PTGui Pro v9 beta masking feature looks good for nadir shots
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  1. PTGui Pro v9 beta masking feature looks good for nadir shots

    #1

    I just happened to notice that there's a beta of PTGui Pro version 9 (http://www.ptgui.com/beta.html) available since yesterday, and after reading and getting a feel for what is involved in masking nadir shots made with the nadir adaptor it looks like it now offers this, so maybe no need to mess with alpha channels in Photoshop.

    I haven't yet bought my stitching software, this looks like leaning me more to PTGui - I'll be interested to see if anyone tries this feature out, and what their feedback is.

    Although my NN5 kit arrived nearly two weeks ago (thanks badders) I still haven't found any time to try it out, but I must say that I'm impressed with the build quality - it feels nice and solid.
  2. #2

    Yes, the masking feature can be used in place of alpha channel masks. Note also that on the Source Images tab, you can use right click/copy/paste to copy a mask from one image to a selected set of other images (e.g. for bracketed shots).

    John
  3. #3
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Aug 2008
    Location: Netherlands
    Posts: 1,741

    Hi,

    I have played around with the mask and it seems to be working very good. You find this under advanced settings Mask. Some other interesting tools. I had to upgrade my licenses for this version, waiting for my Reg.Key. I will try and let you know.

    But be careful, those who own the older version should install this Beta besides the old ones. Avatar simply lets you know which version you see.

    Heinz
  4. #4

    I'll try it later on today. Thanks for your information.

    Johan
  5. #5
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Sep 2009
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Posts: 361

    Two new features reduce processing time dramatically.

    1) Real-time masking. You no longer need to use Photoshop to apply an Alpha Channel mask. You can mask your images inside PTGui. There are also two types of masks: inclusion (green) and exclusion (red). Paint an area red and PTGui will ignore those pixels. Paint an area green and PTGui will include those pixels. The Panorama editor screen shows all masking results in REALTIME! As you apply the mask, you see the results instantly. No more going back and forth between Photoshop and PTGui, wait for the image to load, create a preview panorama, then inspect the results. As you paint the mask, you see the results instantly.

    2) Zooming in on the Panorama editor screen. I had a stitching error. I zoomed in on the affected area. I added a control point to the two images, optimized and saw the results instantly. You do not need to create a preview panorama, and then zoom in on the resulting panorama. You can zoom in and see the results of your work instantly.

    These two features alone make the upgrade worth it. I tried processing a set of images that took hours. The masking and manual control point placement took literally minutes due to the real-time results.

    This upgrade is definitely worth the $65.
  6. #6

    The masking is the best new option in version 9! It works easy and fast, mutch better than first masking in Photoshop.

    I'll upgrade also, for sure.
  7. #7

    It's good to see the software vendors continually working to improve their products - we all grow together
  8. #8

    very nice the new masking features :D and also the 64 bits version on Mac



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  9. #9

    Just orderd the Pro version. Now waiting for the registration key.
  10. #10
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Sep 2009
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Posts: 361

    The masking feature in PTGui does not totally eliminate the need for Photoshop. For monopod work, I still remove part of my shadow from the Nadir using the patch shot. This is best done in Photoshop prior to stitching. For getting rid of "floating body parts" in crowd panoramas, masking in PTGui is a snap.
  11. #11

    PTGui 9.0Beta2 is available: http://www.ptgui.com/beta.html

    I've my registration key
  12. #12

    Just bought my copy following the positive feedback - thanks guys.

    Unfortunately it may be a few weeks before I get time to shoot some source material :(
  13. #13
    Users Country Flag
    Join Date: Sep 2009
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Posts: 361

    I just restitched a panorama that was very tedious to complete the first time. There were many small stitching errors. Previously it took hours to get control points placed in order to fix the stitching errors.

    With this beta version, the zooming feature cut the time down to a small fraction. No more guessing. You see the results of a very small area as quick as you can place points and optimize. On a dual monitor system, it is a pleasure.

    HOWEVER!!!

    There is one very small feature that was taken away -or- I cannot find where to turn it back on.

    The tabs on the Control Point screen used to be bold for images that had control points assigned. Now, all the tabs are bold. I cannot easily look for "cross linked" control points any more. I have to click on each and every tab to see if there are any control points on images that are not next to each other. This may seem small, but it is the small things that make software useable.

    I cannot believe how far this product has come since version 7.
  14. #14

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisS View Post
    There is one very small feature that was taken away -or- I cannot find where to turn it back on.
    You need to report this on the PTGui forum to alert Joost to the problem. Be sure to give operating system details, in case that is a factor.

    John
  15. #15

    Hello All,

    Besides the option to draw a mask in PTGui 9 with the pencil and the fill tool it is also possible to import a mask image created with a graphic app such as Photoshop.
    This mask image needs to have the colors green, red and black. Red and green are used for masking while black is for the unmasked part.

    A mask image needs to have at least 2 colors to be effective and needs to have the same size and orientation as the source image.
    A mask created with PTGui can also be exported and is then saved as PNG file. This file can be used for fine-tune editing in Photoshop and then re-import later or just to archive the mask for later use with other templates.

    All masks are saved in the project template, for this each mask is stored as a long string of ASCI characters inside the template.
    When a source image has one or more masks then there is an extra script line in the template to tag the mask(s). The scriptline for masks begins with "#-sourcemask" followed by the ASCI string.

    By saving the masks inside the template the file size of the template can grow a lot, when I saved the 2 templates for a stitched 3D pano with 36 images and 36 masks I ended with 2 files of 1,7 MB each (one for the left and one for the right eye pano) while without the masks the file size is just 61kb each...

    In case you are interested in 3D panos here is the result (you need ColorCode 3D amber/blue glasses):
    http://www.dmmdh.nl/panos/3D_tutoria..._stitched.html

    This pano is made from the same source images that I have used to make the tutorial for making a 3D pano with a single camera and a fisheye lens (tutorial is posted on this forum).
    By that time the connecting method with StereoPhoto Maker was more easier and faster to do then using PTGui 8.x for stitching but with PTGui 9 this is all changed and now the stitching method is easier and faster so you can imagine that I am really happy with the new mask option :-)
    BTW, I will update the tutorial later when PTGui 9 is more stable and out of beta fase.

    Wim

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