Newbie: My subject gets smartblended out!  

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drfrot
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Newbie: My subject gets smartblended out!

by drfrot » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:22 am

Hi,

I've had a look at the documentation and through the fora, and I've tried a few different ways, but I'm stuck with this problem:

I have a 9 frame panorama that I'm feeding into APP from RAW, with a cyclist at one edge (my subject). However, there are a couple of similar frames which overlap the subject: one of them for the sky in the top left corner; one for the road in the bottom left corner.

The panorama stitches beautifully (APP really is phenomenal!), but in smartblending, it removes my subject entirely. Not a trace!

Things I've tried:

1. Removing the two overlapping frames, which of course avoids the problem, but this means I lose some of the picture in the corners and will have a pesky time clone stamping and blending in Photoshop.

2. Creating an additional layer for the frame containing the subject in APP. This was a disaster, I'm afraid the guidance on layers in the documentation was a little too sketchy for me - whichever way I tried, the subject wouldn't stitch, and he ended up floating around in space somewhere on the right hand side of the picture.

3. Taking the two overlapping frames into Photoshop CS2 before plugging them into APP (as in the video tutorial for manually stitching), erasing pixels in each of them that correspond to where my subject is, saving as TIFF and starting over... but it records the erased pixels as white space which then gets incorporated into the finished product. Instead of a subject, I have a big, artificial, white snowball!!

So... I'm clearly doing something wrong. I'd really value some advice on which of the above techniques I should employ to solve this problems (2 or 3) and a few step by step instructions as to how to go about this.

I'm using APP v1.4.2 on an iMac 2.4 GHz dual core with OS X 10.5.5 and Photoshop CS2.

Many thanks in advance.

Giles

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by leedsjoe » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:31 am

A point of clarification: when rendering, have you tried blending using 'multiband'?

Might help to give forum members access to the problem images. I confess to not knowing the best way(s) to make images available generally. But others will!

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by Phil Howard » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:41 am

drfrot wrote:3. Taking the two overlapping frames into Photoshop CS2 before plugging them into APP (as in the video tutorial for manually stitching), erasing pixels in each of them that correspond to where my subject is, saving as TIFF and starting over... but it records the erased pixels as white space which then gets incorporated into the finished product. Instead of a subject, I have a big, artificial, white snowball!!

I've always thought it would be nice to be able to designate parts of specific images that APP should ignore. I'm too new to know if there might be such a thing, yet. But for image formats that support an alpha layer, that might be one way to do it from external. Otherwise some kind of mask file (another image file with just B&W to designate the parts to ignore) for the files that need to have parts ignored. Or maybe APP could have some kind of editing on the individual images before stitching.

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by drfrot » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:43 am

Thanks Joe. I have only tried smartblend, but will try multiband too. I have nowhere to host images, but will post screenshots if I can work out how, and there's something to show (it's pretty much all described above though)!

Cheers

G

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by drfrot » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:51 am

Ok, I've sorted it. (Multiband merge gave the same result, BTW).

Instead of rendering to jpeg, render to a Photoshop file, keeping all the layers. Once in photoshop, put your subject layer at the top, with your blended layer beneath it (you can discard or hide all the other layers). Apply an inverted layer mask to your subject (alt/option + layer mask; the whole thing should disappear again), select a white paintbrush on the layer mask and paint him back in carefully. Cyclists are always a pain because of the wheels/spokes, but it looks fine.

Thanks for the advice. There's probably a way of replicating this from within APP, but I've stuck with what I know!

G

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by fma38 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:50 am

The other solution is to generate tif files from your raws, then cut the parts which overlap your subject on other pictures (alpha), then load them in APP. It works fine.
Frédéric

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by BeeZed » Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:49 pm

Also be aware that when using smartblend into a layered file, that the blended background layer may be different than the single image layers. Smartblend does this distortion as part of it's blending process. In this case try multiband, or some cloning. I find it is particularly obvious with horizontal lines. On the flip side, smartblend can sometimes rescue a parallax infused handheld panorama, so I try it first.

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by marco-pano » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:47 pm

fma38 wrote:The other solution is to generate tif files from your raws, then cut the parts which overlap your subject on other pictures (alpha), then load them in APP. It works fine.

I've used technic described by Frédéric on APP 1.4.2 under WinXP with a good sucess:
+ develop RAW to TIF
+ make detection under APP from TIFF
+ close APP application
+ under Photoshop, open source TIF files where you want pixels not be used by smartblend, create an Alpha layer, paint some UnSelected (generally black) pixels
+ maybe you want to do the contrary with the picture having the bicycle man (keep him as white in a Alpha channel)
+ don't be accurate to one pixel between unselected / selected area, give smartblend some common area between pictures so it can make a nice blending
+ save all pictures in Tiff with Alpha channel
+ start APP, reload the same project, try a new render

It's worth to try :)
Marco, Paris ;)
Canon EOS 40D, EF-S 10-22, EF 24-105 LIS, EF 70-200 LIS - Canon G9 (wide-converter)
DxO v7.5, Autopano Pro 2.6, PS CS5 and time

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by fma38 » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:44 pm

marco-pano wrote:
fma38 wrote:The other solution is to generate tif files from your raws, then cut the parts which overlap your subject on other pictures (alpha), then load them in APP. It works fine.

I've used technic described by Frédéric [...]

This is a GURL tip. He mainly uses it to hide the tripod on full-spherical panos. I tried, and it works great.
Frédéric


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