Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alexander 6, V86.

 My hand is killing me with the pain in the wrist area. Luckily, it's my right hand and not the left, as I'm a lefty. I don't feel like going to some clinic to check for this, as the pain has been there for 3 weeks now. I decided instead to make something at home, some oils and stuff and wrap it up, but unfortunately I've forgot to do so! To decide for something is something, and to do that thing is something else!

I'm still working on the (new) gamma lab panorama, and unfortunately met some difficulty, starting from the weird pinkish plots on the image (and I still don't know where do they come from), and ending with a memory crisis, as usual.

Autodesk Stitcher Unlimited 2009 

I was trying my best yesterday with the Autodesk stitcher to stitch my office panorama, but as usual, I couldn't find any use out of it. First of all, when loading the HDR images it gave an error message saying that only images of the same size (compared to the first image on the list) will be loaded. Hence, not all images are loaded. Why? Well, when I do a batch-process and convert all the exposure-bracketed images into HDR images, there is an option I'm supposed to tick in the Photomatix machine, that is "Don't crop". The crop here is to eliminate some tiny pixels on the edges of the final image after combining into a HDR, because sometimes the camera vibrates, moves, shakes..etc and Photomatix aligns images either according to common features, or according to regular shifts in the vertical or horizontal planes. After merging into HDR, and if your sequence is moving a bit, Photomatix crops the excess of pixels on the sides to make the image look neat. For this reason, you would rather have some problems loading your images into Autodesk stitcher, but never with PTGui.
I love the pain, so, I batch-processed the whole thing again and this time with no cropping. Loaded the images into Stitcher, but alas, controlling was hard to do, and I was not able to raise the exposure value for the HDR images up, because they were dark a bit and wanted to see the features clearly. Stitching was so time consuming and loading as well.
As a final trial, I've tone-mapped the whole new set of HDR images and put them down to TIFF-16bit format. The process might have been a bit faster but alas, the stitching was hideous and a mess. So, why I'm even trying with this software in the first place? Here you go.

According to Harald Woeste, in his book "Master Digital Panoramic Photography", he used this software in many stitches for his panoramas. Mainly, there is one option that looks very interesting in this software, and that is the Stencil tool.

Mastering Digital Panoramic Photography 

This stencil tool works like the layer mask in Photoshop layers; It allows you to remove or recover some features in the stitch by adjusting what part to be blended or masked and what to show up. This feature specifically was used by Harald in one of his panoramas, as mentioned in his book, in a case similar to what I'm trying to do here; showing a person in several locations in the same panorama. The moving object in panoramas is not a favorable topic and a hideous one too, but when you desire this effect for a purpose, you need a grip on the topic. Autodesk sounded a good choice with the stencil tool, but in my case the stitch was almost a mess that I couldn't retrieve the main features of the panorama at all to even begin with the stencil tool. It is unfortunate that PTGui does not have such a feature, although it can save the panorama completely into separate layers with their own layer masks in order to be fixed in Photoshop, but we should talk here about memory issues... specially for a poor guy like me! :(
Yet still, I will try to understand Autodesk Stitcher as much as possible. I think I have to re-visit Harald's book and look again into that project explanation to see what I'm missing. The main point is, Autodesk Stitcher itself is hard to control and to understand, simply as that! While PTGui can be almost self-explanatory, even for a beginner.

This said now, I need to "waste" more of my time with Autodesk Stitcher in order to understand the work here. Sounds a bit awkward now that it might be my only hope in this situation!
2041. the two collected branches from the forest from other trees
2042. they picked the most greenish branches from the trees
2043. Alexander asked for certain number of branches
2044. then Alexander started to make cuts into the bark
2045. and he planted a branch in each cut inside the tree
2046. then he brought the ropes he had before and tied them all
2047. Kaliván then asked: how this is going to heal the tree?
2048. and Alexander replied: think about it O Kaliván,
2049. the tree bear fruit with its branches like the hands,
2050. thus the first thing would be is to give her hands,
2051. and soon the roots of the branches will connect with it,
2052. and then be part of the mother tree who is young again now
2053. then Kaliván asked: and you think this will fix Jawsamályá?
2054. Alexander replied: I am not sure about it since I never experienced it,
2055. your world, O Kaliván, got things I never saw before,
2056. I can barely accept the idea that there is no sun here!
2057. Kaliván raised an eyebrow and said: sun? what is sun?
2058. but Alexander replied rapidly: nothing, forget it for now,
2059. we have more important matters to think of right now,
2060. how to get Jawsamályá back to its balance as before?
2061. and just when Alexander finished his sentence
2062. some weird breeze started coming out from no where
2063. and Kaliván knelt down and said: kneel Alexander!
2064. and Alexander knelt down and looked up

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