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Old 10-24-2001, 09:31 AM
rmoss rmoss is offline
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Default Eliminate Gray and Curved Edges on Panoramic Images

The following information applies only to versions of the VisualTour software that used PhotoVista for stitching, which means all versions PRIOR to version 4.1. Version 4.1 introduced a newer stitching component that eliminates the need for manual cropping or checking an auto cropping box.

Thanks to the easy stitching features of the VisualTour software, you do not have to be a professional photographer to get professional quality panoramic photographs.    If your panoramic images have gray or curved edges (or both) when you stitch them, they lose that professional quality, but this memo will show you how some simple settings will completely eliminate those curved and gray edges forever.

Poorly Stitched Panorama

Notice how the image has both curved edges and gray edges.

Eliminating Gray Edges:
If your images have gray edges at the top and bottom, it is usually a sign of misaligned photos, although you will also get gray any time you have curved edges even if the photos are well aligned.  There are two things you can do to eliminate the gray edges.

  1. After clicking the Stitch button in PhotoVista, choose the option to "Crop non-image area."  This setting tells PhotoVista to automatically crop out all gray, but sometimes at the cost of cropping out a piece of the image if the photos were not aligned well when they were taken.

  2. Align your photos as well as you can when taking them.  Keep level horizontally as you rotate, and your photos will not require too much vertical adjustment, meaning the tops and bottoms will line up and leave no extra space to be filled with gray.


Eliminating Curved Edges:
If your images are curved at the top and bottom, it is a result of PhotoVista's warping feature.  That feature is designed to reduce the warped fisheye appearance caused by wide angle lenses on some cameras.  There are three options for eliminating the curvature.
  1. In PhotoVista, click the camera button and choose a lens setting with a larger focal length.  At the top of the camera list are lenses identified solely by number and not by camera name.  Choose the highest number you can, then try stitching again.

  2. After clicking the Stitch button in PhotoVista, choose the option to "Disable warping."  When this option is disabled, the photos will not be warped to accommodate a wide angle lens, so there will be no curvature.

  3. After clicking the Stitch button in PhotoVista, choose the option to "Crop non-image area."  This setting tells PhotoVista to automatically crop out all gray as mentioned above, but since the curves are jutting out into the gray area, they get cropped out as well.


Bonus Information: If you find that when PhotoVista crops the non-image area, it is cutting out areas you do not want to lose, then next time you take your photos, try turning the camera on its side.  By using a vertical aspect ratio, you get more information from top to bottom so losing a little bit does not matter.  Just remember to rotate the photos in VisualTour or PhotoVista (both have rotation tools) so they are facing the correct direction before you try to stitch them.

Last edited by rmoss; 01-07-2008 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:40 PM
Charlie Charlie is offline
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Default Guidelines - Camera Focal length

Any guidelines on when to disable warping VS lens Focal length?

Also, is the overlap also a function of the stitch problem when using warping?

I've used two different cameras and one is a wider angle lens and produces more distortion which seems to require more overlap to stitch correctly without too much distortion or having to manually stitch.

Thanks,

Charlie
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Old 12-08-2003, 09:33 AM
rmoss rmoss is offline
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Default

Generally speaking, if your photos have a lot of straight lines (counter tops, baseboards, fences) then uncheck the disable warping box. If they have fewer straight lines, try disabling warping. Any set of photos might work better one way or the other, though.

If your camera's focal length is too small (wide angle lens) then your photos might be distorted (slightly curved or completely fish-eyed) before you even start to stitch. Those are harder to stitch, but note that setting your focal length in the PhotoVista software will have absolutely no effect on your stitching if you disable warping.

And here in attention grabbing bold letters...
If I were you, I would download the 4.1 update. It includes a new stitching component that is so much more accurate than PhotoVista in that it self adjusts. We tested it with various sets of photos that PhotoVista could not handle, and it came through with great results.

The update can be found here:
http://www.VisualTour.com/downloads
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Old 12-08-2003, 07:21 PM
Charlie Charlie is offline
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Thumbs up 4.1 Thanks

4.1 does show a marked improvement in stitching...

Thanks!

I'm looking at the new Olympus C5060Z because it has an equivalent focal length of 27 mm which in 35 mm terms is much more usuable for interiors...

Anyone out there evaluated it on out subject matter?

Charlie
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