Still having problems with fusion of bracketed images  

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marzipano
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Still having problems with fusion of bracketed images

by marzipano » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:33 pm

I'm using APG 3.0.1 under Win 7 64 bit 4GB RAM

I'm testing on a small bracketed set of images of 5 shots per image and 4 images

All sets of 5 were taken with M settings using a fixed speed/aperture/ISO and were 0, +/- 4/3EV, +/- 8/3EV

What I seem to be finding is that I can EITHER get rid of all the movement between bracketed shots per image (in this case ducks swimming on a lake) but with terrible colour and blending OR I can fix the colour and blending but get a lot of ghosting due to Mr Quack and his friends moving around within the bracketed set.

The setting that seems to control all this is in Panorama | Layers Editor | Default Regrouping

If it is set to "do not regroup" then the anti ghosting is OK but the colour goes wrong. If it is set to "By stack" then the colour is good but the ant ghosting disappears

I should add that these shots did not load as "Bracketed" (dont know why for sure) so they were loaded as "Load stacks of 5" using the other option. However, I have got other images that load OK as Bracketed but I still get the same problem (I suspect the reason is that I wasn't using AEB for these but used a CHDK on my Canon so I could use pure M shooting which uses Continuous Shooting mode and not AEB)

I have spent many happy hours trying to get to the bottom of this but am now stuck for ideas - is there anything else worth trying ?

images below

regards
Martin



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by klausesser » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:47 pm

marzipano wrote:images below

Hey Martin!

And how does the final rendering look like? Or the preview-rendering in 3.0? (as i understand you´re showing shots from the editor-window).

best, Klaus
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by marzipano » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:57 pm

Hi Klaus - these are screenshots of the final render

The editor window in preview mode looks just the same as this.

The editor window in edit mode was different in the top case where the colour is wrong but still all wrong


best
Martin

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by marco.lanciani » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:20 pm

... and it looks like ghosting is not the only problem: i can see also halos around the trees and in the sky.

I do am interested to know about any solution/workflow on using large bracketed series of images in APG...

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by klausesser » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:12 pm

marco.lanciani wrote:... and it looks like ghosting is not the only problem: i can see also halos around the trees and in the sky.
I do am interested to know about any solution/workflow on using large bracketed series of images in APG...

I must confess to stopped processing stacks in APG. So i don´t know whether there is a satisfying way actually. I use to suggest processing bracketed series FIRST
using a dedicated app like Photomatix and THEN stitch them in APG.

best, Klaus
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. Coco Chanel

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by marco.lanciani » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:17 pm

Klauss, I do the same when possible: that is, no moving stuff.
Here's my last VR:

http://www.marcolanciani.com/projects/acquarioromano/artgallery/sanctasanctoroom/

In the above example I used Lr-Enfuse, but sometime it just doesn't work: that's the case of large areas with an even sky or white walls and obviously moving stuff.

By the way: looking at the above VR I've found an error in the last pano I didn't see before: now I need to do it again. I'm pretty sure this is related to the way APG find/optimize CPs... this never happens in PTGui. Maybe, in PTGui, CPs are just better spread between overlapping images... maybe that's the only difference, maybe this happens only when fisheye lenses are involved... but I don't have to check the result: it has always zero defects.

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by marzipano » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:48 pm

klausesser wrote:
marco.lanciani wrote:... and it looks like ghosting is not the only problem: i can see also halos around the trees and in the sky.
I do am interested to know about any solution/workflow on using large bracketed series of images in APG...

I must confess to stopped processing stacks in APG. So i don´t know whether there is a satisfying way actually. I use to suggest processing bracketed series FIRST
using a dedicated app like Photomatix and THEN stitch them in APG.

best, Klaus

Thanks Klaus - I'm doing exactly that now but I must admit that I got Photomatix as a distress purchase out of desperation a couple of months ago because I just couldn't (and still can't) get and "end to end" process working using APG on its own to process 3 or 5 bracketed images all the way through to a final render

As I described above I cannot resolve the problem of getting both the colour/blending to fuse AND get rid of ghosting introduced in the short time interval between bracketed images of the same shot. I feel masking every tree leaf that moves in the breeze is just a step too far so it looks like I will have to stick with Photomatix for now

Looking through the posts on the forum I couldn't find any evidence of anyone else solving this either (it is Workflow B in APG documentation terms) which in turn I find disappointing as it seems as though this should be a very basic requirement of an Exposure Fusion facility !

Martin

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by Twilight » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:16 am

That's distressing to hear... I noticed the same thing. I upgraded from APP to APG for a number of reasons, but the exposure fusion feature was a main one.

I also shot a test pano some time ago and ran into the same problems with ghosting between bracketed shots of leaves...

I was wondering if blending in LR/Enfuse first then stitching in APG is a solution. Have to try that.

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by gkaefer » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:43 am

Twilight wrote:That's distressing to hear... I noticed the same thing. I upgraded from APP to APG for a number of reasons, but the exposure fusion feature was a main one.

I also shot a test pano some time ago and ran into the same problems with ghosting between bracketed shots of leaves...

I was wondering if blending in LR/Enfuse first then stitching in APG is a solution. Have to try that.

enfuseGUI.... good, fast, opensource, batchprocessing, but cant handle ghosts very well (if images are pixelaccurate alligned better...), focusing on fusion, very basic tonemapping.
Oloneo... also good, slow, massive memory limitations (16GB Ram free but cant open 800MB HDR file), easy to use, you can create profiles and attach them to single images., ghosts...;-(
Dynamic Photo HDR 5... my favorite I was beginning with HDR... nowadays many many options to set in microsteps of configuration, but you can save settings in profiles and apply them to batch images... with a rather good ghost recognition... but painfully slow workflow and because of ghosts handling batchprocessing is mostly not applicable. horrible 1:1 ratio working with the images, you cant zoom out... big plus feature (very hidden and only basic feature set): HDR relighning, normally you have to invest in 400€ software extra like HDR Light Studio to get such features.
photomatix pro 4.2.x ... finally my workhorse. can handle 800MB HDR files (also mocking about less memory of 16GB but still opens the image in "preview" mode only). best ghost handling if doing it on each image set manually, still very good handling ghost removing in automatic mode. not so simple to use like Oloneo, but much clearer seperation between HDR and fusing only.

about ghosts on trees, leaves etc: here finally all are failing. with photomatix you can exclude parts to be fuesed, so ghost handling on leaves and trees can be done but with reduced tonemapping effect/result.

autopano 3.0.1 & ghosts: moving objects like persons and cars: if the overlapping images cover the complete ghost than it does work like photomatix, sometimes ugly artefacts remain I cant determine why sometimes and why sometimes they not remain in the final image. Small ghosts objects are worser handled like photomatics .
And the masking tool applied to a single layer of images: I doubt this will ever work: you need overlapping areas to remove ghosts. so you only can remove ghosts in the overlapping parts of the images, if a ghost is 2/3 placed in the overlapping part and 1/3 in the nonoverlapped part of the image, than artefacts on the nonoverlapped images persit.

so a perfect tool could look like followng:

loading all images of a pano to a autopano group.
than starting a plugin taking these images where you can determine the stacksize.
on these stacks the first ghostremoving algorithm is applied (automatically or being able like in photomatix to circle manually the ghosts...)
the resulting imagesets are put into a new imagegroup automatically
now you can set all the options like normal and detect the pano.
on the detected pano now the existing masking tools do cover the remaining ghosts on the overlapping areas.

Georg
Last edited by gkaefer on Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by HansKeesom » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:01 pm

Absolutely, if the panorama is big compared to your machine, enfuseGUI is a free lifesaver. It does a good fusion out of the box and makes processing in APG so much faster.
It's a nobrainer, anyone who has not tried it, should not complain ;-)

Yes leaves in a tree, shooting (bracketed) panoramas while there is even a bit of wind, is causing a situation that is very difficult to solve. If I can't I often fall back to one layer for the upper shot. together with some extra masking I often can fix it.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by Twilight » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:49 pm

HansKeesom wrote:It's a nobrainer, anyone who has not tried it, should not complain ;-)

I've tried it. I was under the impression that was why the "Fusion" functionality was incorporated into APG. If it doesn't work, why write the code? Instead, spend time coding a plug-in for EnfuseGUI?

I guess when I buy a new car with air conditioning that doesn't work, the car dealership should tell me "Don't complain, roll down the windows!"

:lol:

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by HansKeesom » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:36 pm

Good that you bring up air-conditioning. I have air-conditioning in my car. I also have a heater in my car. In the mild climate of the Netherland it works fine, keeps me warm when it is -10 and keeps me cool with +25 degrees celsius. But I would not like to drive my car to the polarcircle or into the Sahara, the heater nor the airconditiong would really be good enough.

The fusion of APG works fine for general panoramas where bracketing is used to bridge the dynamic between dark and bright in most situations. However if you want to do more extreme HDR things, please use the specilised tools for these speciall situation.

They wrote the code so people like me can load stacks of three and quickly generate their panoramas without having to make an extra step. It is not an efficient workflow but as long as you don't sit and wait for the computer to finish, it is one that does work as long as your computer is big enough compared to the nr of photos and their size, see http://www.kolor.com/forum/p87033-2011- … -58#p87033

What APG should add is an option to change the order in which things are processed. Now first everything is detected and at rendering time the fusion is done. The new option should be to first fuse a stack and then start detection and then later rendering.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by marzipano » Tue Dec 25, 2012 11:51 pm

HansKeesom wrote:The fusion of APG works fine for general panoramas where bracketing is used to bridge the dynamic between dark and bright in most situations. However if you want to do more extreme HDR things, please use the specilised tools for these speciall situation.

I would have rephrased that to say that the current APG fusion works fine when shooting indoors with a tripod and with no moving figures in view.

Any shots outdoors can suffer from movement such as leaves, waves, clouds (and in my case ducks) in the intervals within each bracketed exposure. I often take such shots handheld as well (yes I know!) which introduces further problems using APG fusion

The problem is that APG does not appear to have any anti-ghosting correction to correct these problems with the bracketed images and the reason most people (like myself) tend to go for pre-processing with Photomatix is that it DOES have this (both manual and automatic) and in my experience it does the job pretty well

So I would say that Kolor need to incorporate a bracketed image anti-ghosting module in addition to the "normal" anti-ghosting for panorama overlap areas as part of the exposure fusion facility. I'm not sure where this would be placed, however but I guess the experts could solve that one !

best
Martin

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by HansKeesom » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:25 am

Outside, certainly in nature, there is by definition more movement. If there movement, bracketing has it's risks. Fortunate in APG you can always decide to keep only one photo of the stack. I often remove some files at the left side of APG and do detection again to avoid the hard problems that can not be solved with the thin red and green markers.

As an alternative I can convert everything into PNG and make transparant the objects I do not want to see. Requires some editing in photoshop but not that much.

I can think of an algorithm that should do the anti-ghosting inside one stack.

Say we have made a stack with 5 photos, 0, -4 -2, +2, +4 shot on a perfect tripod without any shake.

Imagine one pixel in the 0-photo of the stack. This pixel has in the RAW-file a 24-bit valua, representing either a red, green or blue value, which is actually not important. As long as this value is not equal to the min value or the max value that can be held in a 24 bit value, we can easily calculate how high the value for the same RAW-pixel should be for the -4, -2, +2 and +4 version.
Now if one of these values turns out to be too much different from what can be expected or equal to the min or max value, it should be ignored for the calculation of the best value for the final pixel.
Problably it is a bit more comlicated then this, but i hope you get the idea.
Last edited by HansKeesom on Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Regards, Hans Keesom
I stitch and render for other photographers. Price: 25 euro or less, no cure no pay. If you want to concentrate on your business let me do the stitching for you. Free TB of Dropbox space when you have more then 250 euro business a year.

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by hermer-blr » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:37 am

To marzipano:

Without PTGUI and its capability to export antighost masks for further processing in Gimp or photoshop, I would be unable to process complex bracketed panoramas with moving features. Here is my workflow

a/ Preparation work - Ghost removal in PTGUI (demo version is sufficient):
- I import the "0" brackets images in ptgui and perform panorama stitching
- Then, I color in read (PTGUI masking tool) the moving features I want to discard (either the ghosts, in some pictures, or the backgound, in some other pictures, if this background would be superimposed to features I want to keep)
- I color in green the moving features I want to keep
- I save the masks

b/ Cleaning - I use GIMP to remove the "red" on bracket "0" and to remove the "red" and "green" on brackets "-2" and "+2" (features move between brackets). I also remove all the remaining moving features on brackets "-2" and "+2". I save the images as .png.

c/ Panorama assembly with APG is then seamless

Conclusion : This process is lengthy but very accurate (when necessary, you can go down to pixel level with PTGUI) and deterministic. All these panoramas have been processed that way:

jmh.trp.free.fr/New-York
Nikon D5100 (formerly Nikon D60) - Sigma 10-20 - 24 shots Panoramas in 3 raws
Windows 32 bits - APG
website htt://jmh.trp.free.fr

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by Twilight » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:47 pm

HansKeesom wrote:What APG should add is an option to change the order in which things are processed. Now first everything is detected and at rendering time the fusion is done. The new option should be to first fuse a stack and then start detection and then later rendering.

Like an air conditioner/heater that works in all situations and doesn't require the windows be rolled down. Or up. Hans, you are a genius! :D

Lumpini Park, Bangkok, from the night before last. Processed both with EnfuseGUI and APG, then just APG. Still tweaking to see which I like better.

Jon
http://www.jonwitsell.com


Last edited by Twilight on Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by HansKeesom » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:57 pm

Twilight wrote:
HansKeesom wrote:What APG should add is an option to change the order in which things are processed. Now first everything is detected and at rendering time the fusion is done. The new option should be to first fuse a stack and then start detection and then later rendering.

Like an air conditioner/heater that works in all situations and doesn't require the windows be rolled down. Or up. Hans, you are a genius! :D

Lumpini Park, Bangkok, from the night before last. Processed both with EnfuseGUI and APG, then just APG. Still tweaking to see which I like better.

Jon
http://www.jonwitsell.com

Thanks Jon, over here we say "When things don't work the way they should, get things done the way they can" sometimes we add "......said the farmer and he placed his wife in front of the plough"........
Regards, Hans Keesom
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by Twilight » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:10 pm

HansKeesom wrote:Thanks Jon, over here we say "When things don't work the way they should, get things done the way they can" sometimes we add "......said the farmer and he placed his wife in front of the plough"........

:)

Let's hope a version of APG will have your suggestion built into it in the near future...

Multnomah Falls, just outside Portland, Oregon, USA. LX3 handheld. APP. Lots of leaves! Thankfully no wind or brackets...

Jon
http://www.jonwitsell.com


Last edited by Twilight on Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by klausesser » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:06 pm

marzipano wrote:Any shots outdoors can suffer from movement such as leaves, waves, clouds (and in my case ducks) in the intervals within each bracketed exposure. I often take such shots handheld as well (yes I know!) which introduces further problems using APG fusion

Bracketing generally should not be done handheld. You can´t blame it to APG . . . :cool:
And outddors you always have moving objects like leaves or so. No way around that - besides of masking two (or whatever) of the images and using only one for that part or the picture.

marzipano wrote:The problem is that APG does not appear to have any anti-ghosting correction to correct these problems with the bracketed images and the reason most people (like myself) tend to go for pre-processing with Photomatix is that it DOES have this (both manual and automatic) and in my experience it does the job pretty well

The mechanism to remove ghosts from brackets basically makes the same results you can achieve with Photoshop: put the brackets on layers and remove overlapping parts by erasing these parts of the objects so that only one - sharp and non-ghosted - part remains.

marzipano wrote:So I would say that Kolor need to incorporate a bracketed image anti-ghosting module in addition to the "normal" anti-ghosting for panorama overlap areas as part of the exposure fusion facility. I'm not sure where this would be placed, however but I guess the experts could solve that one !

To be honest: i don´t think it is the duty of a stitcher-application to do such things. It´s up to the photographer either to shoot brackets in a way there are no ghosts at all or to process ghosted brackets before stitching.

;):cool:

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by marzipano » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:36 pm

klausesser wrote:To be honest: i don´t think it is the duty of a stitcher-application to do such things. It´s up to the photographer either to shoot brackets in a way there are no ghosts at all or to process ghosted brackets before stitching.

best, Klaus

Well I'm afraid that's where we part company then

I am going to have to find some way to sort out the problem of moving trees, clouds, waves etc etc and my powers of divine intervention don't extend that far

I either use 2 products like I (and it appears most other people) do now - in my case Photmatix + APG or eventually APG will be a one-stop shop for me and I will just use that.

I don't really see the difference with implementing alignment/anti-ghosting on bracketed sets (not currently in APG) to Alignment/anti-ghosting in overlapping pano images (in APG already). It's just all part of the software support to get to successful panorama-making

best
Martin

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by Twilight » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:18 pm

marzipano wrote:I am going to have to find some way to sort out the problem of moving trees, clouds, waves etc etc and my powers of divine intervention don't extend that far

Damn. I was relying on those powers of yours to fix this...

marzipano wrote:I either use 2 products like I (and it appears most other people) do now - in my case Photmatix + APG or eventually APG will be a one-stop shop for me and I will just use that.

I don't really see the difference with implementing alignment/anti-ghosting on bracketed sets (not currently in APG) to Alignment/anti-ghosting in overlapping pano images (in APG already). It's just all part of the software support to get to successful panorama-making

best
Martin

Seem like that two apps will be required for the foreseeable future. I don't see a lot of difference either. I think Kolor eventually get it worked out, but seems like they have some color issues to deal with first. :/

Jon
http://www.jonwitsell.com

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by Twilight » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:13 am

Finally got a chance to dig into color anchors. Very nice feature if not completely documented well. I'm getting used to that... :D

Improved this image from above considerably.

Thanks,

Jon
http://www.jonwitsell.com



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by Destiny » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:02 am

Nice! However, did you try to sharpen it just a tab.. ..;)

Destiny..

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by Twilight » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:32 pm

Hi Destiny!

Yes, I sharpened it. Just a quick initial pass. But it does look like it could use a bit more. I pay an extraordinary amount of attention to sharpening as I usually am sharpening for print. So, I sharpened up the .tif a bit. I tend to be on the conservative side, I would always prefer slightly too soft over over sharpened.

Also, while exporting another .jpg, I realized that I had exported only one file for this and another forum—and that forum has a 250kb limit on file size, so I had to take the quality setting down to 70 in Photoshop. That probably had a bit to do with it also... This one is at a quality setting of 100.

Let's see how the forum software treats this one... :)

Thanks! :D

Jon
http://www.jonwitsell.com



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by Destiny » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:46 pm

Thats much better.. You do not actually need to set it to 100%, it will make no difference when viewed online but the file size would be a bit big, in some cases far too big.. 80% RGB is fine at 72dpi.. No monitor can see more than 96dpi so if anything, set it to RGB 96dpi at 80%... That will be the best option..

With your prints I am assuming you are using CMYK at 100% or 16bit tiffs even better and as big as you can get your image to print around 600 to 1200dpi..

I to do not like to over do the sharping.. Its not too bad with a still image but when you over do it with a VRs, they begin to glitter. Horrible....

Well done..

Destiny....

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