Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alexander 6, V12.

Despite the sleeping time that was relatively good (7 hours instead of typical 4 hours or 5 hours in generous times), I still feel tired. Well, not as tired as yesterday however. I barely woke up this morning even though I slept earlier last night, after putting on the stitching process ON.
I don't remember I've read this before in the panorama book by Harald Woeste (Wöste?), but it was a thought that occured to me by coincidence and I always see it in PTGUI software for stitching, but I never realized what does it do. It is something called "apply template." It's there all the time and could even spared me the fuss in some other occasions, but anyway, I still need to try it out more.
The idea is simple, you stitch some panorama, save the control points and the other settings of the stitch, and then apply what you have saved of settings on another panorama. This will save much time mangling with and trying to fix the HDR images with their large file size. I produced already a list of images with Exposure Fusion and stitched them together and made out a JPG file out of it and this stitching was saved (merely as a safety procedure in case I need it again some other time but it came in handy just now!).

The EF version of the Living Room panorama in Little Planet projection (not finished).

After loading the HDR images into the software for many times and mangling with it, I had after all to cancel 3 images of the list (reducing the number from 55 images to 52) just because they made a problem with control points (they have no distinguishing features as they were taken for a blank space in the ceiling). This step resolved the issue of the blurry background that I faced the day before, because the software thought these images were for the floor and fixed them there with no control points however.
However, in my trial to do the HDR stitching and because of the problems related to alignment of lines, I tried another approach which was not very liked by me, but it was a trial and I saved the control points file. The approach was to tone-map all the HDRs according to some fixed parameters (in a batch process) and then nail them down with PTGUI. I noticed that here, most of the problems with the lines vanished (but few remain as well which aren't so obvious as I was working with the HDR version);

Tone-mapped then stitched (based on painterly style), flat spherical projection (not finished).

The 2 images above had been adjusted a bit in Photoshop for contrast by the way. Anyway, after all of this fuss I decided to "apply template" of this tone-mapped version of the HDR (which sounded good enough and without much fuss in the lines) to my HDR stitching list. There is one option that is always recommended to be run whenever a stitch is to be done, that is the "Optimizer". It helps on fine-tuning the control points over the images and also to fix the shear and other stuff in the images depending on data taken from the camera or entered manually. The thing is, this option did screw me big time indeed! After applying the template of the tone-mapped version to my HDR list, I just forgot about optimizing, because I did once and all it did was to screw the panorama more. It is purely a mathematical approach, I understand that, and hence it cannot substitute completely the sense of the human eye. Moving along now, I made already a flat 360 panorama of the living room in HDR format (but with reduced size and not in maximum output, since I don't want to play games with my CPU) and also I left the house letting the software stitch a "fullframe" version of the panorama, which made it look like peeking into a keyhole somehow. I need this panorama in HDR in the first place to fix the errors and to remove the tripod remains in the image and then manually tone-map it since I like to control some aspects of the picture, specially the light sources in it (light bulbs in the ceiling). Otherwise, I would settle down with the tone-mapped version of Photomatix.
The work load in my work place seems to be on the verge of increasing somehow with many missions given to me between my hands. I already neglected an invitation for a workshop to Ukraine for 5 days since I don't feel like it is worthy. My mind has completely changed from what it was 5 years ago when I just graduated. I think problems of life do change the scales of aspects of the life greatly, so much that I don't even care about science like I used to do before. All what I have in my mind now is pleasure and photography which brings me pleasure as well.  I have a list of fish samples to work with currently and just now I've been asked to prepare a layout for the poster that we intend to do for some of our results in a simple research we did. Moreover, there is an intention to work with some people (from the ministry of health, the radiation department) on some aspects of non-ionizing radiation (mobile signals ..etc) as a friendly gesture without something official  in order to have some experience with the work in such field. I'm even reluctant now to go and ask about the available scholarships and the ability to study Archaeology as I wished before. I still love Archaeology really, but who knows what's in the job market for this field, otherwise, it is such a magnificent field of mystery and living in the past. I'm no treasure hunter with childish dreams of some adventures, but traveling for such a job or such a field and get to know "friendly" cultures and live the past again away from these busy times, is surely something that always kept my imagination vivid.
We have, adding to the load, some guests that are expected to come tomorrow and they are some expert in the field of radiation and hence, I do really hate to be there. I'm thinking seriously of making something up just to avoid going to work.

265. Alexander controlled his anger severely
266. he almost wanted to kill the demon
267. and the demon was laughing with no feelings
268. then the hero said to the demon slowly
269. "have you not done enough evil to the world?
270. to come here and trick the minds of people,
271. verily your end is near by my hands"
272. the demon laughed out loud and said,
273. "what people? nothing shall live on this Earth,
274. except of us, who are made of fire,
275. if your God loves those, He shall give them the mind,
276. and since no mind on them is set, I am their lord"
277. and since that moment Alexander could not stand
278. but got his sword out and attacked Kadmún
279. with a direct hit on the head
280. but the demon was fast and not a fool
281. and Kadmún then raised his fire sword
282. known in the legends of the ancient days
283. the sword of Balíkhah
284. the one made by the father of demons
285. whose name was Marjí Shadúm
286. who used it to cut the mount of Fototuus
287. and made it the Fulkan Muttere as today
288. to be his home and for his children

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