Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7  

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Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Marmotte06 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:28 pm

Hi, I recently upgraded to apg 3.7 and have serious difficulties with skies which didn't use to cause such proplems. Here is an example:
Result of Autodetection:
Detect.jpg
Result of Autodetection

Final result:
Pano.jpg
Final result

When comparing the autodetection with the source images, especially the right end ones, and when seeing the final result with the right end completely burnt, I can only think there is a problem. APG used to give better results even with its default settings.

All the settings are by default, I am running on Win 8.1 with an Intel CPU with HD Graphics 4600 and 16GB RAM.

Olivier

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by mediavets » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:35 pm

It appears that you shot on full auto - is that correct?

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Marmotte06 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:45 pm

mediavets wrote:It appears that you shot on full auto - is that correct?


Correct, but I have always done that without problems. The exposure difference between the pictures is not that huge, and I do not understand why apg completely burns the right side images.

Olivier

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Destiny » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:57 pm

Can you show your right side images before stitching.. Needless to say, you should always shoot in Manual and RAW. You need to set your WB and other settings according to the setting, all manual, including the focus.. RAW is important for best results since you can control your images before adding them into APG..

Destiny...

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Marmotte06 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:18 am

Here are the five images, redimensionned to 300*450:
Chat-4077-5d3-s.jpg
image 1 (left)

Chat-4078-5d3-s.jpg
image 2

Chat-4079-5d3-s.jpg
image 3

next ones in the next append

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Marmotte06 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:26 am

Chat-4080-5d3-s.jpg
image 4

Chat-4081-5d3-s.jpg
image 5 (right)


A remark about your advises, which I perfectly know: the main reason why I bought APG, since version 1.5, is that it was extremely tolerant with exposures and was able to stich about anything and produce decent results.
I would appreciate that APG keeps that capability and allow me to make handheld panoramas with auto exposures on the fly when I walk somewhere.

However, I have observed that APG, while becoming more and more sophisticated, seems to be more and more demanding regarding the quality of the source images.
That is NOT a progress, by doing so maybe Kolor will win some professional photographers, but they will loose the mass of amateurs which want a quick and easy tool.

Olivier

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Cliquetsy » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:13 am

Have you even tried changing the reference image used in the colour anchors? Simply changing that (or removing it entirely) will make the the totally burnt area disappear...


http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/ ... of_anchors
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/ ... on_anchors

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by olivierbo » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:43 am

Hello Olivier,

Also if you disable color correction and put multiband level to "0", that should be homogeneous.
And as Destiny said, you will get better results if you shoot in Manual mode.

Have a nice day,
Olivier

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Marmotte06 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:47 am

olivierbo wrote:Hello Olivier,
Also if you disable color correction and put multiband level to "0", that should be homogeneous.
And as Destiny said, you will get better results if you shoot in Manual mode.
Olivier


Hey, guys, my 5 pictures pano is extremely basic and all 5 pictures are quite properly exposed. If I really need to read the doc and tweek several parameters, or shoot manual and why not bring a tripod to make it work, I really wonder if APG is still of any use.
Tonight I will try that panorama with the Photomerge stuff in Photoshop Elements, to see whether it does better than APG ;-) I'll let you know the result.

Olivier

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by mediavets » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:24 am

Marmotte06 wrote:
olivierbo wrote:Hello Olivier,
Also if you disable color correction and put multiband level to "0", that should be homogeneous.
And as Destiny said, you will get better results if you shoot in Manual mode.
Olivier


Hey, guys, my 5 pictures pano is extremely basic and all 5 pictures are quite properly exposed. If I really need to read the doc and tweek several parameters, or shoot manual and why not bring a tripod to make it work, I really wonder if APG is still of any use.

Olivier


There's a big difference in exposure between images 2 and 3 - look at the area with the gate, not to mention the sky.
..............

But if you have found that a much earlier version of APP/APG still does the job for you then why not stick with it?
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Chat-4079-5d3-s.jpg
Chat-4078-5d3-s.jpg

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Marmotte06 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:35 am

mediavets wrote:There's a big difference in exposure between images 2 and 3 - look at the area with the gate, not to mention the sky.

I agree there is a significant difference on the doors, but I would expect APG to make the appropriate blending. Regarding the skies, the difference is quite minor.

mediavets wrote:But if you have found that a much earlier version of APP/APG still does the job for you then why not stick with it?

I naïvely upgrade when I am proposed to do so, assuming that the SW developers have made the appropriate non-regression testings and that the new version brings improvement over the previous one. That's true for DxO, for Photomatix, and for many others, but apparently not for APG.

Olivier

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Destiny » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:49 am

You could have just used the Trial version first to make sure APG met your needs..

APG does a good job of hand held captured images for panos but you need to give it something to work with by setting your camera for the correct setting.. Perhaps even your Auto was set wrong.. Again, if you captured RAW, you could adjust your image quality even if you shot in Auto.. You can do that with each individual image but for best results you would be better off finding an average and then flowing on those settings to all the other images..

Destiny..

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by marzipano » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:51 am

I have used APG3.7 since it came out but have not found this degradation in blending - if anything I have seen an improvement

I agree with your comment about non-professional photographers though. For reasons of cost and/or simplicity a lot of people have "point and shoot" compact cameras with only minimal or sometimes a lack of manual settings so APG needs to produce acceptable results in these cases too

If you still have your old version (or you can re-install any old version from Kolor if you uninstalled it) I think people (me anyway) would be interested to see panoramas with both versions side by side with the same settings in each version

Also if you put the 5 images online via dropbox + a public url then you may get some more feedback from other members here

best
Martin

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by mediavets » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:04 pm

marzipano wrote:I agree with your comment about non-professional photographers though. For reasons of cost and/or simplicity a lot of people have "point and shoot" compact cameras with only minimal or sometimes a lack of manual settings so APG needs to produce acceptable results in these cases too


Yes...but, the point-n-shoot compact digital camera market is losing out to smartphones very rapidly. Many smartphones have panorama apps available that will assist pano shooting and will stitch in the phone and these apps are are free or very inexpensive.

So I doubt many existing point-n-shoot compact camera users would be willing to shell out for APP/APG; and the future of the compact point-n-shoot camera market looks dire, I believe it will be completely taken over by smartphones with cameras.

If you still have your old version (or you can re-install any old version from Kolor if you uninstalled it) I think people (me anyway) would be interested to see panoramas with both versions side by side with the same settings in each version

Also if you put the 5 images online via dropbox + a public url then you may get some more feedback from other members here

best
Martin


Yes, I would be interested too.

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Cliquetsy » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:06 pm

I shoot hand held with a crappy compact and bad settings (not even in Auto ^^) and still get good results.

The problem here is simply the bad automatic placing of the reference image for colour. Since it's a slightly darker picture to the rest, Autopano compensates and lightens the rest. Remove it and your image is "FINE".

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by marzipano » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:51 pm

mediavets wrote:
Yes...but, the point-n-shoot compact digital camera market is losing out to smartphones very rapidly. Many smartphones have panorama apps available that will assist pano shooting and will stitch in the phone and these apps are are free or very inexpensive.

So I doubt many existing point-n-shoot compact camera users would be willing to shell out for APP/APG; and the future of the compact point-n-shoot camera market looks dire, I believe it will be completely taken over by smartphones with cameras.



I often use a compact camera aimed at the "enthusiast" market - a Canon Powershot S100. This is much better quality than a Smartphone and judging by what Canon, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic etc. are all doing is an expanding part of that market with cameras in the £500-£1000 range

My Canon Powershot does have full manual controls but (and very annoyingly) not for Auto Exposure Bracketing which has to be done via Aperture or Shutter priority. This means that each set of images can have a different base exposure and there is a need to rely on APG to sort out the blending in much the same way as the OP describes above

I believe some of the other cameras in this market segment have similar restrictions

Martin

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by mediavets » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:17 pm

marzipano wrote:
mediavets wrote:
Yes...but, the point-n-shoot compact digital camera market is losing out to smartphones very rapidly. Many smartphones have panorama apps available that will assist pano shooting and will stitch in the phone and these apps are are free or very inexpensive.

So I doubt many existing point-n-shoot compact camera users would be willing to shell out for APP/APG; and the future of the compact point-n-shoot camera market looks dire, I believe it will be completely taken over by smartphones with cameras.



I often use a compact camera aimed at the "enthusiast" market - a Canon Powershot S100. This is much better quality than a Smartphone


I agree but most people will be satisfied by their smartphone cameras.

and judging by what Canon, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic etc. are all doing is an expanding part of that market with cameras in the £500-£1000 range.

I wouldn't call those point-n-shoot compacts - I believe they are now categorized as Compact System Cameras?

My Canon Powershot does have full manual controls but (and very annoyingly) not for Auto Exposure Bracketing which has to be done via Aperture or Shutter priority. This means that each set of images can have a different base exposure and there is a need to rely on APG to sort out the blending in much the same way as the OP describes above


You shoot bracketed exposures handheld?

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by klausesser » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:34 pm

Cliquetsy wrote:I shoot hand held with a crappy compact and bad settings (not even in Auto ^^) and still get good results.

The problem here is simply the bad automatic placing of the reference image for colour. Since it's a slightly darker picture to the rest, Autopano compensates and lightens the rest. Remove it and your image is "FINE".



I agree!

Klaus

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by klausesser » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:49 pm

Marmotte06 wrote:However, I have observed that APG, while becoming more and more sophisticated, seems to be more and more demanding regarding the quality of the source images.
That is NOT a progress, by doing so maybe Kolor will win some professional photographers, but they will loose the mass of amateurs which want a quick and easy tool.


I´m using the app from start on. The most important thing for a stitcher is to stitch as perfectly as possible. Here APG made BIG steps forewards and does a
really GREAT job.

Seeing your photos i guess you simply need to learn how to use the CC and how to deal with the anchors - as Cliquetsy already mentioned.
Test around a bit - i´m quite sure you will get grip on it.

Nevertheless it´s really preferable to use NO automatics when doing panos. Usually it works - but that´s not i would always count on . . ;) :cool:

Klaus

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by mediavets » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Marmotte06 wrote:
mediavets wrote:There's a big difference in exposure between images 2 and 3 - look at the area with the gate, not to mention the sky.

I agree there is a significant difference on the doors, but I would expect APG to make the appropriate blending. Regarding the skies, the difference is quite minor.

mediavets wrote:But if you have found that a much earlier version of APP/APG still does the job for you then why not stick with it?

I naïvely upgrade when I am proposed to do so, assuming that the SW developers have made the appropriate non-regression testings and that the new version brings improvement over the previous one. That's true for DxO, for Photomatix, and for many others, but apparently not for APG.

Olivier


My best result with APG 2.6 after editing colour anchors.

If you don't want to shoot in full manual mode I think it would be worth shooting in aperture priority auto with a fixed white balance.
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[Group 1]-Chat-4077-5d3-s_Chat-4081-5d3-s-5 images-05-26.jpg

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by marzipano » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:40 pm

mediavets wrote:You shoot bracketed exposures handheld?


No problem provided the scene is well lit - it's only +/- 2Ev at most

Photomatix 5 has excellent alignment facilities to cope with slight camera movement between images in the bracketed set

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Marmotte06 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:34 pm

mediavets wrote:You shoot bracketed exposures handheld?


Always with my EOS 5Dmk3, and I get excellent results with Photomatix, which is excellent at aligning the pictures.

I have less success with my Powershot S120, because the bracketing is too slow.

Olivier

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Marmotte06 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:09 pm

mediavets wrote:My best result with APG 2.6 after editing colour anchors.


I just made a try with the Photomerge utility in PSE 13, fully automatic, it even automatically fills the white spaces left by the geometric corrections around the pictures. It's not perfect, but it's much much better than what I obtained with APG 2.7 and defaut parameters, and, its much faster:
Photomerge PSE13-s.jpg
Photomerge

Kolor, it's a wake up call, you can't ignore you have lost the ease of use and the efficiency of the original autopano.

Next I will try APG with some of the tricks recommended in previous posts.

Olivier

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by marzipano » Sat Nov 15, 2014 4:09 pm

I had a try with APG 3.7 using screen-scrapes of your 5 screenshots as attached

As you can see the initial result using MY default settings was dreadful

However, with just a couple of minutes work I was able to get something resembling the PS Elements output you posted - although as you say the PS version was just using defaults which is impressive

In detail:-

    I changed the reference image to image 3 (middle image)

    changed the colour correction from "all gamma" (My default setting) to "all gamma + exposure + colour" which I don't think I've ever used before

    changed the gamma slider up to 1.4

    Set the blending level from -2 to 0

All pretty basic tuning and based on just re-examining the result in preview mode and fiddling around

Martin

initial image.jpg


anchors and gamma.jpg
Last edited by marzipano on Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Serious problem with sky stitching with apg 3.7

by Marmotte06 » Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:53 pm

marzipano wrote:I had a try with APG 3.7 using screen-scrapes of your 5 screenshots as attached

with just a couple of minutes work I was able to get something resembling the PS Elements output you posted - although as you say the PS version was just using defaults which is impressive.

Martin

Thanks a lot Martin for your attempts to improve APG's result, I will try to play with your parameters.

Meanwhile, as it seems my 5 images are a challenge and a benchmark for stitching programs, I have downloaded the trial version of Panorama Factory 2.6.5. It's quite a rustic program, far less sophisticated than APG, but it also does multi-row stitching and is quite fast. It's apparently from a dutch guy.

Here is the result with all standard settings:
PanoStudio 2.6.5-s.jpg
Panorama studio 2.6.5 trial


In my opinion that's the best result so far, because the sky blending is better than the others (APG and PhotoMerge) which both show a yellow cast on either the 3rd or 4th image. The sky produced by Panorama Factory is full blue and the transitions are smooth from left to right. The ruins are not bad at all, with good blendings, even if somewhat "over-exposed".

I'll see if I can find other stitching programs and make an overall ranking.

Note: I have uploaded the 5 images on my Orange cloud account. If Kolor or others want to have them to test, send me a private message with an e-mail address and I will share.

Olivier

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