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  1. Newbie looking for help ...

    #1

    Hello everyone.
    I am having a little problem with getting my images to line up.

    I'm using a Nikon D3 and Nikon 10.5mm, NN5L and a Manfrotto 3265 Ball Grip. Other than the different exposures, do you see anything I could be doing wrong, or is it simply that I don't have my camera aligned properly?
    I'm looking to create VR 360 x 180 Flash movies. Do I need to shoot another row of images or will this work with a zenith and nadir?
    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    David
  2. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #2
  3. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #3

    Hi David,
    Looks like your NN wasn't leveled (wavy horizon line) and you didn't lock your exposure between shots (banding).
    For the 10.5 on the full frame D3 one way to shot is 3-4 around with slight tilt up to catch the zenith and one down. Or shoot 3-4 around and one up and one down.
    What stitching software are you using?
    Can you send a photo of your setup so we can confirm you have things setup properly?
    We'll get you up to speed.
    thx
    Bill
    ps - nice property
  4. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #4

    Thanks Bill. I've been reading and watching and stressing over this for days now ... lol.

    I thought I had the camera lined up with the two poles test in your manual.

    Here is my setup.

    http://www.davidrichardphoto.com/sample/

    Gonna be out for a couple of hours to rest my eyes ... lol.

    David

  5. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #5

    David, The camera setup is almost certainly perfectly adequate for this scene. It's the stitching that's at fault. It's clear that the stitcher has not coped at all well with the fisheye distortion - either because it can't or because it's not being used properly. What stitcher are you using?

    John
  6. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #6

    Hello John,
    I'm using PT Mac, but I must confess, I've read a ton on this and watched a tutorial or two and I'm at the point of overload.
    Using the D3 and the Nikon 10.5mm lens, I first shot six images around and then one up and one down. That didn't work out so well so I went to 8 images around and I think that was a little more of a mess.
    I'm going to try to realign the camera lens with the graph method in the morning and hopefully that will help, but you are correct about the stitching. I'm not getting anything near what I'm seeing on line.
    In PT Mac 4.1 (unregistered), I import the images and hit the EXIF which sets the Lens Type at: Normal Lens (Rectilinear), Focal length multiplier at 1.500000 and Hor. Field of View at 74.60790 and focal lenght at 10.5.
    In the Panorama settings, it's Hor. FOV 360 and V.FOV 180 with Equirectangular (for printing and QTVR.)
    I set no crop.
    I've been getting a good reading on control points, but when I get to the optimizer settings I really have little knowledge what all of the numbers mean.
    I'll be back grinding at it again in the morning.
    Thanks for your help,
    David
  7. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #7

    David, Your big mistake is in specifying your lens as an ordinary rectilinear lens when in fact it is a fisheye. You have the focal length multiplier set to 1.5, but the D3 has a full frame sensor, so the multiplier is 1. The 10.5mm is designed for a cropped sensor, so you won't get a full image on the D3 because of the little lens hood wings. Many people "shave" the lens (remove the lens hood) to allow the full image circle to be used (albeit cropped at the sides). As it is, you will have an odd shaped image rather than an exact rectangle. You can crop to a clean reactangle in PTMac, but you will be wasting a lot of pixels. With it cropped, you will need 6 images round. Specify the lens type as fullframe. The horizontal fov in portrait orientation will be around 140 degrees (though the crop will only be around 87).

    See this article by Michel Thoby: http://tinyurl.com/b9sgn

    John
  8. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #8

    OK, thanks for that information.
    So that I will be sure, I should take the images in FX mode and enter them in PT as fish eye full frame, or create the images in DX and mark them at 1.5 magnification? There are several options here I may be getting wrong.
    If I'm going to crop out the unusable image area, why not just shoot the images in DX and use the created rectangular crop?
    When I set the images to fish eye and 1 magnify, I look at the warped thumbs and they are all over the place with a lot of black area.
    I'll go out and shoot another set of shots and maybe you can try to patch them together to see if I have things set up properly.
    Sorry for all of this work. Like I said, I truly appreciate the help.
    David
  9. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #9

    David, I had overlooked the DX option on the D3. Yes, that is the obvious way to go. Use a crop factor of 1.5 and fov 87 in portrait orientation for starters (the optimizer will evaluate a proper fov, which is all that really matters). The lens type will be fullframe.

    John
  10. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #10

    John,
    Thank you so much for helping me out on this.
    I spent quite a while trying to get the lens to pupil point and after that went back out to take some shots.
    I took six images at 0 degree angle and used Stitcher Unlimited to put them together. I was just very confused by PT Mac (but I plan on playing with that again tonight).
    I then put them together in Cubic Converter and output to Flash with Pano VR2 (without the zenith and nadir).
    Here is the result:

    http://www.davidrichardphoto.com/360/firsttest2.swf

    So, finally, I feel like I'm getting somewhere with this.
    I'm guessing some of the blurring effects on my pano above are rays of sun causing different shadow patterns, as well as the leaves blowing in the wind.
    I assume now to fill in the holes, I simply go to PhotoShop and fill them in with the Zenith and Nadir shots.
    Another question I have is: would taking the images on two different angles make taking the zenith and nadir shots unnecessary? I'm going to be shooting a lot of these images so the less post-production, the better for me.

    I'm all open for suggestions and critique.
    David
  11. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #11

    David, Your panorama now looks quite decent. You should understand that all images taken with the camera mounted on the panohead have equal validity and can be stitched together. Assuming you took the zenith shot by simply turning the camera to point upwards, it can be stitched in with the horizontal shots. The Panorama Tools software and Stitcher have no concept of rows and columns, and will cope with images taken at any and all angles of yaw, pitch and roll. So all you need do in PTMac is add the zenith image to the project, set its pitch parameter to 90, assign some contol points between it and the horizontal shots and run the optimizer to get it into the right position. The same would hold true for a nadir image taken on the pano head. That would fill in the hole, but would show the tripod.

    If you take a nadir with the tripod out of the way, then it will not stitch in accurately because the viewpoint has in all probability changed. The position of the entrance pupil will have changed. PTGui Pro can cope with this situation using its viewpoint feature, but otherwise you need to do a spot of manual editing. See the Pano Tools wiki at: http://wiki.panotools.org/Tutorials#...dir_retouching

    John
  12. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #12

    OK ... thanks for the info.
    Here's one of several questions I'm sure to come up with as I continue this journey:
    What is the desired height of the camera while taking these images?
    David
  13. Re: Newbie looking for help ...

    #13

    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    would taking the images on two different angles make taking the zenith and nadir shots unnecessary? I'm going to be shooting a lot of these images so the less post-production, the better for me.
    One way of minimizing the problems is to shoot the "horizontal" row at pitch -10 degrees. This brings the nadir hole size down to roughly the footprint of the tripod, and makes the zenith hole bigger. The zenith shot will still cover the hole there. Also, the zenith shot can be taken at pitch 60 degrees rather than 90. This brings one side of the frame down to the horizontal, where matching features will be readily available for aligning the images. If the zenith is taken at 90, there may be problems finding any features to align in bland blue skies, for example. For minimum post-production, the smaller nadir hole can be covered with a simple logo disc, remapped to a strip across the bottom of the equirectangular image.

    As to the optimum height of the camera - there is no particular height. Choose a viewpoint that shows what you want to show and gives a comfortable viewing experience. Normal eye level is generally too high for interiors of modest proportions.

    John
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