Motorized Mount for Smartphones & Tablets  

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gsf
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Motorized Mount for Smartphones & Tablets

by gsf » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:41 pm

Hi All,

I'm a newbie to the topic but have been using AutoPano for a couple of years so I'm "somewhat" familiar with it.

Background

I created a robotic mount for my iPhone from a couple of RC Servos and an Arduino board. I actuate the camera shutter of the iPhone with a hacked headset - the iPhone allows you to actuate the shutter with the "volume up" control which is really useful. This also works with my iPad Mini. I also have a Nexus 4 and I found a guy to create a simple App that simulates the "volume up" on the Nexus so I can do the same thing there and will connect to the Android using bluetooth.

I get pretty good results and until now have used three rows of 10 images with 2 at 90 degrees to each other for the zenith.

Problem

Now to get the images to stitch. When shooting with blue sky outside or white ceilings inside there isn't enough detail to create the control points and ugliness ensues. I added full rows at the nadir and zenith and tried to use the import function but this didn't work. It struck me that my problems weren't much different than what happens with DSLRs on robotic mounts so here I am. My guess is that I need to create an XML file but before doing that I thought I'd ask.

I did look into PW but my problem isn't controlling the camera it's stitching the output.

Can someone point me in the right direction to save me time? It would be appreciated.

Gordon

ps... I can post some images if it will help. Also, I'm looking at turning the mount into an open source project with 3D printable components if anyone's interested..... but first things first.

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by gkaefer » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:08 pm

gsf wrote:Hi All,

I'm a newbie to the topic but have been using AutoPano for a couple of years so I'm "somewhat" familiar with it.

Background

I created a robotic mount for my iPhone from a couple of RC Servos and an Arduino board. I actuate the camera shutter of the iPhone with a hacked headset - the iPhone allows you to actuate the shutter with the "volume up" control which is really useful. This also works with my iPad Mini. I also have a Nexus 4 and I found a guy to create a simple App that simulates the "volume up" on the Nexus so I can do the same thing there and will connect to the Android using bluetooth.

I get pretty good results and until now have used three rows of 10 images with 2 at 90 degrees to each other for the zenith.

Problem

Now to get the images to stitch. When shooting with blue sky outside or white ceilings inside there isn't enough detail to create the control points and ugliness ensues. I added full rows at the nadir and zenith and tried to use the import function but this didn't work. It struck me that my problems weren't much different than what happens with DSLRs on robotic mounts so here I am. My guess is that I need to create an XML file but before doing that I thought I'd ask.

I did look into PW but my problem isn't controlling the camera it's stitching the output.

Can someone point me in the right direction to save me time? It would be appreciated.

Gordon

ps... I can post some images if it will help. Also, I'm looking at turning the mount into an open source project with 3D printable components if anyone's interested..... but first things first.

you can use PW in a"dummy" mode to create XML files without having a Merlin connected. So all you Need is: have a look at PW and create such an XML file which is reflecting your Shooting pattern of your panorma. very easy is : beginning top left->right->one image/row down->left->etc until bottom last image...) you just Need to know the rows and columns you used and the overlap used between your Images. focal/seonso etc data should be possible to guess or find with Google...

Georg
Last edited by gkaefer on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by gsf » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:55 pm

HI Georg,

I looks like I would have to calculate the values as didn't find much on the Web. By running PW in a "dummy" mode I assume you mean with nothing connected?

Gordon

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by mediavets » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:59 pm

gsf wrote:HI Georg,

I looks like I would have to calculate the values as didn't find much on the Web. By running PW in a "dummy" mode I assume you mean with nothing connected?

Gordon

Yes, that's correct.

Just set the Plugins to Simulation mode.


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 gsf » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:44 pm

I have been able to calculate all of the data needed to populate PW however it seems to fall down because of the sensor geometry not conforming to the available options. I was able to generate the xml file however PW crashed so I probably need to run it again.

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by gkaefer » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:01 am

gsf wrote:I have been able to calculate all of the data needed to populate PW however it seems to fall down because of the sensor geometry not conforming to the available options. I was able to generate the xml file however PW crashed so I probably need to run it again.

make sure you're using the latest development Version and not the last "stable" Version... (I run v2.1.22)

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by gsf » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:03 am

It looks like there are some differences between Win and Mac (aren't there always?). I don't seem to get access to the plugins on the Mac.

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by gsf » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:03 am

Ah! Thanks, will install it.

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by gsf » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:18 am

Hmmm... this is turning into a bit of a rat hole. The dev version crashes on startup. What was it I was trying to do again..... :-/

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by gkaefer » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:48 am

in Win XP, Win7 and now on Win8 papywizard never crashed when in Simulation mode. no experience on Mac...
Georg

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by mediavets » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:43 am

gsf wrote:Hmmm... this is turning into a bit of a rat hole. The dev version crashes on startup. What was it I was trying to do again..... :-/

Did it crash just the first time you ran the program; or does it crash every time you run the program?
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 fma38 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:12 am

MacOS ports are more complicated, because of Apple philosophy concerning free software... And there system changing all the time, braking many things of the previous version is really annoying.

I strongly suggest you try with a linux or windows system, using virtual machine.
Frédéric

Canon 20D + 17-40/f4 L USM + 70-200/f4 L USM + 50/f1.4 USM
Merlin/Orion panohead + Papywizard on Nokia N800 and HP TC-1100

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by gsf » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:55 pm

fma38 wrote:MacOS ports are more complicated, because of Apple philosophy concerning free software... And there system changing all the time, braking many things of the previous version is really annoying.

I strongly suggest you try with a linux or windows system, using virtual machine.

Yes, I have Win7 installed and need to sort out the license with Microsoft as I moved it from my old machine. This might actually be a good excuse to use Ubuntu since dealing with Microsoft's support is excruciating.

Thanks

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by gsf » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:11 pm

OK, installed Ubuntu, installed PapyWizard 2.1, shows as a terminal application(?) so i ran it in the terminal. Everything seemed to run and left it in Simulation mode. Loaded configuration and ...... ?

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by gsf » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:20 pm

Sooo... doesn't look like it should be running in terminal mode, so back to the installation and now to relearn Linux :-/

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by gsf » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:19 pm

I think I'm closing in on the settings but I'm confused with two settings:

Optical Multiplier coefficient - I have no idea what this is. The documentation suggests it might be the Crop Factor.

If it is, then what's the Sensor Coefficient? This was my guess for the Crop Factor.

Google wasn't much help in understanding either of these metrics.

BTW, reading the released documentation it looks like the session XML file is created by the configuration process (duh!) and since I specify where it's located.....

Really sorry about the newbie stuff, but hopefully it will only be once and I'll put it all together in case someone else wants to use a smartphone for capturing spherical panoramas.

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by fma38 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:40 pm

Optical multiplier param is to be used when you have an... optical multiplier ;) This is for converters you can put between your DSLR and your lens. Leave it to 1 if you don't use such converter.

Sensor coef is the important param; and yes, it is the crop factor.
Frédéric

Canon 20D + 17-40/f4 L USM + 70-200/f4 L USM + 50/f1.4 USM
Merlin/Orion panohead + Papywizard on Nokia N800 and HP TC-1100

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by mediavets » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:48 pm

gsf wrote:I think I'm closing in on the settings but I'm confused with two settings:

Optical Multiplier coefficient - I have no idea what this is. The documentation suggests it might be the Crop Factor.

No, it's not crop factor. It's for situations where you might add a tele or wide optical convertor onto your lens, say a 1.4x tele convertor or something.

If it is, then what's the Sensor Coefficient? This was my guess for the Crop Factor.

Correct, this is where you enter the crop factor.

BTW, reading the released documentation it looks like the session XML file is created by the configuration process (duh!) and since I specify where it's located.....

No. The XML session file is created when the shoot session completes.

Yoy can specify where the XML format data file recording shooting co-ordinates is stored using the Configure/Data tab.

.................

If you want to create an XML format data file for use with the APP/APG Papywizard Import filter/wizard without actually performing a real shoot using a Panogear/Merlin mount, then configure Papywizard plugins to Simulation, the use Configure to specifiy settings that match the camera and lens you used to shoot your real images, and overlap, camera orientation, and so on... the Connect and perform a 'shoot' with Data file enabled so you can create the XML data file.

But because you are not shooting a regular grid/matrix pattern you will need to create a custom preset to match your shooting pattern and 'shoot' using that preset in Preset mode.

See: http://www.papywizard.org/wiki/UserGuideSvn#Presetmode


Really sorry about the newbie stuff, but hopefully it will only be once and I'll put it all together in case someone else wants to use a smartphone for capturing spherical panoramas.

Hang on a minute.....

It's difficult to create spherical panorams with a pano FOV of 360x 180 without a proper pano head, still harder I imagine using a Smartphone rather than a conventional camera.

If you must try and do it with a Smartphone, may be ditch the robotic head idea and instead see this?:
http://www.fromparis.com/technical.html
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 gsf » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:52 pm

Thank you Frédéric!

My brain was so focussed on the lens and sensor that I total missed that definition of a multipier, and I used to have one ;)

Now all I have to do is figure out why my calculated crop factor is different than the one published on Wikipedia. Once I've done the iPhone I need to go through and do the same withe the Nexus 4, hopefully that will be easier, but I've not found that to be the case with Android devices. I'm wondering when I'm done if I shouldn't convert these to a set of Presets... guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

I assume these are all to get the angular field of view - something I can check against my earlier calculations.
Last edited by gsf on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by gsf » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:10 pm

A problem:

I have calculated the horizontal and vertical FoV for the iPhone's camera and it's been born out by actual use. Basically it comes down to the fact that I get my best panos by capturing three rows of 10 images and then capturing 3 each for the nadir and zenith.

The question:

For Autopano, can I just go into the XML file and edit it to reflect the angles that I already know will work? My goal is simply to get Autopano to automatically put the blue sky and white ceilings in zenith before stitching.

Thanks for you patience....

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by fma38 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:34 pm

Yes, sure, you can do that!
Frédéric

Canon 20D + 17-40/f4 L USM + 70-200/f4 L USM + 50/f1.4 USM
Merlin/Orion panohead + Papywizard on Nokia N800 and HP TC-1100

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by gsf » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:01 pm

Here we go again. Just send me home ;)

OK, opened the XML file to edit it and it looks like it uses a time stamp to tell Autopano where everything belongs.

Can Autopano just look at the mosaic description values and order images were taken and ignore the absolute timestamp?

Or can I, do I have to, go into the XML file and give it the time stamp of the first and last images so it knows what to use? I can tell I need to give some careful thought to workflow here.


Again, if you can just point me in the right direction, I'll learn the stuff eventually.

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by mediavets » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:44 pm

gsf wrote:Here we go again. Just send me home ;)

OK, opened the XML file to edit it and it looks like it uses a time stamp to tell Autopano where everything belongs.

Why do you think that?

Can Autopano just look at the mosaic description values and order images were taken and ignore the absolute timestamp?

I think so, the XML files created by the T&C Panonned mount do not record the tinme at which each shot was taken.

Or can I, do I have to, go into the XML file and give it the time stamp of the first and last images so it knows what to use? I can tell I need to give some careful thought to workflow here.

AFAIK the Papywizard Import wizard does not 'know' which images to use you have to 'tell' it which images to use.
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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