Panaroma


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cantaresg

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Feb 23, 2007
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#1
Hi, I was trying to do a panaroma yesterday, but the output looks very awlful.

After using photostitch to do the stitching, the picture actually looks fine. However, when I saved the picture, there seems to be quite a distortion. so I believe its a problem with the saving algorithm of the program. Is there any better panaroma stitching program that you can recommend? Prefer to be free... Thanks.
 

megaweb

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#2
To take a good Panoramic shot, you need to follow some rules
- Use a wide angle (recommend to use 35mm or wider)
- Do not use polariser filter
- Overlap 20% at the both side for stitching
- Use Portrait format to capture more angle
- Ensure the pano setup is level to horizon
- Rotate the camera at the nodal point
- Capture multiple shots with the same exposure
- Use a good pano stitcher program like panorama factory, realz stitcher, etc

All the info can be found at www.panoguide.com
 

cantaresg

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#3
oh thanks. I did my pano shot with a shot tele on a tripod, leveled as best as i could. This is my first try so I just wanted to see how the effects may turn out. But when I was stitching, the software did a terrible job. I'm sure it was not the pictures, as the preview looks ok. But when the software saved the image into jpeg, the entire picture is totally messed up. That's why I'm trying to look for a better software. Thanks. I will try out the software you recommended.
 

megaweb

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#4
oh thanks. I did my pano shot with a shot tele on a tripod, leveled as best as i could. This is my first try so I just wanted to see how the effects may turn out. But when I was stitching, the software did a terrible job. I'm sure it was not the pictures, as the preview looks ok. But when the software saved the image into jpeg, the entire picture is totally messed up. That's why I'm trying to look for a better software. Thanks. I will try out the software you recommended.
If you adjust the tripod leg to level to horizon, your shots will be levelled to the horizon. However if you adjust the ballhead to level to horizon, your shots will be slanted. Maybe you should post your capture shots here to let us see.

Yes, Panorama Factory is a good stitcher program
http://www.panoramafactory.com/
 

cantaresg

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#5
Thanks for your comments. I have uploaded my panoromic shots here Please take a look. Did I take the shots correctly?
 

cantaresg

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#7
So I had not levelled my tripod enough? I am using a 190pro tripod, and used the built in spirit level to make sure that the tripod is levelled with the horizon. But as I am using the 488RC2 ball head, there is no way in which I can make sure that the ball head is levelled with the horizon. Will that be a problem?
 

ziploc

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#8
Hi cantaresg,

You can try Hugin, it's a very good pano stitching tool. And it's totally free being an open source program.

A few things that I find very important when shooting panos:
- choose a lens/zoom range that has or close to neutral distortion. This helps tremendously when performing stitching later.
- lock the exposure by either using manual mode, or AE lock. This is to avoid the camera changing the exposure value at lighter or darker frames, hence causing tonal incompatibility when stitching.
- after you set up your camera on the tripod, swing it around to check the horizon before taking the frames, to make sure it is ok.
- plan your shots, and leave a little more rooms above and below your intended composition. This is because most of the time the stitching is imperfect, and especially so when you have lens distortion. You can crop the imperfect parts away if you have more rooms.

Cheers.
 

cantaresg

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#9
I did use manual exposure. I panned around the shot to check the horizon, and I thought that since my tripod is levelled, the horizon will turn out straight.

In any case, I am really not looking at composition now, as I was trying to get the basics right. But apparently the horizon don't turn out right even when I thought it was.
 

ziploc

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#10
Don't worry, just practice more and you'll get the hang of it. :)

Here is a sample pano I took handheld and stitched together with Hugin (click to see larger pic).



Cheers.
 

Adelfin

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#11
So I had not levelled my tripod enough? I am using a 190pro tripod, and used the built in spirit level to make sure that the tripod is levelled with the horizon. But as I am using the 488RC2 ball head, there is no way in which I can make sure that the ball head is levelled with the horizon. Will that be a problem?
YES it will be a problem... if u're panning but the ballhead is slanted, naturally the camera will be slanted... the first priority is always to get the ballhead level. On some ballheads there are panning clamps, meaning u don't have to level the tripod, coz there's a panning device right under the camera...

for ur case... u have to level the tripod, then level the camera... if i'm not wrong, ur ballhead does not have a spirit level, so what u can do is get a hotshoe mounted one, so that u can tell if the camera is level...
 

megaweb

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#12
So I had not levelled my tripod enough? I am using a 190pro tripod, and used the built in spirit level to make sure that the tripod is levelled with the horizon. But as I am using the 488RC2 ball head, there is no way in which I can make sure that the ball head is levelled with the horizon. Will that be a problem?
At 2nd look, your shot may be levelled to the horizon. I think the slanted angle is caused by near (right) and far (left) end of the trees/bushes. Try to capture the scenery perpendicular to your position.


See some of my panoramic shots taken
http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=193533
 

cantaresg

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#14
The 488RC2 does not have the spirit level. That may be a major culprit. I actually chose that combination of tripod + head mainly based on the max weight and the height. Further, I read somewhere that to get a pano shot, I just need the tripod to be levelled to the horizon. Looks like it's wrong.

Ziploc: That is a very nice pano shot! How did you manage it, handheld?
 

ziploc

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#15
The pano was taken handheld because I was climbing up a snow mountain (Haba snow mountain in Yunan China) and it would be too heavy to lug along a tripod.

This is how it was taken:
1. Set my zoom lens to around 50mm equivalent to get the minimum distortion. This step is very important, otherwise barrel distortions will be present in the frames and the stitching program will need to corret them, making the stitching process more erratic. This step will also help reduce light fall off at the corners.
2. Set the camera (s2pro) to aperture priority with an appropriate aperture, and matrix metered a frame where the lighting condition is in mid tone. Set the camera to manual mode and set the aperture & shuttle according to this. If the camera is left at the auto exposure mode (either aperture priority/shuttle priority/program) the camera will try to expose each frame in mid tone, causing tonal incompatibility across the frames.
3. Held up the camera in portrait mode and panned around to check both the exposure setting and the composition, making sure the horizon was about level and there were enough rooms above & below the frames.
4. The trick for panning is to hold the camera against your forehead and just twist your waist around or turn with your legs, without much movement to the upper body.
5. Start taking the frames once the settings were ok, making sure there were enough overlaps among adjacent frames.
6. After stitching, PS was used to make minor adjustment to the horizon (provided it is not way out, of course), and then cropped away the unwanted parts.

That's all to it. :)

Here is another sample, also taken handheld with my S2pro but was stitched with Canon G2 stitching program (click to enlarge):



(Btw, this one was taken in Nepal. Everest is right at the middle of this picture at the furthest background.)

Cheers.
 

cantaresg

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#16
I find step 4 is definitely the hardest. In some compacts that I have seen, in the pano mode, there is about 20% of the last frame included in the viewfinder to guide in the shot. Otherwise, I find the task of keeping the horizon level without the tripod a daunting task. Perhaps I should try it one of these days. Thanks for the advice.
 

theRBK

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May 16, 2005
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#17
technically you should be rotating the camera around a spot situated at the lens...what Megaweb has pointed out as the nodal point...turning your body should still be fine if the subject is far away though...
 

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