Aerial Panorama questions  

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Pantoneblack
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Aerial Panorama questions

by Pantoneblack » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:05 pm

I've been thrown into the fire. I work for a company that has hired a photographer to shoot a landscape, ideally 360x180, from a helicopter. Budget constraints have not allowed us to hire someone with the perfect setup for aerial 360's so I've been charged with making sure we can pull this off. I'm a newcomer to Autopan Giga but have done test after test and read the manual cover to cover and a lot of this forum for the last 3 days.
So my problem. We are doing test shots from the helicopter to make sure we can get this to work right, the photographer has shot using a 16mm, 20mm, 21mm, and 24mm lenes. I can get good stitching with the 20mm-24mm no problem but for some reason every time I try and use the images shot with the 16 mm i get something that looks like the image below. As you can see this one has 17 shots and a lot of you will probably say that's way to many. This just happened to be the one I still had on my machine I have removed shots from it but the circular lines always appear similarly to those in the attached photo. I have the photographer shooting as much as he can while the helicopter is spinning so that I can pick the best images for the stitch. He is shooting either handheld with the camera in a gyroscopic case to reduce motion created from the helicopter or he attaches the camera to a monopod and hangs it below the helicopter and the helicopter swings around in a 360 while he takes photos.
My question is this. It the 16mm distortion plus the inevitable helicopter movement too much for APG to handle? Is that why I have more success with the other lenses. Or am I just missing something completely. I am hoping that we will eventually be able to get 3 rows of shots plus nadir, I'll end up retouching in the zenith. Any advice is greatly appreciated. This forum has been invaluable to me getting this far.



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by mediavets » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:15 pm

Welcome to the forum...

I don't think I've never heard of trying to do multi-row from a helicopter.

Most people, doing that seem to use a fullframe fisheye and some sort of mortorised pano head on the end of a pole from a helicopter; or shoot with a motorised mount using a UAV.

...............

Is that 16mm lens really a rectilinear/standard lens, or is it a fisheye and APG is just not recognsing it as such?

...............

Are you sure your budget won't stretch to having an experienced aerial pano shooter do this - these test sessions must be eatiung up the budget with little retrurn?


.
Last edited by mediavets on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by klausesser » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:23 pm

Pantoneblack wrote:I've been thrown into the fire. I work for a company that has hired a photographer to shoot a landscape, ideally 360x180, from a helicopter. Budget constraints have not allowed us to hire someone with the perfect setup for aerial 360's so I've been charged with making sure we can pull this off. I'm a newcomer to Autopan Giga but have done test after test and read the manual cover to cover and a lot of this forum for the last 3 days.
So my problem. We are doing test shots from the helicopter to make sure we can get this to work right, the photographer has shot using a 16mm, 20mm, 21mm, and 24mm lenes. I can get good stitching with the 20mm-24mm no problem but for some reason every time I try and use the images shot with the 16 mm i get something that looks like the image below. As you can see this one has 17 shots and a lot of you will probably say that's way to many. This just happened to be the one I still had on my machine I have removed shots from it but the circular lines always appear similarly to those in the attached photo. I have the photographer shooting as much as he can while the helicopter is spinning so that I can pick the best images for the stitch. He is shooting either handheld with the camera in a gyroscopic case to reduce motion created from the helicopter or he attaches the camera to a monopod and hangs it below the helicopter and the helicopter swings around in a 360 while he takes photos.
My question is this. It the 16mm distortion plus the inevitable helicopter movement too much for APG to handle? Is that why I have more success with the other lenses. Or am I just missing something completely. I am hoping that we will eventually be able to get 3 rows of shots plus nadir, I'll end up retouching in the zenith. Any advice is greatly appreciated. This forum has been invaluable to me getting this far.

Can you please be more detailed about the 16ml lens and the camera?

I agreew to Andrew whoi suspects it´s a fisheye. In this ca´se you need to set APG to use 16mm as a fisheye.

best, Klaus
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel

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by mosleyhgp » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:27 pm

I'm new-ish to AutoPano too, and shoot with a Nikkor 16mm (full frame fisheye) on a D800e.

I've seen those rings too.

Try de-fishing the shots in Photoshop Lens Correction (batch process them) or DxO Optics Pro (my preference) and turn off lens correction in AutoPano. I can't guarantee that they'll stitch, but that should get rid of the "rings of doom" (my term)
Last edited by mosleyhgp on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Pantoneblack » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:41 pm

The settings you're talking about are the optimization settings? I will test that now. Luckily the photographer has a friend around here who flies him up for relatively nothing to do the tests. All the camera info I'm getting from the RAW exif data, he's shooting a Nikon D800 and it is a full frame fisheye.
And thanks, you guys are amazingly fast with responses.

[edited with confirmed lens information]
Last edited by Pantoneblack on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Pantoneblack » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:03 pm

Changing the image properties to fisheye and the optimization setting are getting me a hell of a lot closer. I have almost a usable image. I think my only problem now is just the angle of the shot so that I have more ground coverage instead of his feet.



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by mosleyhgp » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:01 pm

Of course you can get the Nadir and zenith. . . :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us18o7qOXjI

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by klausesser » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:15 pm

mosleyhgp wrote:Try de-fishing the shots in Photoshop Lens Correction (batch process them) or DxO Optics Pro (my preference) and turn off lens correction in AutoPano. I can't guarantee that they'll stitch, but that should get rid of the "rings of doom" (my term)

That´s nonsense, sorry.

APG un-distorts fisheye shots perfectly and directly related to the stitching.

Doing de-fishing it prior to APG definitely will run you into problems.

best, Klaus
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by Pantoneblack » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:25 pm

I've gotten a good stitch now from the 16mm shots with your help. I did not adjust the lens type originally and AGP did not auto-detect. Once that was changed it made a world of difference. It also seems to work better when I enter shot from multiple viewpoints as well. I've been playing with numerous settings and trying to find what works best.

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by mediavets » Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:58 pm

Pantoneblack wrote:I've gotten a good stitch now from the 16mm shots with your help. I did not adjust the lens type originally and AGP did not auto-detect. Once that was changed it made a world of difference.

Good.

It also seems to work better when I enter shot from multiple viewpoints as well.

Yes. it should help.

I've been playing with numerous settings and trying to find what works best.

I vaguely seem to recall that changing the Ransac model to 'homography' may also help with multiple viewpoints.
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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by mediavets » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:02 pm

Pantoneblack wrote:Changing the image properties to fisheye and the optimization setting are getting me a hell of a lot closer. I have almost a usable image. I think my only problem now is just the angle of the shot so that I have more ground coverage instead of his feet.

OK - with D800 and a fullframe fisheye you should need only one row of images to shoot the ground.

If on a fixed mount you would shoot 6-around with some negative pitch.

So you'll probably need a few more.

You could mount the camera/lens on a pano head on a pole and hang that down just below the body of the heli and rotate it to take shots with a wired remote.

Pole and pano heads from Nodal Ninja:

http://www.nodalninja.com

http://shop.nodalninja.com/ultimate-r1-adjustable-tilt-ring-mount-package-f6120/

This very clever device was deevloped some years back just for shooting the type of aerial panos you are trying to make.

I don't think it's made any more though. But it might give you some ideas.

http://www.kolor.com/forum/t8227-magnetic-autotrigger-rotator

Developed by/for these people:

http://www.azchoppercam.com/panoramics.shtm
Last edited by mediavets on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 mosleyhgp » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:39 pm

That´s nonsense, sorry

Your mileage may vary - it has worked perfectly for me.

APG un-distorts fisheye shots perfectly and directly related to the stitching.

As I understand it, APG uses Adobe's lens profile database, as does Photoshop, correct? What else does it do that makes it superior to using the same data in advance?

I admittedly was not aware of the ability to change the lens type in image information until last night. I believe that de-fishing the images prior to stitching (with DxO, which profiles specific lens/camera combinations rather than just lenses as adobe does) was basically working around that gap in my knowledge.

It may be that the lens type will always need to be changed with this particular lens.

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by mediavets » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:57 pm

mosleyhgp wrote:It may be that the lens type will always need to be changed with this particular lens.

You may choose to force the focal length and lens type:


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by Pantoneblack » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:19 pm

mediavets wrote:You could mount the camera/lens on a pano head on a pole and hang that down just below the body of the heli and rotate it to take shots with a wired remote.

Pole and pano heads from Nodal Ninja:

I understand the benefits of a pano head when on the ground and stationary but what benefit would I gain from a non motorized pano head vs any standard tripod/monopod if its hanging from a helicopter and the copter is rotating or the photographer is rotating.
I think a motorized head would be the ideal situation since then the helicopter would stay stationary and the head mount would rotate without the added shake from the copter.

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by mediavets » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:36 pm

Pantoneblack wrote:
mediavets wrote:You could mount the camera/lens on a pano head on a pole and hang that down just below the body of the heli and rotate it to take shots with a wired remote.

Pole and pano heads from Nodal Ninja:

I understand the benefits of a pano head when on the ground and stationary but what benefit would I gain from a non motorized pano head vs any standard tripod/monopod if its hanging from a helicopter and the copter is rotating or the photographer is rotating.

I'm just thinking of strength and reliability of the gear when you are hanging your camera and lens on the end of a pole beneath a helicopter. You may want more length of pole than a tripod or monopod offers.

I think a motorized head would be the ideal situation since then the helicopter would stay stationary and the head mount would rotate without the added shake from the copter.

Some options then:

http://www.vr-head.com/english/mk-panomachine/

http://www.typeandcolour.de/

http://www.roundshot.ch/xml_1/internet/en/application/d77/d78/f79.cfm

Not sure which would operate reliably and safely upside down.
Last edited by mediavets on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:38 pm, 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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by lumelix » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:40 pm

mosleyhgp wrote:It may be that the lens type will always need to be changed with this particular lens.

Hi
I also shooting with the AF Fisheye Nikkor 16mm f2.8D on a D3X and never had to set the lens type manually or "de-fishing" (!) it before the import.
I get the best stitching results with this lens.
Regards
Martin

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by con » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:38 pm

pick me up from Dublin in the morning and I'll happilt shoot it and stitch it for you :)

think i've seen some guys who do helicopter panos use a decent tripod/pole to get the zenith/nadir
Last edited by con on Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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