Custom matrix for side mounting panogear  

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shais
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Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by shais » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:20 pm

Hi,
I hope this is the right forum for my question. If not, I'll be glad if someone would direct me to the right one.
I'm going to shoot a giga pixel panorama from the top of a tall building. I'm planning on shooting from 4 corners of the building in a 180x270 field of view. And then connect everything to one spherical panorama.

I'm thinking that because I only need 270° it's logical to mount the panogear sideways so I can extend it out of the building and also save myself the need to deal with retouching the nadir.

1. I'm using panoshoot to control the head, I think I need to define picpoints for the pano. Any ideas on how to get to it? 105mm lens on full frame camera.
2. Should APG be able to stich these frames? As the camera will rotate around its Z axis.

Any ideas, suggestions or pointers will be very appreciated!

Thanks,
Shai.

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klausesser
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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by klausesser » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:04 am

shais wrote:2. Should APG be able to stich these frames? As the camera will rotate around its Z axis.


Basicly no problem - but i strongly suggest to shoot spheres.
You´ll be much better be able to merge the four views.

But i´m afraid the Merliun´s motors aren´t strong enough for the 90° operating the camera/lens.

I also suggest to examine what the guys wrote who made the London 60Gpx pano -
they shot it from 6 positions from the BT-Tower.

http://360gigapixels.com/london-80-giga ... to-en.html

best, Klaus

PS: you don´t need a certain matrix for a mount @90° - you can take the one for a sphere! Then you just need to rotate the stitch in the editor.

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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by mediavets » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:10 am

shais wrote:Hi,
I hope this is the right forum for my question. If not, I'll be glad if someone would direct me to the right one.
I'm going to shoot a giga pixel panorama from the top of a tall building. I'm planning on shooting from 4 corners of the building in a 180x270 field of view. And then connect everything to one spherical panorama.


How far apart are the four corners of the building?

I'm thinking that because I only need 270° it's logical to mount the panogear sideways so I can extend it out of the building and also save myself the need to deal with retouching the nadir.


I don't understand how you plan to position the Panogear, camera and lens. BTW what camera body will you use?

1. I'm using panoshoot to control the head, I think I need to define picpoints for the pano. Any ideas on how to get to it? 105mm lens on full frame camera.


Unfortunately you are disadvantaged by the fact that, in their 'wisdom', the developers of Panoshoot chose not to adopt the Papywizard Custom Preset shooting co-ordinate format (see link) for their 'pic points'.
http://www.papywizard.org/wiki/UserGuideSvn

But you might be able to utilize the shooting co-ordinates from a Papywizard preset generated by this preset generator:
http://exposedbykevin.com/PapySpheric/papyspheric.html

Alternatively dump the Panoshoot and get an alternative controller for your Panogear mount.

2. Should APG be able to stich these frames? As the camera will rotate around its Z axis.



Don't know what you mean - Panogear is dual axis mount - X and Y. What's Z?

Why not conduct a simple experiment to determine whether APG will stitch then images correctly?

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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by shais » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:36 am

Hi,
The shot is done already. I have decided not to mount it in the way I described here because I didn't trust the XML files from panoshoot (lucky I didn't, as they turned out problematic, see my other post)
but in regards to the tests I've done so far.
1- Merlin was able to mechanically move the camera without problems. (D800 without grip + Nikon 105mm prime - not too heavy)
2- APG is able to stitch just about anything you throw at it including this weird matrix (just an amazing piece of software!)
3- In retrospective, I could have done what Klaus suggested and shoot (5) full spheres. The reason I didn't do it like this in the first place was mainly time concerns. I had to do 5 shots and be able to stitch them. I didn't want to loose the light. and as the Merlin is soooo slooooow it would have taken me more than an hour for each shot (+ moving the entire rig to the next corner and setting it up). If I had 3-4 heads to shoot simultaneously it would have been less of a problem.

so my conclusion is that theoretically this sideways shot can be done, maybe with a better controller than what I have.
Right now I'll stick with Panoshoot, mainly because of budget issues. I can't afford anything right now :\
Attachments
2013-11-25 12.57.46.jpg
This was the final rig. The Merlin is not mounted sideways, rather it was hung upside down.
2013-11-15 12.59.02.jpg
This is the test setup for mounting the Merlin on it's side. It basically worked. the problem was that it took so many shots of the front (what is the Zenith relative to the Merlin) that it was a waste.

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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by mediavets » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:57 am

shais wrote:Hi,
The shot is done already. I have decided not to mount it in the way I described here because I didn't trust the XML files from panoshoot (lucky I didn't, as they turned out problematic, see my other post)
but in regards to the tests I've done so far.
1- Merlin was able to mechanically move the camera without problems. (D800 without grip + Nikon 105mm prime - not too heavy)


OK. What the total mass of the D800 and 105mm prime lens?

BTW I presume your camera lenns is not mounted at the NPP?

2- APG is able to stitch just about anything you throw at it including this weird matrix (just an amazing piece of software!)


What's a 'weird matrix'? Either it is a matrix - a regular grid - or not. No reason why APP/APG should have a problem stitching a regular grid/matrix of images.
3- In retrospective, I could have done what Klaus suggested and shoot (5) full spheres.


I've no idea how you would have 'merged' five full spheres using APP/APG.

The reason I didn't do it like this in the first place was mainly time concerns. I had to do 5 shots and be able to stitch them. I didn't want to loose the light. and as the Merlin is soooo slooooow it would have taken me more than an hour for each shot (+ moving the entire rig to the next corner and setting it up). If I had 3-4 heads to shoot simultaneously it would have been less of a problem.


Panogear is not fast that's for sure, but tne it was designed as an astrotelescope mount where speed is not relevant. But I read that Panoshhot has a means of trading off speed vs. precision - did you utilise that feature?

so my conclusion is that theoretically this sideways shot can be done, maybe with a better controller than what I have.

I don't think any other controller for the Panogear/Merlin mount will speed things up if that's what you mean.

You will have to spend LOT more to get speed and precision - check out the Panoneed.

Right now I'll stick with Panoshoot, mainly because of budget issues. I can't afford anything right now :\


Well having shelled out for D800 I'm not surprised the piggy bank is empty.

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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by shais » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:28 am

mediavets wrote:
shais wrote:Hi,
The shot is done already. I have decided not to mount it in the way I described here because I didn't trust the XML files from panoshoot (lucky I didn't, as they turned out problematic, see my other post)
but in regards to the tests I've done so far.
1- Merlin was able to mechanically move the camera without problems. (D800 without grip + Nikon 105mm prime - not too heavy)


OK. What the total mass of the D800 and 105mm prime lens?


I'll have to get back to you on that.

BTW I presume your camera lenns is not mounted at the NPP?

it was close enough, as I was shooting 160 meters above ground, I didn't have to many close objects (the closest was a building across the street). The real paralax problems I have now are with stitching the 5 panos together as I moved about 35 meters between each.


2- APG is able to stitch just about anything you throw at it including this weird matrix (just an amazing piece of software!)


What's a 'weird matrix'? Either it is a matrix - a regular grid - or not. No reason why APP/APG should have a problem stitching a regular grid/matrix of images.

yeah got your point...
3- In retrospective, I could have done what Klaus suggested and shoot (5) full spheres.


I've no idea how you would have 'merged' five full spheres using APP/APG.

I think that merging each sphere, then deleting the unnecessary images from each. and then merging all 5. (that's what I'm trying to do now with my panos, if I'm successful you'll know :)

The reason I didn't do it like this in the first place was mainly time concerns. I had to do 5 shots and be able to stitch them. I didn't want to loose the light. and as the Merlin is soooo slooooow it would have taken me more than an hour for each shot (+ moving the entire rig to the next corner and setting it up). If I had 3-4 heads to shoot simultaneously it would have been less of a problem.


Panogear is not fast that's for sure, but tne it was designed as an astrotelescope mount where speed is not relevant. But I read that Panoshhot has a means of trading off speed vs. precision - did you utilise that feature?

I did to the point I felt safe. I'll just keep drooling over the clauss rodeon for now :)

so my conclusion is that theoretically this sideways shot can be done, maybe with a better controller than what I have.

I don't think any other controller for the Panogear/Merlin mount will speed things up if that's what you mean.

not for speed, but for successful XMLs and efficient matrices

You will have to spend LOT more to get speed and precision - check out the Panoneed.

Right now I'll stick with Panoshoot, mainly because of budget issues. I can't afford anything right now :\


Well having shelled out for D800 I'm not surprised the piggy bank is empty.
[/quote]
yup... But the image quality, ohhh the image quality it's worth not eating a month or two.

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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by mediavets » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:51 am

shais wrote:not for speed, but for successful XMLs and efficient matrices


If you are shooting a regular grid then I've offered to create some XML files for you using Papywizard in simulation mode.

I need to know approx. overlap between images and the number of rows and columns in your grid. And the order in which you shot the images and the starting point - for example: stared top left and shot row by row, reversing at the end of each row.

Of course you can only apply an XML file to each of your panos.

An XML file for the entire set of 5 separate panos shot from different locations would not be viable.

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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by klausesser » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:40 pm

mediavets wrote:I've no idea how you would have 'merged' five full spheres using APP/APG.


No matter where you start end: a sphere always means a regular pattern.
So he´ll get four identical patterns.

Doing this a mosaics would mean to calculate very precisely the start/end position
for each of the four shootings to match afterwards.

The whole thing would be much easier when he uses full spheres - it also would be
possible build a pattern simulation easier than with a mosaic which *needs* a start/end
point. Even when you use a mosaic bigger than needed.

I saw good examples of shootings from a tower using different positions and which
let you look straight downwards without seeing the tower at all.

The slowliness of the Merlin is a big issue here. A Rodeon is much faster and also are
Panoneed and Seitz.

But - as all users of it noticed - the T&C handheld in combination with the accu-set also make
the Marlin faster.

The biggest problem are the gears/motors of the Merlin: they are not precise enough to
allow a better move-to/go-to strategy.
This way the Merlin stays in the slowest mode all the time using lenses over 100mm.

I did a mosaic using a 180mm lens - about 45x45°, so a very small area. It took the Merlin several hours
to shoot. The Panoneed did it in about 10 minutes . . .

Shais mosaic of 270x180° is done in about 20min using 105mm on the panoneed as you can see in the XML i linked to.

As Shais mentioned it took him more than an hour to do the same thing with the Merlin . . .

Let´s not forget that the Merlin is a brilliant device related to the price - but it has many limits due to that.

Let´s have a look at the price-relations:

Merlin costs around 450.-€ including the TC-handheld (idon´t have the price of the Panoshoot in mind)
Panoneed costs around 2000.-€ including ALL accessories - only a (quite massive) L-bracket comes as an option,
Seitz *starts* at around 2700.-€ needing some accessories - which can come quite expensive.
Rodeon *starts* at around 3500.-€ needing some accessories - which can come quite expensive even more than with the Seitz.

But: seeing it from the perspective of costs is only ONE view. After all you definitely SAVE money having a RELIABLE device
providing very high accuracy and reliable XML files which make your stitching VERY much faster.

What´s also *vital* when you use such devices for producing: a RELIABLE support . . . . I´m sorry, but i can´t see this on the Panoshoot´s side.

Besides of that i´m a bit irritated not to read a word from Kolor related to the issues several users post here regarding the use of Panoshoot - afaik Kolor is one of the distributors at least in Europe . . wrong?

best, Klaus

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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by mediavets » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:50 pm

klausesser wrote:
mediavets wrote:I've no idea how you would have 'merged' five full spheres using APP/APG.


No matter where you start end: a sphere always means a regular pattern.
So he´ll get four identical patterns.

Doing this a mosaics would mean to calculate very precisely the start/end position
for each of the four shootings to match afterwards.

The whole thing would be much easier when he uses full spheres - it also would be
possible build a pattern simulation easier than with a mosaic which *needs* a start/end
point. Even when you use a mosaic bigger than needed.

I saw good examples of shootings from a tower using different positions and which
let you look straight downwards without seeing the tower at all.


So how would/could you 'merge' 4/5 spherical panos shot from corners of a building each location approx. 35 metres apart?

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mediavets
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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by mediavets » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:53 pm

klausesser wrote:The slowliness of the Merlin is a big issue here. A Rodeon is much faster and also are
Panoneed and Seitz.

But - as all users of it noticed - the T&C handheld in combination with the accu-set also make the Merlin faster.

The biggest problem are the gears/motors of the Merlin: they are not precise enough to
allow a better move-to/go-to strategy.
This way the Merlin stays in the slowest mode all the time using lenses over 100mm.


So it would not be any faster in his case because he's using a 105mm lens.

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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by klausesser » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:45 pm

mediavets wrote:So it would not be any faster in his case because he's using a 105mm lens.



Depends in which way the controller handles the move-to/go-to parts.

In my case the Merlin was faster with the TC/accuset also at 105mm compared to PW on Nokia - but
compared to lengths under 100mm it was very slow nevertheless.

Klaus

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Re: Custom matrix for side mounting panogear

by klausesser » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:58 pm

mediavets wrote:So how would/could you 'merge' 4/5 spherical panos shot from corners of a building each location approx. 35 metres apart?


In a sphere you can choose *where* you cut-out what you need for merging - and leave the rest away . . so
you have more options for finding acceptable connections instead of being fixed to a pre-defined FOV.

Nevertheless i think that four positions with THAT much parallaxe definitely not enough for a good merge.

best, Klaus


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