Problems with 500m long orthogonal panorama  

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chillman
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Problems with 500m long orthogonal panorama

by chillman » Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:13 pm

Hello everyone!

I have serious trouble finishing an orthogonal panorama project that was in my mind for nearly a year now. I already read a lot of different threads about that topic, tried following the often quoted tutorial by Joachim Fenkes ( http://www.dojoe.net/tutorials/linear-pano/ ) and tried understanding the general problem about such types of panoramas. But i still wasn't able to stitch a good picture. I made several panoramas with APG before and the results were all amazing, but those panoramas were all shot from one point. This is my first orthogonal panorama. I will try to describe the situation and my approach as detailed as possible. I would really appreciate if you could tell me your opinion about what approach I should choose, e.g. distance, camera horizontally/vertically, focal length and so on.

At first: The object to photograph. It is a 500m long soundproof wall between a railway and a street in Aachen, Germany. Last fall there was a contest and dozens of artits sprayed graffiti over the whole length of the wall. Although the graffiti is not one single one over the full length, it still looks amazing and I think it would make a great picture to show online for example.

Here is a picture of the situation:
Image
And the rough dimensions:
Image

My first approach was to capture one of those elements between two poles per picture. As you can see, the distant where I can make pictures from is limited by parking cars. Even though, I tried to go further away and so the pictures were made from about 12m (behind the cars) from a position about 3m high. I made all this pictures horizontally with a focal length of 35mm (by the way: the camera was a Canon Rebel XTi with the standard 18-55mm lens).

This are two exemplary pictures:
ImageImage

And this is an abstract from the first stitching result:
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/result1.jpg (4.443px à— 800px / 700kB)

My second approach was to take the pictures vertically from the 7m distance the parked cars left me. The pictures were made with the focal length of 18mm. I overlapped a lot (about 60-70%) and automatically cropped the pictures to 50% width later.
This time, three exemplary pictures:
ImageImageImage

And the results after stitching:
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/result2.jpg (1.809px à— 800px / 333kB)
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/result2b.jpg (1.089px à— 800px / 182 kB)

After I saw this heavy line distortions in the second group of pictures, I decided to stop trying to get the height of the wall in one picture and make a few pictures distributed over the height instead. I made pictures from the same distance (7m) but with a focal length of 55mm this time. I shot three photos per column horizontally, which came to 12 pictures per 5m segment of the wall.

This is one column:
Image
Image
Image

And the result after stitching:
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/result3.jpg (1.280px à— 935px / 288kB)

As you can see, all of the results are not satisfying. I am not sure if the problem is in my pictures and I am doing that wrong, or if I am just using the software incorrectly. As I said, I had very little problems stitching pictures made from one point and get excellent result even without nodal point head on my tripod.

I am looking forward for you tips!

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by mediavets » Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:10 pm

APP/APG do not really support orthogonal panos, but I have read that if you set a focal length of say 1,000mm then you may get an acceptable result.

Y0u might also try Free Nodal Point mode in the latest V2.5.0 Alpha 1:
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/Lastest_Beta
Last edited by mediavets on Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by chillman » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:48 am

Hello mediavets!

Thanks for you answer. Unfortunately, I already tried setting the focal length to 1000mm in APG, but it made hardly any difference.
I do not really understand why it is so hard for APG to notice and process these simple geometric shapes in the pictures. Before I started I guessed that it would be an ease because of the many lines that just need to linked together, but it seems like that is making it even harder for the software. Additionally any brake in the lines, even the smallest one, can be easily detected by the human eye.

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by mediavets » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:26 pm

chillman wrote:I do not really understand why it is so hard for APG to notice and process these simple geometric shapes in the pictures. Before I started I guessed that it would be an ease because of the many lines that just need to linked together, but it seems like that is making it even harder for the software. Additionally any brake in the lines, even the smallest one, can be easily detected by the human eye.

It's simply that APP/APG do not support orthogonal projections.

I can't remember but maybe Microsoft ICE does?

Did you try the Free Nodal Point mode in the Alpha 1 version of APG 2.5?
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 manuel rosario » Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:10 pm

Hi Chillman,

You may want to look at this link for a variety of projections. I've been there but I shifted here because it worked better on virtual tour and is multi platform...cheers..Manny

http://www.tawbaware.com/projections.htm
Canon EOS20d, 50d, sigma 12-24, samyang 8mm FE, 4GB ram, 2.53 GHz MacBook Pro 13.3 Snow 10.6.8, Panosaurus, Nodal Ninja NN3II, AutopanoGiga+PTP, KRPano Unlimited, Photomatix4, onOne PhototoolsPro 2.6 and Perfect Resize 7, Noiseware Pro, Topaz Suite, PS CS5.

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by chillman » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:45 pm

Ok I now tried Microsoft ICE and the APG 2.5 Beta. The results still aren't really good. Here you are:

First try with Microsoft ICE and the set of horizontally shot pictures:
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/ICE_result1.jpg (7.523px à— 800px / 1,3MB)

Second try with MS ICE and the set of vertically shot pictures (not cropped):
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/ICE_result2.jpg (4.917px à— 800px / 877kB)

Both panoramas are slightly better than the results of APG. But, is there any way to optimize the results MS ICE produces? Did I miss something or is this software like "If you're lucky and it works, good for you! If not, there is nothing you can do!" ???
It seems to me, that this way, MS ICE is not really suitable for a project of 100+ pictures...

After that, I tried the APG 2.5 Beta. Well... I am really not sure what happened... The results were better this time (except of the horizontal alignment) but the colors were all messed up!!! See for yourself:

Panorama made of first set of pictures:
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/APG_Beta_result1.jpg (8.361px à— 800px / 1MB)

Panorama made of second set of pictures (uncropped):
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/APG_Beta_result2.jpg (4.518px à— 800px ( 744kB)

@Manuel Rosario: Your link looks very promising, I will see if that is what i am searching for. Thank you!

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by mediavets » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:14 pm

chillman wrote:Ok I now tried Microsoft ICE and the APG 2.5 Beta. The results still aren't really good. Here you are:

First try with Microsoft ICE and the set of horizontally shot pictures:
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/ICE_result1.jpg (7.523px à— 800px / 1,3MB)

This one edoesn't seem to bad to me.

After that, I tried the APG 2.5 Beta. Well... I am really not sure what happened... The results were better this time (except of the horizontal alignment) but the colors were all messed up!!!

I think that's because colour correction is broken in APG 2.5 alpha 1. This is a known bug to be corrected in beta 1.

Did you use the Free Nodal Point setting?
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 chillman » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:37 pm

mediavets wrote:
chillman wrote:Ok I now tried Microsoft ICE and the APG 2.5 Beta. The results still aren't really good. Here you are:

First try with Microsoft ICE and the set of horizontally shot pictures:
http://www.tilmanbremer.de/downloads/graffitipanorama/ICE_result1.jpg (7.523px à— 800px / 1,3MB)

This one edoesn't seem to bad to me.

You're right, it's not "bad". But still not perfect though. As I see it, I have no chance to make it better without doing a lot of manual work later. This could become a huge load of work over 500m of wall...
And MS ICE sometimes messes up the position of the pictures (as you can see at the right side of the second picture I made with MS ICE). I noticed this behaviour several times. I have no idea how to fix this manually and I guess that this problem will get worse when using hundreds of pictures. So I assumed that ICE is not suitable for such a large project.

mediavets wrote:
After that, I tried the APG 2.5 Beta. Well... I am really not sure what happened... The results were better this time (except of the horizontal alignment) but the colors were all messed up!!!

I think that's because colour correction is broken in APG 2.5 alpha 1. This is a known bug to be corrected in beta 1.

Did you use the Free Nodal Point setting?

Okay, that explains the colors. Yes, I used the Free Nodal Point setting. I left all settings to default, just forced APG to use all the pictures in one panorama and checked the Free Nodal Point option. It was just a quick try, e.g. I did not correct the control points manually before rendering.

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by chillman » Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:29 am

I just worked my way through PTAssembler. After I finished the tutorial I tried using my pictures. The reults were all horrible. I am starting to believe that it's simply impossible for any software to stitch this kind of pano. At the moment, I am pretty close to give up.

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by manuel rosario » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:05 pm

Hi Chillman,

You may want to see this thread before giving up, it may help....best regards....manny.

http://www.tawbaware.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=5425&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
Canon EOS20d, 50d, sigma 12-24, samyang 8mm FE, 4GB ram, 2.53 GHz MacBook Pro 13.3 Snow 10.6.8, Panosaurus, Nodal Ninja NN3II, AutopanoGiga+PTP, KRPano Unlimited, Photomatix4, onOne PhototoolsPro 2.6 and Perfect Resize 7, Noiseware Pro, Topaz Suite, PS CS5.

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by chillman » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:27 pm

Thanks for the link, it's good to see that others have the same problems... I guess I just have to accept that the result won't be perfect, but I will try to make it as good as possible.

Today I thought about the whole project and a completely different solution came to my mind: Not trying to stitch the pictures together at all! :-D Maybe this sounds crazy, but when it's good presented, there is nearly no need to have them all together in one picture.

So I took a set of horizontally shot pictures, cropped them to 28% width and placed them side by side in a html file with a margin of 10px between every picture. It's really quick&dirty but already looks quite impressive to me. It looks likes this:

Image

If you like, you can have a look at the complete row of pictures. But beware, loading could take some time...!
302 pictures, 104 492px wide, 800px high, 80 megapixels (hypothetical), 25MB.

http://www-users.saw.rwth-aachen.de/~chillman/aachenpan/

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by mediavets » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:30 pm

This style of presentation seems fine to me.
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 leedsjoe » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:02 am

What a good idea.

I've been in the same situation and will try this out myself!

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by klausesser » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:53 pm

Hey Chillman!

You better do that in Photoshop CS3/4/5!
For large pictures definitely CS5.

best, Klaus

I forgot: the longer the lens and the larger the object-distance the better! Try to keep exact distance - that´s very important.
Try to keep shooting flat on the wall - no perspective. Shoot small steps - it´s more work but the stitcher will appreciate that.
Avoid changing of light over the shooting time.

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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