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1120Re: [PanoToolsNG] Re: hugin 0.6 - amazing!

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  • Mike Runge
    Aug 1, 2006
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      Hi Yuv,
      please see my answers between the lines.

      Yuval Levy wrote:
      > mike@... wrote:
      >
      >> The main advantage of PTGui I have observed:
      >> It's dammend easy for beginners.
      >>
      > It's even better for advanced users.
      >
      No doubt, that it is a very good tool. I'm using hugin since the very
      first time - I just like it :-)
      >
      >> The simple mode developed a good result just clicking a handful of buttons without knowing how panotools are 'ticking' - great!
      >>
      >>
      > I used this mode only once and decide that it is better for me to run
      > PTgui in semi-automatd mode.
      >
      So did I. No doubt, that you can reach excellent results with both
      tools. I found it very interesting, that 'start making panoramas' has
      become so easy - so I focussed on this point.
      >
      >> This is very remarkable since in the early days of hugin one of Pablo's major targets was to develop an easy to use/learn panorama frontend. I think hugin is stable, comfortable, easy to use, but it's definitevely not easy to learn.
      >>
      >>
      > With the advanced knowledge from PTgui I found the trasition easy. The
      > process is the same, the tabs replicating it in the user interface are
      > similar. The difficulties (and the inefficiencies) are at the user
      > interface level, not the functionality which is almost identical.
      >
      agree
      >
      >> Things have changed a lot and meanwhile it's easier than ever to start developing panoramas. Hugin (and PTGui as well) gives you a complete package and straight from downloading and installing you can start - that's really cool.
      >>
      >>
      > Indeed, both of them do, as does Autopano Pro. I have not tried
      > Stitcher, but it does this too. Gone are the day of difficult installs.
      >
      >
      >> Hugin isn't able to detect the correct lens setting for my old Sigma 8mm MF - PTGui can. If you have a file stored with the lens setting you found once you're fine. I think Hugin will address this by using the ptlens database soon?!
      >>
      >> PTGui can find the right cropcircle automatically - cool! Not a big deal in Hugin (just 2 clicks), but a newbie will not know that such a function is there and what it is good for.
      >>
      >>
      > My way of working is to set up a template for a specific combo of camera
      > and lens. The template has been around for a while, so I was not aware
      > that PTgui finds the crop circle automatically. Nice for a newbie. A
      > template is more efficient (though it could be made even more efficient
      > if the stitching software would verify that there has not been a shift
      > of the circle).
      >
      So do I. I have observed, that the really first panorama is the most
      complicated for newbies. Once you have a template for the lens setting
      it's much much easier. For somebody doing his very first panorama it's a
      mess finding the right lens parameters without knowing how the panotools
      and the optimizer are working. BTW: Hugin has a switch (default is on)
      to move the cropcircle with d,e.
      >
      >> Using autopano-sift/autopano within hugin is fine. Best results I get using autopano-sift without ransac check. So there are wrong controlpoints I need to filter for. Usually I optimize 2-4 times and delete the points with very large values using the controlpointlist. That are only a few clicks, but a newbie will stumble on this.
      >>
      >>
      > CP are IMHO one of the major weaknesses of hugin. Although the automated
      > zoom in is nice, it slows the machine down. The round circles
      > identifying the CPs are very difficult to read. I'd rather have a
      > crosshair X or something else that identifies the exact point, not the
      > appoximate area where it is located. Working through the list of CP is
      > difficult, as is manual entry of yaw/pitch/roll in the image parameters.
      > I do not know if this is hugin, or the widgets used for its GUI, but it
      > slows me down.
      >
      Do not agree.
      I like the way of manual/semi-manual CP setting in Hugin. While setting
      a point, you have a crosshair, for later comparision the circles are
      fine (or use the cp-finetune function for individual points or all points).
      Keyin in y,p,r etc. in the images tab still needs a additional 'Tab' or
      'Enter' - don't like that too. I think it's the widget behaving
      different on different platforms?! I would like to do that kind of
      editing directly in the optimizer tab (including the multiple selection
      possibilities of the images tab).
      >
      >> The default optimization method of hugin is very helpful to detect wrong points and to bring the images into a general order. For good results you need to select another method (maybe "All" or "Custom"). Having not enough cp's, no verticals/horizontals or only many cp's, that are crowded around the center this can result in settings that are less good (Hugin reports that, like PTGui does). That's not an issue and due to UNDO etc. this can be easily and quickly solved. But a newbie would stumble here again. I think PTGui optimizes only y,p,r,b (and v?!) in simple mode to avoid those situations.
      >>
      >>
      > I like the different preset optimization methods. I also like PTgui
      > granularity that allows me to select individually which parameter to
      > optimize when I need to do so. In my PTgui template I have it preset to
      > what is my usual first step. Only for difficult stitches I have to
      > change what is optimized. Having the ability to create such custom sets
      > (i.e. going further than what hugin does now) and save the set under a
      > name would be a bonus.
      >
      Normally, I use the default method to kick out the wrong CP's. If that's
      fine, I check the horizon. If needed, I set 2 or 3 verticals or directly
      "Optimize all". It's simple, works reliable and fast, but only with a
      good lens template. Otherwise you better do it step-by-step.
      > True, a newbie would stumble, but then the question is who is the target
      > audience. And: it is possible to have the same user interface for both
      > experts and newbies, as PTgui shows. The reference for newbies however
      > is Autopano: drop a directory on it with source images for 10 panos and
      > it will compose all of them with *no* user intervention. Unfortunately
      > it does not yet support Fisheye.
      >
      The idea of autopano is great, but I don't like tolls that give you all
      or nothing.
      I like autopano Pro. If it just works fine - ok. If you have problems -
      export a Hugin ptofile and go on with hugin. But it's not for free and I
      like the possibility to infect people doing panoramas by trying free
      software. I have no problem to pay for software - but free software is
      still a big bonus.
      >
      >> Preview in hugin is fine and fast and automatically updated if needed - well done! It also show's you the influence of the vignetting tool!!!
      >>
      >>
      > Yes, I liked the preview. This is where in PTgui I do numerical
      > transform to "frame" the view as I want it. I do not recall if this was
      > possible in hugin too.
      >
      >
      >> I'm thankful for the vignetting capabilities although I think this belongs into a RAW converter
      >>
      > agree.
      >
      >
      >> In the end, the result in Hugin (using my usual technique) was better (less stitching errors) than in PTGui using simple mode. Deleting one wrong controlpoint in PTGui (using the controlpoint list) and adding 2 addional points finally leaded to very similar results.
      >>
      > It took me significantly more time to finish the stitch in hugin, with
      > similar quality. IMHO stitching applications no longer differentiate on
      > the set of features. They all have great features and do a decent job.
      > What matters to me now is efficiency. Speed. Usability.
      >
      My usual workflow is quite efficient for stitching a range of panoramas:
      - Editing a simple batchfile that runs autopano-sift over a range of
      folder (each one contains the source images of a specific panorama)
      - running the batchfile (gives a Hugin.pto in each folder)
      - for each folder
      - opening Hugin.pto
      - setting r=90deg for all images
      - applying lens template
      - setting crop for all images
      - optimize, delete wrong cp's, optimize, delete wrong cp's, ...
      (- set verticals)
      - optimize all
      - set stitch options
      - save
      - editing a second simple batchfile that runs nona and smartblend over
      the folders

      It's a bit more interaction (editing the pathes in the batchfiles), but
      the advantage is, that the time-consuming processes (like processing
      CP's, stitching and blending) all can run in batch mode (e.g. over night).
      I guess, a similar workflow is possible with PTGui too?!
      >
      >> My recommendations to make Hugin more newby-friendly:
      >> - A wizard/druid (maybe a range of wizards "Spherical with Fish", "Multirow with Rect", etc..) that triggers autopano/-sift with useful parameters, does basic optimisation and cp filtering, stable post-optimisation, comes up with a preview and shows a short report what you can do next to improve your panorama (or a button "Stitch Now?").
      >>
      >>
      > could be helpful. I'd rather see hugin using a different auto CP
      > functionality - one that does not come with the strings attached of
      > autopano/-sift (there are patents in there).
      >
      agree - cutting these strings would be nice.
      >
      >> - A bad-cp-filtering-by-optimisation tool would be nice as well for advanced users.
      >>
      >>
      > yes, and hopefully that auto CP functionality will work. I've stitched
      > hundreds of panos in PTgui and had seldom bad CPs. Only in two instances
      > (very symmetric buildings) I encountered massive problems. I sent them
      > to Joost and I believe he has improved autoCP in the meantime.
      >
      >
      >> - A basic HTML creation tab (just some fields for author, title, template, etc.) to create a folder with ptviewer, an html file (using a HTML template file), and the equirectangular image in would be a nice goodie for beginners too.
      >>
      >>
      > IMHO this does not belong into a stitching tool, and there are good
      > authoring tools out there. Pano2QTVR takes the stitched equirect and
      > generates all the necessary output / formats.
      >
      I use/like pano2qtvr too ;-)
      It's just to have the whole stuff needed in one package so you could
      tell somebody:
      "Get this hugin package, throw in your images, follow the tabs and on
      the end you can put your result straight to the web".
      > What I'd like to see is HDR end to end: take HDR input pictures and
      > output a stitched HDR pano.
      >
      agree
      > For newbies I prefer the Autopano Pro approach. No wizards. No
      > explanations. Just drop the folder on the app and let it run. At this
      > level, competition is anyway from the non-perspective corrected
      > stitching tools that come bundled with consumer digital cameras and not
      > the perspective corrected tools like the ones we discuss here.
      >
      >
      > Yuv
      >
      best, mike
      >
      >
      > --
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
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