some gripes, suggestions and questions  

Got some great idea or a feature request? Post it here and discuss it. The most requested concepts are usually implemented, as Autopano Pro / Giga is very community driven.
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krisjaniz
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some gripes, suggestions and questions

by krisjaniz » Thu Jan 12, 2006 1:51 pm

I am considering buying Autopano but am reluctant to do so. I have been checking it out for the last couple of days with mixed success. Maybe you could help me out. Here are my observations.

1. I have a dualcore system with 2Gb RAM. Is Autopano configured to swap to disk or can it be set to use all available memory? From the amount of disk writes I get when rendering I have a sneeking suspicion that this could be improved for machines with more than average memory.

2. If I point Autopano at a large collection of images it crashes sometime during operation. I have observed that before crash I still have at least 1Gb of free memory.

3. Sometimes Autopano just crashes when opening a directory of images. When I try again it works. I don't have any precise data on that but seeing that Autopano is the only software that ever crashes on my machine (I can accept it crashing in point 2 but this is something that really bugs me) is there something I can do for improved stability?

4. There are many errors in rendering - in some places the images are stitched perfectly, in some you can see the two or more features duplicated. Can I do something to force Autopano to perform better morphing of images? Or will this come with the support for "fisheye"?

5. It would be cool if I could remove individual images from a pano in preview mode or add individual images to it. Sometimes that one last image of the series screws up a panorama or there is not enough spacing between the frames and it is a pain to find and delete the correct images from the thumbnail view and then launch panorama search again.

6. Is there any way to change the Z-order of the stitched images? Sometimes the quality of one image is better or people have moved so you would want this image to be on top.

7. There are occasions when I would want to make a stack of images to increase Depth Of Field instead of Dynamic Range. Can this be done (put the image with the strongest image detail/sharpness on top)?

8. Other panorama software I have worked with previously have relied on lens data - either only the focal length or even a full distortion map. I find it that Autopano tends to distort corners of large panoramas heavily. Maybe this could be remedied with some lens information?

This is it for now, I will continue my testing and try to find some more information on crashes and other things. Thank you for reading this far :)

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grouse
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by grouse » Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:46 pm

krisjaniz wrote:I am considering buying Autopano but am reluctant to do so. I have been checking it out for the last couple of days with mixed success. Maybe you could help me out. Here are my observations.

1. I have a dualcore system with 2Gb RAM. Is Autopano configured to swap to disk or can it be set to use all available memory? From the amount of disk writes I get when rendering I have a sneeking suspicion that this could be improved for machines with more than average memory.

2. If I point Autopano at a large collection of images it crashes sometime during operation. I have observed that before crash I still have at least 1Gb of free memory.

3. Sometimes Autopano just crashes when opening a directory of images. When I try again it works. I don't have any precise data on that but seeing that Autopano is the only software that ever crashes on my machine (I can accept it crashing in point 2 but this is something that really bugs me) is there something I can do for improved stability?

4. There are many errors in rendering - in some places the images are stitched perfectly, in some you can see the two or more features duplicated. Can I do something to force Autopano to perform better morphing of images? Or will this come with the support for "fisheye"?

5. It would be cool if I could remove individual images from a pano in preview mode or add individual images to it. Sometimes that one last image of the series screws up a panorama or there is not enough spacing between the frames and it is a pain to find and delete the correct images from the thumbnail view and then launch panorama search again.

6. Is there any way to change the Z-order of the stitched images? Sometimes the quality of one image is better or people have moved so you would want this image to be on top.

7. There are occasions when I would want to make a stack of images to increase Depth Of Field instead of Dynamic Range. Can this be done (put the image with the strongest image detail/sharpness on top)?

8. Other panorama software I have worked with previously have relied on lens data - either only the focal length or even a full distortion map. I find it that Autopano tends to distort corners of large panoramas heavily. Maybe this could be remedied with some lens information?

This is it for now, I will continue my testing and try to find some more information on crashes and other things. Thank you for reading this far :)

I'm in no way related to this company or there work. But i have garnered from a few posts some insites. Hopefully i do not mischaracterize their work.

1) If you have dual core you have 64 OS i would assume, I' don't know if they are optimized for 64 bit OS. If that is the case they could not allocate more than 2 gigs of ram per process. I have 3 gigs of ram on 32 bit OS and I do very well with this software. I believe the scratch disks are done because they are the most reasonable way to store and work on the images durring rendering. I have several finished pano's over 1 gig, and twice as many in the 800 meg range. Trying to load that into ram memory then work from that i think would hit the 2 gig 32 bit os barrier very fast. In the case of autostitch i know it does.

2)What part does it crash on? What operation, what error, and what files are you using *.jpg *.tiff? Also how are you rendering the images? Is it actually a crash or is it just slow. Some of my hdr pano's look stagnent for 20-40 minutes at a time. but eventually finish. One of my pano's took 5.5 hours to render mostly stuck at the 45/50% range on the status bars. With out more discriptive info i can't realy provide further comment.

3)Honestly i have never had mine crash. What is all in your directories? are there other things you are opening besides photo's that would cause it to crash? IE are you right clicking slecting the whole folder including zips, thumbs.db,rws settings? then letting it open all of that and removing those seperately. Once again, Un less i have more info i can't reproduce the failure with 100% accuracy. Is it possible you have a corrupted image?

4)On the surface this sorta sounds like a parallax error. what tripod head are you using? are you at the nodal point for that lens when you are taking the pano shots? Take a look here to see what i am talking about http://www.panotools.info/mediawiki/index.php?title=Parallax

5)you can export your image to PTA from there you can manually select the control points and achieve what you are asking.

6) Same as 5, export to pta, select manual control points. Or save as layered PSD open in cs2 and remove that way.

7) HDR is supported in app, I've used it a number of times. it does a very good job IMHO.

8) When you preview the image you have a sphere on the upper left hand corner. you can change that to a Cylinder, and a Flat pane.

hoped that helped, Like i said i am not affiliated with app. so If i mis characterized something here hopefully they will correct me and i will correct my post.

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AlexandreJ
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by AlexandreJ » Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:09 am

1. True. In the fix version that comes out today (I hope so), you'll have the ability to adjust used memory.

2. Crash can comes from "no more memory" or "no more place in temporary drive". We fixed many of those crash in the next release.

3. Hum. So you have a random crash when opening a directory ... Never saw that. Hope the next release will fix that.

4. On group options (icone with a hammer), improve there's a quality settings you can raise.
BTW : we tried some days ago a giant panorama with hundred of pictures, each 12Mega pixels. In the panorama, there were many electric post with cable on them through the whole panorama (60000 pixels wide). Even at 100%, I was unable to find stitch errors by analysing the wire.

5. Remove of a picture is already planned to be added soon (The add ... hum, not yet).

6. As pictures are blended, Z-order doesn't do anything to it. For ghost removal, we'll add alpha channel support in input picture and a new blending algorithm.

7. It's planned, but not quickly. Our engine allows us to change easily for example the blending process and still keeping all others tools. So I just need to write a small piece of code to blend depth of field instead of color.

8. It could help a little but not really. If you talk about PanoTools lens distortion data, I will not rely on that because the lens model is not really good. Anyway, we are working on a big revamp of the optimization stage (algorithm which finds yaw, pitch, roll, fov, and distortion), which should solve some of issues when closing panorama.

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krisjaniz
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by krisjaniz » Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:12 am

AlexandreJ wrote:1. True. In the fix version that comes out today (I hope so), you'll have the ability to adjust used memory.

2. Crash can comes from "no more memory" or "no more place in temporary drive". We fixed many of those crash in the next release.

I do have only 3Gb on my primary/program disk but I have lots of space on my Page File disk. In apps like Photoshop I can configure where I want temporary files to be created. It is not unusual that people have a smaller system disk and then a separate disks for data and temp.

AlexandreJ wrote:3. Hum. So you have a random crash when opening a directory ... Never saw that. Hope the next release will fix that.

I have to test some more, maybe that's just the free disk space problem on my primary drive. Autopano just disappears while showing the progress bar while populating the icon view. After Autopano disappears, an XP popup comes up offering to send a problem report to Microsoft :)

I have to admit that some of those folders contain smaller JPEGs (thumbnails), some Pentax *istD RAW files (.PEF) and maybe even a couple of .PSDs. Whatever the reason, I have never had it crash in the same exact conditions so as I already said it might be the free space on disk.

AlexandreJ wrote:4. On group options (icone with a hammer), improve there's a quality settings you can raise.

This is probably me wishing for the impossible. Seems that this is the parallax thing grouse talked about. Turning quality settings all the way up somewhat helps.

AlexandreJ wrote:5. Remove of a picture is already planned to be added soon (The add ... hum, not yet).

The remove is really more important than add, I don't even think that this is something worth the effort. This is good news.

AlexandreJ wrote:6. As pictures are blended, Z-order doesn't do anything to it. For ghost removal, we'll add alpha channel support in input picture and a new blending algorithm.

I'm still doubtful about that. I had some pictures with large overlapping areas and the ghosts from the topmost image are visible but ghosts from underlaying pictures are not. Maybe I should send you an example? I must admit that this is not a typical use for panorama software but, seeing that Autopano is extremely capable in combining pictures you would have never thought possible, it is tempting. And this is the weirdest thing, sometimes pictures that were never intended to be panoramas stitch really well and sometimes you can try all you want and you cannot get them to stitch well.

AlexandreJ wrote:7. It's planned, but not quickly. Our engine allows us to change easily for example the blending process and still keeping all others tools. So I just need to write a small piece of code to blend depth of field instead of color.

This is one feature particularly sought after by some macro photographers. I don't know how this would work in practice but the simplest way (no automation) would be to export layers with no blending whatsoever so that you can afterwards blend them manually in Photoshop.

AlexandreJ wrote:8. It could help a little but not really. If you talk about PanoTools lens distortion data, I will not rely on that because the lens model is not really good. Anyway, we are working on a big revamp of the optimization stage (algorithm which finds yaw, pitch, roll, fov, and distortion), which should solve some of issues when closing panorama.

Ok, I see.

Thank you for taking time to explain this all to me, I'm now leaning more towards purchasing Autopano.

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AlexandreJ
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by AlexandreJ » Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:28 am

1. You can already choose your temporary drive (same feature as in photoshop. I like this software, I copy many stuff from it).

6. For sending a group of pictures, use ftp://ftp.autopano.net/incoming/panoramas-tests

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francois.simond
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by francois.simond » Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:41 am

Hello krisjaniz,

Have you tried the layered psd output ?

If you're comfortable with Photoshop you will be able to help Autopano Pro to blend everything using layers ;)
François Simond

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krisjaniz
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by krisjaniz » Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:52 am

f.simond wrote:Hello krisjaniz,

Have you tried the layered psd output ?

If you're comfortable with Photoshop you will be able to help Autopano Pro to blend everything using layers ;)

I tried to render it but no success yet. Probably because of space issues it produced a 1.6Gb file that was reported corrupted by Photoshop. I'll try it again after setting different temp directories and/or moving some files.

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francois.simond
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by francois.simond » Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:02 pm

Layered ouput does not demand much ram but much temporary space.

If you want to test witout having much free disk space you can always try with lower resolution final output
François Simond


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