Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

PV Image Quality, and Techniques For Panorama Stiching

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by Chuggie, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. Chuggie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Greetings:

    I have had my Phantom Vision for 10 Days now and it has been great fun. The Image Quality for still images from the Vision is nice, and this feature sets it apart from its Go-Pro toting predecessor. I have been an avid panorama photographer for over a decade now and I wanted to share my technique for panorama stitching images from the vision and share a couple of images.







    Adobe Photoshop is what I use to stich panoramas. My first attempts to stich panoramas from the vision with Photoshop did not work out. The barrel distortion from the PV lens was too much for Photoshop's stitching tool to process. So the first step it to correct the lens distortion on the images before you try to stich.

    Step One - Open the series of images you wish to stich with Photoshop.

    Step Two - Correct the Distortion.
    a. Select the Filter Pull Down Menu.
    b. Choose "Lens Correction..."
    c. Under Camera Make choose Cannon (Canon has the best lens I have found for matching up with the PV)
    d. Under Camera Model choose "EOS-1Ds Mark III"
    e. Under Lens Profiles choose "Sigma DG 8mm f/3.5 EX"
    f. Click The "OK" Button at the top of the Dialogue
    g. Click on the Tab for the next image in your panorama that needs correction.
    h. Go to the Filter Pull Down Menu and choose the very top item (which is the previously applied "Lens Correction")
    I. Apply Lens Correction to all of your Images
    j. Choose "Save As" for each of your images (I give them a new name with corr at the end to show that they have been corrected)

    Step Three - Stich The Panorama
    a. From the "File" pull down menu choose "Automate" then you can select "Photomerge..."
    b. Click on the "Browse..." button to bring up the file selection dialogue window.
    c. Navigate to where you saved the corrected images and <Ctrl> click all of the lens corrected images you wish to stich.
    d. The "Layout" Radio Button should be selected on "Auto" and the only checkbox that should be checked is "Blend Images Together" (This is default)
    e. Click the "OK" button and the image will start to stich. Stitching may take some time to complete depending on the speed and RAM capacity of your computer.

    Step Four - Flatten the Image. The Panorama will be in many layers in Photoshop. To work with the Image you will need to compress it into a single layer. If you do not do this your computer will run very slowly, and you cannot save the image as a JPEG.
    a. Choose the Layer Pull Down Menu, and at the second to the bottom item on the menu is "Flatten Image"

    Step Five - Crop the Image. Photomerge will create kind of a lumpy bumpy image with curved edges, you will need to crop it into a rectangle.
    a. Choose the Crop Tool, drag out a rectangle over the area ot the image you wish to use. Right click the image and choose crop.

    Step Six - Sharpen the image. Most digital images come off the camera a bit soft and need to be sharpened. Images from the PV look better when sharpened.
    a. From the "Filters" Pull down Menu go to "Sharpen" and choose "Unsharp Mask" (Unsharp Mask is Photoshop's best Sharpening Tool)
    b. The "Ammount" Slider should be set between 110% and 170%
    c. The "Radius" Slider should be set to "0.2" to "0.5" no more
    d. The "Threshold" Slider should be left at 0
    e. Click the OK Button

    Step Seven - Bring out the Shadows, and tone Down The Highlights. The PV has a very wide angle lens thus it almost always captures shadows that are under exposed, and highlights that are overexposed. Photoshop is good at bringing out the detail in the underexposed; however once part of an image is overexposed there is no bringing it back; therefore, I normally set the exposure on the Phantom Vision to shoot at -1.3EV to -1.7EV. (Adjusted through cell phone app when connected to PV)
    a. From the "Image" pull down menu go to "Adjust", and then 3/4 of the way down select "Shadows/Highlights..."
    b. The Shadows slider should be adjusted to about 5%-15% for day pictures, more if you are shooting at dusk or night.
    c. Images from a sunny day normally need 10%-25% on the Highlights Slider.
    d. click to "OK" button.

    Step Eight - Saturation color correction. This step really helps correct the flatness of a digital image, and make the colors on the screen look like they would to your eye if you were up where your phantom was looking at the scenery. This technique also really helps to cut haze in a photo"
    a. From the "Image" pull down menu go to "Adjust" and about 1/3 of the way down is "Hue/Saturation..."
    b. The hue saturation dialogue has a pull down that is Master in default, pull it down and select "Reds".
    c. With "Reds" selected move the "Saturation" slider to +15 to +25
    d. Select "Yellows" next and move the "Saturation" slider to +15 to +25
    e. Select "Greens" and move the "Saturation" slider to +10 to +35
    !!! steps below IMPORTANT !!!
    f. Select "Cyans"
    g. Move the "Saturation" slider to +45
    h. Move the "Lightness" slider to -40 (This cuts haze and creates a polarization filter effect, makes your image look good)
    I. Select "Blues"
    j. Move the "Saturation" slider to +45
    k. Move the "Lightness" slider to -40 (Brings in the detail in the sky)
    l. Select "Magentas" and set the Saturation Slider to -5
    m. Click the "OK" button

    Step 9 - Use the "Clone Stamp" and "Healing Brush" tools to repair any parts of the image where the stich did not line up. This step is more of an art form than it is a science, and the use of these tools would take me more text to describe that I have already written in this page thus far. But you can Google these tools and practice using them to fix little errors that happen when stitching and make your panoramas look perfect.

    Step 10 - Save the Panorama.

    Step 11 - Reduce resolution for the Web.
    a. Go to the "Image" pull down menu and select "Image Size..."
    b. be sure that the "Scale Styles", "Constrain Proportions", and "Resample Image" checkboxes are all checked.
    c. In the Image Size dialog under "Pixel Dimensions" change the "Height" value.
    I. 1000px Height is right for a left right scrolling full screen Image.
    II. 400px makes a nice preview image.
    III. 250px makes a good thumbnail image.
    !!! Important step Below !!!
    d. Repeat Step 6 - Sharping Image with "Unsharp Mask" any time you reduce the image resolution.
    e. "Save As" save your new reduced resolution image for the web.

    Enjoy Shooting Panoramas with your Phantom Vision,
    -Chuggie
     

    Attached Files:

    ZaqHydN likes this.
  2. mitchsden

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Bognor Regis, UK
    Nice tutorial, thanks :)

    I watched an Adobe stitching video yesterday using the PV2, not sure if you have seen it

    https://vimeo.com/80567317
     
    markver likes this.
  3. Topeeka

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Topeka, KS
    Thanks Chuggie...(and I have an idea why you chose that name!!...bottoms UP!!)

    I also have done a LOT of pano work...there are many examples in my Flickr account under my "user name" there of Topeeka. My primary reason for buying...and flying...my P2V...(got it the middle of Oct, 2013..just FYI) was for photographic uses with the fun of flying this amazing bird as a secondary benefit...! So far, I've had great luck maneuvering the Phantom to get to those places I've always wanted to place a camera...I've done some photography using a painter's pole and a king size step ladder, and while I've been happy with my results that way, I've always wanted to be able to do more, get higher, "over there", etc....and now, with the P2V, I am able to range far and wide...

    Now...to your excellent post....nearly all of what you have suggested is part of my normal "work flow" in doing panos...the PanoMerge is a fantastic stitching tool and it has the ability to match, merge, mask and assemble good panos from images that are not perfectly aligned or exposed...such a forgiving bit of software, simply mind boggling to think about all that has to happen to assemble a dozen or more...or less...images into one dramatic photo...! Your step-by-step instructions are right on the money. I especially liked your idea/technique about using the Canon/Sigma 'lens correction' option to help get the fish-eye out of the photo....I normally use a Nikon D700 with a Sigma 17-35mm for most of my pano work, but thanks to you, this gives me another option to use for the Vision cam. I've looked into some of the posted profiles for the Vision camera itself, but I have not had the time to figure out a way to use that actual profile in my procedures...I know it's available for LightRoom 5, I have LR4...so there might be an easy way to use that...just don't know at this point...too many hours have been devoted to Turkey Time, and my Pilot Training on the Phantom...!!

    Again, thanks for the excellent 'menu' for pano work, there is not a thing about what you wrote that I would change...I know how much time it takes to document something like that....and I want to assure you, your check IS in the mail...!

    Grins......
     
  4. Chuggie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Thank you for the thumbs up. You and I have similar ground Photography gear. I shoot a Nikon D800 for ground Pano work. My favorite lens is the 50mm F1.2 AIS. I have a Bogen geared tripod head, which gives me a lot of accuracy for when shooting Pano's. For some of my more recent Pano attempts I have taken wide angle shots with a telephoto lens. I use the 300mm f2.8 Nikkor, and shoot sometimes over 200 images in a grid, and stich the images together for a gigarama. Takes the computer quite a while to process all the Tiff 48 bit images from the D800. But in the end I have an image with far more resolution than a 8X10 sheet film camera would.

    The PV is awesome though climbing up to take the images I could never shoot from the ground.

    Have Fun,
    Chuggie
     
  5. Chuggie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Buffalo Wyoming
    I checked out the video. Thanks for Posting it
     
  6. arinvideo

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    1
    Nice Post, will try your work flow on my next attempt
     
  7. visionuser

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info Chuggie !

    Also, not sure if you guys saw this link already: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/take-flight-i ... otography/

    Adobe explains everything. You can see and hear a lot of useful tips there. Highly recommended.
     
  8. Chuggie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Buffalo Wyoming
    That looks like a good series
     
  9. Chuggie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Thanks,
    These are panorama techniques that really help when photographing landscapes.
     
  10. Chuggie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Buffalo Wyoming
    I Finished this series,

    Thanks Again
     
  11. Shrimpfarmer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Sussex UK
    Superb post. Many thanks for taking the time to share your technique. I look forward to trying this out when I visit the English Lake District this year.
     
  12. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    Watch out for low-flying jets up there! Quite often they fly below you if you're walking along a fell ridge... :shock:

    Great panorama opportunities, though - stunning scenery.
     
  13. juarboleda

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bogotá Colombia
    Advice, I not use Auto ISO, I use 100 iso, if you have flying skills use Atti mode flying with little wind to prevent movement and vibration affecting image quality
     
  14. Shrimpfarmer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Sussex UK

    Yes I agree. Its about time I tried out Atti mode. Flying it should not be a problem as I have been well trained. ;)
     
  15. Pull_Up

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    South Oxfordshire, UK
    atti mode and a little breeze can make for some very nice hands-off tracking shots - you just have to plan your video for the wind as well as where the light's coming from! In a stiff breeze it's amazing how quick the thing can blow away from you, so start upwind and have a finger ready to flip the switch back into GPS mode... :)
     
  16. ted35

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    1
    First attempt...needs work.





    Ok...better.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Chuggie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Nice Work.

    Something I noticed on your panorama though was color shift between stitched frames. I get that a lot with the phantom as well. I really wish there was a manual exposure mode, or an exposure lock feature.

    Thanks,
    Chuggie
     
  18. fireye81

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Morning,

    I stitched this one together using the Adobe series technique, seemed to work reasonably well but I'm no pro photographer!
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Chuggie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Those are nice Panoramas, good work.

    One suggestion, I think a little bit more sharpening would benefit the final image.

    Thanks,
    Chuggie
     
  20. BenDronePilot

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    131
    Just curious as to why you're not using the adobe lense profiles that are specifically made for the Phantom 2 Vision camera? They're available on dji website for download


    Nice Panoramas by the way. I've got to give some a try myself.