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Author Topic: Trying out Panorama stuff  (Read 7353 times)
Fred A
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« on: December 17, 2011, 02:39:44 PM »

I know that many of you have done panos and quite successfully as I have seen some of your work, bu I never tried it before, and it's new for me.
I hope those of you that have experienced all the facets of this adventure will forgive my boring dissertations.

First, the software. Without a decent software to align and stitch, we would spend hours in frustration.
I tried a few, and found one that is magic. It's called Microsoft's ICE.   
It is fast, accurate, stitches in vertical, horizontal, and combinations.   ... and it's free!

Panos are fun to make, and after two or three, I began to see what appears to be an ability to make a scene look like it was taken with a telephoto and a wide angle lens at the same time.
One of the interesting approaches is to shoot a landscape scene with your camera held in portrait position, and conversely, a vertical scene with the camera held in a landscape position.
This way, you get more shots to blend, but you don't have to end up with a skinny strip.  The wide part of your image is vertical!!!

Another interesting item. We have talked about HDR and getting an improvement in detail by blending three shots into one.
Here's a different approach. You can expose for the sky in your upper shot, expose for the middle portion in the second shot, and expose for the foreground in your third shot. Put them together and you get a comfortable blend without the coarse over cooked look of the triple-shot overlay HDR.

I read what you are supposed to do.... turn off Image Stabilizer, turn of Auto Focus, use a tripod, use a level, measure your coverage, etc.
I'm lazy. I did none of the above. I shot hand held, Image Stabilizer on, Auto Focus on, and tried to remember which tree marked the edge of the previous frame.
I really think this MS ICE program made my efforts look decent for a first try.

I must mention, that I shot in Raw, let Qimage Ultimate do its exposure magic. Then I went into the Editor, and set my smidgeon of sharpening and *told QU to APPLY TO ALL IN THE QUEUE!*
This makes all the panels look the same. Should you want to increase your saturation or use the Tone targeted sharpening to reduce noise, again, tell Qimage Ultimate to apply to all in the queue.
Makes all your panels look alike.
Then I used "Make Web or Email copies" to create my jpgs from the thumbnails. I placed those into MS ICE. It makes your pano in under 10 seconds.

I am restricted  by file size here, so forgive the so-so quality of my screen snaps.
I hope some of you will join in here perhaps with ideas and tips from your experiences.
I know Terry has some to share with us... his are in Metric.
Snap 047 is made from three frames. Sky, middle and foreground.
Snap 048 is made from 7 panels held horizontally. You can see how narrow the opposite dimension has become.
Snap 049 is made from 5 panels, but the camera was held in portrait mode, and you can see how the top to bottom dimension has filled out because of that.

Thanks

Fred
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Terry-M
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2011, 03:39:50 PM »

Quote
I know Terry has some to share with us... his are in Metric.
Ok. here they are.
Back in the Summer I took a series of 8 shots in my street covering 360 degrees and then left them.
Recently Fred told me about his friend getting into Pano's so I was able to resurrect these images to try different software - all free!
The camera was in landscape format with the lens at 20mm FL and aperture priority. I converted the raw images with Qimage Ultimate to tiff' with sRGB colour space because I assumed none of these programs were colour space aware.
The first serious program I tried was Hugin stitcher http://hugin.sourceforge.net/
See the first attachment below. This does a  good job and seems to equalise the exposure at each end of a 360 degree image. It is a complex program and I only tried the automatic stitching it provides.
Then Fred told be about MS ICE http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/ice/
This is great as it's so simple to use and does an excellent job.
Like Fred, my shots were just hand held, so there is a small discontinuity in the image but I'm sure if I'd used a levelled pan head on a tripod, the results would have been perfect.
I'm not sure why Hugin made the ends of the pano' in different places to ICE
The 3rd attachment is just 5 of the 8 images giving a 180 degree panorama. Sorry about the dust on the lens giving back lit light spots on one image  Roll Eyes but it was just a quick experiment.
The file names indicate some detail.
I'll do another post with a vertical pano' example.
Terry
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 03:42:17 PM by Terry-M » Logged
Terry-M
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2011, 03:51:33 PM »

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I'll do another post with a vertical pano' example
After Fred said it was possible to do vertical stitched images with ICE, I went (rushed actually) outside rather late on a winter's afternoon an took 5 shots of a tree in the garden.
It was all a bit haphazard  Shocked but the result is attached below with an image showing how the 5 exposures would have lined up (in QU page editor). The variation in exposure of the image was 4.5 stops from bottom to top. I processed in a similar way to Fred but converted to full size Tiff & sRGB.
Considering how disorganised the layout of the 5 images were, the result was remarkable, no discontinuities at all.  Smiley
Terry
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Jeff
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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 04:06:29 AM »

Have a look at my effort at

http://www.ejdigitalimages.blogspot.com/

Goto >right col. Page 01 Panos Experimental

That opens in MSSilverlight synth or what ever   options   are   +  - and full view.


http://ejdigitalimages.blogspot.com/p/page-01-panos-experimental_21.html
should take you to full page scroll view.

Cannot do better than that at moment - having a hell of a lot of trouble with Win 7 and have not yet got the pano software re installed.

Jeff
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Terry-M
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 09:03:27 AM »

Hi Jeff,
Quote
Have a look at my effort at
Looks like you got there before us and I see you've been using MS ICE too.
It seems to me that the Photosynth thing does not do justice to your images; the full impact of a panorama is lost by having to drag across with the mouse and the fact there are curvy edges does not help either.
Have you printed any yet? I now wish I had a bigger printer; I used to be able to get 210mm (8.25ins) wide pano sheets and also roll of that width used to be available but I can't find it now.  Sad
Terry
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Jeff
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 11:41:21 AM »

I saw ICE reviewed in a comp. mag a few months ago and gave it a try .

It is another great time waster Smiley but it is amazing how it will stitch a hundred images together.

My effort was done on Vista, I could not get it to work on win7! could not get anything else to work for that matter
and have had to do a complete recovery from the win7 cd three times to back up to a clean installation.

To me, Win7 seems to be a bit touchy what you install.  Yesterday I tried to install a 2006/7 plug in in to Elements 7 (a Russian addition - GML matting - works fine on PE 6 & 7 on XP and vista).  Win7 just went to a blank black screen.  Suppose that was a 32/64 bit issue.  I am now left with a missing .dll file and cannot find which prog/function requires it.  Sodding computers Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley Smiley

Not done any pano printing yet, I will install ICE on Win7 again when I, I mean me, has recovered from yesterday,s cockup.

Jeff   

 
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rayw
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 12:10:57 PM »

Hi,

I've always used Hugin, I've successfully stitched a pano, even for images taken from different locations, I'll see if I can dig one out. I may try M$ ice. The real benefit is to simulate the narrow depth of field you get with large format lenses by using a telephoto lens.

Some beautiful images by 'Carstenw' can be found here http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27131 mainly of trees in his local park.

Best wishes,

Ray
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rayw
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 07:14:17 PM »

Hi,

I managed to find the pano stuff, from 2007.

The first jpg is all the images taken, walking along a balcony above the formal gardens.
http://www.yertiz.com/pic0608/all.jpg

The second was after stitching, using Hugin, iirc, or maybe it was pano tools. These are much compressed jpegs, of course
http://www.yertiz.com/pic0608/bart2.jpg

At the time of taking, I had no intention of stitching them together, and as you can see there was no consideration given by me to exposure, or direction of view, etc. I think the software did a pretty good job.

Best wishes,

Ray
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 10:21:46 PM by rayw » Logged
Fred A
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2011, 05:01:51 AM »

Very nice Ray!!
I enjoyed looking and appreciating.

You can actually go out in your front yard and take 4 or 5 shots, and stitch them in 5 minutes, ready to show. Today's software (MS ICE) is superb.
2007 was a long time ago...

Hey, Merry Xmas while I have your attention.

Fred
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Jeff
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« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2011, 06:49:22 AM »

Interesting garden shot.

SWMBO has just opened our - I mean her presents, one a panorama calendar some interesting shots.

Why am I here on Christmas day, more problems - testing the broadband connection which keeps dropping out every few seconds.

now got the tates to prepare  Smiley Smiley

Jeff

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Fred A
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 06:45:14 AM »

Quote
SWMBO has just opened our - I mean her presents,

I'm not very good with anagrams or whatever you call SWMBO

Let's see

S = Sweet
W = Wife
M = My
B = Best
O = Onion?

Fred
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Ya Me
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 08:11:31 AM »

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SWMBO has just opened our - I mean her presents,

How about:
She Who Must Be Obeyed Cheesy Wink

Have A Happy New Year
Ya Me
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BackdropJunction
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2012, 08:26:41 AM »

Wow a topic I actually know something about.  Panos are great.  Like you said you can take your (my) 12mp camera and create an image with so much more quality by using multiple shots versus the same coverage area with one shot.  Makes some amazing results.

I have found you can get away with shooting handheld but it is good to overlap by as mush as 30% when doing this just to get it right.  I usually shoot with a monopod as travelling with a tripod is a pain.

I have had one real problem with a tripod and I don't know what is causing it exactly.  I will take a lot of time to ensure everything is level.  I even carry a small level in my bag.  As i rotate through the first few frames its fine.  But, eventually, around seven or more frames I find the horizon starts to get a little off.  Is this typical?  Is it because I use a cheapo Best Buy tripod?  Or am I just off a little initially and it gets exacerbated as i rotate?

My images usually have about ten to forty frames in them so I don't know if the length of the shot affects the issue.
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Terry-M
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2012, 08:33:22 AM »

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I will take a lot of time to ensure everything is level.  I even carry a small level in my bag.  As i rotate through the first few frames its fine.  But, eventually, around seven or more frames I find the horizon starts to get a little off.  Is this typical?
I would think so. Those little spirit levels are just not accurate enough to get an accurate level over, what are in fact, large distances. You need surveying equipment accuracy to get anywhere near perfection. You just have to allow for those errors in taking the images.
Microsoft ICE allows you to level and adjust perspective in some situations, as well as auto crop.
This is of my latest efforts.

8 images with camera hand-held in portrait position.
Terry
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BackdropJunction
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2012, 09:15:52 PM »

Yeah I figured it may be something like that.  Honestly the monopod works out pretty well so I guess I will save the survey gear for another day. Grin
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