Exposure Bracketing - how it works  

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Exposure Bracketing - how it works

by irpano » Fri May 13, 2011 1:36 am

I've read the forum questions and replies on this matter but still cant get a definitive answer. I think I understand what should be happening when a set of 3 different exposed images at the same point of view are fused (for the want of a better word) into one flat image containing the best exposed pixels from each of the three original images. Having experimented with Bracketing in a simple mosaic pano in APG I cant seem to get a good result form any workflow i've tried. My best results have come from taking each set of (3) bracketed shots and batch process them in TuFuse pro before running them through APG. APG then has very little problem with the stitch and colour control.
My question is How to get control over the fusion part of the process with in APG.
This has probably been asked before but I cant find it in any documentation. If it exists I would appreciate being pointed to it.
A second question is - Is it better to group each exposure into its own layer and then use the fusion function when rendering. Is there any adjustments that can be made within the fusion process.
Any suggestions are welcome
Thanks

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by AlexandreJ » Fri May 13, 2011 9:59 am


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by Destiny » Fri May 13, 2011 11:56 am

hi... well.... I have tried so many things with apg to render my bracketed shots but it does not work for me... the preview is nice but the final render is yuck... lines and really yucky render... I managed a RMS of 2.73 so its not my images... I put the same images into PTGui and the results are really nice... So.. what can I be doing wrong.... It take a while to render so its painful... I cannot understand why the preview is nice but the end results are yuck....

I am just practicing for when my wireless remote arrives so I can created a bracketed Car VR... So I need to get this right apg...

Are there any step to follow with this or is the help manual still being put together...

Destiny...
Last edited by Destiny on Fri May 13, 2011 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by gkaefer » Fri May 13, 2011 12:17 pm

Destiny wrote:hi... well.... I have tried so many things with apg to render my bracketed shots but it does not work for me... the preview is nice but the final render is yuck... lines and really yucky render... I managed a RMS of 2.73 so its not my images... I put the same images into PTGui and the results are really nice... So.. what can I be doing wrong.... It take a while to render so its painful... I cannot understand why the preview is nice but the end results are yuck....

I am just practicing for when my wireless remote arrives so I can created a bracketed Car VR... So I need to get this right apg...

Are there any step to follow with this or is the help manual still being put together...

Destiny...

did you try the linear blending setting?
Georg

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by Destiny » Fri May 13, 2011 12:26 pm

These two images were created from the same bracketed shots... The first one is the results from apg.. the second one is from PTGui...

Cannot understand what I am doing wrong.... I set the images to AntiGhost.. HDR is really yuck... so forget that... and stacked the images...RMS 2.73

D...

Image
Image
Last edited by Destiny on Fri May 13, 2011 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Destiny » Fri May 13, 2011 12:33 pm

oh.. I will try that right now.. thank you Georg....

gkaefer wrote:
Destiny wrote:hi... well.... I have tried so many things with apg to render my bracketed shots but it does not work for me... the preview is nice but the final render is yuck... lines and really yucky render... I managed a RMS of 2.73 so its not my images... I put the same images into PTGui and the results are really nice... So.. what can I be doing wrong.... It take a while to render so its painful... I cannot understand why the preview is nice but the end results are yuck....

I am just practicing for when my wireless remote arrives so I can created a bracketed Car VR... So I need to get this right apg...

Are there any step to follow with this or is the help manual still being put together...

Destiny...

did you try the linear blending setting?
Georg

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by AlexandreJ » Fri May 13, 2011 12:56 pm

Can you share your case on our ftp Destiny, so I can look at it ?
ftp here : http://www.autopano.net/forum/t766-ftp-server

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by Destiny » Fri May 13, 2011 1:05 pm

ok AJ

... I tried Linear Georg and the RMS whet down to 2.69 but the ghosting is still there...

I have also just tried Linear with Exposure Fusion since they are bracketed images... Believe me.. you don't want to see the results.. yuckier than yuck.. must be something I am doing way wrong....

D...

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by gkaefer » Fri May 13, 2011 1:12 pm

Destiny wrote:ok AJ

... I tried Linear Georg and the RMS whet down to 2.69 but the ghosting is still there...

I have also just tried Linear with Exposure Fusion since they are bracketed images... Believe me.. you don't want to see the results.. yuckier than yuck.. must be something I am doing way wrong....

D...

how are the images shot? handheld? tripod? did you stop at a tripod position and did shoot your brackets or did you shoot a complrete pano per each f stop?
(if the images of a bracket are not 105% perfectly aligning than most software fails, sorry to say but including APG, oloneao, photomatix, EnfuseGUI etc.)

Georg
Last edited by gkaefer on Fri May 13, 2011 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Destiny » Fri May 13, 2011 1:20 pm

Hey.. AJ... I hope I am doing this right.. I compressed my images using Stuff.. I have Transmit ftp so I just clicked on the ftp url and it opened incoming... I then dragged the file over.. it might take a while.. even compressed its 361 meg.. :)

I hope I can work it all out before my remote comes.. I really want to try a bracketed Car VR ....

D.....

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by Destiny » Fri May 13, 2011 1:27 pm

No George.. I used my NN4 to take the images... I get "Excellent RMS".. the same images stitch no probs in PTGui... I just loaded them in and set it to Exposure Fused Panorama.. It automatically detected that my images were bracketed... I did not have to do anymore than that.. no editing of stitching at all... I set my Rotor to 12... I have tried using apg before doing this but the ghosting was so bad.. I put it down to moment of the tree etc... but my D90 is quite quick in taking the rapid images.. Today I tried PTGui and was surprised a the results.. Really nice with no ghosting at all...

D.....
Last edited by Destiny on Fri May 13, 2011 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Destiny » Fri May 13, 2011 9:54 pm

hi AJ... Did you receive the file.. I left it all night.. :)

AlexandreJ wrote:Can you share your case on our ftp Destiny, so I can look at it ?
ftp here : http://www.autopano.net/forum/t766-ftp-server

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by Destiny » Sat May 14, 2011 12:20 am

Hi.. I have tried so many settings now... There is mention on the help that Diamond rather than Ghost might be better for bracketed shots but that didn't fix the ghosting at all... My images were taken using a tripod, with a level bubble and the entire set of images were taken within about a minute... I really hope I do not have this problem when I take a bracketed car pano... The more I look at apg the more I appreciate the features but despite this, it will not stitch my bracketed images without ghosting... I have just tried a new set of images in the garden.. same story... if I stitch the three exposures separately, they are way different to each other.. The points selected by the software to stitch seems to vary so as a consequence the do not line up. By putting the images into stacks I would have thought would fix that issue but it doesn't. I must be missing something here....

D..

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by gkaefer » Sat May 14, 2011 1:37 am

Destiny,

just for testing...
try to use EnfuseGUI (link at my equipment list see footer...) to enfuse your image before you use them inside APG.
is this misalignment also seen when fusing with EnfusegGUI, than probaply the head moved while shooting...
(enfusegui is available for mac and pc and its free...)

Georg

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by Destiny » Sat May 14, 2011 2:03 am

Hi Georg.... Well.. I did all that and the images did their thing... I looked at preview and its all good.. but now what... are the images in my folder Enfused.. What do I do after processing the images in EnfuseGUI....??

D..

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by Destiny » Sat May 14, 2011 2:27 am

Oh you are the MAN!.... It heaps better.. I just realised that EnfuseGUI creates a folder.. I put those images into apg and the no ghosting at all around the trees.. the person moving is still ghosted a bit... but its heaps better.. No, the question has to be asked.. how come apg didn't do that...??? I need to experiment a lot more.. Thank you Georg.... oh boy, I have been at it for hours... I really like apg but its sure got some challenges when it comes down to stitching bracketed shots..

D...

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by Destiny » Sat May 14, 2011 2:59 am

I just tried the same images as HDR.. oh yuck... emmm...

D

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by Destiny » Sat May 14, 2011 3:29 am

Hi Georg... I am impressed with that software for sure.. I just tried it on other images which were also causing problems in apg.. the RMS are about 2.8... and the stitching is just about great... But when I go to HDR, since the images are no longer bracketed that will not work in apg.. Which in many ways is goos since I am yet to get a good outcome from HDR... So, I have no idea what the software is actually doing.. Can I assume that when I take my bracketed shots inside a car, that if I put the images through EnfuseGUI that I can get a nice colour/light balanced pano image inside and outside a car VR... It looks like the images are being flattened and alined in EnfuseGUI in preparation for stitching... Is this right....? If my images alined and stitched in ok now, does that mean my images were ok after all...

D...

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by gkaefer » Sat May 14, 2011 9:30 am

in merpirience with using enfuseGUI: if ghosting is available on resulting fuesd images than the cam did move or the object did move (wind, flowers etc.: look at my gardenfence pano on my www.gigapixel.at and zoom into maximum you will see lots of ghosting...) so if you resulting images coming from EnfuseGUI does not have ghosts... than the source was not the problem...
...so back to APG...

how did you arrange the images in APG: You did load all your images to a group... in next step, did you all mark them + context menu (windows PC right mouse button) + arrange stack by N images and the index image set to the middle exposue?

did you use after recognition of pano instead of antighost the exposure fusion preset?
and looking at the big tree with the ghosting.... in my experience in many cases the tree is at two neigbour images... in the Control Point editor ... select those two neigbor images with this tree... delet all cPs which are red an try to mark places on both images with the "add auto control points" and after that alway delete the red ones again and manually optimize than.
So in mannnnnny cases the ghosting can be reduced even to 0....)

Liebe Gruesse,
Georg

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by Destiny » Sat May 14, 2011 3:00 pm

Hi Georg.... well.. yes I did all you said but then I got thinking.. I took too many images... so I took heaps of them away and most of the ghosting went... I have learnt heaps doing this.. one thing I am disappointed with in apg is the hrd rendering... I just cannot see the point when it doesn't wort to well.. if at all... There are also things I would like improved on.. like a reading of the fusion settings would be better with a count... one that you can save for future.. The HDR render output is never nice... I have tried with just three sets of 3 image stacks to make it quicker to test... the over lap always shows lines and the output is,.. well.. oh hum....

Thank you for all your help Georg.. its been invaluable in giving me ideas to test..

Destiny

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by mediavets » Sat May 14, 2011 3:08 pm

Destiny wrote:The HDR render output is never nice... I have tried with just three sets of 3 image stacks to make it quicker to test... the over lap always shows lines and the output is,.. well.. oh hum....
Destiny

You do realise that HDR format output from APP/APG will need to be tone-mapped in another application in order for it to display effectively on a computer screen?
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Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by mediavets » Sat May 14, 2011 3:10 pm

Destiny wrote:I took too many images... so I took heaps of them away and most of the ghosting went...
Destiny

'Too many images'? Do you mean an excessive number of bracketed exposures per shooting position, or do you mean too many shooting positions resulting in excessive overlapping?
Andrew Stephens
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Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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by irpano » Sun May 15, 2011 1:58 am

George.Destiny and mediavets, Thanks for your responses. I have had similar results to Destiny and have learnt to make sure the overlap is not excessive. I use the T&C controller on the merlin and then load into APG using the inmport function. On single exposed images i dont have any problem at All APG reports excellent RMS.
However with any multiple exposed image (Bracket at each position), APG has trouble and is not even consistent even after loading a number of times. Now to the point of my original question - HOW to control the Fusion process on Bracketed images. IE how do you control the Final exposure, contrast and tones for each individual "Tile ' created. The Fusion control in rendering will alter these settings on the final pano but I sometimes ned to control each 'Tile' settings. Can it be done.
Why I use tufuse pro (Tawbaware) is that it gives me this control for each individual tile, and as the images are aligned , fuse very well.
So from a 90 image set (10X3X3) I will get 30 tiles each having good tone,exposure and contrast. APG then stitches the 30 TILES excellently.
So can I achieve this with APG and do away with the need to proccess brackets manually in tufuse pro.
John

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by Destiny » Sun May 15, 2011 3:04 am

Hi Andrew... I only used 3 bracketed shots.. my D90 will only take 3.. the only way to do more would be to use that software you told me about... So I think it came down to too much overlap.. To be honest, it was within the 20%... I took the images at 12 degrees since the lake was a long distance away.. Perhaps I should have done it as 15 more more.... It was only a 18-105mm stock standard kit lens I used... My camera is not full frame so I thought that 12 would be ok.. but perhaps not...

Have you tried using stitched images to HDR... I tried saving the entire bracketed shots as a pano and then edit to hdr.. the results are where blended it shows lines quite badly.. I then tried to save the images as pano layers.. But then this becomes one stack of pano images so apg will not render one stack even if set the images to hdr and then edited fusion. I save the layered pano images and thought that I might be able to put them into photomatix but they do not line up exactly so the results was not as good as it could be..... even though I am getting a RMS of between 2 and 2.3... I dropped the same layered pano into Photoshop and then left the bottom dark exposer as is and then played with the opacity of the two other pano images.. it works quite well.. Its impossible to line them up exactly though... but the results are not too bad.. perhaps ok with my car VRs... If I could get them to line up then is way would be really good... Not sure why they do not line up since the images are taken one after the other as a bracketed shot...

I will go out tomorrow and take a new pano set of images making sure nothing moves and I will set the rotor to 15, 20 and 30 degrees and see what happens...

D..

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by mediavets » Sun May 15, 2011 4:10 am

Destiny wrote:Hi Andrew... I only used 3 bracketed shots.. my D90 will only take 3.. the only way to do more would be to use that software you told me about... So I think it came down to too much overlap.. To be honest, it was within the 20%... I took the images at 12 degrees since the lake was a long distance away.. Perhaps I should have done it as 15 more more.... It was only a 18-105mm stock standard kit lens I used... My camera is not full frame so I thought that 12 would be ok.. but perhaps not... .................
I will go out tomorrow and take a new pano set of images making sure nothing moves and I will set the rotor to 15, 20 and 30 degrees and see what happens...

D..

Using your 18-105mm lens at 18mm the following pattenn could be used for a 360x180:

Minimum (1.5x): N, 10 images every 36° at -45° pitch, 10 images every 36° at 0° pitch, 10 images every 36° at +45° pitch, Z

http://www.vrwave.com/panoramic-lens-database/

Are you using a remote control to trigger the shutter?

Are you getting zoom creep or focus creep with that 'kit' zoom?

My 18-55mm 'kit' zoom lens creeps at high/low pitch angles on my Merlin mount. That's why I got a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D prime for higher res panos, small, light, realtively inexpensive and very little distortion:
http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests/217-nikkor-af-50mm-f18-d-review--test-report

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/5018daf.htm
Last edited by mediavets on Sun May 15, 2011 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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