Please provide link for prior version autopano pro with smart blend?  

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harryshin
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Please provide link for prior version autopano pro with smart blend?

by harryshin » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:19 am

Hi:

1. I recently "upgraded" to autopano 3, but at least for my pano work, this is in many ways a step backwards (I hate when that happens). Specifically, as some have noted in this forum, the blend method in autopano 3 is definitely inferior to prior versions which utilized smartblend.

2. As such, can someone please forward me a link to the final version of autopano pro (mac) that utilized smart blend; I would greatly appreciate it.

3. For those who believe in autopano pro 3, can someone give me some basic step by step instructions on how to blend the usual blue sky etc... I currently use "auto" and anchor the pano via the middle / fairly dark sky image.

4. Another question while I'm at it: are there any other products out there that will blend better than autopano? I used to use realviz (autodesk) stitcher and that was the best in re: overall stitching / blending, however they've apparently let it die and thus won't work any longer on my mac OS (Mt Lion).


Thanks. Harry

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by marzipano » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:21 am

The final version of APP that used Smartblend was 2.0.9.

I kept a copy and used to use it quite a lot when the next version of APP appeared (2.5) but these days I find it rarely beats 3.0.5 as Kolor have made improvements to stitching since 2.5

It is also much slower and will hang for lack of resources even for quite small panos

it is on the Kolor archive download site under 2.0.9

http://download.kolor.com/app/stable/history

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by AlexandreJ » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:09 pm

I cannot let you say this as the blending engine into autopano is what would be a public smartblend v2.0. Our engine is far superior than anything you can find out.
I'm quite sure your case is just a workflow issue.
Can you share some example here and we'll help you to achieve a far better result than with 2.0.9 ( that's 4 years old already ).

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by harryshin » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:14 am

Hi:

1. Thanks for the quick replies and I have no problem in admitting that my problem may be due to user error. With that being said, here's my basic workflow:
a. I shoot the pano correctly (ie tripod, manual exposure, lens hood, not super wide focal length (ex: 28mm) etc...
b. I batch process the raw files in ACR 6 using the same parameters and then output to TIFF
c. I then bring those TIFF files into autopano pro 3 and then run detection (autopano does a great job every time stitching the pano).
d. I'll then make very minor modifications to the pano (move it around, crop, and I will often "anchor" an image that I want to be the reference... and I believe it's in "auto" mode").
e. I then render the pano.

2. Now, the reason I have stated that the autopano blending engine is... lacking is because if I put the exact same images into realviz stitcher (with smart blend), it'll produce a vastly superior pano, especially in regards to the quality of blending; there's no question about it if one is objective. As noted in my original post, the reason I'm trying to find a solution in autopano is because autodesk stitcher is basically dead; at least on the MAC OS. And thus, it's all the more frustrating that the current versions of autopano doesn't utilize smart blend. In fact, I can't even figure out how or if there is a way to try different blend modes in autopano 3. I've looked through the render options, I can't figure out how to improve or modify the blend modes. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

3. Note: I do like autopano; it works in 95% of cases, but there are times / in certain conditions, where it's a challenge.


Thanks. Harry

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by harryshin » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:22 am

Updated Comments:

1. First of all, thanks for supplying the link for the prior version of autopano pro with smart blend; I downloaded it and it works great.

2. Second, it may not be of much help and it's really not a good example but here's the pano that I've been having problems with in re: blending the sky. This image looks ok because I the problem wasn't that significant and then I went to the extra step of running my RAW files through DXO, which automatically corrects for any vignetting (which there wasn't much to start with). Anyway, this is a situation of shooting a very wide scene, in harsh conditions, in the mountains (around 7000 ft) and thus any apparent errors are easy to see. Any thoughts / recommendations appreciated.

Harry



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by AlexandreJ » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:05 pm

The sky is always a bit complicated if you suffer of vignetting ( even low. You may not notice it on a singe image, but it starts to be seen when stitching only ).
If I need a perfect sky in these conditions, I have that trick:
- DxO before or camera raw and try to remove visible vignetting
- Autopano, stitching, rendering, default setting, give pano 1 ( perfect ground, but sky can have issue ).
- render setting, uncheck cutting, check diamong weighting and render again, gives pano 2 ( this one will one a smoother sky ).
- Use photoshop to mask out the sky of the second panorama on the first stitched panorama.

This tips also work on waves which are quite complicated to stitch. This tips is a bit mentionned here :
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/view/Understanding_and_using_the_rendering_engine

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by harryshin » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:38 am

Thanks for the additional data. However, I'll need further clarification:
a: I did reopen the pano project on autopanopro 3 and was fumbling around in the render engine, all that I initially can see in the blending options are: simple, anti-ghost and two other ones... and then "custom". However, that custom button is grayed out. I read the wiki-documentation and it appears that the method / settings you described can be implemented via the custom section but I can't figure out how in the world to get into that section. Can you please point me in the right direction and is there anyway that this application can be a tad more intuitive??? I mean, you have a "custom" button, but why in the world is it grayed out?


Thanks. Harry

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by AlexandreJ » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:58 am

Hi Harry,
- In 3.0.0 up to 3.0.5, the advanced settings of rendering are not in this dialog box, but in quick preview. So you can see live the influence of advanced settings while making modification.
Custom preset will be checked automatically if you make modification and that the current value doesn't correspond to a global preset.
- In 3.0.6 released yesterday, we've put back the advanced settings in render dialog box too. Many people were used to find them there and we roll back to previous way of doing. Nevertheless, you still have access to quick preview to see live changes of these settings.

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by leifs » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:38 pm

AlexandreJ wrote:- Use photoshop to mask out the sky of the second panorama on the first stitched panorama.

I had a problem with the sky in an earlier post and got this response http://www.kolor.com/forum/p114417-2013-04-04-17-18-27#p114417
I was baffled ! Do I have to render the sphere twice and swap the sky ? Is this a joke ?

Now it is confirmed. This €200 software cannot deliver a nice blue sky and a nice ground in one render ! (?)
Really: are users supposed to own Adobe Photoshop and know how to mask out the sky to get a pano with a nice blue sky ?

I expect Kolor to come up with a solution that eliminates this awkward workaround, in some way or another.

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by harryshin » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:08 am

Update:

1. Thanks for the info re: most recent update of autopano pro; I did the suggested settings / method (ie diamond something) and it did indeed seem to give a smoother sky. In that I have photoshop and know how to basic masking; no problems making two panos and masking in the smoother of the two skies etc... However, I do agree with the other person (as I sure do you), that the ideal solution is to have a "professional grade" software (ie autopano "pro") be able to handle a fairly typical pano scenario, especially when other products do it better (ex: autodesk stitcher).

2. Again, thanks for the info, at least it's a workaround for the 5% of panos that'll need this methodology. By the way, when is the proper "manual" going to come out??? I think having a good manual will go a long ways to reducing the amount of these sorts of questions.


Thanks again. Harry


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