Image-stitching and virtual tour solutions My account Updates
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:23 am 
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Destiny wrote:
Yes Twan, I would like to test out some raw images... I would have tested PTGui too.. That software is just amazing, way better than APG 3.0.8. so its no surprise to read you managed a good result. But APG 3.5 is way different so I would expect much better results..

To be honest, I would expect some issues using the 360 Heros since it seems to be to be open to more movement but the Freedom360 cameras have been set into a rig that has been precision-printed so I would have thought it would be perfect.. If its not I would suggest that the rig needs a resign. I really cannot accept that it does not stitch perfectly.. There must be more too it.. I know for a fact that the shooting pattern make a huge difference..

Please send images captured using your 360 Heros to dps@westnet.com.au using a drop box or web transfer.. I would like to test both rig sets so if Joergen can send me some images from the Freedom360 I can run a comparison..

Destiny..


Just send you the raw images.
I also asked 360heros what the exact purposes of the three mounting holes are.
They are all placed on a different angle, with 7 camera's creating a 360 image I would expect that the location of the mounting hole is not very critical.
A closer look however shows that there is a huge difference between the angles of the mounting holes, so I guess they are there for a very specific reason.

Keep you informed.

Twan


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:02 am 
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Thank you Twan for you images.... I discovered a heap of things.. Its apparent there is a design flaw in both units which will always result in parallax issues.. Its basically impossible to have perfect stitch... This is more noticeable when processing a pano image.. Video hides this flaw somewhat....

I have download and stitched the Freedom360 images.. I am not a person that like to spend time editing control points.. This is why I love the "Out Of The Box" approach AlexJ introduced to APG 3.5.. Using my VR Drive this is now a fact... It works out of the box..

However, neither rigs work very well with APG 3.5.. There are huge stitching issues in both.. I would not accept either of them.. I also do not accept its impossible to fix the parallax issues.. I feel that it can be improved on using code to force the images into place..

I then tried using the Freedom360 images with PGTui.. Its impossible to achieve without a template since one of the images needs to be rotated and this is only possible using a template.. The resulting pano is acceptable.. Just some minor issues..

I then tried using the Twan images with PTGui captured using his 360Heors.. You do not need to use a template.. The resulting pano needs the vanishing point to straightening up the horizon.. The resulting pano is very acceptable, much better than APG 3.5. There is however a strange blur triangle on the horizon but easily fixed.. There is also one stitching error at the other end of the building edge.. Again easily fixed.. This is the result...

http://www.destinyvirtualtours.com/twanpanos/tour2.html

I am very very surprised.. I would have expected that the Freedom360 would have the better results and out perform the Freedom360 but in my test its not to be...

I have sent an email to kolor since when I put the 360 Heros images into APG 3.5, it failed to detect the data.. It generated an email to participate in added this data..

I will test out the other images Twan sent me.. I think perhaps these rigs were not put on the support list during the new build.. Support for both of these rigs needs to be added to APG 3.5 as soon as possible.. I am sure APG 3.5 can do a lot better "Out Of The Box"...

Destiny...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:01 pm 
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Destiny wrote:
Thank you Twan for you images.... I discovered a heap of things.. Its apparent there is a design flaw in both units which will always result in parallax issues.. Its basically impossible to have perfect stitch... This is more noticeable when processing a pano image.. Video hides this flaw somewhat....

I have download and stitched the Freedom360 images.. I am not a person that like to spend time editing control points.. This is why I love the "Out Of The Box" approach AlexJ introduced to APG 3.5.. Using my VR Drive this is now a fact... It works out of the box..

However, neither rigs work very well with APG 3.5.. There are huge stitching issues in both.. I would not accept either of them.. I also do not accept its impossible to fix the parallax issues.. I feel that it can be improved on using code to force the images into place..

I then tried using the Freedom360 images with PGTui.. Its impossible to achieve without a template since one of the images needs to be rotated and this is only possible using a template.. The resulting pano is acceptable.. Just some minor issues..

I then tried using the Twan images with PTGui captured using his 360Heors.. You do not need to use a template.. The resulting pano needs the vanishing point to straightening up the horizon.. The resulting pano is very acceptable, much better than APG 3.5. There is however a strange blur triangle on the horizon but easily fixed.. There is also one stitching error at the other end of the building edge.. Again easily fixed.. This is the result...

http://www.destinyvirtualtours.com/twanpanos/tour2.html

I am very very surprised.. I would have expected that the Freedom360 would have the better results and out perform the Freedom360 but in my test its not to be...

I have sent an email to kolor since when I put the 360 Heros images into APG 3.5, it failed to detect the data.. It generated an email to participate in added this data..

I will test out the other images Twan sent me.. I think perhaps these rigs were not put on the support list during the new build.. Support for both of these rigs needs to be added to APG 3.5 as soon as possible.. I am sure APG 3.5 can do a lot better "Out Of The Box"...

Destiny...


Hi Destiny,

Thanks for the update.
Good action to make Kolor part of the solution.
I am now charging the Heros to make some shots using the different mounting holes.
Have no idea if it helps but i guess it is worth a shot.

Keep you posted.

Twan


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:06 pm 
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Hi Twan..

Here I fixed up the small errors and sharpened the pano.. Those GoPro cameras are excellent for sure.. Pity they are so expensive.. I think perhaps they should have a special price for a batch of 6 + cameras..

http://www.destinyvirtualtours.com/twanpanos/Tour.html

Destiny..


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:10 pm 
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Destiny wrote:
Hi Twan..

Here I fixed up the small errors and sharpened the pano.. Those GoPro cameras are excellent for sure.. Pity they are so expensive.. I think perhaps they should have a special price for a batch of 6 + cameras..

http://www.destinyvirtualtours.com/twanpanos/Tour.html

Destiny..


Hi Destiny,

Nice the way you fixed the nadir :)

There are a lot of issues to deal with before you have a decent 360 tour.
Not only the Kolor software and/or the rig may have issues, but the GoPro's as well.
That is why we are working on software that makes it possible to operate the GoPro's from a laptop instead of the GP remote.
That should give us much more control and flexibility during the shoot.
I hope that in a few weeks we have a much better understanding of the origin of the problems and the solutions.
Of course we have to keep in mind that the GP's were not really designed for this sort of work.

But I feel that with a dedicated community we should be able to figure out the issues.

In the Netherlands the actual price is around eur 425,-- (AUD 630,--)incl. 32GB memory card for the Hero3+ BE.

Regards,

Twan


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:19 pm 
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Twan wrote:
Good action to make Kolor part of the solution.
I am now charging the Heros to make some shots using the different mounting holes.
Have no idea if it helps but i guess it is worth a shot.



Twan - those rigs are designed to be used for video. Here using multiple cameras is the only way to do
360x180° in good quality at a more or less moderate price.

They´re NOT designed for substituting "conventional" ways of shooting interactive panoramas.

So if your aim is shooting "conventional" panoramas: use a "conventional" rig of ONE good DSLR with
a good lens mounted on a good panoramic head instead and learn how to use it.

I can understand that the idea is attractive to shoot a panorama with only ONE shot.
But it makes no sense at all as long as you do not have very crowded places and/or
shooting 360x180° video.

IF you want to stick to this way further you´d need to invest VERY much time in postproduction.
In the end you´ll very unlikely have big advantage in shooting it as ONE shot.

As i said in my first answer: those rigs run into issues with higher resolutions and still-images.

Why? Because higher resolutions and still images need to be shot much more precisely.

The rigs and the GoPros cannot provide this kind of precision - not even when you invest hours and hours
of editing the CPs and/or placing the images manually.

You stated to be new to this. Take my advise and use the gear which suits a task best. In case you need to shoot
interactive panoramas indoors or on other rather close distances for real estate or so a rig of GoPros definitely is
the wrong way to go.

Klaus


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:05 pm 
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klausesser wrote:
Twan wrote:
Good action to make Kolor part of the solution.
I am now charging the Heros to make some shots using the different mounting holes.
Have no idea if it helps but i guess it is worth a shot.



Twan - those rigs are designed to be used for video. Here using multiple cameras is the only way to do
360x180° in good quality at a more or less moderate price.

They´re NOT designed for substituting "conventional" ways of shooting interactive panoramas.

So if your aim is shooting "conventional" panoramas: use a "conventional" rig of ONE good DSLR with
a good lens mounted on a good panoramic head instead and learn how to use it.

I can understand that the idea is attractive to shoot a panorama with only ONE shot.
But it makes no sense at all as long as you do not have very crowded places and/or
shooting 360x180° video.

IF you want to stick to this way further you´d need to invest VERY much time in postproduction.
In the end you´ll very unlikely have big advantage in shooting it as ONE shot.

As i said in my first answer: those rigs run into issues with higher resolutions and still-images.

Why? Because higher resolutions and still images need to be shot much more precisely.

The rigs and the GoPros cannot provide this kind of precision - not even when you invest hours and hours
of editing the CPs and/or placing the images manually.

You stated to be new to this. Take my advise and use the gear which suits a task best. In case you need to shoot
interactive panoramas indoors or on other rather close distances for real estate or so a rig of GoPros definitely is
the wrong way to go.

Klaus



Hi Klaus,

Thanks for your expert opinion, it is very valuable information.
For us, coming from the digital printing world and automation, the GoPro's looked the best way to start.
As I see now, and hearing the opinions from different experienced people, you can second guess that conclusion.
We expected that video would be much more of a problem, a 360 panorama could be 7 frames out of a video.

What we definitely not want is "If the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems look like a nail" approach.
On the other hand you have something like "In die beschränkung zeigt sich der Meister", we translate that freely to figure out where the real constraints are.
The fact that PTGui does a much better job gives me hope that this should also be feasible in Autopano, in that I totally agree with Destiny.

At the end of the (business) day these are tools that should enable all of us to stay in business.
Maybe Kolor can respond to this topic and give us there opinion?

Thanks again.

Twan


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:16 pm 
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Hi Twan..

After testing out some of the images from both rigs, and reading PM's about the inherent parallax issues.... I would have to say, if I needed to capture 360 video and had a market for this, I would go with either rig since that is what they are really designed for... Saying that I would have to check out both sets of video to conclude which would be the better choice since there must be a difference due to the pano results. They must have different shooting angles perhaps... One rig might be better than the other.. One rig might be more suited for indoors or outdoors...

For me, I have no regrets about buying my VR Drive. Its the most awesome setup for shooting 360 panos and with my HDR software it makes it even more awesome.. I had many issues with sitting my panos with APG 3.0.8 partially with Photomatix processed images. APG just did not like them... It seemed others did too going by the many PMs I received suggesting there was an issue.. and there WAS, I could not get my NNP right no matter what.. I had no issues with PTGui at all.. But all this has changed.. APG 3.5 is most definitely the best version yet, Kolor fixed the issues... and using my VR Drive xml code my stitching is even better.. Perfect in fact, working "Out Of The Box" no editing of control points..

I am sure that Kolor can do much better job with APG's detection of images using these rigs titled here..
I started this thread to determine which was the better rig... What were the drawbacks and advantages. I think many questions have been answered.

My advise if you have a market for pano tours, would be to buy a VR Drive with a D800 and 16mm fisheye lens. This is an excellent setup. I only have a 10.5mm fisheye which is ok, its great lens but the 16mm is more appropriate for a full frame camera.. If however you want to shoot higher rez you have the option of using a 80mm prime, or other lenses.. You have many more options open to you with this setup.. Leave the 360Heros for 360 video where is would be much more suited..

But that would depend on your needs.. If you just need 360 video for social media then the Ricoh Theta would be the solution since there a no real parallax issue. Its a lot cheaper than both rigs titled here but you will be limited by low resolution. Not the best if you want larger panos.. and support for the Ricoh Theta with APG is coming.. If however your need is medium 360 video quality, then use your rig.. If your need changes and find you need better quality you might want to look at the Ladybug. I recently saw some results at this forum where one was mooted on a cart.. Awesome.. but you will need lots of $$$...

I was looking seriously at buying a Freedo360 in time but I have come to realise that it would not suit my needs due to parallax issues.. I really do not want to spend time editing control points. If my need changes and I have someone ask about 360 video and they commit to it, I would then look at the Freedom360 since I feel its the better made of the two.. The parts are industrially printed with polyamide (aka Nylon), so very strong and accurate.

I am sure other options are on the cards too.. There are some new cameras being developed so in time we will all have many more choices. Lens technology is also getting better.. but good software that links in with a lens is also very important..

Destiny...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:39 pm 
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Destiny wrote:
If you just need 360 video for social media then the Ricoh Theta would be the solution since there a no real parallax issue.


AFAIK you cannot shoot video with the Ricoh Theta.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:11 am 
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Oh, your are right Andrew.. For some reason I thought it shot 360 video too.. Not sure why I thought that.. emm.. $400 for a very low resolution pano camera... I do not think I will have that on my shopping list... Unless the quality improved with Kolor's involvement..

There are a few other options that CAN shoot 360 video... but.. are they any good????

There is the 360fly.. I am still researching this...
http://www.360fly.com
http://www.blessthisstuff.com/stuff/tec ... eo-camera/

And this bub1..
http://bublcam.com
Not really impressed with the quality of the video's that I have seen so far.. They have a heap of the images of this product that are CAD rendered which I am always very weary of... Any product looks great when showcased in high quality computer rendered.. They are not cheap either so I personally would pass on this one..

..and others...

The two products titled here are in my view still be best options at the mid end of the market for 360 video since the quality of video is good.. They are made for that purpose. My needs would not meet this purpose for two main reasons.. I love the One Shot idea but I also want good quality pano images without issues. I also want bracketed shots. My need would be to shoot panos in very small spaces where light would be an issue.. So everyone to there own needs I guess..

Destiny..


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:33 am 
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After playing around with Autopano Video Pro, I wonder if it would take much to adapt this software to stitch JPGs as well. After all, it should be the same thing, just a different medium... It might resolve the poor parallax issues.. When I stitched Andrews mp4's, it created a pano TIF.. Mind you, the resulting pano after stitching is really not very good.. Was this operator error, or is there movement in such a big rig.. The thing is, as I understand it, the normal 360 rig is as small as it can be, which is important in order to achieve the best stitching possible.. But the 3D rig is even bigger, this therefore must result in even worse parallax issues..

Destiny...


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:10 am 
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Perhaps I should have added... .... "or print your own". I just found this one.. :lol:

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:52584/#files

In case you did not realise, the .stl format is for 3D printing.. I used this format a few years ago to print in 3D ABS.. There are many companies that can print your project including Auto Desk..

I made up a 3D PDF of a major part.. Very interesting.. http://www.destinyvirtualtours.com/stl3D2.pdf.zip

Destiny..


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:32 am 
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@ Andrew (ATXcloud)

I think that me done with researching the 3D video options with the 360 Heros.. Its all been very interesting.... I sent you a link to some software of interest.. I have more too...

I would conclude that you are very brave in going all out with this new media... Its seems to be that the cost with this is +++++.. buy the 3D rig, then the 12+GoPro cameras and then much better hardware than most people would have, and then the software $$$.. This all up is a huge investment for something that can never , in my view, out put what I would suggest was acceptable viewing media..

The 2D option is not without is drawbacks either, due to the fact that both rigs have been designed around a camera that can never provided a perfect parallax solution.

Even though my test with stitching suggests that the Heros is the better quality option, I would most defiantly have gone with the Freedom for its strength, materials used and I really like the Explorer, it just seems to be a well made product even though the parallax issues would be even worse with this than the basic version . It is my hope that Kolor spends some time in getting APG to output a perfect stitched pano using images captured from both products.....

Destiny...


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