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Old Apr 2, 2003, 6:08 PM   #1
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Default Panoramic images with blurred stich lines...

I am using PhotoStich from Canon. I recently took two panoramics, one of the ocean and one of a lake in a park. Both printouts have very slight vertical lines at the 4X6" marks.

Also there are areas of the ocean panoramic that has actual bumps in the ocean where the images meet.

I used a tripod with bubble level, but didn't spend much time getting it perfectly level.... How critical is this step? The level seems to not want to stay precisely "in level" as you pan. Won't the stich software take into account such minor shifts?

How do I prevent the vertical lines and bumps in the ocean? Or is this normal... I have nothing to compare.

Thanks in advance to all who answer.

-Matt
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Old Apr 2, 2003, 10:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Panoramic images with blurred stich lines...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grabber
I am using PhotoStich from Canon. I recently took two panoramics, one of the ocean and one of a lake in a park. Both printouts have very slight vertical lines at the 4X6" marks.
Not sure what you mean by that - are the lines the place where two "frames" are joined?

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Originally Posted by Grabber
Also there are areas of the ocean panoramic that has actual bumps in the ocean where the images meet.
Moving things (waves/trees/people/...)are hard to deal with in panoramas, and no automaigical stitching program is going to be much good at it. The best advice I can give is to avoid shooting those kinds of things until you figure out some better software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grabber
I used a tripod with bubble level, but didn't spend much time getting it perfectly level.... How critical is this step? The level seems to not want to stay precisely "in level" as you pan. Won't the stich software take into account such minor shifts?
Depends on what software you are using - I have no idea about Canon's. In general it isn't as critical as a lot of posts might lead you to believe.

I suspect that your prime problem is with the motion of the waves. That is hard to deal with, so avoid them while you are figuring out how to use the software and/or get better software. Though it is getting seriously out of date, panoguide (http://www.panoguide.com/) is still a good place to look for information panoramic.
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Old Apr 2, 2003, 11:21 PM   #3
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Default Thanks

Thanks Bill for all the information...

What I meant by your first cut and paste about the vertical lines is just what you said... There are faint lines at every stich point at the 4x6 marks, specifically the 6 " marks. Am I not overlapping correctly? or out of level?

You mention better panoramic software exists than Cannon. Do you have any software names and or URL's for better stich software. Could you comment about why you recommend them?

Thanks and I will check out Panoguide.

-Matt
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Old Apr 3, 2003, 6:41 AM   #4
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I have never heard anyone dispute that Panorama Tools is the most powerful stitching software, nor is there any dispute that it is the most difficult to install, to learn, and to use. Though if you do not have PhotoShop you will loose a great deal of its power - the ability to fine tune the stitching. The fine tuning can be done with other editing programs that support layers, albeit not as easily. With one of the gui front ends (PTGui, PTAssembler, PTMac), Panorama Tools is much easier to use, but still not simple.

I have never used Canon's software so can't comment on that. I do like the Panorama Factory for simple, low resolution stiching. It is unlikely that the Panorama Factory (or any other automagical stitcher) will solve your problem. You will find links to that and others at Panoguide.
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Old Apr 7, 2003, 9:24 AM   #5
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Keeping tripod level will increase the amount of the image you get to keep after stitching and cropping. When your tripod is out of level the stitched images appear as steps going up then down or vise-versa. It is a progressive error that builds on itself. If you use 35mm camera and your more than a couple degrees out of level you can lose a significant portion of the image when your done.If your software automatically crops you'll never know how much you lose, if it doesn't you'll see for yourself.

Fuzzy transitions are a result of your software blending the 2 images, usually worse with wider lenses. Some software will allow you to disable blending. Then instead of fuzzy you'll have sharp lines where the images were obviously stitched. These sharp lines are easier to fix in PhotoShop or any other software that allows you to clone small bits of an image over a bit to hide seams.

The bumps in the water can be caused by waves but I think the tripod has more to do with it. You don't need fancy stuff to have a level tripod, there are a couple tricks to consider. If you have standard tripod the first place to start is the center pole or support, make sure thats level, then level the head in two directions 90 degrees apart. This insures that the head is level and square with respect to the rest of the tripod. If you don't change the angle of the head you'll only have to level the lower tripod itself next time. This is easier to set up on a level floor the first time. Home improvement stores sell fence post bubble levels that level in 2 directions, they work pretty good on the center support and only cost a few bucks.

Are you locking in your exposure so it's the same on all images?
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Old Apr 7, 2003, 12:49 PM   #6
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Requiring a level tripod really reflects the limits of the stitching software used - it is
not an inherent restriction on shooting panoramas. As an example, this shot of
our new house being built was shot well off level (averaged downwards
about 30 degrees). This kind of presentation also shows that you don't
have to loose part of your image due to cropping.


Having said that, stitching will be easier, you can use simpler software, and
there will be less loss if you feel you need to crop by shooting with a level tripod.
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Old Apr 10, 2003, 12:01 PM   #7
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Great picture Bill!, I forget sometimes that not everyone needs a complete cropped 360 embedded in a web page. Some of my favorite shots I simply aligned manually in PhotoShop.

35 mm is very forgiving. Little or no warping makes stitching a lot more predictable. When you do need to crop a 360 image, level may not be as important as just keeping the camera lens perpendicular to the axis of the tripod. The only advantage you get with a truely level tripod is that things that appear square to the ground in real life will also appear square to the ground in the picture. Rarely a big concern unless your doing professional work.

The fancy hardware pays off when have a very wide angle lens though. My full frame fisheye lens does great panoramas but everything has be almost exactly square and level otherwise I get the dreaded blurry stitch.
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Old Apr 13, 2003, 8:06 PM   #8
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Since I don't have a fisheye lens, I can't really comment on that other than to point to Big Ben's panos http://www.bigbenpublishing.com.au/v...vr/hattah.html - some of which are obviously shot hand-held since there is no way to set up a tripod in a kayak - never mind leveling it.

It is certainly true that for a 360 pan (and most others) you want the axis of rotation to be vertical, but you really do not need to have the lens axis at 90 degrees to the axis of rotation. That is more likely to be a limit of the software used.
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Old Sep 14, 2003, 8:38 PM   #9
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Default Stitch Assist

Canon have Stitch Assist built into their cameras.

This holds the previous shot in half the frame on the LCD, and lets you align your current frame up to it visually

It works well, I've been doing all my stuff like this.
No tripod.
Keep your feet in one place, your elbows tucked against your sides, and twist your body from your waist.
Get pretty good shots, even 360s (with minor crop loss)
The Stitch Assist helps immensely.
And the canon photostitch software is easy to use.
The cameras stitch assist, even tells it which images, are in the stich set, and the order, and the direction is sorted.

Even verticals, of the waterfall i took on the weekend, came out pretty good.
No worries about water moving between shots, it's moving water anyway.

I'm sure tripod could do better, but I don't always have the tripod at hand, with my pocketable camera [s50] and it's a good technique to learn, anyway.

How are tripod pano people doing verticals?
Which tripod/head/bracket etc are you using?
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Old Oct 8, 2003, 3:26 PM   #10
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I think different stitching software requires more or less overlap. I align my shots with my little pocket camera perfectly in the viewfinder and let the 85% view that it gives provide the overlap. I get the slight blurs you observed at the stitches if I use Panorama Factory but my Camedia software stitches the same shots perfectly. At least Panorama Factory warns that there is not enough overlap.

For regular horizontal shots I think it is best to not use a tripod. After a while you get to where you can do a better job without one. On a similar discussion at dpreview I walked out my computer room door and quickly snapped this 3 shot pano hand held from my back yard. The image is the raw stitch and hasnít been cropped Ė you can see there isnít much waste:


I have gotten to the point where I can hand hold a 360 with reasonable accuracy. I do get into trouble stacking both horizontal and vertical shots though. This was manually stitched with 4 shots. Look at the left side of the baniser Ė it is straight in real life. Iím working on it though so I can do it if I have to and donít have a tripod. The resulting shot ended up about 16Mp from a 5Mp camera.
Shots: http://www.pbase.com/image/13976688.jpg
Stitched: http://www.pbase.com/image/13976693.jpg
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