panorama software,virtual tour software
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Joined: 2004-01-20
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Posts: 29
2004-02-04
#1

before spending money ask the experts

Hi all,

yes you are my Pano gurus and after reading your forum discussions I really cannot help referring to you before my next purchase.

I own a coolpix 5700 and a fisheye FC-E9, a very simple tripod (by Jessops) and a bubble lever (as per Robert J's recommendation). I have been playing with the art of Panoramic photos for a little longer the 4 weeks and now I am confused:

  • Do I really need a Pano head? At the moment I do not have one and the results of my trials are not as good as I would have expected. To be honest at this point I am not even sure I should expect better results.

The thing is: please find the time to look at these tests. These Pano pics have been made by using row fisheye pics; no manipulation via photoshop and/or Panoramic software has been carried out before stitching . So they have been stitched as they were. To stitch I have used the automatic option in Easypano.

 
 
 
The following is the same as the previous one but I started taking the 3 shots shifted 45 degrees. Much better stitched but still fake in the stitching points....
 

Question is: should I expect better automatic stitches? Or you guys usually  work a lot with manual stitching and play with Photoshop before achieving the amazing results I can see in your WEB pages?

I must say that the use of the bubble level has improved a lot the results. But still there are not good enough even to show to friends...

Would a pano head be so indispensable?

If yes would you recommend the Agno's head? I have seen your conversation on this but at the end it is not clear to me if it is good enough to be considered an alternative to the expensive Manfrotto, Kaidain etc.....Or woudl you recommend any other not too expensive pano head?

  • Next question is: which SW....

Maybe it is a bit unfair to use the Easypano forum to ask such a question: I am sure you all will come out saying: "yes Easypano, of course!!!!!"

But at the same time I am bit confused on this point as well.

I like a lot the cubic conversation (although I understand there is a lot of quality loss when you go for that) and the viewer of Easypano.

I have not tried the tourweaver yet.

However I do not quite like the way it stitches pics....

I have tried another SW, called 3DVISTA ( I am sure you know what I am talking about), and in my opinion that SW stitches much better (although results are still far away to be acceptable)....and you have more control over the manual stitching (it uses a different approach than Easypano's one)

Please advice on this as I really consider important your opinion before going ahead and purchase.

many thanks


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Joined: 2003-01-16
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Posts: 958
2004-02-04
#2

welcome to the forum DL,

have a look at the "What am I doing wrong" line which has quite a few tips that will assist u in ur endeavor. U'll find some info on cam setup, panoheads and the like. As far as stiching is concerned... i also use the 3 shot concept and have also added a tutorial on how to get more out of ur cam useing this technic n the aforementioned line. I love stiching with Panoweaver... it works a treat... however the manuel adjustment of roll, pitch and yaw does take some getting used to. This is where a good pro tripod comes to it's own... U NEED a solid base that doesn't wobble when taking shots or turning. I used a cheapo aluminium tripod to start with and had similar results as u do. My present tripod is fairly heavy... but the steadiness is worth everypound. Checkout Manfrotto tripods in your local photostore. Having a level cam when doing the 120deg turns for a 3 shot makes life a lot easier.

Workflow: Setup and level tripod/cam, useing ur mode button set to M, u wanna set ur aperture to a high f number... on my 990 thats around f7.9, u'll c this number in ur view screen and should be able to toggle between exposure time and aperture by just depressing the mode button when in M. with the wheel u'll be able to adjust aperture or time. With exposure time u'll see a little light metre in ur viewscreen when turning the wheel. The middle means that the exposure is correct (though this tends to be off the mark... depending where ur taking shoots.) I tend to take 3-5 shots in a given direction with differing exposure times or stops for blending work in PS. Don't forget to set ur white balance off from automatic as the lighting will change when turning the cam causing colour differences between exposures. I also tend to have the cam set on some slight sharpening. Depress M-focus button and toggle the wheel until u get INF in the display. Zoom in until the image hits the edge of the screen. (top and bottom of screen will have 180 deg, sides will be cropped... but thats OK as u only need 140 deg.) Oh yeah, u need to be in portraight mode ie have ur cam on it's side... therefore the panohead (checkout my diy head on the aforementioned line) Now take ur 3-5 shots per 120 deg.

Post work u may need to do some blending work in PS... I tend to import my basic image (the one with the best exposure) and blend in other element useing layers and the erasure. Save the image as a BMP. Import all three images into Panoweaver and set ur x,y,r accordingly to the same figure. Stich and adjust manuelly if required. Save as BMP (Oh I tend to stich in CD format 1500x3000).

This BMP is ur base image from which u can always work from. Reimport into PS and do some auto colour and or manuel tweeking for colour satisfaction. Do what ever repair work needed. Save. Size the image to a displayable format ... eg 1400x700 for web or 2000x1000 for CD work. Sharpen or unsharp mask accordingly. Save for web... done.

Sorry I didn't format this all nicly... but I'm in a bit of  a mad dash...

Rob

Rob


If I only had an hour to chop down a tree... I'd spend 45 mins sharpening the axe.
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Joined: 2002-11-23
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Posts: 5435
2004-02-04
#3

G'day Dlot,

Mate, Yes you should own a panorama head for your "quality" tripod.

I own a Kaidan, but I'm right in the middle of testing for reference the Mrotator and MrotatorQ from Agnos. My evaluation will be posted within a week or two on both these products. This should give people an honest opinion of the quality and results available from the Agnos range.

I have both Easypano Panoweaver and 3DVista and I think they both do a good job. Panoweaver is faster and works very well.

As Phoenix has all ready offered his settings I feel there is little need for me to go over those points again. Practise makes perfect! You will need Photoshop or at least PS Elements to do your photo clean ups and sharpening.

Regards, Smooth