Monday, April 5, 2010

Alexander 6, V30.

Again and again. Issues with this damn connection like every morning. I'm connecting now to a wireless network that is sittled in the building next to us, and my ethernet cable is not working at all. Even the signal from that building is low, so I'm expecting problems soon. This is a nice way to say 'good morning' to me by this working place. I can't even understand how did I wake up in the first place.
Still struggling with my Guest Room Panorama here. This time, I played around and around with the 8-bit images trying to fix something suitable panorama to make as a template. I also tried another software, Autodesk Stitcher Unlimited.

Autodesk Stitcher Unlimited 2009 

Although many people talk about this software and about its strong algorithm in stitching, but I rarely use it and, unfortunately, I rarely find it useful for me. It has an option to produce a QTVR (those 360 panoramas that you can move around in). Maybe I shall try to make panoramas by PTGui and use this software to make the adequate effects. As why it is not so useful for me, here you go, some of the reasons:
1. Does not support HDR files (although there is a menu for HDR in the program itself but can't find out how it functions). [It does]
2. Unlike PTGui, I can't find my way through the program. It has some buttons and that's it for me. Tried to experiment with it but I couldn't learn much out of it. So mysterious.
3. Unlike PTGui as well, it's full automatic (even with some extra options to control images in a panorama).
4. Some buttons there, just don't have the pop-up comment to make you understand what it does. I ended pushing buttons all the way trying to find their effects to learn, and yet I couldn't see any effect, and still I don't know what they do at all!
5. Some options are not as easy as PTGui like panning or rotating, but it has zooming in and out which PTGui does not have in the display window after stitching a model.

Well, maybe you might say I should read tutorials before working with the software, but let's be serious, does any read them before working with a software unless later? I found out (and still learning more) from PTGui and still I didn't read much of its help file (except for few times when I wanted to know the definition of some projections and the meaning of some terms, yet I was using them already). Anyway, Autodesk Stitcher is one of the recommended programs (along with others) that were mentioned in Harald Woeste's book, Mastering Digital Panoramic Photography.
Mastering Digital Panoramic Photography 

And so far, I'm not giving up with it. I will have to try more in some way. It might come in handy when working with 8- or 16-bit images, but unfortunately it doesn't open HDR images, and hence, it's on the side at the moment. If you ask me, I think $329.99 is a bit too much for the software.
Back to the panorama, and after trying out Autodesk's software, I couldn't do much, so I'm back to PTGui trying more tricks from the bag here and there and changing some values. I did something but I couldn't check up with the results since I had to fall asleep indeed! This time I changed what's called, the pitch. In panorama softwares usually (and also in other softwares that stretch and morph the images I guess), there are 3 variables that can be controlled to change the orientation of the image: a) Yew, b) Pitch, c) Roll. I laughed when I read these 3 terms in the first time really, but then I understood they are more like a coordinates system; just like (X,Y,Z) or (R,Theta, Phi) [yeah, that's spherical coordinates system]. At least this is how I imagine it to make things easy for my brain. We physicists got weird trends and fashions, trust me.
However, Yew is supposedly to control the panning from left to right and so on. It can be done manually with click and drag by the mouse, but you can also make this precise without any handshake that might shake the panorama up and down by just inserting some number (degrees) in the dialogue box specified for this.
Pitch, which is the value I changed, controls the curving of the panorama. I can also think of it as dragging the panorama up and down as well. I did this and I found out that more lines are connected easily at the bottom of the image and hence, the broken lines in the rugs were fixed to some extent!

Left to say, Roll, is the value or degrees to rotate the panorama around its center. All these three values can be also edited for any single image in the panorama as well, but this is a far reach for me since I got blinded already when I worked with control points alone!
The panorama above now, is not the final product and as you can see this yellowish or goldish hue is just a result of fat tone-mapping by Photomatix to reduce the HDR and make some images to build my template upon. Upon that configuration, the optimization process rendered and yielded 'Good'. For this, I saved the template (and the panorama image as well) and I apply it directly to the list of HDR images without doing any oprimizations. Unfortunately, the stitching process took a long time as usual and I was already preparing to go to bed. The red (supposedly) rug is stretched at the bottom and the tripod legs aren't cloned out, but it is not important for the time being since it is just an example here. I'm not bothered much by the stretched red rug, which I think can be easily cropped from the bottom. This curve emphasizes the idea I had in my mind before, that the spherical projection (or sometimes called Equirectilinear) is not the best way to represent this particular panorama yet. I think a Little Planet (Stereographic projection) would be fit more. I shall try this later. An idea I'm thinking of right now as well is, to apply the Transverse Equirectilinear projection. As I understand it, it is a spherical projection but it works on the images or starts to stitch the images in a flipped position, like 90 degrees. Sounds logical to me, if the normal spherical projection works for normal landscape orientation of images, then the transverse version might work perfectly for the portrait images, like in my case.

As it is usual with every Monday, the day does not come without any surprises (except of few times when the bad surprised were delayed to the next day). I was asked to watch over a group of students in their exam, and it was tricky and hard to go through out the situation and refuse. I could barely bear myself as a student and now I have to watch over them and see if they are cheating or not... ugh. Add to that now, there is a plan that I might have to go out and "collect" some data from somewhere accompanied by some people that I don't know really... great. Seems it is just another one long week...
697. Alexander then asked: is it a treasure that I am seeking?
698. and Utéfah answered: what you are seeking is greater than a treasure,
699. but this man's head made tricks on his soul,
700. and he imagined that you are after the gold and silver,
701. I read some papers from Ázilis, the blessed,
702. and I know what to do next and where to go,
703. but first we must find the Charnagút
704. then Alexander said: but I lost it, maybe to the groove,
705. I cannot seem to find any trace of it after the fight
706. and Utéfah replied: call upon it by the name of God,
707. and kneel down on your knees to show the respect,
708. verily the Charnagút will come back to your hand
709. thus Alexander slowly bent down on his knees
710. and shouted with his voice like a roaring lion
711. "by the name of God, I call upon you O Charnagút"
712. it was but moments and the sword raised up in the air
713. and slowly went into the palm of Alexander
714. then Alexander turned around to Utéfah with a smile
715. and this he said: verily there are lot of tricks that you have O Utéfah,
716. was all of that mentioned in the papers of the blessed Ázilis?
717. and Utéfah replied: yes O good king, he kept these papers away from others,
718. thus when I saw them separated I knew they are special,
719. so then I read them and they were written with Yabjadítah
720. just like Ázilis taught us all how to write it and read it

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