Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gushing and Jamming...

Not much in this week, except that I'm trying to somehow put down my camera for a while and have a bit of fun. Fun that is needed. The gene of traveling is hitting on my nerves again and I wish right now if I was somewhere on some tropical island with exotic scenery. I do miss Ireland so much.

I've been working on a regular pace with my vocalization project doing 4 verses everyday. The process is now going smoothly and fast rhymed. In the beginning there is something like a fear from the mic, but after few trials, everything becomes normal and the engine goes fast with vocalizing and editing. Hoping to increase the amount of verses done per day from 4 to 6. With such a pace, probably I would be over with this project before the end of June! If no sickness occurs that is, like last Monday. The recent portion done expands from 433 to 1008. Such a gap in one week that makes me... optimistic.

I've been working on some images from the the Scientific Center the past few days and trying to prepare a sort of a digital portfolio to show the management of the gift shop. Anyway, after some phone calls, seems they are not interested even before they see what I've got; all what was there is a promise of a phone call, and I know this usually means "back off".
As I was working on some of images, I've noticed some images in sequences that, with a little movement between one image and the next, inspired me to try out and do a 3D images out of them. They are included in the CD portfolio as well.

Chlidonias hybrida (?)

You can see the depth of the image for yourself, that is if you own a 3D glasses, by staring at the point where the legs of the bird meet the rock surface upon which it is standing. The first image encouraged me to look further for other sequences I've taken. I think the best sequence was for this bird, and it was unintentional of course. However, another chance somehow showed up with a shot of a fish (which I don't know its exact name).

3D Fish

This anaglyph (i.e. 3D image) is not as good as the previous one though, for some reasons. In the making of the 3D image, two images are needed with a slight tilt in the viewing angle, and the two images are then aligned at a certain point that would be the center of the focus. In the fish's image, this point was the head, which is not in center of the image. It gives some good depth when looking at the end, but a strong ghosting occurs at the tail because of the wide angle movement between the two slides.
These two images were enough to spark my hunger for more 3D images and experiments. I just need the proper environment for now.

Nirvana Penguin
There were some images that I did adjust some aspects for, like the Nirvana Penguin, where I added an additional blur to the penguin of the right, to make the eye concentrate more on the other penguin.
But there are other disappointments; some big ones. The panorama that was supposed to be a major one, that is the one for the main tank in the Scientific Center, did not turn well with lot of smudging points. Such smudging points usually occur because of some high differences in exposures between various areas under the stitch. However, this panorama is a single-shot panorama (i.e. not a HDR one) and probably, adding to this reason, the movement in some scenes added to the confusion. Trying to fix it in the stitcher itself failed, and definitely not a good idea to fix it in Photoshop.
 On the other hand, there was a good, to some extent, panorama that I had some hopes for.

Corridor Silhouette

I was hesitating as whether I should stitch single shots, or do it in HDR. However, after mingling a bit with the single-shot panorama, I've decided to go on with the HDR option since it gives more control over the light. I had some portions cropped from the left and right to centralize the silhouette (I hope the lady won't mind me taking her picture!). Many adjustment layers were added to emphasize the silhouette (which was lighter) and add some contrast and enhance the level of other lights in the scene. Another area benefited from the HDR technique is the topmost portion (the ceiling) which was completely black with no details showing.

Greenhouse (LP)
Beside the images above, I've added some projections of the same panorama of the Greenhouse (as I call it so) and other panoramas for the outside portion of the Scientific Center. However, up till this post is written, not all images (single shots that is) that were taken that day were explored still.
Maybe one of the significant discoveries if I should say is the interesting look made up by the Full-Frame projection for the panorama of the outside portion. This projection is seldom used, and I've realized now that it just mimics the effect of an extreme wide angle lens (say, sunnex lens) on a full-frame sensor. I can say it is a new artistic consideration to be considered now whenever I do panoramas.

Outside (Full-Frame)
Another discovery is that, what I used to call a Wide-View projection and spend few minutes adjusting the angles for a proper view (starting out from Little Planet projection), it is called, simply, the Stereo projection which is implemented in the software itself already. However, that doesn't mean we should leave it at that, but certainly there are some changes in the viewing angle after all. It is such an expansion in the viewing horizon for any panorama that I would do in the future that makes a gush of feeling and a mix up of emotions; think of it: Every projection yields a specific feeling!!!

However, the Outside panorama gave me some hard time with the nadir as usual and the patching or cloning process was not to my liking but I guess it is the best I can do for now; and no there was no chance I would use other techniques to capture the nadir point. The nadir point in the previous panorama, The Greenhouse, was relatively easy to be fixed for the nature of the ground itself which was almost plain.
Ironically, despite all these troubles with the nadir, more or less, the stitching and linking the images together went smoothly and very well. I seldom stitch such easily-done panoramas! This anyway encouraged me to do a QTVR though I didn't have any plans for it.


Sometimes, doing QTVRs is just about what kind of convention we have in mind prior to the beginning of the work. I did spend some time thinking about it myself and I've asked: Why would someone want to look to the ground? What's so interesting about it? Is it really worthwhile to take all this hardships to snap a shot for the nadir point in whatever method?
After all, I've realized that only in rare occasions, the nadir point is that important. In most cases, just like the coming two QTVRs below, the nadir points are not that important and do not add a significant texture to the whole scene; since they resemble the ground itself which is viewable from different points of view. Only in rare occasions as I've mentioned above, the nadir point is important, like when the tripod is placed on top if a textured tiles cluster and the design is important because it has a significant look and view.

Some logo can be added to the QTVR process in the place of the nadir point, in case of authenticity is required of course, but if that is not even required, the QTVR can be simply done with limiting the vertical viewing angle. If you think about it, it is not only more practical, but also more reasonable and realistic! People do not walk and stare at their feet while they walk all the time, do they? This said, however, it is better to stitch a nadir slide because it has some portions of the background on the sides of the tripod head that would show up. After that, we can limit the view while making the QTVR. The resulting image would be a small circle at -90 that don't add much to the whole wonder of the QTVR viewing, thus it is removed by limiting the vertical viewing angle. In my case, the vertical range would be typically set from +90 degrees down to -60 to -80 degrees.

The quality in the small versions are not quite good as it is in the large versions of course. In the previous QTVR I've converted a whole panorama with the nadir point being cloned out. Since the original image was also intended to be shown, it has my watermark as it is.
In my second QTVR, however, the nadir point was more critical and hence I've limited the tilt (vertical view) to the range of +90 to -70. The QTVR is smaller because there were issued with the clarity of the pixels, but such problem is not an issue with the original large version.

Well, it has been a busy week for now and I'm thinking of having some rest and play some games while continuing my vocalization. After my last phone call with KSC, and after being forgotten by the Marina Mall directors, I feel so tired of trying out to pronounce my name. I know it is not easy to start such a business trend specially in such a place where I live, but I need to gather myself little bit and have some fun. A fun that I didn't catch up with for a really long time....

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