First Panos! Yay!

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  1. First Panos! Yay!

    #1

    Ok here's my first decent attempts at panos... I'm pretty happy with the results so far, but I'm sure there's still plenty more to learn and much to practice.

    Tech info:
    Nikon D300
    Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 lens
    NN 5 w/ RD16 rotator
    Manfrotto 055BPRO tripod
    PTGui
    PanoToVR

    Shooting info:
    Courtyard/Mezzanine - 1 row of 8 45degree shots at 30degrees up, 1 row of 8 45 degree shots at 0 degrees, 1 90 degree up, 2 90 degree down at right angles, 1 dodgy attempt at handheld nadir (which I didn't use... I just finessed the nadir in Photoshop)
    Lobby - 1 row of 8 45 degree shots at 0 degress, 1 90 degree up, 2 90 degree down at right angles

    These were shot as a proof of concept for a virtual tour project I'm working on. The final panos will be scaled down for the web, but I wanted to "wow" them with big samples. All the shots are in the Canadian federal gov't complex where I work. I'm going to test shooting HDR next to see if it makes a big difference.

    For those looking for a review of the RD16... I love it, it's easy to use, built rock solid and the stops just click into place perfectly. I haven't tried any other pano head setup, but this one works so well I'll never need to worry about it. I'm going to pick up the leveler next, because leveling on the tripod was a tremendous pain in the arse (certainly not NN's fault!!), but otherwise it's glorious. Buy one immediately!

    Ok onto the panos... they're around 3-4mb apiece and my web server isn't exactly fast so please be patient!

    http://test.b-9000.com

    Please feel free to post comments, advice, questions or abuse!

    Cheers!

    Blair
  2. Re: First Panos! Yay!

    #2
  3. Re: First Panos! Yay!

    #3

    Nice panoramas, but why so many shots? You have 30% overlap with 6 around, which should be perfectly adequate. The panos do need levelling, but it's easy to do this accurately in PTGui - takes about 40 seconds. You can do it in the original stitch or you can level the already stitched image. See http://www.johnhpanos.com/levtut.htm. I also noticed a small amount of chromatic aberration, which is worth correcting in RAW conversion.

    John
  4. Re: First Panos! Yay!

    #4

    I think the number of shots was more of a "just to make sure it works" kinda thing. As I go along I'm going to streamline the process, but to be honest I don't mind taking some extra shots just to be on the safe side. I'll try my next test set with 6 though, because while I don't mind shooting a bit extra... I'm certainly happy to take less shots... especially outside when it's freakin' cold!

    I thought there might be a leveling issue, I'll take a look at your tutorial... to be quite honest I had your site open the entire time while I was editing and stitching for reference... really invaluable info.

    I noticed the CA too, I just didn't bother to correct it on these for some reason (I did correct it in my initial test here in the studio). I really like the 10.5 f/2.8, but that's a whole lot more CA than I'm used to with my other lenses. That's my only disappointment with the lens, but it's easy to correct so no big deal.

    More learning to do! Thanks for the comments... much appreciated!

    Blair
  5. Re: First Panos! Yay!

    #5

    Blair,

    I shoot with almost and identical set-up as you and as John says you don't need anywhere near that number of shots. I would usually shoot 6 round but tilted at 15 degrees down (this minimises the hole that is left at the bottom of the panorama) and one zenith shot. As the hole at the bottom is so small, unless the ground is complex I usually just patch it over in Photoshop. Also with the hole being so small try to keep the tripod legs in as much as possible to minimise the amount of editing to remove them. As for the chromatic aberration, if you have Nikon Capture NX, it does a pretty good job of removing it automatically.

    Here's an example of mine shooting with this setup;

    http://www.bilsland.co.uk/greatwitleychurch/


    Hope this helps,

    Bob Bilsland.
  6. Re: First Panos! Yay!

    #6

    Hey Bob, thanks for the advice... I'll try that out today and see what I come up with. I think what spooked me into using so many shots was the test I did in our video studio here. I did 6 around at 0 with one zenith and the 2 right angle 90 down shots. The ceiling isn't especially high so PTGui was giving me a hard time with control points linking the zenith shot with the 0 degree shots... I had to go in and add them all manually. Not a big deal, but a bit of a pain in the arse.

    I guess that begs the question... should I just assume 6 shots around (either at 0 or -15 as Bob has suggested, plus the zenith/nadir shots) will work for any ceiling height? I'm going on the first shoot tomorrow for the virtual tour project and there will be a mix of really high ceilings and relatively low ones.

    Btw... really nice work on the church

    Thanks!

    Blair
  7. Re: First Panos! Yay!

    #7

    Blair,

    I have no problems whatever the height of ceiling. Your right about about having better overlaps between the walls and the ceiling will give PTGui more to go on when finding control points, but it's the juggling of number of photos shot against processing time. If your not sure about changing shooting format, then stick with what you know for the time being, you can always experiment later.

    Thanks for the comment on the Church, it was my entry for the Autumn Equinox World Wide Panorama event. To get the view just right I shot multiple exposures that were blended later.

    Bob Bilsland.
  8. Re: First Panos! Yay!

    #8

    Great work for sure.
    IMO better too much than not enough especially if needing work for print. But for the web much of the workflow can be reduced as others have also suggested.
    And it's easier to cut steps out of a workflow (shorcuts) than to add steps - things can only get easier for you :-)
    Cheers
    Bill
  9. Re: First Panos! Yay!

    #9

    Blair, You can afford to tilt the zenith shot down somewhat instead of straight up so that one edge shifts down towards the horizon where there are likely to be more features for control points.

    John
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