Masking feature  

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Maukoop.nl
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Masking feature

by Maukoop.nl » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:25 am

One thing I love about PTGui (in contrast to APG) is the mask feature. I am wondering if and when Kolor is planning to use the same method of masking parts away from a panorama.

I work a lot with nadirs, and I am getting tired of removing tripods on three nadir images per panorama.

May be it is an idea to publish a list or 'roadmap' of features which Kolor is planning to implement in the new software updates. This way you'll avoid of having the same requests over and over again.
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Schermafbeelding 2014-01-15 om 10.21.45.png
Loads of 'clicks'.

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Maukoop.nl
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Re: Masking feature

by Maukoop.nl » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:42 pm

No one else who thinks this masking tool could be better?

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Re: Masking feature

by klausesser » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:14 pm

Maukoop.nl wrote:No one else who thinks this masking tool could be better?



Oh yes - it should be much straighter to use. I guess APG and PTGui have very different structures and algos
and Kolor intended to be more intuitive - but it always is a kind of a gamble using this kind of masking . . nothing
to work with straight and effectively. Or reliably reproducable.

Klaus

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HansKeesom
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Re: Masking feature

by HansKeesom » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:12 pm

it can, see viewtopic.php?f=5&t=21035

Personally I think you can use less markers but do not see much problem in using them.

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Re: Masking feature

by Maukoop.nl » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:06 am

Thanks for your responses. I think they work well, but it is way to much 'clicks' for some patching. And therefor I think it could be better with some kind of brush like PTGUI. It goes way quicker this way.

I am aware of the pressure for the release of PTP2.0, but I am giving feedback on their program here. I don't hear anything from Kolor about this issue.

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Re: Masking feature

by HansKeesom » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:01 pm

Maukoop.nl wrote:Thanks for your responses. I think they work well, but it is way to much 'clicks' for some patching.....

Maybe some over here can do it with fewer clicks. Care to share the originals with us?

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Re: Masking feature

by slipstick » Wed May 28, 2014 1:56 pm

The issue is both masking, and stored masks. For example, I use a consistent pattern (three around, zenith, nadir), and end up doing the same hand-entered clicks on all of the zenith and nadir shots. Takes too much time, and is inconsistent. If a mask (masking-in the center of the zenith, and masking-out the tripod and outer areas of the nadir, while masking-in the center parts of the nadir) could be saved and just applied, it would be much, much better.

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Re: Masking feature

by mediavets » Wed May 28, 2014 2:28 pm

slipstick wrote:The issue is both masking, and stored masks. For example, I use a consistent pattern (three around, zenith, nadir), and end up doing the same hand-entered clicks on all of the zenith and nadir shots. Takes too much time, and is inconsistent. If a mask (masking-in the center of the zenith, and masking-out the tripod and outer areas of the nadir, while masking-in the center parts of the nadir) could be saved and just applied, it would be much, much better.


You might wish to try masking outside of APG.

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Re: Masking feature

by slipstick » Wed May 28, 2014 3:08 pm

I have tried that (masking-out tripods with an alpha channel), but find it as bad or worse in terms of time, because of disruption in workflow.

Then there is the issue of masking-in. Many of my zenith shots are not used by APG, so I get a triangular color distortion / fuzziness at zenith where the around shots merge. So I mask-in the center of the zenith and everything looks good - can't do that, I don't think ,with masking outside of APG.

In the end, a hugin / ptgui style mask, reusable, is the way to go. If it could be auto-loaded (based on the sequence number of the image) all the better, but even manually pasting it in would be a big improvement.

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Re: Masking feature

by mediavets » Wed May 28, 2014 4:58 pm

slipstick wrote:Then there is the issue of masking-in. Many of my zenith shots are not used by APG, so I get a triangular color distortion / fuzziness at zenith where the around shots merge.


What camera/lens and shooting pattern are you using?

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Re: Masking feature

by HansKeesom » Wed May 28, 2014 7:54 pm

slipstick wrote:I have tried that (masking-out tripods with an alpha channel), but find it as bad or worse in terms of time, because of disruption in workflow.

Then there is the issue of masking-in. Many of my zenith shots are not used by APG, so I get a triangular color distortion / fuzziness at zenith where the around shots merge. So I mask-in the center of the zenith and everything looks good - can't do that, I don't think ,with masking outside of APG.

In the end, a hugin / ptgui style mask, reusable, is the way to go. If it could be auto-loaded (based on the sequence number of the image) all the better, but even manually pasting it in would be a big improvement.


It is all in the pattern of shooting and the processing, I seldom spend more then ten minutes on a panorama, most of time less.
it is also experience.
Tried it to explainI it to someone so she could help me with my workload but turned out not to be that simple. Often I make choices which are from recognizing situations. I also do a lot of previewing which I have my titan for.

I invite you to share your originals so we can show you what can be done. Will return you the .pano file so you can see the markers I used.
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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Re: Masking feature

by slipstick » Thu May 29, 2014 9:04 pm

mediavets wrote:
slipstick wrote:Then there is the issue of masking-in. Many of my zenith shots are not used by APG, so I get a triangular color distortion / fuzziness at zenith where the around shots merge.


What camera/lens and shooting pattern are you using?

Full-frame Nikon, samyang 8mm (removeable hood), 3 around, one Z at+75, and one nadir at -90 (using the nadir adapter on a nodal ninja 4 - http://www.fanotec.com/nadir-adapter-for-nn3-nn4-nn5/42 ). The nadir gets viewpoint correction. I get good overlap and proper positioning of the tripod legs - much like in this gentleman's overlay image: http://www.dlsphoto.net/Panoguide/230Offset.jpg

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Re: Masking feature

by slipstick » Sat May 31, 2014 11:15 pm

I should have said thank-you for the offers of help - they are appreciated. It's just that a) I think my shooting pattern is good - it is quite common, and b) I think the core issue is reusable masking.

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Re: Masking feature

by HansKeesom » Sat May 31, 2014 11:23 pm

slipstick wrote:I should have said thank-you for the offers of help - they are appreciated. It's just that a) I think my shooting pattern is good - it is quite common, and b) I think the core issue is reusable masking.


You don't have a problem, you just have an opinion ;-)

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Re: Masking feature

by slipstick » Sat May 31, 2014 11:48 pm

HansKeesom wrote:
slipstick wrote:I should have said thank-you for the offers of help - they are appreciated. It's just that a) I think my shooting pattern is good - it is quite common, and b) I think the core issue is reusable masking.


You don't have a problem, you just have an opinion ;-)

Okay - is the shooting pattern listed above good, and if not, what is a recommended pattern with an 8mm Samyang on a FF?

In any event, the only thing I - and anyone else with that pattern - need from a zenith is a circle in the centre (re-usable mask), and from the offset nadir, a snow-cone shaped patch in the centre (re-usable mask). Given that the masking thing seems to be keeping some people with PTGUI and / or moving them that way, it seems like a feature that would enhance APG sales.
Last edited by slipstick on Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Masking feature

by HansKeesom » Sun Jun 01, 2014 12:18 am

The pattern is good if you don't mind doing the masking. If you think you have to do too much masking then you have to find a pattern that needs less masking.... that's all I can say.

I've spend a lot of time finding a pattern that is a good balance between time shooting and time editing. Now I am rather productive in the sense I can quickly shoot and process panoramas. As you can imagine I am not keen on sharing the pattern with what might be my competition.

What I can say is this, I think you have to question every part of your pattern, change it and see if it provides you with less editing.

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Re: Masking feature

by slipstick » Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:55 am

HansKeesom wrote:As you can imagine I am not keen on sharing the pattern with what might be my competition.

Fair enough!

I'll hang in and see if APG gets masking or not.

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Re: Masking feature

by HansKeesom » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:27 am

slipstick wrote:
HansKeesom wrote:As you can imagine I am not keen on sharing the pattern with what might be my competition.

Fair enough!

I'll hang in and see if APG gets masking or not.


I don't think they will do so, but we will see. Kolor is known for not always following my logic.

It would help if one can indicate the shape of one's tripod as it shows in most nadir images and kolor would automaticly place a pattern of red markers on them when opening the editor (or make it a button in the editor "Mark red the tripod"). Nadir images are easily recognised as they are the ones that have a pitch close to -90. If one can outline the shape of tripod a few times it should not be too hard to recognised them.

It would help if they would create a number of instruction videos on how to use markers more effectively. At the same time I think it is hard to make videos that cover each and every situation.
In general it should be enough to have a look at this http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/ ... sking_tool

The images in this thread show an example of what is likely an overusage of markers. But hard to tell without the originals

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Re: Masking feature

by AlexandreJ » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:09 am


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Re: Masking feature

by HansKeesom » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:36 pm

AlexandreJ wrote:Some tutorials about that here:
http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/ ... s_to_avoid


I agree with what I read at http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/ ... _same_work

"Autopano Anti-ghost Markers are 6 times faster than the Layer Masks in Photoshop. Learn more about Anti-ghost markers in Using Anti-ghost"

Once you get the hang of it is wonderfull. A quick preview helps a lot.

I have my photographers shoot a bit more photos then stricly needed to have a bit of room to work with. Masking in Photoshop would indeed take much long

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Re: Masking feature

by klausesser » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:21 pm

HansKeesom wrote:
I agree with what I read at http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/ ... _same_work

"Autopano Anti-ghost Markers are 6 times faster than the Layer Masks in Photoshop. Learn more about Anti-ghost markers in Using Anti-ghost"




Sounds good - tells nothing. It´s not possible to work precisely using this tools. It´s kind of hunting in the dark
using a shotgun for hitting something.

Nice for playing - bad for doing real work. I realized that again finalizing an interesting and challenging job this week.

Photoshop is no alternative - of course not.

Klaus

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Re: Masking feature

by HansKeesom » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:14 pm

klausesser wrote:
HansKeesom wrote:
I agree with what I read at http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/ ... _same_work

"Autopano Anti-ghost Markers are 6 times faster than the Layer Masks in Photoshop. Learn more about Anti-ghost markers in Using Anti-ghost"




Sounds good - tells nothing. It´s not possible to work precisely using this tools. It´s kind of hunting in the dark
using a shotgun for hitting something.

Nice for playing - bad for doing real work. I realized that again finalizing an interesting and challenging job this week.

Photoshop is no alternative - of course not.

Klaus


it is more like
1. doing a preview,
2. mark red what you don't like, mark green what you like
3. do preview
4. if you don't like the preview, go to step 2

My results are exact enough to me. No photoshop needed, so I would love to be challenged by that difficult of yours ..... ;-)

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Re: Masking feature

by klausesser » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:21 pm

HansKeesom wrote:
klausesser wrote:
HansKeesom wrote:
I agree with what I read at http://www.autopano.net/wiki-en/action/ ... _same_work

"Autopano Anti-ghost Markers are 6 times faster than the Layer Masks in Photoshop. Learn more about Anti-ghost markers in Using Anti-ghost"




Sounds good - tells nothing. It´s not possible to work precisely using this tools. It´s kind of hunting in the dark
using a shotgun for hitting something.

Nice for playing - bad for doing real work. I realized that again finalizing an interesting and challenging job this week.

Photoshop is no alternative - of course not.

Klaus


it is more like
1. doing a preview,
2. mark red what you don't like, mark green what you like
3. do preview
4. if you don't like the preview, go to step 2

My results are exact enough to me. No photoshop needed, so I would love to be challenged by that difficult of yours ..... ;-)


Hey Hans!

No chance - takes it´s time to become public. Was a VERY big industrial product - 450 tons - and was moved by two cranes.
So there was some - minor, but recognizble - movement.

The problem was in the cranes. I needed to mask them very precisely using PTGui´s precise masking tool.

I tried it before in APG and it worked . . somehow. But not precisely enough and took hours of try and error before recognizing it would not work.

Some times the tools work well - other times they don´t get it at all.

So i prefer the "other" way. It´s definitely not that comfortable . . but as said: it´s better controllable and works more precise.
You can paint a mask very accentuated instead of putting a point somewhere and hope it will do what you want.

Painting a precise mask - using variable sizes of tools - up to the very borders of an object resp. between objects and it´s surrounding definitely lets you have much better control of what happens in the end.

So it´s not only more precise but also you can work faster - because of having better control.

I like the masking tool in APG - no question! For many purposes it´s real nice!

Just depends on the complexity of what you need to achieve.

Klaus

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Re: Masking feature

by HansKeesom » Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:45 am

Hey Klaus!

I would hope these 450 tons were euro's for you ;-)

There is no law that forbids you to use photoshop in post of course, certainly as it is as easy as the clip showed us.

I agree that there are sometimes projects where you need to do some work using transparency. Your project is another example of the fact that moving objects make things a lot more difficult, certainly if they do not fit into the frame of one photo.

The clip also showed that for each pixel in the final panorama you would like to have a source photo without the moving object at that pixels or to have any moving object fully inside one photo. That way you can allways remove objects that are only partially in view.

When moving objects are too large to fit into a photo, then you have a more complicated situation. Using multiple focal lenghts is a possibility. Shoot higher lengths before the action starts and fisheye when your objects are moving.

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Re: Masking feature

by klausesser » Sun Jun 08, 2014 3:18 pm

HansKeesom wrote:Hey Klaus!

I would hope these 450 tons were euro's for you ;-)

There is no law that forbids you to use photoshop in post of course, certainly as it is as easy as the clip showed us.

I agree that there are sometimes projects where you need to do some work using transparency. Your project is another example of the fact that moving objects make things a lot more difficult, certainly if they do not fit into the frame of one photo.

The clip also showed that for each pixel in the final panorama you would like to have a source photo without the moving object at that pixels or to have any moving object fully inside one photo. That way you can allways remove objects that are only partially in view.

When moving objects are too large to fit into a photo, then you have a more complicated situation. Using multiple focal lenghts is a possibility. Shoot higher lengths before the action starts and fisheye when your objects are moving.


Hans - what i can tell you:

I needed to place my tripod/head/camera to a certain position i choosed before. Then i had to leave the area for security reasons: nobody was allowed to stay there aside from the crew that controlled it all. The cranes are radio-controlled - so during the preparation-period i needed to find out which radio-frequencies i can use for startingt my head remotely (about 50m distance, surrounded by big and heavy steel constructions). I was lucky for being able to use my american radio device which works with an "uncritical" freq. - i would NOT have been allowed to use WLan for starting or even controlling the head.

I could not approach the camera the whole time for changing anything at all. The movement of the cranes - and so of the object - sometimes was clearly recognizable and sometimes was hardly recognizable. Nevertheless there were several positions which were interesting for a shoot.

The head/camera took about 40sec. for a full sphere in this situation (5D2, 15mm Fisheye, Panoneed, 6 shots @25% overlap). The moving of the objects was minimal during this time - and THAT made things more complicated. More movement would have made it easier because of clearer spatial differences. Low movement takes you x times the effort for editing because the several states of movements are not clearly seperated from each other but overlap massively.

In this i case you only can edit them VERY precisely by painting with small tools and heavily enlarged viewing the details you´re working on.

Doing that in Photoshop would mean to edit without getting a feedback from the stitcher´s editor. So - that´s no way.

Masking in PTGui was the perfect way doing it precisely. In the resulting stitches you can search at 100% - you will find not a single blurred or ghosted area . . :cool:

Took it´s time of course - but it´s definitely worth the effort.

Besides: it was absolutely impossible to shoot a Nadir - the fact the tripod stood on a metal grid platform and looking down @-90° showed what was
below the platform didn´t make it easier . . =D :cool: :cool:

I needed to retouch the Nadir without being able to make a shot of the grid alone without the tripod-legs. Pure retouching job. Not knowing this it´s hardly recognizable.
Besides: nobody cares for a perfect or not Nadir in such a shot of an impressing setting up such a machine . . . :cool:

Klaus

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