How to make panorama with moving elements?

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bakubo
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How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:48 pm

What is really challenging is trying to make a panorama where there is movement of elements in the frames. For example, people moving around. You are always going to get ghosting. Just for grins I took 10 vertical photos with my digicam yesterday at the beach. Naturally, there are lots of people in the shots and there was movement, people walking by, etc. The Autostitch panorama has lots of ghosting. Note, this photo is just meant as an illustration of the problem. I fully realize that this panorama is not all that interesting. Take a look:

Image

Larger version:

http://www.bakubo.com/panoramas/kuhio_beach_pano.jpg

Any ideas on how to make this kind of panorama without ghosting?

I hope this is the right forum for this post.

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:06 pm

Try with a XPan or an Horizon cameras
;-)
On digital you meant? There is a software that convert fisheyed photographs in panoramas -but I don't know the name by heart and I'm consulting the forum on my phone now... I guess it will work better from FF fisheye pics.

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:53 pm

Don, thanks for that info. I understand what the problem is and in my example you can see that figures have moved so much over the frames that no stitching software could fix it.

The only idea I had, which I think would not really be all that doable, is to set the camera to continuous advance (A700 is 5fps, I think), lock the exposure, and quickly pan as the camera is shooting. Of course, you must not pan so fast that you don't get enough overlap for stitching (probably not a problem at 5fps) and you would need such good light and high shutter speed that the rather fast camera movement does not cause blur. Having the camera on a tripod would probably make this a bit easier. The result would mean that each succeeding image would only be 1/5 second after the previous one (assuming 5fps) and that should minimize subject movement between frames.

The example I posted above has 4 ghost images of the couple on the left side (man has a backpack). There are many other ghosts. These would be tough to fix in post-processing (cloning, etc.). Also, sometimes ghosts can overlap with other elements or even overlap with other ghosts. This kind of image is *really* tough!
Last edited by bakubo on Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby dkloi » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:55 pm

Some panoramic software can take into account slight differences between frames and modify the blending region to avoid the offending regions. Enblend 3.2 and Smartblend both have this feature.

Alternatively, if your software allows, you can edit the masks after the remapping but before blending so as to prevent the blending step to blend across the moving element.

E.g.

http://www.rosaurophotography.com/html/PS3.html

http://hugin.sourceforge.net/tutorials/ ... g/en.shtml

Or else you can be reasonably lucky and have only one or two minor stitching artifacts, http://www.360cities.net/image/rome-spa ... -afternoon

Cheers,
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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:21 am

Sonolta wrote:Yeah, no doubt. I took a close look at your large version prior to my initial reply, and if it were me I would certainly try to shoot a bit faster, and I would try a different software as suggested in my second link, and also mentioned by subsequent poster. If you happened to have missed the provided samples on my second link please do have a look at the difference better software can make.


I was shooting with a digicam (Canon A590 IS) in this case and it isn't all that fast. :) Also, since I was shooting handheld I took an extra beat or so for each photo to try and make sure the horizon was pretty level and basically in the same place in each frame. A DSLR would have been a bit faster and if on a tripod I could have gone just a tad faster too.

Yes, I looked at the two panoramas that were stitched with different software and the second is much better. Unfortunately, I didn't see that the author told what software was used for each. Right now I have two: old, free version of Panorama Factory and free Autostitch. Maybe I will try a couple more, even if they are just trial versions, to see if different software can handle this image. Any recommendations?

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby bakubo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:23 am

dkloi wrote:Some panoramic software can take into account slight differences between frames and modify the blending region to avoid the offending regions. Enblend 3.2 and Smartblend both have this feature.

Alternatively, if your software allows, you can edit the masks after the remapping but before blending so as to prevent the blending step to blend across the moving element.

E.g.

http://www.rosaurophotography.com/html/PS3.html

http://hugin.sourceforge.net/tutorials/ ... g/en.shtml

Or else you can be reasonably lucky and have only one or two minor stitching artifacts, http://www.360cities.net/image/rome-spa ... -afternoon


Thanks, Daniel. I will check this out.

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby dkloi » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:08 am

bakubo wrote:Yes, I looked at the two panoramas that were stitched with different software and the second is much better. Unfortunately, I didn't see that the author told what software was used for each. Right now I have two: old, free version of Panorama Factory and free Autostitch. Maybe I will try a couple more, even if they are just trial versions, to see if different software can handle this image. Any recommendations?


I use Hugin for all my panoramas. It's free/open source, and it's nearly at version 0.8 (at the moment RC4 for developers/bleeding edge masochists:-) but the stable 0.7 release is still good. For mask editing, you can use Photoshop, or GIMP. Hugin does have an automated mode but for best results, especially with less straightforward projects manual intervention works best.

There are tutorials at hugin.sourceforge.net and general information at wiki.panotools.org on panotools (the underlying set of routines by Helmut Dersch which a fair few panorama programs are built upon) and panoramic photography technique in general.

Cheers,
Daniel.
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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby bakubo » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:01 am

I downloaded Hugin and installed it. By the way, Hugin is a strange name. :) One *very* annoying thing I discovered very quickly is that it seems to expect that all frames are oriented correctly before importing, e.g., if they were taken as verticals then you must rotate them before importing. Also, they must be taken in a left to right order. If you take the photos right to left then Hugin can't handle it. The other two free programs I have used allow those things to be taken care of easily. I still haven't created a panorama with Hugin because I have to go and "fix" all the input files first. This is easy and obvious stuff that Hugin seems to be missing. It doesn't inspire confidence that the rest is ready for prime time either. I will let you know. If I have just missed the way to rotate images, fix the order, etc. in Hugin then please let me know.

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby dkloi » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:21 pm

bakubo wrote:I downloaded Hugin and installed it. By the way, Hugin is a strange name. :) One *very* annoying thing I discovered very quickly is that it seems to expect that all frames are oriented correctly before importing, e.g., if they were taken as verticals then you must rotate them before importing. Also, they must be taken in a left to right order. If you take the photos right to left then Hugin can't handle it. The other two free programs I have used allow those things to be taken care of easily. I still haven't created a panorama with Hugin because I have to go and "fix" all the input files first. This is easy and obvious stuff that Hugin seems to be missing. It doesn't inspire confidence that the rest is ready for prime time either. I will let you know. If I have just missed the way to rotate images, fix the order, etc. in Hugin then please let me know.


I never noticed the limitation on orientation and shooting order. Is this using the automatic mode? I usually import TIFFs developed from RAW so orientation is not a problem for me. You can also rotate images in Hugin by setting their roll parameter to 90 degrees. I've shot panos right to left before and didn't notice any problems.

You might want to take a look at the 0.8 RC versions at http://hugin.huikeshoven.org/ as there has been a lot of development between the 0.7 and 0.8 releases.

Cheers,
Daniel.
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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby bakubo » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:07 pm

Okay, I will try Hugin again. I searched and couldn't find a way to reorient the images, but maybe I just missed it. For this particular panorama, which I took as a test to see how different software handles the extreme ghosting, I just used the out-of-camera digicam jpegs so they haven't been rotated. Also, I took them right to left.

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby pakodominguez » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:39 pm

This is the Fisheye soution that I was talking about: Sunex. Alas, only on Nikon and Canon mount...
http://www.superfisheye.com/
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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby bakubo » Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:02 am

I have been working with Hugin 0.7 now for a total of about maybe 8-10 hours in the last couple of days. Here again is the original from Autostitch (I made one using Panorama Factory too, but it looks pretty much the same):

Image

Larger version:

http://www.bakubo.com/panoramas/kuhio_beach_pano.jpg

Here is the result from Hugin:

Image

Larger version:

http://www.bakubo.com/panoramas/kuhio_beach_pano_hugin.jpg

Take a look at the larger images -- they are not huge (just 480 pixels tall and less than 250kb). Notice that Hugin fixed the ghosting pretty well! Also, notice that the horizon is jagged in places and is wavy.

I have to say that Hugin is one of the most frustrating pieces of software that I can recall using in years. First off, there is essentially no documentation and the tutorials on the site often contradict each other. It seems extremely buggy and stuff doesn't work like the tutorials say. I don't mean stuff is just different, but stuff that is completely flaky. A miserable experience. Maybe the 0.8 experimental version is better, but there isn't a Windows version yet. Considering how well it handled some really tough ghosting though I am hoping that by the time it gets to version 1.0 it will be in much better shape!

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:41 pm

I know Daniel likes Hugin, but as a non-tech software user (no compiling, etc) I find both this type of open source software and the obscure/dismissive attitude of developers - voluntary but contemptuous of all who do not understand the stuff in depth - a poor second to paying for shareware or commercial programs with civil support for mere humans.

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby bakubo » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:21 am

No offense meant to Daniel. He is using 0.8 though and it is probably in much better shape. Often at these stages of development (prior to version 1.0) each iteration is a major improvement over the previous version. Unfortunately, Hugin 0.7 is so flaky it is almost unusable. Lots of things just don't seem to work. The interface is buggy too. Also, sometimes you get just really totally crazy results. I found it close to unusable, at least for this test panorama of 10 images. I spent a couple of hours carefully doing a bunch of control points and thought that it was going to be worth it. Unfortunately, the rest of the software after doing the control points needs a lot of work and I spent many hours working with it and trying different things. Oh well, it is only version 0.7. It is not 1.0 for a reason.

Autostitch preparation time: 10 seconds
Panorama Factory preparation time: 2 minutes
Hugin preparation time: hours and hours

Even with the ghosting the Autostitch and Panorama Factory results are better. One of these days Hugin is probably going to be pretty good though.

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Re: How to make panorama with moving elements?

Unread postby bakubo » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:35 pm

Here is a new panorama I made yesterday at the Kapahulu Groin:

Image

Here's a larger version (236kb, 480 pixels high):

http://www.bakubo.com/panoramas/kapahulu_groin_pano.jpg

Instead of 10-15 images I decided to make just 3 using the Sony 11-18mm at 11mm so that I would have fewer overlap regions. That would reduce the chance of ghosts, I hoped. Years ago I read that for panoramas you should use an effective 35mm+ focal length so that is what I always try to do. I decided to violate that advice for this one though. Autostitch and Panorama Factory stitches had some ghosts, but I decided to try Hugin 0.7 again and this time it worked much better. The panorama above was the one made with Hugin. It seems that Hugin doesn't work well with the 10 8mp images in my earlier panorama but if you give it only 3 that were resized to just 1200x800 pixels it worked!


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