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Panoramic Photography - A comprehensive overview

A tutorial and overview, containing a set of resources, images, how-to videos, and links covering everything you could possibly want to know about panoramic photography in 2012. Visit my website for examples http://andy.bryant.name/pano
by

Andy Bryant

on 6 October 2012

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Transcript of Panoramic Photography - A comprehensive overview

Stitching
Showing
And finally
What is a Panorama?
Why?
Irish Painter
Robert Barker
= All sight
Any wide-angle view
How wide is wide?
As wide as the human eye = 160° by 75°
or 2:1 aspect ratio; or ...
4:1
10:1
the full 360° x 180°
PanoScan
Small slot 'lens' around which the film/sensor is rotated
A 'rotating line' camera
Lomo Spinner
35mm film and a rubber band
Varieties?
subject is
or you just can't back up far enough
or you want to capture
H
U
G
E
detail
less $$s than a really wide lens
Shooting
or tall
wide
you need to remove people
http://bit.ly/ShanghaiGigapan
http://bit.ly/ObamaGigapan
Single row
Multiple row
Good for wide landscapes
Any camera/lens is good
Single row of 3-8 images
Imagine you're standing at the center of a cylinder and rotating;
then slice the cylinder down the axis and unwrap
360x180
Pano heads
Handheld
Technique
Parallax
Subject
Set controls to manual
WB, Focus, Exposure
Hold in portrait
gets more sky & ground per image
Overlap by ~30% + ensure you have some features in each shot
Keep the NPP point in the same position
Keep the camera level
2 axis hot-shoe
Bubble level
PhiloPod
Stick one foot forward
because tripods don't rotate your camera around the NPP, especially in portrait mode
Level the tripod, head
Ball head
Levelling base
Cylindrical
Spherical
Align the NPP
Work out how many shots
Wide lens = 2 rows of 6 + up/down
Fish eye = one row of 4-8 + up/down
Robots
Autostitch
AutoPano Pro
Hugin
PTGui
Post processing
Prepare images
Parallax error is the effect caused when your viewpoint changes between shots
You can see the effect by looking at a scene with near and far detail
through one eye
then the other
if the camera's "eye" moves between shots, then the software will not be able to align both the foreground and the background
so you need to keep the 'eye' of the camera still
The 'eye' is the NPP - or No Parallax Point
and varies on a zoom lens
Limit moving objects between frames
Select start/end & practice pan
Avoid stuff that's in the foreground
Clear blue sky is hard to stitch
Shoot a row of sky + top of ground
Then tilt down for the second row
http://www.philohome.com/panorama.htm
http://www.panotool.com/pages/strings.html
If you rotate the camera around your body, the NPP will move
So put one foot forward, hold the camera over you foot,
and rotate your body around your foot
One row
Multiple rows
Really Right Stuff
Nodal Ninja 360
Really Right Stuff
Nodal Ninja 3 MkII
Panosaurus http://gregwired.com/pano/Pano.htm
Nodal Ninja http://www.nodalninja.com/
Really Right stuff http://reallyrightstuff.com/
pano-MAXX™ http://www.panorama-hardware.com/
Manfrotto 303 SPH - http://www.manfrotto.com/303SPH/
MK PanoHead http://www.marc-kairies.de/
More: http://wiki.panotools.org/Heads
Papywizard
Gigapan
Epic, Epic 100 & Epic Pro
Papywizard software for PDA or netbook controls an Orion or Merlin TeleTrack motorized telescope head
Allow creation of many gigapixel panoramic images
http://johnhpanos.com/epcalib.htm
http://www.papywizard.org/
http://www.gigapansystems.com/
http://vimeo.com/12168314
http://www.marc-kairies.de/
MK PanoMachine
Shoot first row, then second
Shoot up (zenith)
Shoot down (nadir)
Nadir shots
Handheld
Tilt tripod
Spin head
http://hugin.sourceforge.net/
http://www.panomonkey.com/
http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~mbrown/autostitch/autostitch.html
http://www.ptgui.com
http://www.kolor.com/
99 EUR
Open Source
79 EUR
Photoshop CS3+
Load images as layers, Edit - AutoAlign/AutoBlend Layers
Desktop viewer:
krpano
360cities
Render a 360x180 equi-rectangular
gigapan
Cropped and printed
stereographic / Polar projection
partial spherical / cylindrical / planar
"VR" or Virtual Reality
http://www.devalvr.com/
http://www.panoramaphotographer.com/comparisons/
Multiple projections
Online plugin as well
http://krpano.com
Works for 360x180 or smaller
Highly customizable via text files
Can create multi-room VR tours
Host on your own site
http://www.360cities.net/
Can navigate between panos close
Free unless promoting a business 179 EUR/yr
Hosting included
Min 6000 x 3000
Max 30,000 x 15,000 JPEG or 65,536 x 32,768 TIFF
http://gigapan.org/
Great for massively detailed images
Not a VR viewer - only flat
Free hosting included
Min 50Mpixels
http://www.vision-360.net/index.php
Yellowbird Pano video
Interactive tours
http://www.panoguide.com/howto/display/virtualtour.jsp
HDR
Panos
Stitch multiple images, then HDR
Breaks most pano s/w - except Oloneo
Create HDR frames, then stitch
Sometimes difficult to visualize
Basic Exposure Fusion in current version of AutoPano
iPhone
AutoStitch
Debacle Software Pano
360 Panorama By Occipita
Sugar loaf mountain 152G
http://www.360cities.net/london-photo-en.html
http://gigapan.org/gigapans/58857/
http://www.panoguide.com/
London 80G
http://blog.360cities.net/
Andy Bryant (my panos)
http://andy.bryant.name/pano
Gigapixel
Deep zoom or large prints
50mm or greater
11mm or less
Fish eye preferred
Go DEEP
Go WIDER
... the distortion caused by mapping the image back to a flat plane increases
Cylindrical projections are similar to equirectangular, although objects get more stretched vertically the closer you are to the poles. Vertical lines stay vertical, but horizontal lines become very distorted

Tends to be best for wide, flat panorama shots of landscape or buildings
Rectilinear or planar projections projects the images onto a flat plane, maintaining both vertical and horizontal lines.

Only suitable for a fairly small angle of view, and works well if you're trying to capture realistic architectural shots
Allows you to map the full 360° horizontally, with upto 180° vertically. This projection tends to lets you show the largest amount of subject, without vast differences in size between similarly sized objects.
Mercator projections are a hybrid between equirectangular and cylindrical offering a good balance for many images, with less vertical stretching than cylindrical, but stretching the central section more to show more of your subject.

Mercator is a popular projection for maps of the Earth
Zoom in a little, and take two or more rows of images to get greater detail...
As you increase the vertical field of view you have to imagine you're rotating your view around a point pasting images on the surface of a sphere


This is fine for a small field of view - but as you ...
Stereographic projections can be used to create Little Planet pictures - from an equirectangular projection. This preserves angles, but bends all straight lines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereographic_projection
Equirectangular
So you have to use a projection to map
Equirectangular / Spherical
Cylindrical
Planar
Mercator
Go really WIDE
http://bit.ly/foYy9N
Competitions
Submissions for 2012 Feb (closed)
Annual competition to select the best 150 or so panoramic images selected from 850-photographers
http://www.thepanoawards.com/
Submissions to 20th April 2012
http://bit.ly/f8XUaz
More detailed comparisons
http://bit.ly/cambr_projections
More info
For each lens (or often used zoom setting)
Nodal Ninja
Really Right Stuff
http://www.rosaurophotography.com/html/technical6.html
See Rosauro Photography for more info
Using a NN nadir adaptor
http://store.nodalninja.com/products/Nadir-Adapter-for-NN3-and-NN5-series.html
Or just patch it in post-processing
Make only global changes
Ensure white-balance is identical
Adjust exposure, contrast etc for all images
Export as JPEGs for speed
or TIFF 16-bit for higher quality
Create transparency masks to remove moving people and tripod
In Photoshop - load, then convert to layer
Add transparency mask layer
Paint the mask in black to remove stuff
Save as a TIFF, uncheck save layers, check save transparency
Drop images into your favourite pano tool, and allow it to autodetect
Stitch
If you need to start adding control points, you're on your own!
AutoPano has excellent dynamic tools for fixing pano distortion
CS5 Content aware fill is...
... black magic
Adjust contrast
Dodge/burn as needed
Sharpen
Save JPEG or print
Then the usual
Tweak
= (string + rubber band + weight)
then shoot!
= Cylindrical projection
(Spherical projection)
Which if you cut down one side from pole to pole and stretch to a 2:1 frame will look like this (a 360x180 or equirectangular projection), stretching pixels horizontally as you get closer to the north and south poles
If you imagine you're standing at the center of a virtual sphere, taking photos and sticking them to the sphere as you rotate the camera's viewpoint - you're imagining a spherical projection
Play with this image:-
Kolor Panogear
http://www.kolor.com/panogear-motorized-panoramic-head.html
I think this is based on one of the open-source telescope solutions
German engineering
A pano-web-store in Grenoble!
http://magasin.skivr.com/
Dot 360-degree panoramic
video adapter
$79
http://shop.kogeto.com/products/cheery-red-dot
http://tourwrist.com
http://gopano.com
GoPano+
GoPano Micro
Classical
Photography?
Control...
... explore
the horizontal,
and the vertical
Capturing the decisive moment
Composition
One Shot
$79.95
http://store.gopano.com/
http://kck.st/el49KB
Downsides?
Lowest resolution
Upsides
Can use for moving subjects
or video!
Multiple-shot + stitch
http://kolor.com/
GiroCam
€1,499.00
http://www.panobook.org/
Annual competition - 3586 images from 985 photographers last year
Resources & inspiration
http://airpano.com
http://wiki.panotools.org/
Microsoft Image Composite Editor
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/ICE/
Fast
Gigapixel
Photosynth
Free tools

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/hugin/interesting/
Android
http://goo.gl/cIpfI
Apps
Often needed for 360x180 landscapes
http://www.360cities.net/profile/andy_bryant
Vertical lines are preserved, but horizontals get more distorted the further you get from the horizon.

the sphere to a 2D plane
now back to the real world ;-)
... and creating panoramic images from multiple shots

Look for products:
DevalVR Player
Things to remember...
and have fun!
http://andy.bryant.name/pano
... Dr Pano
http://andy.bryant.name/storage/pano/Paris_Eiffel_Tower.html
Multiple viewpoints
http://farbspiel-photo.com/
Full transcript