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Old Mar 22, 2006, 8:29 AM   #1
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I have been shooting Ipix panoramas for a little over a year. The biggest problem I've had is not getting a faint seam between the two photos. I'm considering buying a new tripod to try to alleviate the problem, but I'm not positive that is my problem.

Is the main thing that insures not getting a seam the quality of your tripod, your exposures, or something else.

Thanks
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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I've shot hundreds of panoramas over the years and don't use a tripod. After a little practice you can align them almost perfectly. Where I do have problems without a tripod is trying to stitch in both the horizontal and vertical in the same image without a tripod. It is quite hard to keep everything level. You need a special head for your tripod to do sophisticated stitching in multiple planes and don't need one at all for stitching in one plane – just some practice. As I see it a tripod with a standard head is useless for panoramas. In any case it doesn't have anything to do with your lines.

A line between shots is usually the result of a difference in exposure and/or white balance. You don't get lines if you fix the WB and exposure for all shots. You also get a line with large waves or swells as they are in different places for each shot and don't line up perfectly.

If you have a DSLR your best bet is probably manual exposure with the WB on a preset like sunny, cloudy etc. If you have a camera with a panorama mode, I think all of them but Pentax fix all the parameters with the first shot. My current pocket camera doesn't have a panorama mode and I use continuous which also fixes the parameters with the first shot. My pocket camera has manual exposure and a pretty wide range of WB settings, but I prefer continuous mode.

There was a recent discussion on that and I was amazed that people purposely expose each shot differently when they shoot wide panoramas. With sophisticated tools like contrast masking and Photoshop's Shadow/Highlight I find it much easier to even out the entire panorama than to deal with exposure differences between individual shots. But they were obviously competent so I would be reluctant to make a blanket statement that you should always shoot with fixed WB and exposure. I always do though.


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Old Mar 22, 2006, 11:00 AM   #3
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I think your best solution is to ditch IPIX - their main techincal advance is the lawsuit. I dislike the idea of anyone giving that group of *@!^$ any money at all. They drove Dersch out of the pano field, though his software is still the gold standard several years later. Take a look at http://www.path.unimelb.edu.au/~bern...toria/virtual/for an example of an cheap alternative method.

I assume you are shooting a two shot 360 pano and that is the root cause of your problem. Shooting three shots is likely to solve the problem and release you from using IPIX at the same time.

If you are shooting for the web (low resolution), take a look at some of the one-shot systems. Steve has a review of one system - look at the first message in this forum.
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 11:15 AM   #4
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Thanks Slipe, but sometimes I get a hazy line even when the rest of the exposures match and I do have minute alignment issues sometimes that I cannot fix with Ipix Interactive Studio.

Still...sound advice none the less
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 11:23 AM   #5
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Thanks Bill,

I was alreadyconsidering switching to Realviz whenthey add some scheduled features that should allow me to use the equipment I have or upgrade, but I'll be having a close look at this other method as well. Thanks for the tip.

I can understand your sentiments on Ipix.

Do you feel that two shots are just too few to ever get exposures that match?

I am shooting for web, but need that ability to look up and down. I'm shooting the interiors of boats, so the goal is more pragmatic and less artistsic (i.e. the client has to be able to see the color of thefloor etc.).

Thanks again
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 11:37 AM   #6
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The reason I suggested three shots is that most of the distortion, vignetting, ... in very wide lenses occur at the edges. That is likely the cause of your problem. By shooting three shots you can get rid of miuch of that in the horizontal field. If the top/bottom are equally important, likely you will need five shots to get it - three horizontal, one up, and one down. But if you are getting the bottom, you are likely already doingthe downshot to avoid the tripod being in the image.

I've not shot inside small spaces, but it seems like it would be about as difficult a situation as there is.
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 12:41 PM   #7
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I just looked up optical vignetting and that is precisely the problem.

Live and learn.

I guess switching to more shots is my goal.

Thanks for the info.

PS You can view some of the panoramic shots I've done at http://www.catamarans.com/gallery/sail/lagoon/
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 12:49 PM   #8
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u need to give away your email addy to get access.... i dont like doing that


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Old Mar 22, 2006, 1:16 PM   #9
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MrGaric wrote:
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I just looked up optical vignetting and that is precisely the problem.

Live and learn.

I guess switching to more shots is my goal.

You may well be able to correct the vignetting. Thereare options in Photoshop CS2 in the RAW converter and also under Filter->Distort->Lens Correction. If you don't have CS2 then you can use PTLens.
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Old Mar 22, 2006, 2:58 PM   #10
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This PTLens thing seems to do a good job of removing the distortion, but it's the hazy, feathered edge of the image that's causing me problems.

Thanks
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