Nodal Ninja Panoramic Photography Equipment
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MECHA's Map-Probe-Template files for PTGui – Basics

In this video, we are going to talk about the files that MECHA creates for PTGui when you click on the MAP, Probe and Template buttons in the User Interface. 

First let's create a panorama preset in C2's OLED menu.
Then connect to MECHA's network (with your phone or computer) and go to the Row page.
Select the preset created earlier and load it with the Load button.
The preset can be created just as well in the User Interface.

Click the MAP button to download a PTGui file for full preview.
You can also download the map.zip archive if you have never downloaded it before. It contains 3 small png files, which are the same for any map and are required for preview in PTGui. You should download the map.zip archive in the same folder as the map file.
Then copy the images and paste them in the maps folder.

Double-click the downloaded map pts file to open it with PTGui.
In PTGui, click the "Panorama Editor" icon, then it would be helpful to display the image numbers.
Click the "Preview" tab and change the width to 7000, for example.
Then click the "Preview" button and choose the "Open in PTGui Viewer" option.
Enter full screen mode and make sure the images are overlapping properly. If necessary, change the overlap in your preset and repeat the previous steps.

For a more detailed preview image, you can download the map-png.zip archive at nodalninja.com
Then open the PTGui map file again and preview the panorama exactly as you did before with the first set of images. It is now much easier to see if the image overlap is correct.

For a preset with a very large number of images, for a high resolution panorama for example, it is more practical to explore only a piece of the panorama. Use the Probe button to download the PTGui file that can be used for this purpose, and save it in the "maps" folder.

Open the probe PTGui file and repeat the steps described earlier.
Explore this piece of the panorama carefully, and if the image overlap is correct, it means you can use your preset to take real photos.

These checks are especially helpful when working with a large number of images to make sure the preset settings are correct.

MECHA also produces a template file, which you can apply to real photos in PTGui. Click the Template button to download the template file, and save it in a template folder.

Before launching the preset, make sure the upper rail is in the position specified in your preset.

On the left, we have a MECHA Dual Axis Combo, which consists of 2 E1 rotators and two C1 controllers,
and on the right, a C2 controller (a dedicated dual axis controller equipped with an OLED display), and two E2 rotators.
Currently, Fanotec produces three motorized rotator models: E1, E2, and P1, which can be used interchangeably.

Transfer your photos from the memory card to your computer.
Then open the PTGui and click the Load Images button to load your real photos.
Go to "File", "Apply Template", and choose the "Other" option from the list.
Select the downloaded template file and click the open button.
Now click the "Panorama Editor" icon and notice that all the photos are arranged according to the template file.
Click the "Preview" tab then "Preview" button and select "Open in PTGui Viewer" option to explore the panorama, as you did before with the test images.

So far, we've covered just a few basics needed to work with map, probe and template files for PTGui. More details on this subject will be available in another video.

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