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Beginner: Need Help, Please

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  • Beginner: Need Help, Please

    I recently bought a NN3 Mark III to start doing Google Business 360 photos. I have a full frame Sony A7sii and a Tokina 11-16mm lens (shooting 16mm because there's no vignetting). I watched various videos on youtube and found the no parallax point and set that on my NN. I have been practicing in my room at home and can cover the entirety of the room in 6 shots. I then take 2 photos of the ceiling (at 90 degrees difference) and one of the floor below from the location the camera was in after removing it from the NN. I am using PT Gui for stitching. I load the images and click align. Every time PT Gui then says that I have to add "control points" because the images don't match. This is extremely confusing and frustrating because it is obvious I am covering the entire room with my photos (all walls, ceiling and floor). What am I doing wrong? I am thinking of just sending the Nodal Ninja back and just buying a separate 360 photo camera (Richo Theta V, etc) to cut down on the hassle. I just thought it would be as simple as covering the whole room, adding the photos to PT Gui and then I would have my 360 photo. Any suggestions would be very helpful. I would like to not have to send the Nodal Ninja back but like I said, the 360 camera option seems less frustrating and easier at this point. Thanks.

  • #2
    Hello Coryay,

    From your description it appears that you are actually doing it right, but that the walls and ceiling of your room do not have enough detail for PTGui to generate enough Control Points.
    You mention that you use the 16mm end of the zoom to fill the sensor because using the 11mm end will mean that you have black areas in the image, but this is not really a problem other than you will end up with a lower resolution Equirectangular image (panorama), but you would still get a good resolution.
    I use a 10.5mm lens on a Nikon D800 (full frame) (sample image attached) with 4 shots round at +7.5 which give good overlap for Control Point generation and fills the zenith nicely and a hand held shot for the nadir and get an Equirectangular of 13,000+ x 6,500+ (80+ Mp).
    I increase to 6 shots round if there is movement (people, animals, trees in the wind, etc) so that I can use the Mask tool in PTGui as 4 shots round does leave a gap with no overlap.

    My suggestions are that you take 4 shots round on your room at the 11mm end of the zoom with the camera tilted up slightly (7.5 and/or 10) and see if PTGui will generate enough Control Points and that you also find another test location (outside perhaps) and take the same pattern as you are using at the moment (6 shots at the 16mm end) and them the pattern I have suggested (4 shots round at the 11mm end) and see how you get on.
    Also when processing in PTGui leave out the hand held nadir shot when you Align the images then add it in as described in "Viewpoint Correction":


    • #3
      First off, thank you for the response.
      I took 4 photos of my room at 11mm as you suggested and they clearly overlap yet when I click Align it says there are no matches. I cannot figure out why. I haven't tried outside yet.
      In my opinion, the photos clearly have enough detail for control points and alignment. Is there any extra information you add prior to aligning?
      I'm not sure what "Equirectangular of 13,000+ x 6,500+ (80+ Mp)" is but thought this might be something I needed to add in manually...but then I figured you would have mentioned this if I needed to.
      Also, I am using the trial version of PT Gui and the link you provided says that "Viewpoint Correction" for the nadir shot is only included in PT Gui Pro. I will continue reading to see if it's possibly in the trial version.
      Last edited by coryay; March 3rd, 2019, 03:35 AM.


      • #4
        Trying to think of what might be the problem - I think it could be the Crop.
        Unfortunately I don't have a Tokina 11-16mm to experiment with, but there are some lenses where all the information needed is not read by PTGui so the Crop is not set correctly.
        Start PTGui and Load your images, but before Aligning them go to the fourth option down "Crop" and check the circle goes to the edge as in the right hand image - it may be that it looks like the left side image so needs pulling out.
        PTGui will only work in the "Crop" are so if it is as shown in the left image then the area for Control Point generation is very restricted.
        Also, it may be worth you looking at the third option down "Lens Settings" to check that PTGui has picked up the "Type:" and "Focal length :" correctly.

        Don't worry too much about filling the Nadir at this stage because it is Aligning the main images that is important.
        Yes, you will need PTGui Pro to use "Viewpoint Correction", but there are other ways of dealing with the nadir that we can discuss later.

        Also, don't worry about the Equirectangular term,
        I was just trying to show that you can get a reasonable resolution panorama even though some of the sensor area in the camera is not used.
        When we create a panorama with PTGui, or similar software, the image is called Equirectangular which means that the width is exactly twice the height.
        PTGui 11 will automatically set the optimum size to 100% when you get to "Create Panorama".

        In 2011 I wrote a user guide for people wanting to use 360 panoramas to put true colours on to LIDAR scans as the scanners did not have built in cameras, or if they did they were not very good.
        Although this document is now redundant it may be worth you haveing a look through.

        If you are still experiencing problems perhaps you could add your four images to your next message and I will see how else i can help.
        If you do this, please reduce the images to 500 x 1000 pixels.


        • #5
          I feel like we've really bonded now that I'm sharing photos of my room with you (haha) but here are the 4 photos.

          Also, I'm not able to select the exact lens within Pt Gui. It reads as "Tokina 10-17mm 3.5 Circular Fisheye" rather than Tokina 11-16mm 2.8, but I wouldn't think that would create the issue because it is set at the correct focal length (11mm). Also, my lens has a slight fisheye but it's not considered as one per se. I also made sure my no parallax point was correct again and it was.

          When I try to align the photos it says there are NOT ANY control points yet.

          Let me know what you think.
          Last edited by coryay; March 4th, 2019, 03:51 PM.


          • #6
            Hello Cory,

            Thanks for that, I can now see the problem.

            You can now remove your images if you wish by clicking "Edit" at the bottom right of your message then clicking "Edit Photo" to the right of the image, then clicking the Dustbin icon in the bottom right corner of the image.

            The images have very little overlap and the ceiling and walls have very little detail for PTGui to use to generate Control Points which is why PTGui is not Aligning the images and generating Control Points.
            I have looked on the internet for the Angle of View for 11mm lens and come up with something like 117 on the long side and 95 which looks right when I look at your images so as you say is not a fisheye in the same sense as my Nikon 10.5mm.

            My suggestion is to shoot at the 11mm end of the zoom - you can experiment with different focal length once you are up and running.
            Take 8 shots round at +40, which should close the zenith OK, then 8 shots round at -30, which will give plenty of overlap between the two rows.
            Although there is little detail in the walls and ceiling for PTGui to use, there is plenty of detail in the zone where the two rows overlap so this should work well.
            By shooting two rows with 8 shots round you will have approximately 50% overlap between the images horizontally, which is great for Control Point generation and for using the Mask option if you go for PTGui Pro, which is what I would recommend.

            If you choose to use the 16mm end of the zoom, then 8 shots round will still give a reasonable overlap (about 30%) but I would suggest three rows at +45, 0 (horizontal) and -45.

            Best regards, Hugh.


            • #7
              Hello Cory and Hugh,

              We side with Hugh. His advice is spot on - there is just not enough detail in your images, and the overlap is also not enough (%) of the images for PTGui to do its "behind the scenes" magic.

              A greater level of overlap should be your solution. Try a different location, tighten up your detent settings, and then you should be off to the races!

              -Team Nodal Ninja
              Logistics Manager @ Nodal Ninja


              • #8
                Sounds good, thanks guys. I'll give it a try and report back.
                From what I've read here, it seems the solution may be to just shoot more photos with more overlap to be safe (especially at remote locations) which therefore increases the chances of control points...rather than trying to just get by with 4 shots.


                • #9
                  Yes Cory, overlap is very important, but can be tricky as too much overlap can confuse PTGui and too little (as we have seen) is also a problem.
                  I tend to try for 50% as I find this works for me.
                  Advice on the Internet seems to vary as some say 25% or 30%, but a full overlap (50%) is good for Control Point generation and is useful for using the Mask tool when dealing with movement.
                  As there is no real cost shooting digital I always go for more and in some cases, such as the Corporate Hospitality subjects with lots of people moving about ( I go round three times so I pick which images to use to get the best result.

                  Thanks for the support Jason, it is good to know we are "singing from the same score".


                  • #10
                    This worked with no stitching errors. Thanks again.

                    Obviously, I still am just at the beginning. I have to figure out how to fill the frame rather than having the black half-circles above and below the pano due to the 11mm vignetting. Also, where and when to add the zenith and nadir shots. I wish the software was a little more intuitive in some ways. It would be impossible without having message boards like this or youtube. I have to read the "Viewpoint Correction" link more closely that you sent, Hugh. Also, it seems adding control points manually is a must for almost every pano. I haven't watched the entirety, but I found this video helpful:

                    Also, it looks like Pano Pro is the way to go to put together the tours, which I foresee as being a lengthy learning process. :)

                    Best to all!


                    • #11
                      Pleased to hear this worked with no stitching errors.
                      According to my calculations, tipping the NN3 up to +40 for the top row should close the zenith so you should only have a black hole at the nadir where the tripod and NN3 are, and we can go through resolving this with a hand held nadir shot and having to add a few Control Points, but hopefully not too many.

                      If you would like to contact me via my contact page:
                      I can take you through each step in turn.

                      Unfortunately Pano Pro ceased trading last year.
                      It was first taken over by GoPro, but is now no longer available.
                      I have been using Pano2VR for many years so can help with you creating tours with it.
                      Pano2VR is very comprehensive and I am sure I only use a small part of it, but I am sure I can get you going in the right direction.
                      It also has excellent tutorials.

                      Edit added 8th March:
                      I have managed to find my Sigma 10-20mm so have been able to take 8 shots round at +40 plus 8 shots at -30 with this lens set at 11mm on a D800 (FX body) and this stitched well with PTGui returning "good" when running in Optimizer.
                      I also tried 8 shots round at 0 (horizontal) with 4 shots round at +40 and 4 shots round at -30 (same number of shots, but different pattern) and PTGui returned "very good" when running in Optimizer.
                      I then set the focal length to 16mm and repeated this pattern - 8 shots round at 0 (horizontal) with 4 shots round at +50 (10 more than for the 11mm focal length) and 4 shots round at -30 and PTGui returned "very good" when running in Optimizer.
                      The resulting panoramas (Equirectangulars) were 14,308 x 7,154 (100 Mp image) at 11mm and 20,490 x 10, 245 (200+ Mp image) at 16mm so the choice of focal length depends on what resolution you wish to achieve.

                      All three shooting patterns closed the zenith nicely.
                      I try and avoid taking vertical zenith shots if possible because ceilings and sky (especially with moving clouds) tend not to make for good Control Point generation.
                      Last edited by Hugh; March 8th, 2019, 10:08 AM. Reason: Theory tested with a practical exercise.


                      • #12
                        Great info. Thanks again for sharing, Hugh. I'll be in contact.


                        • #13

                          This is an old thread and I got sidetracked by other work but am back to learning more about making virtual tours. I downloaded a trial version of Pano2VR, watched most of the Garden Gnome tutorials and practicing with the panos I had stitched together, then saw that the Pro Version is over $400 and the Light Version (in my price range) is not able to easily create tours. Is there other Virtual Tour software with a Trial Version within the $200 price range that can effectively/easily create tours? I did some googling and RoundMe was recommended several times but I couldn't find a trial version to try out beforehand and you have to pay per tour, which is not really what I want.
                          Basically what I'm looking for is simple software that can create slick tours, with a trial version that I can experiment with prior to buying, then just buy it straight up with a one-time payment that is reasonable. Although, I would be open to reasonable monthly payments if a trial version (not 2 week) is available.
                          I was really hoping Pano2VR would work out, but paying over $400 (long before I'm able to make any money at this) seems very silly.

                          Thanks for any help that's provided.


                          • #14
                            You may have a look at krpano


                            1. Mecha it possible.
                            2. Mecha it easy.
                            3. ..


                            • #15
                              Hello Dorin, Does Krpano have a try before you buy option? It looks as if I would have to pay 118.66 to see how it would compare with Pano2VR and Pano2VR Pro.