because the topic was closed for some inexplicable reason . .  

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klausesser
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because the topic was closed for some inexplicable reason . .

by klausesser » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:21 pm

. . there nevertheless remains an intersting question:

What about importing HDR-imgages - 32bit/ch fp data - into APG for stitching.

What might be a reason to do it? What´s the goal doing it?

It´s clear that APG isn´t a dedicated HDR application. But there might be reasons to use .exr/.hdr images to be either stitched or rendered for the use in 3D applications.

So - if somebody would like to import 32bit/ch fp images into APG: what might be the goal? How would that be to handle?

best, Klaus

(hope this topic doesn´t get closed too . . . :rolleyes: )
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by HansKeesom » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:49 pm

Hi Klaus,

Are you asking us why we would want this? because it is faster to fuse first and the stitch?
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 klausesser » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:06 pm

HansKeesom wrote:Hi Klaus,

Are you asking us why we would want this? because it is faster to fuse first and the stitch?

I´m asking because this question rose in the topic which Destiny closed - without any reason i´m able to recognize.

It´s a question which sometimes come up here indeed - and i think it might be making sense to deal with it in a way
which makes clear what it´s all about!

best, Klaus (i definitely don´t accept to get a topic i´m involved simply closed without getting any explanation . . . )
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by gkaefer » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:39 pm

this thread was closed and is here referenced to:
http://www.kolor.com/forum/t16844-32-bit-tiff-read

I - in reply to original poster - did personally test apg with .exr files. so I thought 32bit tiffs will also work. this is not the case.
you can laod them. preview of images is dark and a detection leads to nothing will happen.
-> so this is a clear bug case or feature request: when .exr and .hdr file are allowed to load and to process in autopano than also 32bit floating point tiffs should work.
this could simplify workflows.

BUT - hdr files processing in autopano itself is not consistent and the reusalt not reliable (as I did remakr in a seperate thread - I think under bugs some days ago):

example:
loading .exr files (created with photomatix pro). If you load them the image previews shows always a dark image. This let you assume something went wrong but can be explained: at this stage no tonemapping is involved and as long you've no 32bit HDR LCD capable screen you cant see the complete dynamic of the images.
detection of this set of images works fluent. and e voila - a perfect pano is shown.

but now the inconsistency: if you edit the pano: the pano is dark again, and if you press peview its somewhat in between the images before detection and the unedited pano after detection.
You than can render the pano to .exr and .hdr file and postprocess them. But autopano gives you no hint if the result is pleasant or complete wrong.

So currently I think its far more reliable for now to work with 16bit tiffs or jpgs to export a .exr or .hdr pano.

why at all using .exr and .hdr as outputformat? I've no other application than IBL. Would be interesting to hear from others if there are others too....

Georg
Last edited by gkaefer on Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by klausesser » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:42 pm

gkaefer wrote:I - in reply to original poster - did personally test apg with .exr files. so I thought 32bit tiffs will also work. this is not the case.

The simple reason might be: TIF isn´t a HDR format . . . ;) That´s why .exr and .hdr were invented.

The main point regarding the question: WHAT will it be used for? WHEN would it make sense to import HDR into APG?

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by klausesser » Thu Jan 17, 2013 3:46 pm

gkaefer wrote:why at all using .exr and .hdr as outputformat? I've no other application than IBL.

You name it! That´s why i asked for the reason to import HDR into APG instead of stitching TIF- or JPG-bracktes and then exporting exr/hdr.

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by DrSlony » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:39 pm

Simple. Some tone mapping algorithms need to take the whole image into account to give a correct result. Stitching separately tone mapped images can lead to errors which would not have been present if you had tone mapped the whole panorama.

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by klausesser » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:03 pm

DrSlony wrote:Simple. Some tone mapping algorithms need to take the whole image into account to give a correct result. Stitching separately tone mapped images can lead to errors which would not have been present if you had tone mapped the whole panorama.

HDRing and tonemapping bracketed images first and stitching them afterwards definitely make it easier for the stitcher. No question.
BUT: it´s harder to edit the tonemapping on a single set of 3 or so exposures. That´s a question of experience.

On the other hand stitching stacks of 3 or more exposures per image and fusioning in APG (tonemapping doesn´t work in APG - so fusioning is the only way) is - in my eyes - too much kind of try and error.
It takes very much time and you hardly can know what comes out - not to speak of working with a precisely defined aim.

So to me (!) the workflow which always works best is to HDR and tonemap the brackets sets BEFORE stitching. Fusioning in APG can´t serve my imaginations . . ;):cool:

For making HDR-files to be used as IBL-probes in Maya or Max or Cinema and so on i worked out and use a perfectly matching workflow for quite a long time.

best, Klaus
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by kimaldis » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:20 pm

Let me try again, and this time I'll try and keep my tetchiness out of it.

I'm shooting 360 degree panoramas with a wide dynamic range, sunsets so I've got full sun at one end ranging through quite deep shadows where I'd like to keep shadow detail. The end result is a photograph (a rather sketchy example: http://bit.ly/13IkZsS). I'm concentrating on pipeline right now because I'll be doing a number of these and I'd like to keep the tedious work to a minimum. The final images are also very big so the process is time consuming.

I'm organising my work in Lightroom using either Photoshop (multiple merge .jsx script) or Photomatix to merge the results together. Photoshop can produce pretty much anything 32 bit but I'm having quality problems - colour banding, I think I know what this is but there's not time to fix it. The Photomatix Merge to 32 bit plugin, which in general is giving me the better result, will only output 32 bit tiffs, hence the need to import tiff. But that doesn't work, which was a frustration, as you saw.

In the meantime I've managed to get photomatix pro batch mode - the demo version of which very kindly doesn't watermark the output - to output 32 bit .hdr files which APG will import quite successfully. So from that I export a 32 bit .hdr - APG won't output 32 bit tiff - which I convert back to tiff for import back to Lightroom for initial exposure and contrast adjustments, subsequently finishing off in Photoshop.

I'm not doing any tonal mapping in APG because it simply doesn't work for me. I'm finding it hugely unpredictable and the results I do get don't come anywhere near the quality I can get in Photoshop or Photomatix. As I think I mentioned, a preferable route would have been to stitch each of the HDR component exposures in APG, combining the resulting panorama passes in Photomatix but APG won't output the same result on each run, even with identical images. I find this strange and not a little disconcerting but it is what it is.


I'm also finding other artifacts; there are mismatches in the stitching, lines that don't meet. I which I think I can probably work on these but there are also some very disconcerting dark fringes around some, but not all, parts of the image. That, I think, is probably going to be more of a problem and I may have to use an alternative stitcher. We'll see.

I hope this makes things clearer and I apologise for the earlier misunderstandings.
Last edited by kimaldis on Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by klausesser » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:49 pm

kimaldis wrote:I hope this makes things clearer and I apologise for the earlier misunderstandings.

Ok. I suggest not to use Photoshop or Lightroom for dealing with HDR - maybe LightRoom for pre-processing RAWs. I suggest to use Photomatix for HDR-ing and tonemapping your bracketed images.
That needs some skills and also experiences, but you´ll quickly will have that.
I make a preset for each panorama by editing one or two image-sets which are representative for the others. Using this preset i process the rest of the panorama-images.
Each panorama seperately. After having edited the presets i start the batch. The resulting mapped images i save as 16bit TIFs. These i put into APG for stitching and rendering and save the resulting rquirectangular as 16bit or 8bit TIf - depends on the motive. Sometimes i render them to .exr for using them as IBL-probes - if i don´t need native HDR.
After that i use Photoshop for finishing the equirectangular image - retouching, colorspace-matching, sharpening or whatever.

No artifacts, no mismatches, no banding or whatsoever. Yo can see an example here: http://360impressions.de/MKP_Panorama/ or here: http://360impressions.de/Soller_HausA.jpg

Dealing with HDR and tonemapping it must be clear to need really powerful hardware! There´s absolutely no way around that - you wouldn´t race LeMans in a Lada, would you . . ;)

best, Klaus
Last edited by klausesser on Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by klausesser » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:21 pm

Let me answer to my own post - yesterday i was very stressy working, so i forgot to mention some points:

Dealing with HDR, mapping and so on in the way i described makes it easier to run APG even with lesser amounts of RAM and slower CPUs.

Feeding APG with 3 or 7 exposures per position to stitch and fuse them on the other hand needs somewhat heavy hardware.

So if you work on a laptop or have under 8-16GB RAM on your desktop i ´definitely suggest to take in acount additional time for seperately using Photomatix first and stitch the mapped
images.

There´s another way to stitch first and HDR later:
import the bracketed sets. Stitch them - but DO NOT USE Fusioning or even color corection! After having stitched the layers export each layer seperately as TIF (8 or 16bit).
Then import these layers into Photomatix and treat them like usual images. You have all the tonemap settings at hand - but you´re able to edit the pano as a whole and so you have more
control of your settings.

best, Klaus
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