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Mailinglist:PanoTools NG
Date/Time:2009-Dec-11 15:54:48
Subject:Re: Gigapixel, handheld...


PanoTools NG: Re: Gigapixel, handheld... bohonus 2009-Dec-11 15:54:48
My gosh... Very nice view & image, but certainly that's a load of work that way?

Here's a 100 or so 12MP shots at 90mm (35 equiv) I shot handheld and then just dumped into AutopanoPro on a MacBookPro-

--- In #removed#, Erik Krause <erik.krause@...> wrote:
> Hello,
> A multi viewpoint, three different focal length, handheld spherical 
> gigapixel...
> I didn't plan to make this one. It was just an experiment, from multiple 
> points of view (literally ;-)
> Me and my family climbed the Sidelhorn near Grimsel pass in Switzerland 
> this summer (the kids had much fun searching for quartz crystals) and I 
> had my usual camera rucksack with me - no pano head, no tripod. From the 
> summit there was a magnificent view all around, with two of the most 
> impressive mountains over 4000m in the Bernese range (Finsteraarhorn and 
> Lauteraarhorn), the Matterhorn far in the dust and the Furka Pass, Uri 
> granite mountains and the Rhone glacier in the east. And a view down in 
> the upper Rhone valley (called Goms), to the Aare glaciers and lakes.
> So I took a two row 360° panorama at 50mm from four different viewpoints 
> around the summmit in order to avoid having the mandatory cross on the 
> summit in the image and to view down in all adjacent valleys. I thought 
> of something similar to those "from the tower without the tower" panos.
> Because the sky was so nice I took an additional 360° cylindrical from 
> the sky just above the mountains at 24mm focal length. I planned to make 
> a high res cylindrical of the 50mm and 24mm images.
> And because it was so nice I took an additional complete spherical with 
> the 16mm fisheye, bracketed -2, 0, +2...
> Month later when I was at my parents during autumn holidays I had 
> nothing to do, but I had an old 2.4GHz 512MB notebook and the external 
> disk with all the images from summer with me. So I set up some PTGui 
> projects. It turned out that one exposure step from the fisheye was the 
> same as the exposure I took the rectilinear images, and so I got curious 
> whether it was possible to stitch the fisheye and the rectilinear images 
> together and how far I would get with this tiny machine.
> For ease of use I converted all images from raw to jpeg but with full 
> resolution (20MP) and maximum dynamic range. To my suprise it was 
> possible to load all 82 images into PTGui and align them. After some 
> playing with blend priority the preview in pano editor looked pretty 
> promising. I didn't dare to actually stitch, since PTGui reported that 
> 118 GB temp space where needed and the internal hard disk is 20 GB only. 
> But now I wanted to make it, on my old machine at home or on a new one 
> which I wanted to buy anyway.
> When Max Lyons published the first gigapixel in 2003 my computer at home 
> was already three years old and I thought I would never ever stitch a 
> gigapixel on this machine. Max reported two days of optimizing. Well, 
> PTGui took some minutes only to optimize the project on the poor 
> notebook and not far longer on my computer at home. It was a challenge 
> for my old Athlon 1.4 GHz, 1.5 GB - if it failed, there would be a new 
> computer in several weeks...
> I optimized all images together. Actually I had to set several control 
> points manually between the different focal lengths, but after some 
> iterations it optimized well. Then I split the project in three, one for 
> each focal length. I stitched the two lower resolution ones to their 
> recommended maximum size, and the high resolution one consisting of 62 
> images to 46,000x23,000 pixel (maximum would have been 52,000x26,000).
> Stitching was ready after 14 hours (I was prepared to cancel the job 
> after 36 hours) and delivered a 10 GB .psb file, containing the blended 
> panorama and all individual warped images, which I needed to retouch 
> huge parallax errors because of multiple viewpoints. So next came 
> photoshop - would it open the file? Yes, it would.
> It took about 1 hour to load, but working the masks with the brush was 
> relatively fast. Flatting the image took more than an hour as well as 
> saving the edited .psb.
> When all three panoramas where more or less ok, I loaded them all in 
> PTGui again in order to blow the lower resolution ones up and take 
> advantage of blend priority and the PTGui blender. Processing took about 
> 12 hours again. Result was 8GB large (3 layers + blended) and took about 
> the same times to open and process in photoshop.
> During retouch work I discovered, that PTGui blender did a poor job on 
> slight parallax errors in the high res version (structure doubling along 
> the seam lines, which I know from ancient PTStitcher feather blending). 
> So I decided to give enblend a chance. For this purpose I merged 
> non-overlapping images into single layers. 62 layers where reduced to 7 
> with the hope to speed up enblend. The -a switch does the same and 
> usually speeds up enblend a lot. My assumption was that pre-assembling 
> images would speed it up even more.
> Enblend 3.2 crashed with an out of memory error, which is possibly the 
> documented memory leak in this version. Enblend 3.0 succeeded after one 
> night of processing and delivered a nice blended result almost without 
> the double structures. I replaced the respective layer with the enblend 
> result and could focus on the blending between the different resolutions 
> now.
> After some adaptive contrast enhancements (large radius USM took about 2 
> hours to complete and 1 hour "prepare to filter" on each layer) and hour 
> long saving I had no chance to view the full resolution version locally 
> on my computer. DevalVR refused with out of memory. I had to scale down 
> by half.
> Then I started FTP upload to 360cities, which took 7 hours. Next morning 
> I had the first view and a shock: There was I white stripe in the pano. 
> No, it was not 360cities image processing, it was me.
> Searching back through the different versions was pretty tedious - any 
> one took ages to load, but finally I found a stripe free version. The 
> cause for the stripe must have been a layer copy in photoshop with shift 
> key released too soon.
> In the 3 hours I had each day there was hardly time to load the .psb, do 
> one operation and save again. So it took another week until I had 
> re-done the necessary editing and fixed some more stitching errors.
> Ah, ok, the URL, finally. Have fun:
> Who ever finds a stitching error can keep it for better days ;-) There 
> surely are a lot more than I fixed. I'm not very satisfied with the 
> transition between high and low resolution in some places while in other 
> places it looks quite ok - but I hope no casual user will look down 
> hires on boring stones...
> best regards
> -- 
> Erik Krause


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