V1.3 - Groups View
The Groups View is the left hand workspace of the Main Window. It displays all created image groups - either with the Browse folder tool or manually, by dragging and dropping photos onto the Groups View panel. From there, you can set options and launch detection for each group or for all groups at once. Whether a panorama is found in an image group, it will be displayed in the right hand panel - the Panoramas View.
The main idea behind our image groups workflow is "divide and conquer". Consider this example:
- 10 image groups, containing a total of 20 panoramas
- 1 image group, containing 20 panoramas (of the same source images)
It's much easier and faster to detect the panoramas in the first scenario, hence the image groups and splitting the big project into smaller steps.
In Autopano Pro terms, an image group means a collection of images, ready for panorama detection. Panorama Detection means searching for overlapping areas in the source images within a single image group. Thus, it is quite possible to have more than one panorama in a single image group (or set of source images). Or, you can have a group that yields no panoramas.
Sometimes, when dropping a batch of images into Autopano Pro (this way creating a new group), this batch can contain more than one panorama. Don't worry if that's the case - most of the time the software is smart enough to detect the proper image sets forming the panorama and you will see the resulting detected projects on the right, in the Panoramas View.
If Autopano Pro cannot produce proper panoramas, or if you find that some of the images don't really belong in that shot, you can easily modify the image group and re-run the detection. Actually, you can re-detect an image group as many times as you may need - with different settings or different image selections. Read on for group modification options and detection settings.
The Groups Toolbar
This toolbar sits on top of the Groups View.
This Play button (same as Edit: Detect/Stop All or shortcut F2) starts the detection process of panoramas for all image groups. Think of it as a mass-detect function. If the process is running, the button changes to Stop, so you can abort the detection.
This button (same as Edit: New Group or shortcut Ctrl+n) creates a new, empty group. This is useful for splitting an existing image group. Read below about Modifying Existing Groups.
This button closes all image groups in a single click.
An Image Group
Each image group, displayed in the Groups View, has clear visual separation and consists of several parts:
- Title and status at the top - group number, if detection was run on this group and count of panoramas detected, if any
- Small Close button - closes the corresponding group only
- Previews of the images - small thumbnails of all images in the group. Tip: double click each thumbnail to view the full size image
- Information about the used images - see below
- Several action buttons - see below
In the lower left corner of each image group, you will see a short textual summary of some important (and self-explanatory) stats: count of images in the group, focal length*, shutter speed*, aperture*, date and time of the shot, duration of the whole images sequence.
Those marked with * can display a range, depending on the images used. For example Focal 28-70mm, Speed 1/100-1/250, etc. Those range, and the Duration can help you determine potential problems with your panoramas. A very long duration, say, 20 minutes for a single panorama, speaks of an image that does not belong to the group.
Each group has four buttons. Detect/Stop, Group Detection Settings and Add/Remove images.
This Play (Detect) button starts the detection process of panoramas for this image group. If the process is running, the button changes to Stop, so you can abort the detection.
As noted above, after the detection finishes, if one (or more) panorama is found in the image group, it will be displayed in the right hand panel - the Panoramas View. The group status text will be updated - 1 panorama found, for example. If no panorama is found, but you are certain there is at least one in the image group, you can try two things:
- raise the detection quality
- force Autopano Pro to build a panorama from those images
More on those solutions - in the detection settings part.
Detection settings determine the speed, quality and a few other things, when scanning an image group for panoramas. It is important to understand that there are two places to set those parameters - the Default Detection Settings and the Group Detection Settings.
The Default Detection Settings are accessible via the Edit: Setting: Detection menu. Whatever you set in that dialog will be applied to every image group you create. After that, you can edit each group's individual detection settings if you need something special. For example, if you set the default detection quality to Standard, you may find that a particular panorama is not well detected and change its individual setting to High.
Changing the Group Detection Settings via the button that goes with each group, does not change the global default setting. In the same way; changing the global settings after you've created several image groups, does not change their respective settings.
As the global and group-specific detection settings share a common dialog, you can find the complete description at the Autopano Pro settings help page.
Those two buttons give you the most basic way of adding or removing images from a group. Read on for advanced group modification.
Most of the time, if you shot the panoramas in a proper way, using the Browse Folder Tool will produce nice and usable image groups. In those cases where you need to modify the groups manually, here are some helpful tips:
- Drag and drop:
- From an outside source (Explorer, Finder) to the Main Window => creates new group with the dragged images
- From an image group to the Main Window => copies new group with the dragged images (hold Shift to move, instead of copy)
- From Group 1 to Group 2 => copies the images from Group 1 to Group 2 (hold Shift to move, instead of copy)
- Standard shortcuts. Select images and:
- Ctrl+c : copy
- Ctrl+v : paste
- Ctrl+x : cut
- Contextual menu. Right click on the selected previews and you've got all the options at your disposal.
Source Image Viewer
When in the Group Window, it is possible to display any source image by double-clicking on its thumbnail. The integrated Image Viewer will then start and display a full size preview of the selected source image. This is very useful when refining image groups.
The navigation buttons provided at the bottom of the Image Viewer window allow for zooming and EXIF data display.
An interesting feature is also provided: synchronous browsing, as illustrated next. This feature can be activated by selecting the anchor at the bottom of the two windows containing the pictures you want to browse simultaneously.