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Author Topic: Saving yay, pitch & roll for panorama creation  (Read 1596 times)
MrSmith27
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« on: October 29, 2012, 06:28:29 AM »
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Hi,

I'm wondering if there is a way to automatically save camera orientation into the meta data of images? The reason why I want to do this is that stitching images together is much more easy and gives much better results if you know exactly how the camera was positioned in every shot.

A good example is the latest iPhone's panorama feature: In some situations it's really quite good which probably stems from the fact that a gyroscope is build into the device. So the software exactly knows the orientation of each image.

Now, I would like to keep using my DSLR, but I want to attach some devices that records the relative position of the camera. Ideally it should give me yaw (left-right rotation around Y-axis), pitch (up-down rotation around the X-axis) and roll (z-axis). I am now estimating these values when making panoramas but it's quite clear that exact numbers would dramatically increase the output quality.

Cheers,
A
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 07:41:28 AM »
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I'm wondering if there is a way to automatically save camera orientation into the meta data of images? The reason why I want to do this is that stitching images together is much more easy and gives much better results if you know exactly how the camera was positioned in every shot.

Hi,

While it can be useful to have orientation clues for stitching image tiles that lack easy control point features, it is only a very rough start for a successful stitch. More important is the distortion of the lens, and how well the rotation was positioned relative to the no-parallax point of the lens, none of which are encoded in the yaw/pitch/roll parameters.

Cheers,
Bart
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OldRoy
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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 05:12:37 AM »
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Having done hundreds of interior 360 x 180 VR panoramas in the last few years, plus innumerable stitched landscape panos using a wide variety of lenses, I am really puzzled by this requirement.

I use PTGuiPro which, given the sensor format and the focal length manages to calculate these parameters quite successfully, given that the shots were made on a correctly set up pano-head. VR panos are the most demanding to stitch. Providing there's not too much close foreground this program (like some others) will also successfully stitch and blend hand-held shots where the contributing orientation values are unknown.

For panos shot off a dedicated head with accurate NPP point values previously established for a given lens, you can save a previously known good set of stitching values as a template which can then be applied to the subsequent sequence, eliminating (at the very least, partially) the need to find control points where there is no fine detail, like skies.

One possible trap in stitching panos is to have the automatic orientation switch, which displays shots in portrait format correctly, set to "on" in the camera. Without going into details, I have known this flag to confuse the stitching program. For similar reasons it makes sense if shooting portrait format to always rotate the camera in the same direction as the image geometry is not symmetrical.

I use Nikon DX, FX and M4/3 hardware. Apologies if I have misunderstood your requirements.

Roy
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MichaelEzra
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 10:27:22 PM »
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Try AutoPano Giga it will likely do exactly what you need, automatically.
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OldRoy
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 06:13:47 AM »
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Would someone explain why this data is needed. I really don't get it!
Roy
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 06:57:34 AM »
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Would someone explain why this data is needed. I really don't get it!

Hi Roy,

It might be useful in case of relatively featureless image tiles, or tiles with moving clouds as an example, or tiles with very similar looking features to other tiles. In such cases it won't be possible to (automatically) assign control points, or the position of the tile will be wrong, leaving gaps or errors in the pano.

Shooting in an orderly fashion, e.g. with an indexing rotator or click-stop, will also allow to estimate the correct position of tiles. That's what I use.

Cheers,
Bart
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elf
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 02:25:08 AM »
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While I don't think the data will help very much, you can use an Arduino (or other micro controller) and a couple of 3 axis accelerometers to gather the data.  This can later be written to the EXIF. 

Do you know what the accuracy or tolerance levels are for measuring this info?
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2012, 08:00:19 AM »
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As in interesting point of technological reference: The Phase One IQ series does this; every image has it's pitch and roll (but not yaw) recorded in the metadata. In Capture One this allows you to use an "auto horizon" and "auto perspective correction" feature on one image, or many images at once. Capture One also has automatic lens correction.

It's only interesting though, not a solution for you. Unless of course you want to buy a Phase One IQ, but then I imagine you'd find that you stitched far less often :-).
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PDobson
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 11:33:31 AM »
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A lot of surveying equipment takes exactly these measurements with a high degree of accuracy. I could picture a hybrid Leica total-station/camera that could accurately stitch without any visual reference points. The technology is there. Of course, considering the prices of total stations these days, you'd be better off just buying a high-res scamming back.
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