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Old Feb 22, 2003, 10:20 PM   #1
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Default Mega Panorama 100+ tiled images

:?:

I want to finally get around to stitching my Mega-panorama that has about 120 images.

Here are some details/questions

1. Panorama is 3 images high by 40 images wide.
2. Taken on a tripod in 2 positions covering approximately 200 degrees (not intended as a 360 degree image)
3. Images taken at maximum zoom with Coolpix 990 and TC-E3ED (3X) Lens (approx 7 degrees horizontally each shot with some overlap).
4. Using Panorama Maker 3.0 I've stitched together a few smaller Panorama's with some success (Maximum 16 images possible with 4 X 4 biggest size). It takes a long time (20 minutes) to render the final image once I've adjusted all the changable properties.

Question #1: What kind of computer does it take to do fast rendering of Panoramas? I'm on a XP Pro box with 4.5 ms access hard drives (3), 512 Mb RAM and 1.2 Ghz processor.

5. I've created my first "frame" for my Mega panorama by stitching together a 4W X 3H tile. The resulting file is a 15 Mb file. My thought is to create 10 of these files and stitch them together after (I can stitch up to 16 wide X 1 high). This would by-pass the limitation that Panorama Maker has of only doing 4 X 4 tiled).

Question #2: If it took 20 minutes to stitch together my 12 (1.1 Mb) files, it might take hours to stitch together my 10 (15 Mb) composite files. Any thoughts on this?

Question #3: I'ld be curious to see some benchmark results from Adope Photo Shop Elements? Anyone out there tried doing some big stuff in there?

Question #4: I find Panorama Maker 3.0 is extremely limiting in fine tuning the image. Granted it does a lot of the work for me, I need more user control. Leaning towards PS Elements 2.

6. In case anyone is wondering what the subject matter is... It's the San Francisco Bay area (from the Bay Bridge to San Jose) taken in 2000 from a high vantage point with unobstructed views. I really like the ability to zoom down on the image and get extremely good detail on all the structures/objects in the picture.

A few years ago I printed all the images out on paper and stuck them all together with tape to get a pretty decent (all be it crude) panorama for my airplane hanger. I'm hoping to get a better finish once I stitch/print this one out on a roll.

7. Has anyone come across similar large panorama attempts? Any web sites would be appreciated.

Thanks

Rob
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Old Feb 23, 2003, 5:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mega Panorama 100+ tiled images

Question #1: What kind of computer does it take to do fast rendering of Panoramas? I'm on a XP Pro box with 4.5 ms access hard drives (3), 512 Mb RAM and 1.2 Ghz processor.

Hard to say without doing trials on various machines. My PC (AthlonXP 1800+ w/ 512MB PC133 RAM) is acceptable to me, but I suspect that a project such as yours would put a serious amount of load on it. Stitching panos is all about processing time, so the faster your processor the better. HDD speeds are more or less irrelivent and 512MB of RAM should be plenty, you may notice a small boost if it's DDR memory though. So to do really fast stitching, you're looking at a 2.5GHz+ P4 system with at least 512MB DDR Memory!


Question #2: If it took 20 minutes to stitch together my 12 (1.1 Mb) files, it might take hours to stitch together my 10 (15 Mb) composite files. Any thoughts on this?

Yeah, like I said above, it's all about processing time unfortunately. You cannot speed this up unless you find a different stitching program that uses better algorithms to get the job done. Your best bet is to let the computer do its work and then go and watch a film or something and just ignore it. Waiting for my PC to finish tasks sends me mad unless I have something else to do.


Question #3: I'ld be curious to see some benchmark results from Adope Photo Shop Elements? Anyone out there tried doing some big stuff in there?

No, not got that software.


Question #4: I find Panorama Maker 3.0 is extremely limiting in fine tuning the image. Granted it does a lot of the work for me, I need more user control. Leaning towards PS Elements 2.

Try "The Panorama Factory", most people agree that this takes some beating and I like it.



I look forward to seeing your final result, it sounds really interesting so I hope you can share it on here. I've never seen such a big pano project before, but it has inpired me to give it a go myself one day.

Ed
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Old Feb 23, 2003, 9:38 AM   #3
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I suspect that no matter what software you use, it is going to take a bunch of time to do the stitching.

The other issue is viewing the final result. You have a 3Mpixel camera so with a 50% overlap your final image is going to be 180Mpixels (540Mbyte) image. Can you edit that (curves, levels, hue, ...)? Can you even view it? I'd suggest creating an image that large by simply sticking your shots together with no reall effort to get them right just to see if you can work with the final image before starting on the project. I am real sure PTViewer will choke on something that big. and I doubt that QuickTime will be able to handle it either.
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Old Feb 23, 2003, 8:47 PM   #4
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Default Update: tried Photoshop Elements 2.0

Well, I rolled up my sleeves, downloaded PS Elements 2.0 (30 day trial) and gave it a whirl.

They support up to 20 Gb images... which should work for my panorama.

I selected/uploaded the 120 images into PSE. It took 11 minutes to load the images, another 11 minutes to transform the images and the photomerge process ran for an unknown amount of time as I went to bed after 30 minutes. The swapfile/pagefile created for this project was 1 Gb.

This morning, all 120 images were stitched together but only about 60% of the images were in the right position. The remaining 40% were "all over the place". It seems pretty difficult to reposition the images because the workspace only shows files in a thumbnail without any file name attached. They all look pretty similar. I've fired off questions to Adobe to see if they can help out. The file size when saved as a JPG at maximum quality gives a 250Mb file.

Another problem with PSE is the inability to blend colors together very effectively in Panorama's. It can be done manually, but I have to say that the folks at Panorama Maker do this very well.

In the meantime, I'll head for Panorama Factory to see what they've got.

Thanks

Rob
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Old Feb 24, 2003, 12:15 AM   #5
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Default Panorama Factory - First impressions

Well, here's my first impressions on Panorama Factory.

1. Overall, I really like the software. The terminology is one that I find easy to understand (simpler than the other software programs for a lay user). It also appears to be very quick and tells you all the steps it goes through.

2. It doesn't seem to allow tiles (ie anything more than 1 in Height). I looked everywhere and couldn't find any way to do this. If anyone knows better, let me know.

3. I stitched my first row of 42 images. It actually told me that one of my images only had a 10% overlap and asked if I wanted to reset some options.

Loading images took under 2 minutes.
Stitching took 44 minutes for 42 images.
The resulting image is 62,141 X 2,364 pixels which would give me a resulting image of about 400 Megapixel if I merge 3 rows!!!

First impressions on the output from default stitching is "WOW!!!" I've only got 3 areas that need touch-up!!! It's a little early to say how easy/difficult this will be to change.

I'm also getting some ideas for using the other packages more effectively. By limiting my work to only one row (or part of a row) at a time, it might make it a lot easier to finish the overall project. Working on tiled compositions is extemely difficult and frustrating because every change made in an image affects up to 8 neighbouring images versus 2 when working on side by side.

The 35mm equivalent focal length of each image was 345mm (given the Coolpix 990 at maximum zoom (not digital) with the 3X telephoto). What I find about taking images with this set-up is that the camera can capture significantly better image detail when photographing an array of different lighting/color/textures. In my humble opinion, stitching together these images should be better than stitching together fewer images using a higher resolution digital camera at less magnification.

More to come... stay tuned

Rob
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Old Feb 24, 2003, 6:20 PM   #6
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Well another update and it's not great news.

Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements 2.0 have a 30,000 pixel limit for either length or height. This explains why my image 62,000 pixel wide image was only 1/2 its length and the leftover images were tiled randomly all over the first 1/2.

Which means I cannot create a single image within PSE. I can however create two or three components that would have to be merged with another tool that doesn't have the 30,000 pixel limit.

My beef with PSE though is that it does not blend colors (ie Sky colors) well from image to image without some fine tuning at the individual image level. If I had a handful of images, this would be OK but with 100+ images, this is not feasible.

Decision made for now... flush PSE unless someone has a SIMPLE way to adjust color variations from image to image (ie less than 100 clicks for the project).

On the Panorma Factory side, I've saved a first row 42 images wide that is not perfectly aligned. Trying to change the vertical offset property in the Tools -> alignment properties gives me an out of memory error. I'm not sure why, but until I can resolve this, I'm stuck.

Sounds like I'll be posting messages to John Stait on this. I've looked up his FAQ and I'm not doing anything wrong. My next option will be to re-load the pictures and stitch with the parameters set up properly the first time around.

I'll keep you posted.

Rob
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Old Feb 24, 2003, 6:53 PM   #7
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You got me currious. What is the horizontal and vertical field of view of your final image? What is the subject?
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Old Feb 24, 2003, 8:36 PM   #8
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Bill wrote:

> You got me currious. What is the horizontal and vertical field of view of your final image? What is the subject?

In my original message, I think I give the answers. If you're asking something different, please clarify:

1. Panorama is 3 images high by 40 images wide.

2. Taken on a tripod in 2 positions covering approximately 200 degrees (not intended as a 360 degree image)

3. Images taken at maximum zoom with Coolpix 990 and TC-E3ED (3X) Lens (approx 7 degrees horizontally each shot with some overlap). Focal length of 345mm in 35mm equivalent.

6. In case anyone is wondering what the subject matter is... It's the San Francisco Bay area (from the Bay Bridge to San Jose) taken in 2000 from a high vantage point with unobstructed views. I really like the ability to zoom down on the image and get extremely good detail on all the structures/objects in the picture.

Thanks

Rob
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Old Feb 25, 2003, 12:31 AM   #9
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Default Panorama Maker vs Photoshop Element vs Panorama Factory

Well, let's remove at least part of the suspense. Below are three images of the subject I'm trying to stitch.
This particular panorama is made up of 8 images taken at 115mm focal length (in 35mm equivalent).

I used default settings on all products. No touch-ups.

I apoligize in advance that the photos won't remain on the web indefinitely.
I'm in the process of moving the hosted web site and once the new site is up, the link will be broken.

Photo 1 is the Photoshop Elements 2.0 version



Photo 2 is the Panorama Maker 3.0 version



Photo 3 is the Panorama Factory 2.4 version




You clearly see the color blending issue in PSE (photo 1)

PM 3 (photo 2) is full of stitch errors. These are very easy to correct manually, however it gets very difficult when working with a tiled image W X H versus just one row or column.

PF 2.4 (photo 3) creates an image that doesn't seem to be as sharp but this is just a setting that takes a few seconds to change.

The mega project actually shows the same scene without any fog over the San Francisco Bay.

Feedback/comments appreciated.

Thanks

Rob[/img]
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Old Mar 1, 2003, 4:11 PM   #10
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Have you looked at Panavue Image Assembler?
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