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02-10-2019, 01:05 PM   #1
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360 Panorama Failures

Shot a 16 image 360 panorama yesterday, and am having trouble getting it stitched together correctly. Photoshop refuses to stitch the images in the correct sequence, breaking the sweep just to the left of center.

Microsoft ICE keeps the order OK (although it also broke the sequence in the wrong place), but drops part of the first and last images, resulting in an incomplete panorama.

The Photoshop result:




The Microsoft ICE result:




I also tried Hugin, which failed to find any control points, and so I went to the trouble of picking them manually. After spending a great deal of time doing just that, I asked the program to stitch it all up, and it crashed (I suspect that it being an older version it may have trouble with the larger files produced by the K-1 - I did download the latest version, but have yet to install and try it out).

Anyone else ever have this issue?

If so, what resolution did you find that helped?

02-10-2019, 01:54 PM   #2
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Hugin takes a moment to get used to, but works great. I convert all DNG to TIFF first, load them in Hugin, enter focal length! click "Align" and let Hugin do the magic. Hit Autocrop on "Crop" tab, align your main subject to the center in the "Move/Drag" tab and click "straighten" if needed. Maybe hit auto crop again and then "create panorama".

I avoid fiddling manually with the displayed images.
02-10-2019, 09:23 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I find both merging and auto-blend don't always work, but one may work and the other not. BTW I am not a heavy user but I do occasionally make a collage (panorama) of two images. I use PS CS6 and actually mostly do it manually (which is what I am suggesting you try after you merge what you can).
-- Try merging what it does OK and then manually do the rest using auto blend. E.g., you may then have 2 (or more) files to join.
-- Then bring (in my example the two images after photo merge) the images into a new file as they should be, but not a perfect match,** and then
---- under select: all layers
---- under edit: auto-blend layers

_____
** This may (likely will) involve scaling and other operations to the various layers till they are a close fit.

---------- Post added 02-10-19 at 09:36 PM ----------

BTW, since it is a 360 degree sweep, how does PS know where to set the center? Maybe you should crop the end images so it is not a complete 360 degree. But again as I said I am not a heavy user (am not very experienced and I never do anything close to 360 degree).
02-11-2019, 09:48 AM - 1 Like   #4
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It's been a while since I've created a 360 panorama. I used to make them and use Quicktime to create mov / vr files. I'm sure that is old now.

I used to use Hugin, and what I will say is that a key was selecting the right projection type (I'm not sure that was the exact terminology). Hugin would not auto-align well unless you selected the right format for it, and what is right depended a bit on the focal length. I'm fairly certain I was choosing the cylindrical (most of the time), and hugin mostly worked well.

Once Hugin did its work, I could move the perspective center wherever it wanted. I seem to recall ICE having a similar feature, although I don't recall if that was somewhat dependent on how you input the images.

One other note, a lot of overlap was always good when shooting panoramas, but if there was enough overlap that one image overlapped with multiple other images, it was critical to at least do a quality control check on the other images in Hugin. I could see this being problematic in other software that isn't as flexible.

For instance if I shoot a horizontal panorama (for simplicity let's just say there are four images left to right):

1...2...3...4

Of course our tendency is to focus on the alignment between 1 and 2 or 2 and 3 or 3 and 4. But what if there is some overlap between 1 and 3. I would typically shoot so that there was roughly 50% overlap between adjacent images. And, doing that would occasionally end up with situations where the 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 images would overlap. Those situations is where inevitably the software would get confused and either crash out of its routine or not align correctly. Hugin would ultimately handle it better (because I could manually deal with it). I think ICE does pretty good too, but it's been a while since I tried it. Photoshop was not very good under the situation, albeit this was back in the CS2 to CS4 era.

Add on the possibility that I was shooting multiple rows (to get 360), and I spent a lot of time on some images to get a good output and account for all overlap.

I never went as far as fully manually setting control points. I usually let Hugin do its thing. Note any spots where the alignment was obviously wrong, and then go back and add control points in those locations to fix it. Usually, I only had problems at one "seam".

Hugin was actually a nice program. I know it is complicated for many, but once I learned it, I found it was pretty good and not too complicated. I never bothered with all its features.


Last edited by emalvick; 02-11-2019 at 01:12 PM.
02-11-2019, 08:14 PM   #5
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So I got the latest version of Hugin, and here are the results.

Sixteen images, stitched with Hugin. This is the first attempt at trying this with Hugin. The red line is where the match point should be (the right and left sides should meet here).

For some odd reason the order of the images got messed up , and the house, shop, and other parts of the panorama are not stitched smoothly together. Also the horizon is not supposed to be curved.



This is the second attempt at trying this with Hugin. The red line is where the match point should be (the right and left sides should meet here).

For some odd reason the order of the images got messed up , and the house, shop, and other parts of the panorama are not stitched smoothly together. I did get the horizon to look closer to normal.




Pentax K-1, Sigma 28mm f2.8 Mini Wide

All three applications failed to properly process and join the images, and it looks like the best stitch job was done by Microsoft Ice, but it dropped some of the image data cropping the right and left ends of the set, and didn't get the image break in the correct place.
02-15-2019, 05:13 PM - 1 Like   #6
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WR to Hugin, I think you have to change the projection type a bit to straighten out the horizon issue. There are ways to correct it; you may also have to play with the lens information as that can help (perhaps Hugin reads in the exif info now). I used to tweak the focal length of the lens in the settings to help with the wavy horizons.

As for the other issues, I don't know. I do know that if you have a 360, you can move the center of the image. As for the order being messed up, it may go back to having too much overlap. The image is a bit more complicated with all the trees and white, although I've not usually seen software mess up at a building.

It's good to see your results and comparisons.
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