Auto-detection of Bracketed Images  

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Auto-detection of Bracketed Images

by Aeriscera » Thu May 27, 2010 12:57 pm

Hello Everyone,

Sorry if this has been answered recently but I couldn't find anything definitive.

Is it possible to get AP (I have 2.0.8) to automatically create stacks of bracketed images?

This seems to have been a problem since 2007!

This used to be possible with AEB images from my old H7 and my 400D (but not with my 7D) but now AP doesn't seem create the stacks at all for any of my cameras.

I have read that AP only looks at the "EXIF field 0x9204 : // exposure bias value" but according to EXIFTool there is no field. There is ExposureCompensation which I tried setting manually but AP still didn't pick up the bracketed images.

Aeris

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by klausesser » Thu May 27, 2010 6:57 pm

Aeriscera wrote:Hello Everyone,

Sorry if this has been answered recently but I couldn't find anything definitive.

Is it possible to get AP (I have 2.0.8) to automatically create stacks of bracketed images?

This seems to have been a problem since 2007!

This used to be possible with AEB images from my old H7 and my 400D (but not with my 7D) but now AP doesn't seem create the stacks at all for any of my cameras.

I have read that AP only looks at the "EXIF field 0x9204 : // exposure bias value" but according to EXIFTool there is no field. There is ExposureCompensation which I tried setting manually but AP still didn't pick up the bracketed images.

Aeris

As i told in the other thread: in the editor you can choose in which way images are ordered - by aperture, by speed . . . and by bracket.

best, Klaus
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by Aeriscera » Fri May 28, 2010 7:06 am

?That doesn't answer my question about how to create stacks.

At one time, if you loaded bracketed images into AP, the program would recognise that images were bracketed and in the group pane it only displayed one image for each bracketed set and put "BKT" on the image.

My understanding was that the concept of a stack was invented to cut down on the work that users and the program had to do and indeed 2.0.8 still contains an option for whether you want to detect links in one stack level or all stack levels.

So ... are stacks no longer implemented?

A

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by leedsjoe » Fri May 28, 2010 2:11 pm

The two screenshots demonstrate 'BKT' working with APG2.0.7 and 2.0.8.

The images were taken with an EOS7D using AEB -1.67, -0.33, +1.00

I loaded the images into APG using both 'Browse folder' and 'Select Images' with the same result.

Remark: reviewing this posting just now, I notice that while we have stacks OK, in 2.0.7 the third image, in 2.0.8 the first of the three is displayed.

Perhaps Kolor could comment on this change?




Last edited by leedsjoe on Fri May 28, 2010 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Aeriscera » Fri May 28, 2010 6:21 pm

Thanks Leedsjoe. I am also using a 7D so I guess now my question is why doesn't that work for me? It may be that although I think I am taking "bracketed images", there is a difference between what I am doing and using "AEB".

I am still a bit of a noob when it comes to cameras. On the 7Ds menu I see "Expo. comp./AEB" which is what I use to get say +/-2EV versions of an image. I assumed that "exposure compensation" and "auto exposure bracketing" were two names for the same thing but now it occurs to me that I they are not, and in fact I am using the former when I should be using the latter. This guess is reinforced by the fact that you said you were using -1.67, -0.33, +1.00 and I had no idea that you could take shots at anything other than -N, 0 and +N (for some value of N).

Is there enough there for you to deduce what I may be doing wrong?

Best,

Aeris

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by hankkarl » Fri May 28, 2010 7:15 pm

Look on page 105 of the fine EOS 7D manual.

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by Aeriscera » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:57 am

Finally got around to looking at p. 105 as suggested (and p. 104 on Exposure Compensation). I still can't see how to set the bracketing to anything other than -N, 0 and +N. It occurs to me that you might be able to get say -1.67, -0.33, +1.00 by combining Exposure Compensation with AEB (since these values are of the form -N, 0, +N for N = 1.33 but shifted by -0.33) but EC can only be set in P, Av and Tv modes, none of which are suitable for panos because the exposure will vary in adjacent images.

Or am I still missing something?

A

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by klausesser » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:25 pm

Aeriscera wrote:Finally got around to looking at p. 105 as suggested (and p. 104 on Exposure Compensation). I still can't see how to set the bracketing to anything other than -N, 0 and +N. It occurs to me that you might be able to get say -1.67, -0.33, +1.00 by combining Exposure Compensation with AEB (since these values are of the form -N, 0, +N for N = 1.33 but shifted by -0.33) but EC can only be set in P, Av and Tv modes, none of which are suitable for panos because the exposure will vary in adjacent images.

Or am I still missing something?

A

As i´m using a 5DII and before a 20D for shooting panos i can´t tell about the 7D - but the basics are the very same.

Set the bracketing to -2, 0, +2 and preferably use RAW - the 7D generates 14bitRAW afaik. That´s a big advantage
when using pseudo-HDR from just one shot.

Using JPG it´s also fine to use -2, 0, +2 in most cases. But pseudo-HDR is useless then.

So if your measurement says 1/60sec@f:11 your bracketed series would be: 1/15, 1/60, 1/250 sec. @f:11.

Always use time-values instead of aperture and always use full manual mode: No AWB, no AF, no auto-time/aperture.
Use an adaequate hyperfocal-distance setting - if you have a reliable scale on your lens - or use the "working aperture" to focus your fov.

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by gkaefer » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:07 pm

Using JPG it´s also fine to use -2, 0, +2 in most cases. But pseudo-HDR is useless then.

Klaus, I did last weekend a test indoor small room with one window and I converted my +2,0,-2 raws (Canon EOS 400D) to jpgs.
there jpgs work fine - you see a great result.
and even for the window section I took my created +2 and -2 jpgs and produced manually pseudo +4 (from the +2) and -4 (from the -2) jpg and in result I hat -4,-2,0,+2,+4 images ... and this gave me much better result than the version with only +2,0,-2...
(I used enfuse and enfusegui for windows...)

Liebe Gruesse,
Georg
Last edited by gkaefer on Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by leedsjoe » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:20 pm

I have my EOS7D here with me...

To have agreed terminology - see page 16/17 of the manual: we are going to need the shutter button, the quick control dial, the main dial and the menu and setting buttons.

To set AEB with Exposure compensation press the menu button and then use the main dial to got to the second (red) menu.

Using the quick control dial, select the first entry "Expo. comp./ etc" and confirm choice using the setting button.

Use the quick control dial to get to +/- Exposure compensation setting required

Use the main dial (clockwise) to set AEB level, anti-clockwise if you go too far

Use Setting button to confirm choices

Use shutter button to ready the camera.


Incidentally, I'm sure Canon are going to sell a shedload of this camera...

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by Aeriscera » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:49 pm

Thanks Leedsjoe. It's always a pleasure when someone takes the time to spell things out so clearly, but your procedure is missing an important step:
leedsjoe wrote:Using the quick control dial, select the first entry "Expo. comp./ etc" and confirm choice using the setting button.

This only works if you are in P, Av or Tv modes and not in manual mode. In M the quick control dial does nothing (it is greyed out in the display).

My understanding is that none of the P, Av or Tv modes are appropriate for taking muti-image panos (surely? otherwise adjacent images will have different exposures of common objects) and that M is the only mode to use. In this mode the 7D generates bracketed images that are not detected as such by AP which I would say is a shortcoming of AP rather than Canon.

This takes me back to my original issue viz AP containing this shortcoming since 2007 and a suitable workaround.

Aeris
Last edited by Aeriscera on Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by mediavets » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:11 pm

Aeriscera wrote:My understanding is that none of the P, Av or Tv modes are appropriate for taking muti-image panos (surely? otherwise adjacent images will have different exposures of common objects) and that M is the only mode to use. In this mode the 7D generates bracketed images that are not detected as such by AP which I would say is a shortcoming of AP rather than Canon.

This takes me back to my original issue viz AP containing this shortcoming since 2007 and a suitable workaround.

Aeris

I agree - it's been discussed many times but the discussion has never seemed to reach any real consensus or conclusion as to how to handle this issue.

The problem seems to be that different brands/models of camera 'do' exposure bracketing in different ways and hence there's no obvious reliable way of always identifying bracketed images automatically.

As I see it we need a way for users to 'tell' APP/APG which parameter(s) we wish the program to use to identify/determine bracketing and thereby to assign bracketed images to stacks. I know this agoes against the 'spirit' of automation sought/espoused by Autopano but what alternative is ther if it can't be done automatically.

I think the type of user who wishes to be able to shoot and stitch bracketed images would also have the ability and be happy to provide some manual 'assistance' to the software.

Now that 2.5 is imminent perhaps this is the time to revisit this whole issue?
Last edited by mediavets on Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by klausesser » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:22 pm

mediavets wrote:
Aeriscera wrote:My understanding is that none of the P, Av or Tv modes are appropriate for taking muti-image panos (surely? otherwise adjacent images will have different exposures of common objects) and that M is the only mode to use. In this mode the 7D generates bracketed images that are not detected as such by AP which I would say is a shortcoming of AP rather than Canon.

This takes me back to my original issue viz AP containing this shortcoming since 2007 and a suitable workaround.

Aeris

I agree - it's been discussed many times but the discussion has never seemed to reach any real consensus or conclusion as to how to handle this issue.

The problem seems to be that different brands/models of camera 'do' exposure bracketing in different ways and hence there's no obvious reliable way of always identifying bracketed images automatically.

As I see it we need a way for users to 'tell' APP/APG which parameter(s) we wish the program to use to identify/determine bracketing and thereby to assign bracketed images to stacks. I know this agoes against the 'spirit' of automation sought/espoused by Autopano but what alternative is ther if it can't be done automatically.

I think the type of user who wishes to be able to shoot and stitch bracketed images would also have the ability and be happy to provide some manual 'assistance' to the software.

Now that 2.5 is imminent perhaps this is the time to revisit this whole issue?

I really don´t understand the problem. Putting bracketed images into APP/APG works fine for years now.
APP/G stitches them very well. You can export the bracketed sets as layers of a pano to generate HDR.

So where the hack is the problem at all? :cool:

best, Klaus
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by Aeriscera » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:48 pm

mediavets wrote:I think the type of user who wishes to be able to shoot and stitch bracketed images would also have the ability and be happy to provide some manual 'assistance' to the software.

Yes, but do you know what it is such a user has to do?

mediavets wrote:Now that 2.5 is imminent perhaps this is the time to revisit this whole issue?

I hope so. Perhaps it is already being revisited - AP 2.5 is supposed to have better HDR support iirc.

klausesser wrote:You can export the bracketed sets as layers of a pano to generate HDR.

If you are doing pseudo-hdr pano, creating the layers is not automatic (afaik) - in fact for image sets with more than 10 images it is a real pain.
klausesser wrote:So where the hack is the problem at all? :cool:

Computation time (or computational "complexity" to use the technical term). It seems to me that if AP knows that some images have something in common then stitching and/or rendering time and/or memory can be reduced. Granted the benefit is not so clear if the images vary in things other exposure but in such circumstances eg when taking multiple exposures with slight movement between each, I would like to have the option as to what AP does. After all, is this not the reason that brackets were invented in the first place?

A

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by klausesser » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:24 pm

Aeriscera wrote:If you are doing pseudo-hdr pano, creating the layers is not automatic (afaik) - in fact for image sets with more than 10 images it is a real pain.

1) You can´t do pseudo-hdr in APP/G. That´t not it´s goal. You can generate pseudo-hdr in Photomatix using single RAW shots.
2) Working with bracketed images naturally always means a lot more work.

Aeriscera wrote:It seems to me that if AP knows that some images have something in common then stitching and/or rendering time and/or memory can be reduced. Granted the benefit is not so clear if the images vary in things other exposure but in such circumstances eg when taking multiple exposures with slight movement between each, I would like to have the option as to what AP does.

I don´t understand what you mean, sorry.

Aeriscera wrote:"After all, is this not the reason that brackets were invented in the first place?"

Bracketed shooting was "invented" just to increase the dynamic range of a photographic image. Given you have a camera which "registers" a dedicated dynamical range of tone-/color values and this range isn´t wide enough to register a very bright sunlight outside and a very dim light inside a room at the same time - which none of the cameras in the world can do in good quality - you shoot "bracketed".
That means to choose a series of different exposed pictures and combine the values of all shots to one picture which has ALL the values of the multiple exposures in one image.
This can ONLY be done shooting bracketed.
Now there are two ways to handle the multiple exposures: using "DRI" (DynamicRangeIncrease) with Photoshop or others.
Here you put each shot on a layer and get a set of, let´s say, three layers of which one is exposed -2, one is 0 and one is +3.
There are several routines to combine them to ONE layer which contains the "goodies" of all three: shadows are detailed and also highlights are detailed and mids are detailed anyway. (that´s very much simplified of course).
Another way would be to generate HDR of the bracketed set of pictures:
the multiple exposures are combined to a very "special" format: a 32bit/ch floating point file.
That means that because of the nature of floating point there are no exactly defined values from exactly static defined table of values but variable values which can be interpreted locally in areas of a picture in a way you need them instead of taking static values from a fixed table. (that´s also VERY much simplified and definitely not correct in a technical understanding - but it´s too complex to handle it here in short)

The 32bit/ch fp format isn´t displayable natively. It´s native use is in 3D render-applications like Maya, Cinema4D and so on to provide IBL/GL (ImageBasedLighting/GlobalLighting) - an also too complex theme to handle it here in short.

This 32bit/ch fp file must be "downgraded" to display and use it on usual hardware. That is done by "Tone-Mapping" or "Tone-Compressing" it to displayable values.
Due to the HDR-nature mapping or compressing can use an extremely wide range of values to work with. A range usually nowhere else exists.
That can lead to a very natural characteristic of images - our eyes adapt very bright light outside a room and very dim light inside a room very quickliy.
So for our eyes and minds the outside seems to have the same values as the inside - which usual photography can´t register at all and show either the outside correctly and the inside too dark or the inside correctly and the outside burned out.

HDR and DRI both need multiple exposures. They´re nearly the same technique when used related to photography - but very much different when it comes to
IBL/GL.

A word on the term "automatic" - AutoPanoPro might be interpreted as "automatic" somehow . . but as it is with every kind of automatic it doesn´t take away the need to 1) think and 2) gain skills.
To get fine results always takes a lot of efforts - in photography, in movie-making/editing, sound-recording/editing (all three my professions) as well as in every way to work seriously to get fine results.

So: "don´t ask what a program can do for you - ask what you can do to get the best results . . " (excuse me, John. F. . . . :cool:)
That means the use of dedicated applications instead of expecting one app to do all you want - and to accept the efforts it takes to get to excellent results instead of relying on automatism . . . :cool:

best, Klaus
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by pgielen » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:47 am

klausesser wrote:I really don´t understand the problem. Putting bracketed images into APP/APG works fine for years now.
APP/G stitches them very well.

Maybe I should try that too. Because in my experience so far, processing bracketed pictures with APP results in more grain and unsharpness in the final panorama then when I first run these pictures through EnfuseGUI (exposure blending, because I don't like HDR) and then let APP process the enfused TIFs. Until now I have always let APP create the blended panorama in stead of making 3 panoramas and combining them afterward.

Pierre
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by klausesser » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:47 am

pgielen wrote:
klausesser wrote:I really don´t understand the problem. Putting bracketed images into APP/APG works fine for years now.
APP/G stitches them very well.

Maybe I should try that too. Because in my experience so far, processing bracketed pictures with APP results in more grain and unsharpness in the final panorama then when I first run these pictures through EnfuseGUI (exposure blending, because I don't like HDR) and then let APP process the enfused TIFs. Until now I have always let APP create the blended panorama in stead of making 3 panoramas and combining them afterward.

Pierre

Hi Pierre!

PROCESSING bracketed images you should not do in APP/G.
In my eyes the preferable way to go is to PROCESS the bracketed sets FIRST in a dedicated HDR app and stitch them afterwards.
Stitching the bracketed sets and rendering as layers is another way.

best, Klaus
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by leedsjoe » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:07 pm

Aeriscera,

I've not had my EOS7D long so not had a go at AEB in 'M' Mode against APG (2.0.8).

With time on my hands in a Scottish B&B I have just done a trial comparing some existing AV Mode AEB shots with some new M Mode AEB. I looked at the EXIF data using ExifToolsGUI. The results are not encouraging.

Before getting to the results, I do make the point that in 'M', since we are setting both the Time and Aperture by hand we are, in effect, doing our own 'Exposure Compensation' anyway; hence the graying-out you noticed.

As an aside, this is page 102 of the EOS7D manual on 'M' mode. That page gives a warning about 'Auto Lighting Optmizer' but doesn't point out that if ISO is set to 'Auto' that gets in the way as well since it is overriding any manual setting of exposure levels you may be aiming for!

To the results:

I compare three Exif variables between AV and M Modes.

In AV Mode Exposure Program is set to 'Program AE', Exposure Mode is set to 'Autobracket' and Exposure Compensation to -1/3, say

In 'M' Mode I dialled in AEB, as in my last comment, and then got: Exposure Program set to Manual, Exposure Mode set to Manual [as well] and Exposure Compensation set to 0 for all three shots in the Bracket.

It is no wonder, then, that APG did not pick up any bracketing.

As a lawyer might say, you might want to put your questions to Canon.

Also, I'd be grateful if someone else could cross-check these findings.

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by Aeriscera » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:43 pm

Thanks Joe,

leedsjoe wrote:In 'M' Mode I dialled in AEB, as in my last comment, and then got: Exposure Program set to Manual, Exposure Mode set to Manual [as well] and Exposure Compensation set to 0 for all three shots in the Bracket.

It is no wonder, then, that APG did not pick up any bracketing.

Ah, that explains a lot. My question about what to do about this still remains though. I got a program to modify EXIF values then came here to find the post that tells you which values you need to modify but couldn't find it. Am I right in thinking that if I use one of the modes for which Exposure compensation works and take a set of bracketed images which AP recognises as a BKT, then examine the EXIF data, I should be able to work out which EXIF values to change in images taken in manual mode with A.E.B.?

A

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by mediavets » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:12 pm

You may wish to see this thread:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/t5683-enhanced-advanced-stack-feature-for-appv2-apg

According to Alexandre the current stacking feature "is based on the EXIF field 0x9204 : // exposure bias value":
http://www.autopano.net/forum/p36051-2009-01-05-14-57-09#p36051
Last edited by mediavets on Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Aeriscera » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:21 pm

Ah ... that's what I needed to know!

Thanks.

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by hankkarl » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:35 pm

Aeriscera wrote:Thanks Joe,

leedsjoe wrote:In 'M' Mode I dialled in AEB, as in my last comment, and then got: Exposure Program set to Manual, Exposure Mode set to Manual [as well] and Exposure Compensation set to 0 for all three shots in the Bracket.

It is no wonder, then, that APG did not pick up any bracketing.

Ah, that explains a lot. My question about what to do about this still remains though. I got a program to modify EXIF values then came here to find the post that tells you which values you need to modify but couldn't find it. Am I right in thinking that if I use one of the modes for which Exposure compensation works and take a set of bracketed images which AP recognises as a BKT, then examine the EXIF data, I should be able to work out which EXIF values to change in images taken in manual mode with A.E.B.?

A

AFIK, Canon's "AEB Bracket Value" which is the EV change _even in manual mode_ and the "bracket mode" (AEB) and "bracket value" (-64 for -2EV, 0 for 0 EV) are what Cnaon uses for bracketing.
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by kevshu » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:59 pm

I completely forgot that you have to use Av mode when shooting bracketed photos for APG. So I had the same problem with a manually shot AEB pano until I read this thread.

I found this program http://www.photo-freeware.net/quick-exif-editor.php to change the ExifExposeureBias (0x9204) from 0 to either a -2 and 2. It does a batch change BUT it changes all the modification to all the pictures. So only open all the -2 photos photos first. Make the change. Open all the +2 photos. Make the change.

APG recognized the BKT'd shots after this.
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by mediavets » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:18 pm

APG 2.5.0 Alpha 1 introduces a way for users to assign images to 'brackets' (Stacks?) manually by parameter of choice: I quote from the 2.5.0 Changleog:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/t9203-autopano-engine-v2.5-changelog

"PANORAMA TAB
------------
Totally new :
- You can choose to automatically create groups at detection ( either by bracket, speed, etc ).
This part will be improved further by the addition of an automatic mode that will decide alone what to do.

And an example of how this can be used, in this case for exposure fusion:
http://www.autopano.net/forum/t9316-fusion,a-first-attempt-o
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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