Thank you so much! Wasn't just looking for it to get 'fixed', I'm very happy that you pointed me in the right direction to fix it myself. I'd rather be taught how to fish than to just be given a fish
I will give that a go.
Come back if you get stuck. But perhaps consult APG 'documentation' first.
It's well worth learning how to use the CP editor.
WRT your questions and observations, I was shooting with a Canon T2i (aka 550d) using a Canon EFS 10-22, Nodal Ninja 4 set to 60 degrees rotation (6 images per row). Yes, I was shooting with aperture priority: relatively new to all of this, and I found with my testing that AP can give a good result (or so I thought). And to add even more variability, I used a bounce flash off the ceiling while in AP for the 'middle' row (shooting straight ahead, not up and down), reason being that this fills and increases light in the room better and therefore reduces the contrast between inside/outside. It's a look that I like, but seems that technologically I may be walking a pretty slim tight rope.
Yes. Aperture priority - or even full auto - may work some times but I think it caused problems here, and I'd recommend to stick with fixed manual settings including white balance) until you have that nailed. Use of flash is generally deprecated for shooting spherical panos indoors (or out).
Do you shoot RAW?
Don't be downhearted - there's considerable 'art' involved in this 'game', and indoor spherical panos are amongst the most challenging sorts of panos to create. the best way to learn is practice, practice, practice...
You'd find it rather easier using a fisheye lens too.
I'd be interested in 'bracketed' workflow. I did try some HDR shots (post processed using Oloneo Photo engine (which I prefer over photomatix et al)) but found things to be very slow and unstable. Very willing to revisit workflow, with the ultimate goal of achieving good indoor/outdoor contrast.
Shooting with a rectilinear wide angle lens you'll have many more images that if shooting witha fisheye and hence need more computer power to process with any speed.
You really need a 64-bit OS and at least 8GB RAM plus plenty of fast disk. If you have such a setup then APG's buid lt-iin stack processing and expsore fusion can produce reasonable results.
Regarding 'giid indoor/outdoor contrast' that's all down to having sufficient exposure bracketing range to cover the dynamic range of the scene. When shooting spherical panos indoors with bright ambient light outside the d=dynamic range typically exceeds that covered by the AEB capabilities of most DSLRs.
The ultimate exposure bracketing tool is the Promote Control which can provide even the most basic Canon or Nikon DSLR with extensive bracketing capabilities - and other good stuff.
GREAT link to vrwave.com canon lens databse, thanks. Looks like I shot with the minimum pattern for the lens, 6 images per row @ 30 degree pitch up and down (if I'm to read the chart correctly)
Except you shot with +/-60 pitch up and down for top and bottom rows.
SO, the recommended is to shoot 4 images (90 degree steps) for -60 and +60 pitch, then 8 images (45 degree) at 0 pitch? That would mean I'd be shooting fewer 'ceiling' images than I shot for this particular project? Seems counterintuitive.
If you envisage a sphere you will appreciate that you require fewer images per rows as you approach the zenith and nadir to achieve the same degree of overlapping.
Excessive overlapping (more than 30%) can itself cause stitching problems.
If more than one shooting pattern will do the job, pick the one that ensures you will have clearly defined features in the overlapping area so that APG can automatically detect and place control points easily.
If faced with a room with, say, a lot of featureless white walls and ceiling then some have used coloured Post-It notes stuck strategically to provide features for APG, editing them out later from the stitched pano image.