Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Alexander 6, V13.

I woke up late, and that was not great. So, I felt tired already, and to work I was not ready.
Since I didn't go to work, there was no work in tranlisteration for today (plus, my papers are already in the office!). The weather is nice, and seems it is nice every time you skip work in a working day or something. Well, with the beginning of this new year I have 4 casual days in my account so I'm just going to use one. Nothing is like sleeping for extra 6 hours in the early morning! But wish if I know why did I wake up late like that... my sleeping time was the usual!

Anyway, started to work on the previously made panorama of our living room. There were many problems in the image that I tried to solve some of them by cloning out. Beside that, with some spots in the image, I really do need to hurry up and look for some cleaning kit even if I have to order it from the US or so. The problem is with liquids as usual and hence I have to look for what is usually called "the static brush" which grabs the dust by electrostatic force.
I think the main problem that caused all the fuss in the stitching process is mainly not being able to rotate the camera around its no-parallax point. Unofortunately, you'd a special head for the tripod to do so and they aren't any cheap stuff. Still, I did previously some nice panoramas with this simple tripod of mine which I inherited (sorta) from my father.
Another problem that I think it affected the process is that I probably was not rotating the camera in a fixed amount of degrees in a circle (because I was depending on my eye sight in the viewfinder of the camera and aligning the AF points in the viewfinder). I think next time I should consider using the scale engraved on the head of the tripod itself and rotate accordingly for a fixed amount of 30 or 60 degrees around the axis.
been thinking seriously of finding some shop to do me a favor and create my own lens ring or what is sometimes called a "Q-ring" (it looks like a Q). I was inspired for this by some German photographer (which unfortuantely I can't find his webpage again) who put a photo of his gear and below that he clearly stated "my self-made Q-ring". I think if you have some specifications for it you can go to any metal-works shop to do something similar. This ring is to be fixed on the top of the tripod and it holds the lens of the camera in a specific point, i.e. the no-parallax point. Sounds a simple solution instead of buying those complicated and expensive tools, but yet I'm thinking of the body weight after all and is it really safe to use it that way (even if the German photographer did so already with his Nikkor lens).

However, I keep working on some versions of the living room. Until Now I made several versions and 3 of them are similar in projection type but different in the tone-mapping process:

1. Tone-mapped then stitched:

I did this version mainly when I was trying to find a way to stitch my panorama with a lesser memory requirement that it would take for an HDR panorama. The tone-mapping was done in a batch process in Photomatix over all the smaller HDR (smaller relatively not in size!) images. These images were stitched later. I didn't like this one really, because my aim was to produce an HDR panorama and being able to tone-map it manually in Photoshop, or even more, fixing it before tone-mapping it, and suck a task can only be done in Photoshop (to me, I know there are other softwares out there). However, I gained something after all in return. I saved the template (or the order of the control points and their settings) and I used it later on for the HDR panorama stitching. A process that I might be using it a lot in the future. The advantage of this, you can fix everything in a low resolution JPG panorama and save your work and then just apply it as a mold on the BIG work of HDR later on and directly. Without worrying to optimizing it in the PTGui itself (I did not run optimization for the panorama after applying the template taken from this one).

2. Manually Tone-mapped:

After taking the control points "mold" from the previous model, I applied it into the HDR panorama here. I made several adjustments on colors and saturations and saved it directly on top of the original HDR (unfortunately) but anyway, the greater deal was with the errors of stitching and the occurence of broken lines or features. After all these adjustments, I went on and manually tone-mapped it by using the usual "local adaptation" and the usual toning curve. This was my aim in the first place, because I can manually control the illumination of the light sources themselves here and drag it down to make the light bulbs just like a glowing stick by itself.
Notice however, that in all these versions of panoramas, there was a hole in the ceiling that I could not clone out perfectly nor I could use the healing tool in Photoshop in 32-bit mode, thus it was necessary to fix that only after tone-mapping. This is a result of removing 3 images from the sequence because of troubles in finding control points suitable for them.

3. Photomatix after stitching:

This is the reverse of method #1. But the main thing that affected it is that the original HDR file was actually saved from the previously non-tone-mapped version when I did some work in Photoshop with it before. Maybe it's not different much in general hue, but it is brighter and, well, might look a bit artificial. I based it on Grundge style and re-worked the values accordingly. This is how I mostly use the Photomatix; pick up a style and adjust it. I noticed however, later on, when I zoomed into the image, there was strong banding in colors around the light bulbs in the ceiling. I kept a larger version of this image for later work. I'm thinking of submitting this one to the stocks. I need to do some work with it after all to remove the portraits on the walls and see what else I can fix in it. I'm not so optimistic about accepting it though, since it has lot of erratic stuff going around with it. I will minimize it before submitting in hope some of such errors disappear or just go unnoticed when zoomed in. (Thinking) this is not cheating, is it?

Time to head now and do some work for "work"! I leave you now with Verse 13 of Alexander 6.
289. and the swords met in a fierce battle
290. someone is seeking revenge
291. while the other is seeking joy and blood
292. you could hear the roars echo
293. in every valley and over the mountains
294. it was a day of terror over the lands
295. when you could see the rocks spark with fire
296. and with every hit from the Charnagút
297. and with every hit from the Balíkhah
298. the ground would shake with every sound
299. the sounds of the swords were like fierce thunders
300. made by the mad Heavens and Earth
301. one hit by the other with no rest
302. they exchanged the force mercilessly
303. and and the hero had many injuries
304. fighting was hard for him now
305. and the shepherds were watching and surprised
306. if Kadmún was a god how come he is weak
307. if he was god why he did not kill Alexander before
308. thus they started to rage like Fulkan Muttere itself
309. and starts throwing stones on Kadmún
310. amid the rage Kadmún shouted at them
311. "verily I shall kill you all with your sheep,
312. useless creatures deserve not the air they get!"

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