Improvement tips

Q&A about the latest versions
Branigan
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 3:43 pm

Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:28 pm

Neal wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:23 pm
One example: http://www.houseviewonline.com/Images/2 ... /pano.html

I think there are a lot of areas that I can improve.
The obvious problem is you're using FoV mode: Vertical, which is intended for Portrait/Mobiles. You can tell because when you change the width of the browser it simple reduces the 'window' on your panorama, instead of adjusting to the new size and zooming in/out to fit correctly.

See my recent post about it here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14932 (I'm going to get back to the quality/colour issues thread later, when I can work out what the heck is going on.)

As I replied in a previous thread: as your navigation method can't really work on mobile, you might be OK if you fudge the FoV, but it will look different on 16:9 Monitors, 4:3 monitors and superwide monitors. If you set up the FoV mode correctly to Diagonal, or ever do a panorama that is intended to also work on a mobile: you can't do much more than a crossfade with Transitions because they're currently FUBAR'd.

For FoV Mode: Vertical viewed on a 16:9 monitor, your Default FoV should be 70/75 degrees to look "normal". It would be 90/95 in FoV Mode: Diagonal, but the maths is currently fighting against you by stretching your Portrait view over a Landscape monitor.

You've also got a fair bit of noise, which you can avoid in the future by taking more exposure ranges, +/-4 and +/-2 and stacking them with some HDR software that is 360 image aware like EasyHDR. Alternatively, using Neat Image software will do a very good job of getting some of that noise out of your images.

DNGs from the camera are a waste of time. The internal processing libraries from the manufacturer that are used to generate the JPGs do a better job than any software I've tried to improve them. The .insp files can be merged and batch exported from the software easily enough, then recombined in EasyHDR. Stitching is OK if you calibrate the camera correctly, which is a bit of an art. Using a tripod and having no features less than 3 metres from the camera is required.
Neal
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:14 am
Contact:

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:11 am

I did some playing around with the suggestions.

Reducing the field of view, switching to diagonal mode appears to help.

I also tried 9 exposures covering a range of +/- 4. That made the noise go from terrible to simply bad.

EasyHDR doesn't appear to do any better or worse than PTgui for creating HDR images.

As for using the jpg files generated via the Inst360 studio vs the DNG files, the DNG file won hands down. The output from the studio was terrible. That and the stitching in the studio appears to be geared for outside work were blurring the margins works. For inside work, it's just inconsistent.
Branigan
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 3:43 pm

Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:50 am

Neal wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:11 am
I did some playing around with the suggestions.

Reducing the field of view, switching to diagonal mode appears to help.

I also tried 9 exposures covering a range of +/- 4. That made the noise go from terrible to simply bad.

EasyHDR doesn't appear to do any better or worse than PTgui for creating HDR images.

As for using the jpg files generated via the Inst360 studio vs the DNG files, the DNG file won hands down. The output from the studio was terrible. That and the stitching in the studio appears to be geared for outside work were blurring the margins works. For inside work, it's just inconsistent.
If you're not going to use this on mobile, maybe don't switch to Diagonal just now :) , because: although it's more correct, using it exposes a lot of mathematical bugs you'll end up fighting until they're fixed. Just change the Default FoV to 70 and back to FoV Mode: Vertical and hope for the best.

I don't use PTGui, I stack 12 images in EasyHDR, which is 3 different exposure settings, plus their merged HDR image, and use Smart Merge, rather than 'True HDR'. EasyHDR notes that there are several images with the same exposure (all the +/-0 and merged images) but uses them to get rid of the noise. There is none. It's gone.

I defer to your better experience with DNGs. I found having to calibrate the lenses, etc. etc. gave me a perfectly correct, but very noisy and CA filled result. The manufacturers know more about their sensor than anyone else, so they made it export JPGs that have already done all the work better than most external software (that I've tried, anyway).

If you're getting blurred margins in the Insta360 tool then the camera is calibrate incorrectly. Takes a little experimentation to find the sweet spot. If you calibrate it in a small bathroom you'll get different results when you then take images outside, or in a larger room; also vice versa. Needs to be a medium/large room with lots of details for it to latch onto for the calibration. Then works fine pretty much everywhere.

One minor issue to watch out for is the Dynamic Stitching option can sometimes get too enthusiasic with wooden flooring planks near the Nadir and merges them weirdly. Sometimes need to turn it off for those images. Then, if that upsets any other stitching areas: overlay two final versions and use an eraser tool on the top layer to expose patches of the other version below.

Or, if you're happy to just add a large blur at the nadir: not a problem. :wink:
Neal
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:14 am
Contact:

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:12 pm

@Branigan

Can you post an example of your results? I would like to see what you are getting with your method.

When you say 12 photos, are you taking 3 360 degree shots, each with 3 exposures? Merging each shot to get 3 HDR images, and then feeding all 12 into EasyHDR?

The only calibration I am seeing is in the software, I am assuming that is what you are referring to.
Branigan
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 3:43 pm

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:58 pm

Neal wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:12 pm
@Branigan

Can you post an example of your results? I would like to see what you are getting with your method.

When you say 12 photos, are you taking 3 360 degree shots, each with 3 exposures? Merging each shot to get 3 HDR images, and then feeding all 12 into EasyHDR?

The only calibration I am seeing is in the software, I am assuming that is what you are referring to.
Yes, all of that: 3 images of the same location as +/-4,3,2 = 9 images as 3 separate sets. Exported from the desktop program they'll produce 3 folders with 4 images in each: the 3 exposures and the merged HDR version. Drag all into EasyHDR and Smart Stack to combine them. Maybe toggle a few off if they look too similar. Don't go mad on the HDR, as although it's "360 aware", you might still get small seams on the sky, which are easy enough to touch up after they've become tiles and/or when you remove the camera at the nadir. There is usually no seam, but is being looked at for the next update anyway.

For external views, mainly just need a single +/-4 and use TrueHDR mode so the Ghost removal can deal with fluttering trees in wind etc. as it's not about removing noise in good lighting. If I can't hide out of view outside; I'll take two similar images with me standing in two different places, load all 6 or 8 images into EasyHDR and Ghost removal will erase me.

Calibration of the camera is done on the App. You're supposed to point it in 4 different directions, taking 4 different photos. Then it does its thing and sorts out the calibration. I found using a tripod and the right sized room made all the difference to the results. BTW, this is all on the slimmer One X, not the newer One R.

Although I might consider getting a One R and the vertical battery and sleeve to make a slightly chunkier upright version of the One X if I could be sure of good stitching at near distances/small rooms, which the One X is great at. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbiIqPFg2lE
Neal
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:14 am
Contact:

Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:39 pm

I think there is a lot more difference between the One R and the One X than either the marketing or the specs imply. For one, there is no calibration in the app.

I did what you said, with the 3 photos, 3 exposures, combining and putting into EasyHDR. The results just were not good. There is just too much noise and too little resolution for any program to make it good. This is what I am seeing:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqEQcqkNN-YYiq5IWP0 ... w?e=bIMndG

From what I can see in the studio, there is no way to change the setting to a higher quality jpg, or a TIFF file. It's pretty much a you get what we want you to get application.
Last edited by Neal on Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
360Texas
Moderator
Posts: 3506
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas USA
Contact:

Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:23 pm

Hmmm lots of noise .

Noise is usually created when ISO is not properly set.

ISO 100 gives a soft image <-> ISO 3200 gives a lot of noise Higher the ISO more noise in the image

Probably more than you wanted to know but you might want to review this.

See the chart? It is a "Cheat Sheet" you can right mouse click on the chart and do a "Save As" then print it.

The chart shows that ISO 800 is 1/60s or f/8



https://www.slrlounge.com/iso-aperture- ... beginners/
Dave
Pano2VR Forum Global Moderator
Image
Visit 360texas.com
Neal
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:14 am
Contact:

Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:32 pm

360Texas wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:23 pm
Hmmm lots of noise .

Noise is usually created when ISO is not properly set.

ISO 100 gives a soft image <-> ISO 3200 gives a lot of noise Higher the ISO more noise in the image
That is correct. Unfortunately, neither can be set when you are in HDR mode for the One R. The only options are the number of brackets and the exposure step between the brackets.
User avatar
360Texas
Moderator
Posts: 3506
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas USA
Contact:

Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:53 pm

True... but as an alternative to HDR you can shoot RAW.

That gives you a lot of other image controls say in lightroom or Photoshop for lighting adjustments

Like using "Shadow / Highlight brings up shadows while holding exposure ceiling lights
Dave
Pano2VR Forum Global Moderator
Image
Visit 360texas.com
Neal
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:14 am
Contact:

Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:34 pm

Moving out of the HDR mode and into single-shot manual mode, setting the ISO to 100 and bracket using the f-stop helps. Still noisy, and you have to guess at which F-stops to use. The app only will display certain levels. Above that, it displays the slowest f-stop it can. For inside work that is still generally dark.

The "raw" mode for the One R are DNG files.
Branigan
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 3:43 pm

Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:52 pm

Neal wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:39 pm
I think there is a lot more difference between the One R and the One X than either the marketing or the specs imply. For one, there is no calibration in the app.

I did what you said, with the 3 photos, 3 exposures, combining and putting into EasyPano. The results just were not good. There is just too much noise and too little resolution for any program to make it good. This is what I am seeing:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqEQcqkNN-YYiq5IWP0 ... w?e=bIMndG

From what I can see in the studio, there is no way to change the setting to a higher quality jpg, or a TIFF file. It's pretty much a you get what we want you to get application.
Did not know the R doesn't have a camera calibration option. Maybe they improved build quality in the larger housing to be able to have it correct at the factory. Might have been the X's calibration was included because tolerances were too fine as well as: older tech. Or they run a calibration pass in a hidden menu option at QA time and it's done?

I don't know what resolution I'm looking at in your examples but I can't see any reason why your JPG looks like 1/4 of the resolution of the DNGs. Mine's not that soft. EasyPano evidently isn't EasyHDR, because it manages to stack the multiple exposures, work out what's noise and remove most of it. You also have noise and softness adjustments to taste. Not selling EasyHDR as the best option, but works for me and I'm happy with the results.

Moving on: I've just downloaded the free trial of Topaz's Gigapixel AI. You can make 600% larger images that are AI sharpened. I only tried 2x larger for a 12160x6080 res image, reduced noise etc. and :shock: ! OK, some of the detail is artificial, but it still looks great. It managed to recreate the TV aerial(?) some twigs (?) from almost nothing.
.
AI _Upscale.jpg
AI _Upscale.jpg (33.34 KiB) Viewed 532 times
.
Putting that in the Insta360 Player looks amazing. Only letdown is even with increasing the size of my Pano Tiles from 1520 to 2500 (not going the full 3040 on a 1920x1080 display for anyone...), it doesn't look very different to the original in Pano2VR. :( :roll:

Of course, I'm only using Single-Res. If you use Multi-Res you can at least zoom in further. It's $99, although with a 30 day free trail you could batch process a whole lot of your existing panoramas and see how they look. I'm currently batch processing about a dozen panos. They take about 5 mins each. Also downloading the AI Sharpen program to see if simply upscaling to 2x and then using AI Sharpen will get similar results, as that's on sale at $59.99 until Aug 7th and you can use some YouTube reviewer's 15% off code of AMDISC15 to get that down to $51. Might not work. I'll have to see how it handles the seam.

Then if/when Pano2VR improves its display engine, we'll actually be able to see the benefit, but no point going mad when you can't even see the results. ;)
Neal
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:14 am
Contact:

Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:23 pm

My mistake - When I stated EasyPano and meant EasyHDR.

EasyHDR appears to be a good program. I wouldn't knock anyone for using it. It has some nice settings for noise reduction and color. It's just with my workflow going from PTgui 16bit TIFF to Photoshop, it doesn't add anything.

I purchased the One R to improve my workflow. If I have to leave the room, manually guess and select my f-stops, take steps to reduce noise, stitch the images, and then do color and other corrections on the stitched images, I'm going the wrong way. I can shoot my canon and just stitch and color correct. The final product is much higher resolution with no noise.

I am shooting one today, will see how it goes.
Branigan
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 3:43 pm

Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:38 pm

Neal wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:23 pm
My mistake - When I stated EasyPano and meant EasyHDR.

EasyHDR appears to be a good program. I wouldn't knock anyone for using it. It has some nice settings for noise reduction and color. It's just with my workflow going from PTgui 16bit TIFF to Photoshop, it doesn't add anything.

I purchased the One R to improve my workflow. If I have to leave the room, manually guess and select my f-stops, take steps to reduce noise, stitch the images, and then do color and other corrections on the stitched images, I'm going the wrong way. I can shoot my canon and just stitch and color correct. The final product is much higher resolution with no noise.

I am shooting one today, will see how it goes.
Ok, if you've got a process, then no need to make more work for yourself; but I've got no other camera, so am happy to explore squeezing all the juice out of it. ;)

Whatever you're using, to answer my question about the AI Sharpen program as a cheaper alternative: No, it's not as good as the AI Gigapixel Upscaler.

But, it does do a pretty clean Sharpen and noise reduction on even the original 6080x3040 One X panoramas and some of that even survives Pano2Vr handling it. :) As for trying to get a free upscale to x2 (Bicubic, or Bilinear), then applying Sharpen: Nope. It's better than nothing, but not much better than doing that in something else.

It's asking too much to x2 then Sharpen and there is no upscale in the program itself (that's what Gigapixel Upscaler is for)

There are also fewer options and Auto sometimes selects either Stabilize or Focus as the thing to use as alternatives to Sharpen and they both produced artifacts I don't like in some images, plus a seam.

But...bilinear upscaling by x1.5 and exclusively using Sharpen as the action is an improvement on using alternative programs to attempt the same thing. And no seam.

The 9120x4560 result is more visibly sharp in Pano2VR, even resampled back down to original 1520 tile size and can stand going up to 2280 wide tiles and be visibly clearer than the original, although less than the GigaPixel upscaler result. But every little helps. :)

Anyway, I've seen some panoramas that look very soft, so each to their own. :D
Neal
Posts: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:14 am
Contact:

Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:44 am

After reviewing fancy sharping programs, HDR combiners, shooting more photos, shooting multiple times at the same spot, various settings in Lightroom, and Photoshop, and much more, it became clear that I was trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Now, I'm glad I did that. I learned a great deal that will help my final process.

1) I went back to my Canon, with the fisheye
2) Set up the camera so that I only had to make a single change at each location.
3) Batch process the images.
4) Review, but if I shoot right there shouldn't be any editing.
5) Dump them all into Pano2VR, select a simple skin and output.
6) Upload and done.
About 1 hour of my time and 2 hours of computer time (stitching and uploading while I'm doing other things)

This is a basic, economy level pano.
Here is the result: https://hvolnew.com/Images/output/index.html
User avatar
360Texas
Moderator
Posts: 3506
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:06 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas USA
Contact:

Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:57 am

Thank you Sir.

Appears your imaging... tells the truth.
Dave
Pano2VR Forum Global Moderator
Image
Visit 360texas.com
Post Reply