009 and ImageModeler 2009 software products. These are the first versions of the former REALVIZ products to be released as part of the Autodesk product portfolio.

Stitcher Unlimited 2009 helps create wide-angle and panoramic images. ImageModeler 2009 generates 3D models from 2D digital images.

Stitcher Unlimited 2009 has a fully automatic engine that can create partial or full spherical panoramas in just a few clicks. Stitching, alignment and colour correction can be automated. The software can stitch images taken with a two-shot fisheye lens; an effective way to create fully spherical virtual tours with only two pictures.

Users can create exceptionally high-quality environment maps and panoramas through the embedded HDR workflow, with support for EXR and HDR input and output. There is full interoperability with Adobe Photoshop and support for many industry-standard image, Web and video file formats.

Hotspot support allows the create of QuickTime VR hotspots for Web content with links that can be integrated within a panorama, and reference another panorama. The Tripod function allows users to cover up the tripod in their image with an image of their own.

The software is optimized to take advantage of graphics card GPUs for preview rendering in the main Viewport. The GPU is now also used to accelerate final renders. Using the crop tool, artists can precisely select an area to be rendered, even in full-screen mode.

Stitcher Unlimited 2009 also has a redesigned User Interface and Workflow. Includes new icons and a new palette to manage thumbnails more efficiently.

ImageModeler 2009 features a redesigned calibration engine that generates a 3D model or scene using calibration points based on one or more panoramas or photos.

The ruler toolset calculates real-world distances and angles between points, eliminating the need for complex laser measurements onsite. This is of particular benefit to architects.

Other new features include high-performance photo texturing, UI colour customization, and improved interoperability with other Autodesk software products: include Maya, 3ds Max, MotionBuilder and the AutoCAD family of products.

Stitcher Unlimited 2009 runs under Mac OS X and Windows and costs $350 in the US (around £185). ImageModeler is Windows-only and costs $995 (£525). UK pricing has not yet been announced. Both will ship in October 2008.