Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)  

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DTFrontMan
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Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by DTFrontMan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:31 pm

Hello! I've been using Autopano Giga for a while now, along side my Gigapan automated pano head to create 360 degree panoramas. When shooting with the automated head it does every single panorama exactly the same, each with the same exact number of photos at the same exact angles. Doing detection in Autopano however it's relying on control points to place the images. Sometimes these control points are incorrect and other times there aren't any, a good example would be a relatively featureless sky. Were it to use the same exact angles the way my pano head does it would be able to place these featureless sky pictures properly regardless of what's in them.

I imagine this is what templates are for, set one panorama up with the exact angles then save the template for other panos to use. However I've never been able to get this to work. Whenever I save out a template and try to use it on another set of images, it comes up with an error incorrectly telling me that the number of photos doesn't match the template. All of my photo groups have the same number of images so I'm not sure why it's saying this.

I've tried using the import modules for Gigapan, going through the dialog to specify shooting order and row numbers along with total image count etc. This seems like it would do exactly what I want but it is also using control points to determine where to place images. It will still put images in the wrong spots and leave some images out completely.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to get templates working properly, or to get import modules to ignore the control point process so I can get these images in the same exact spots every time?

Thank you!

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by mediavets » Sat Dec 07, 2013 9:37 pm

I don't understand why the Gigapan Import wizard fails.

Do you check the 360 option? - see screenshot.

Is there something odd about your images?

Do you rename them and/or pre-process them in some way?

Of course the Gigapan series of robotic pano heads are not really intended to be used to shoot panos with a 360 HFOV; they were designed to shoot partial panos with a HFOV of (much) less than 360 and a VFOV of (much) less than 180.

A screenshot of the pano in the Panorama Editor might reveal a clue as to why you are having these problems, it would certainly help to get an idea of the nature of the scene.
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1-apg308-gigapan-import-360.jpg

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by DTFrontMan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:32 pm

I don't understand why you say they're not designed for 360 degree panoramas, it has a mode dedicated to 360 degree shooting and it works perfectly fine. Only thing wrong is that there's one missing photo straight down because of the tripod but that happens with all pano heads, it allows me to shoot straight down but I tell it to ignore that shot because it doesn't serve much purpose.

The only thing wrong with the import wizard is that it doesn't actually lay the images out exactly as they're shot like I expect it to, it's still relying on control points to determine where they should go. I have an image attached here showing the types of results I'm getting using the Gigapan import dialog, you can see how the image grid should be (images 1-50 are lined up reasonably well though not exact). Were it to continue following this grid pattern for the rest of the images it would be perfect, but the control points it creates for the clouds make the image placement shift causing a gap at the top. It's trying to line up features in the clouds and because they were moving the control points moved as well, if it were lined up in a proper (precise) grid the way I want then image cutting when rendering would handle the job in a manner I'd be happy with.

I'd be fine creating my own template with the images lined up exactly how they were shot, but it's not letting me use the templates I save on other groups using same number of shots.
Attachments
PanoExample.jpg
Image 54 here is way off course
Last edited by DTFrontMan on Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by DTFrontMan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:46 pm

This example has closer to exact image placement, though this panorama uses only one shot for straight up while I switched to 10 for my previous example. If I were able to use this EXACT image placement for all panoramas using the same number of shots I would be happy, but it always relies on control points which adds some degree of randomness to the process.
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PanoExample2.jpg

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by mediavets » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:52 pm

I thought you said that the Import Wizard omitted some shots from the pano.

It doesn't appear to in this case.

Yes it still uses control points because no robotic head is precise enough to place images completely accurately without CP optimization.

The Import wizard 'guides' the CP detection system to limit possible links; it can also place 'featureless' images which would otherwise be omitted from the stitch.

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by DTFrontMan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:54 pm

mediavets wrote:Yes it still uses control points because no robotic head is precise enough to place images completely accurately without CP optimization.


If it were to place these images in the same grid they were shot in with my pano head the image would look proper. My pano head shoots exactly the same every time, all I want is for Autopano to place the images exactly the same every time. The way it's adding influence through control points is actually making my panoramas come out wrong.

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by mediavets » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:58 pm

DTFrontMan wrote:This example has closer to exact image placement, though this panorama uses only one shot for straight up while I switched to 10 for my previous example. If I were able to use this EXACT image placement for all panoramas using the same number of shots I would be happy, but it always relies on control points which adds some degree of randomness to the process.


My understanding was that Gipapan heads can only shoot a regular grid/matrix of images automatically. That is with the same number of images in each row.

Have they changed the firmware to allow the pattern you show with a single zenith shot and a nadir shot?

In the past it didn't compute a pattern that presented equal intervals between columns when shooting 360 HFOV.

I also thought that the Gigapan Import wizard could only handle a regular grid/matrix of images; did you use the Import wizard with the image set for which you show the screenshot?

An optimal pattern for shooting a 360x180 has fewer images per row as you approach the zenith and nadir to avoid excessive overlapping which can in itself cause stitching problems.

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by mediavets » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:01 pm

DTFrontMan wrote:
mediavets wrote:Yes it still uses control points because no robotic head is precise enough to place images completely accurately without CP optimization.


If it were to place these images in the same grid they were shot in with my pano head the image would look proper. My pano head shoots exactly the same every time,

Actually it doesn't - because the mechanism is not that precise.

all I want is for Autopano to place the images exactly the same every time. The way it's adding influence through control points is actually making my panoramas come out wrong.


But just placing the images in a regular grid would not result in a perfect stitch because the mechanism of robotic heads is not sufficiently precise.

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by DTFrontMan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:17 pm

Sorry but I do know what I'm talking about. Fact is my pano head shoots in a grid, 100% exact or not it shoots accurately enough that placement would be fine if Autopano would just line them up without mucking the image using it's control points.

I have another example showing the images in the import dialog where it actually DOES place them in a grid, I want them placed like this in the main program.

Another example showing the final image and how it renders fine when manually placing them in the grid pattern my pano head shoots in.
Attachments
[Group 0]-P1580292_P1580726-60 images.jpg
PanoExample4.jpg

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by DTFrontMan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:26 pm

In case you want to tell me that the clouds won't render properly with the grid shot by my pano head which I entered manually, I have an example using a lower exposure with the same exact shooting grid. These results are better than the first example I gave using control points obviously, as the control points produced a huge gap at the top. Using this grid for all panos WOULD work perfectly fine for me but the control points make it completely random.
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[Group 1]-P1580290_P1580724-60 images.jpg

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by mediavets » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:28 pm

DTFrontMan wrote:Sorry but I do know what I'm talking about.


So you say.

Fact is my pano head shoots in a grid, 100% exact or not it shoots accurately enough that placement would be fine if Autopano would just line them up without mucking the image using it's control points.


Sadly not true, but if that's what you wish to believe....how precise to you believe the Gigapan head mechanism is?

The issue as I se it if a different one that has been discussed before in relation to (other) Import wizards which work with heads that actually record the co-ordinates of each shot - unlike the Gigapan robots that don't.

That it that the optimiser seems to permit relocation of images too far from the shooting position to positions that cannot possibly be correct given the known precision of the mechanism.

I have another example showing the images in the import dialog where it actually DOES place them in a grid, I want them placed like this in the main program.

Another example showing the final image and how it renders fine when manually placing them in the grid pattern my pano head shoots in.


Have you inspected the links and attempted to edit the CPs in those cases when some images are misplaced?

...........

Do you get a better result using the Gigapan Stitcher?

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by mediavets » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:29 pm

DTFrontMan wrote:In case you want to tell me that the clouds won't render properly with the grid shot by my pano head which I entered manually, I have an example using a lower exposure with the same exact shooting grid. These results are better than the first example I gave using control points obviously, as the control points produced a huge gap at the top. Using this grid for all panos WOULD work perfectly fine for me but the control points make it completely random.


You placed each image manually and then hard linked them?

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by mediavets » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:30 pm

DTFrontMan wrote: I have an image attached here showing the types of results I'm getting using the Gigapan import dialog, you can see how the image grid should be (images 1-50 are lined up reasonably well though not exact). Were it to continue following this grid pattern for the rest of the images it would be perfect, but the control points it creates for the clouds make the image placement shift causing a gap at the top. It's trying to line up features in the clouds and because they were moving the control points moved as well, if it were lined up in a proper (precise) grid the way I want then image cutting when rendering would handle the job in a manner I'd be happy with.



What do the links look like in the Control Point editor screen - can we see a screenshot?

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by DTFrontMan » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:44 pm

All I want to know is if I can use the same exact image placement from one group on another regardless of control points, and I'm telling I can't find any way do this. The last example I posted are the results I'm looking for and I have absolutely no way to use that exact image placement for the next group of images, I don't want to make any use of it's control points only it's cutting when rendering. This WOULD work for me and that is what I want (plain and simple). Honestly I think you're being extremely rude in your responses, whether or not you think this is the proper way of doing things is irrelevant because I am personally aware that this is what I want to do.

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by mediavets » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:20 am

DTFrontMan wrote:All I want to know is if I can use the same exact image placement from one group on another regardless of control points, and I'm telling I can't find any way do this. The last example I posted are the results I'm looking for and I have absolutely no way to use that exact image placement for the next group of images, I don't want to make any use of it's control points only it's cutting when rendering. This WOULD work for me and that is what I want (plain and simple). Honestly I think you're being extremely rude in your responses, whether or not you think this is the proper way of doing things is irrelevant because I am personally aware that this is what I want to do.


I think you have tried saving a template and applying it to a second image set - is that correct?

As I understand it the template feature in APG is not the same as that in PTGui - perhaps you are familiar with the latter?

AFAIK the APG template feature again is used to offer 'guidance' to the CP detection system, I don't think it can be used without CP detection and optimisation, but I may be mistaken.

I don't think the APG template records anything about the 'cutting on rendering'.

You could check - the template is a text file.

Honestly I think you're being extremely rude in your responses, whether or not you think this is the proper way of doing things is irrelevant because I am personally aware that this is what I want to do.


I am sorry if you find my responses 'rude'. I am not trying to be rude. It may be that what you want to do is not possible with APG - that's merely what I am trying to communicate, along with my understanding (picked up over the last six years) of how various features of APG operate and their pros and cons.

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by DTFrontMan » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:56 am

Thank you, I appreciate the understanding and I apologize if I was being difficult. I know that you were trying to help me get the best results possible, I'm just trying for a workflow that's better for me rather than perfection. What I'm doing is HDRI panoramas with 7 exposures each and I've had much success doing so in the past, my best results have come from groups using a very precise grid like the indoor example I posted. My hope was that I could use this good result as the template putting my images in those same exact spots, as I feel the rendered results would be good enough for what I'm doing regardless of not using any control points. These HDRIs are mostly for lighting and reflection maps, with a single exposure panorama being where I want the best results (as that is used for backgrounds and the only part actually seen in end result).

I have tried creating my own templates, this is what I originally wanted to create the thread for. When creating a template it wouldn't let me use it, even though I created the template from a group using 420 images and tried using it on another group of 420 images it would tell me the number of images was different. This appears to only be a problem with bracketed images though, I've been experimenting and when saving them from panoramas with a single exposure for each position (60 images) it allows me to use the created template just fine. You were right in saying it's just a guide for creating control points though, even using the templates my images end up in different positions.

I suppose I just need to hope for a "disable control points" option. It wouldn't be too much of an issue if I wasn't dealing with so many images, when using the bracketed shots there is a whole lot of manual adjustments needed when the control points come in unfavorably.

Thanks for the help. I've actually been looking into buying a new pano head as my Epic 100 doesn't support the new camera I bought. My eyes have been on the Epic Pro as I've enjoyed my time with Gigapan, would you have any suggestions for a head that would better suit my needs in this situation? You mentioned heads that export documents for Autopano to import and I know the Panogear head does this, do you know if these XMLs would help me preserve the image's actual angle rather than where Autopano thinks it should be?

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by mediavets » Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:19 am

DTFrontMan wrote:Thank you, I appreciate the understanding and I apologize if I was being difficult. I know that you were trying to help me get the best results possible, I'm just trying for a workflow that's better for me rather than perfection. What I'm doing is HDRI panoramas with 7 exposures each and I've had much success doing so in the past, my best results have come from groups using a very precise grid like the indoor example I posted. My hope was that I could use this good result as the template putting my images in those same exact spots, as I feel the rendered results would be good enough for what I'm doing regardless of not using any control points. These HDRIs are mostly for lighting and reflection maps, with a single exposure panorama being where I want the best results (as that is used for backgrounds and the only part actually seen in end result).

I have tried creating my own templates, this is what I originally wanted to create the thread for. When creating a template it wouldn't let me use it, even though I created the template from a group using 420 images and tried using it on another group of 420 images it would tell me the number of images was different. This appears to only be a problem with bracketed images though, I've been experimenting and when saving them from panoramas with a single exposure for each position (60 images) it allows me to use the created template just fine. You were right in saying it's just a guide for creating control points though, even using the templates my images end up in different positions.


OK - I didn't know you were using bracketed exposures.

APG uses a concept of stacks for managing bracketed exposures.

It may recognise bracketed exposures and automatically create stacks or you can manually create stacks. Not sure what happens with bracketed exposures and the Gigapan Import wizard.

I have very limited experience of handling bracketed exposures, but I know that many users prefer to process their bracketed exposures with third-party software before stitching with APG.

I suppose I just need to hope for a "disable control points" option.


Did you experiment with the Detection options in the Gigapan Import wizard? Not sure what they do.
It wouldn't be too much of an issue if I wasn't dealing with so many images, when using the bracketed shots there is a whole lot of manual adjustments needed when the control points come in unfavorably.


With stacks I believe that you should be able to move a stack as if it was a single image.

Thanks for the help. I've actually been looking into buying a new pano head as my Epic 100 doesn't support the new camera I bought. My eyes have been on the Epic Pro as I've enjoyed my time with Gigapan, would you have any suggestions for a head that would better suit my needs in this situation?


The Panoneed head is probably the most versatile and capable of handling just about any lens/body combination you might ever use:
http://www.typeandcolour.de/index.php?ln=en&tp=pk_home

I have never used one so I'll leave it to Klaus Esser a pro photographer who was closely involved in its development to answer your question.

You might also consider the Seitz Roundshot VRDrive:
http://www.roundshot.ch/xml_1/internet/ ... 78/f79.cfm

Both record shooting co-ordinates and these files can be exported and used by APG Import wizards.

You mentioned heads that export documents for Autopano to import and I know the Panogear head does this, do you know if these XMLs would help me preserve the image's actual angle rather than where Autopano thinks it should be?


I have used a Merlin robotic head with Papywizard control software for some years - this same mount is marketed by Kolor under the Panogear label. The T&C Touch Controller from the same stable as the Panoneed is a good controller for this mount :
http://www.typeandcolour.de/index.php?ln=en&tp=hhc_home

I cannot recommend the Panoshoot controller currently offered by Kolor as too many people have reported problems with it.

I don't know what brand and model your new camera is but I don't think the Panogear system will best meet your needs. It cannot readily accommodate many DSLRs at the NPP. It is astro-telecsope mount rather than a purpose designed robotic pano head.

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Re: Problem Using Template (Wrong # Of Photos)

by DTFrontMan » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:10 am

With stacks I believe that you should be able to move a stack as if it was a single image.


It seems like you should be able to but you can't as far as I know. The only option I have is to group them by the speed they were shot or their EV bracket like my screenshot here. Best I can do is move one image to the proper spot, then sort through each group of 60 images selecting the other corresponding exposures before pasting the location to them.

Did you experiment with the Detection options in the Gigapan Import wizard? Not sure what they do.


I did sort through the settings trying to find the right ones, as well as looking over the Wiki before posting here to make sure it wasn't something obvious. Nothing there will explicitly turn off control point detection. After evaluating some of my panoramas like the indoor one (which I consider my reference) I noticed they all amount to an average overlap of 100%, so I changed that value in the Gigapan dialog to 100 and my results for this particular pano are acceptable though image placement is still different between panos. There's a screenshot of that here as well.

As for the pano head I've been cautious about the Panogear set because of the controller it has and I hadn't even heard about others having issues with it, it doesn't seem like a way I'd want to interface with the head. When I first started looking into the Panogear it was being sold with the controller you linked to at a cheaper price, when I saw the price go up because of a device I didn't want it kind of turned me off. Were I able to get the head without the controller and order the touch one you suggested I'd consider it more seriously.

I was also unaware that it didn't have much to accommodate the NPP like you mentioned. The Epic Pro I know will work with proper NPP on my camera (D7100) so that will probably be the way I go regardless of it not spitting out an XML. Those other heads you linked to are pretty far out of my price range currently.
Attachments
PanoExample5.jpg
Previous pano with 100% overlap
PanoGroups.jpg
Pano groups sorted by exposure
PanoGroups.jpg (34.54 KiB) Viewed 573 times


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