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Advice on shooting long mural

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  • Roger Howard
    I have an opportunity to assist in capturing a cultural landmark in LA - The Great Wall of Los Angeles (
    Message 1 of 13 , Oct 24, 2011
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      I have an opportunity to assist in capturing a cultural landmark in LA
      - The "Great Wall of Los Angeles" (
      http://www.google.com/search?q=great+wall+of+los+angeles ) - coming up
      soon, for a local preservation organization. This mural is something
      like 12 feet tall by 300 feet long, so obviously a typical,
      single-perspective panorama is not going to cut it. The goal is to
      generate a flat, perspective-free, extremely high resolution digital
      surrogate. I'm wondering if anyone can share advice, particularly on
      the stitching side of the project. The challenge is of course made a
      bit easier by the fact that the subject is on a flat surface - our
      thinking is to mount the camera on a dolly with a rangefinder to
      maintain a consistent distance to the subject; position as far back,
      with as long a lens as the location/subject will allow; and capture
      frequently with a large amount of overlap (50% or so?) - I know the
      more overlap, the easier on this; and then stitch with a minimum of
      perspective correction.

      We will also be shooting using other methods while we're there -
      traditional 360's, details, etc.

      Obviously we're expecting a sizable amount of manual retouch (not a
      problem, we have a retouch lab available) but want to minimize that as
      much as possible while preserving the integrity of the subject.
      Thoughts/ideas/suggestions?

      -Roger
    • Sacha Griffin
      I’d get back as far as possible with an appropriate lens and use 75-85% overlap. Otherwise your perspective errors will make retouching harder.. Besides
      Message 2 of 13 , Oct 24, 2011
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        I’d get back as far as possible with an appropriate lens and use 75-85% overlap.

        Otherwise your perspective errors will make retouching harder.. Besides taking more photos will be a world of difficulty easier than trying to shoehorn those edges together.

        Think line scanning and remember all the examples of orthogonal panoramas you’ve seen. 98% of them are riddled with stitching errors.  Try some tests so gauge the minimum overlap.

        My good initial guess would be 600 photos, but it could easily be quadruple this for a good result.

         

        Sacha Griffin

        Southern Digital Solutions LLC  - Atlanta, Georgia

        http://www.seeit360.com

        http://twitter.com/SeeIt360

        http://www.facebook.com/SeeIt360

        EMAIL: sachagriffin@...

        IM: sachagriffin007@...

        Office: 404-551-4275

         

         

        From: PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com [mailto:PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Roger Howard
        Sent: Monday, October 24, 2011 12:49 PM
        To: PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [PanoToolsNG] Advice on shooting long mural

         

         

        I have an opportunity to assist in capturing a cultural landmark in LA
        - The "Great Wall of Los Angeles" (
        http://www.google.com/search?q=great+wall+of+los+angeles ) - coming up
        soon, for a local preservation organization. This mural is something
        like 12 feet tall by 300 feet long, so obviously a typical,
        single-perspective panorama is not going to cut it. The goal is to
        generate a flat, perspective-free, extremely high resolution digital
        surrogate. I'm wondering if anyone can share advice, particularly on
        the stitching side of the project. The challenge is of course made a
        bit easier by the fact that the subject is on a flat surface - our
        thinking is to mount the camera on a dolly with a rangefinder to
        maintain a consistent distance to the subject; position as far back,
        with as long a lens as the location/subject will allow; and capture
        frequently with a large amount of overlap (50% or so?) - I know the
        more overlap, the easier on this; and then stitch with a minimum of
        perspective correction.

        We will also be shooting using other methods while we're there -
        traditional 360's, details, etc.

        Obviously we're expecting a sizable amount of manual retouch (not a
        problem, we have a retouch lab available) but want to minimize that as
        much as possible while preserving the integrity of the subject.
        Thoughts/ideas/suggestions?

        -Roger

      • Robert C. Fisher
        Sounds like a reasonable plan. The only issues I have run into shooting linear images has been background. The perspective changes with camera position so I
        Message 3 of 13 , Oct 24, 2011
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          Sounds like a reasonable plan. The only issues I have run into shooting linear images has been background. The perspective changes with camera position so I tend to just cut out the bg and just keep the actual thing being shot, in this case the mural. The only thing is to shoot as quickly as possible to minimize lighting, sun position, changes. I have a dolly I can loan you if needed, it works on regular dolly track used in motion picture production. Then it's finding the track which is readily available and lots of wedges and cribbing. When are you going to shoot it? In the past few months I have seen people working on the mural I guess restoring it. Give me a ring if you need help sounds like a cool project.

          On Oct 24, 2011, at 9:49 AM, Roger Howard wrote:

          I have an opportunity to assist in capturing a cultural landmark in LA
          - The "Great Wall of Los Angeles" (
          http://www.google.com/search?q=great+wall+of+los+angeles ) - coming up
          soon, for a local preservation organization. This mural is something
          like 12 feet tall by 300 feet long, so obviously a typical,
          single-perspective panorama is not going to cut it. The goal is to
          generate a flat, perspective-free, extremely high resolution digital
          surrogate. I'm wondering if anyone can share advice, particularly on
          the stitching side of the project. The challenge is of course made a
          bit easier by the fact that the subject is on a flat surface - our
          thinking is to mount the camera on a dolly with a rangefinder to
          maintain a consistent distance to the subject; position as far back,
          with as long a lens as the location/subject will allow; and capture
          frequently with a large amount of overlap (50% or so?) - I know the
          more overlap, the easier on this; and then stitch with a minimum of
          perspective correction.

          We will also be shooting using other methods while we're there -
          traditional 360's, details, etc.

          Obviously we're expecting a sizable amount of manual retouch (not a
          problem, we have a retouch lab available) but want to minimize that as
          much as possible while preserving the integrity of the subject.
          Thoughts/ideas/suggestions?

          -Roger


          Cheers
          Robert C. Fisher
          VR Photography / Cinematography
          Facebook - Robert C. Fisher




        • Roger Howard
          ... Thanks Robert - yeah, we re contemplating a track vs. a wheeled dolly with large wheels - tracked would be ideal but we have to see what challenges the
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 24, 2011
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            On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 10:08 AM, Robert C. Fisher <bob@...> wrote:
             

            Sounds like a reasonable plan. The only issues I have run into shooting linear images has been background. The perspective changes with camera position so I tend to just cut out the bg and just keep the actual thing being shot, in this case the mural. The only thing is to shoot as quickly as possible to minimize lighting, sun position, changes. I have a dolly I can loan you if needed, it works on regular dolly track used in motion picture production. Then it's finding the track which is readily available and lots of wedges and cribbing. When are you going to shoot it? In the past few months I have seen people working on the mural I guess restoring it. Give me a ring if you need help sounds like a cool project.


            Thanks Robert - yeah, we're contemplating a track vs. a wheeled dolly with large wheels - tracked would be ideal but we have to see what challenges the location presents. We'll be shooting as fast as possible, of course. Today we're scouting - it all came about as a request through my employer for assistance as it's a cultural preservation project - so I'll know more by this evening. 

            Sacha - thanks for the thoughts about overlap in particular - parallax will be less of an issue than with most orthopanos, as the subject is on a single plane and everthing else is superfluous, but indeed the more overlap the better for these shoots. It's going to probably come down to timing more than anything - how quickly do we capture to minimize light changes, how quickly can we move the rig and shoot and repeat... 

            -R
          • Roger Howard
            And yeah, ideally we d use a linescanner with synchronized motion control but doubt we ll have time to get a rig together. This ll be either a high end DSLR or
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 24, 2011
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              And yeah, ideally we'd use a linescanner with synchronized motion
              control but doubt we'll have time to get a rig together. This'll be
              either a high end DSLR or a PhaseOne IQ180 back - determined by the
              balance between desired resolution and capture time.
              -RR
            • panovrx
              Picture Window Pro http://dl-c.com/content/view/47/74/ has some more advanced image alignment tools than Photoshop and might be useful for this. (Under the
              Message 6 of 13 , Oct 24, 2011
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                Picture Window Pro
                http://dl-c.com/content/view/47/74/
                has some more advanced image alignment tools than Photoshop and might be useful for this. (Under the Composites/Transformation menu)

                It has rubbersheeting -- which means you can pin matching features in separate shots like sticking pins in rubber sheets and the program stretches the images to make them fit. It is used for instance when you want to make an aerial photograph fit a map.

                PeterM


                --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, Roger Howard <rogerhoward@...> wrote:
                >
                > I have an opportunity to assist in capturing a cultural landmark in LA
                > - The "Great Wall of Los Angeles" (
                > http://www.google.com/search?q=great+wall+of+los+angeles ) - coming up
                > soon, for a local preservation organization. This mural is something
                > like 12 feet tall by 300 feet long, so obviously a typical,
                > single-perspective panorama is not going to cut it. The goal is to
                > generate a flat, perspective-free, extremely high resolution digital
                > surrogate. I'm wondering if anyone can share advice, particularly on
                > the stitching side of the project. The challenge is of course made a
                > bit easier by the fact that the subject is on a flat surface - our
                > thinking is to mount the camera on a dolly with a rangefinder to
                > maintain a consistent distance to the subject; position as far back,
                > with as long a lens as the location/subject will allow; and capture
                > frequently with a large amount of overlap (50% or so?) - I know the
                > more overlap, the easier on this; and then stitch with a minimum of
                > perspective correction.
                >
                > We will also be shooting using other methods while we're there -
                > traditional 360's, details, etc.
                >
                > Obviously we're expecting a sizable amount of manual retouch (not a
                > problem, we have a retouch lab available) but want to minimize that as
                > much as possible while preserving the integrity of the subject.
                > Thoughts/ideas/suggestions?
                >
                > -Roger
                >
              • bryant_arnett
                Hi, Roger. Wow, I have lived in LA for a long time, and I have never seen this mural. I m going to go check it out! ... I checked Wikipedia, and it says the
                Message 7 of 13 , Oct 24, 2011
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                  Hi, Roger. Wow, I have lived in LA for a long time, and I have never seen this mural. I'm going to go check it out!

                  >This mural is something
                  > like 12 feet tall by 300 feet long,

                  I checked Wikipedia, and it says the mural is more like 2754 feet long!!

                  After viewing a few photos online, I would suggest that you might consider trying to cut back some of the foliage obstructing parts of the mural. It might be a big job, and require permits or some sort of typical bureaucratic red tape.

                  ''''''''''' Bryant
                • Roger Howard
                  ... Lol, yeah, something was lost in translation between my boss and me :) The mural is 10-13 feet high (depending how you measure) by 2754 feet, as you said!
                  Message 8 of 13 , Oct 24, 2011
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                    On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 5:10 PM, bryant_arnett <mail3@...> wrote:

                    I checked Wikipedia, and it says the mural is more like 2754 feet long!!

                    After viewing a few photos online, I would suggest that you might consider trying to cut back some of the foliage obstructing parts of the mural. It might be a big job, and require permits or some sort of typical bureaucratic red tape.

                    Lol, yeah, something was lost in translation between my boss and me :)

                    The mural is 10-13 feet high (depending how you measure) by 2754 feet, as you said!

                    Permits are no problem - we're working with the lead artist and the conservancy group that is responsible for it. We got down into the riverbed today - something I've always wanted to do! - and scouted the scene. Very impressive site, and its in amazing condition after a recent major preservation effort. The mural tells the multicultural history of LA, and is amazing to see in person, especially from the riverbed. 

                    At the moment the plan is to use a flatbed truck with a platform on the back as a shooting position - that'll raise us up to within easy reach of the vertical centerline of the  mural (8 feet from the ground). The truck will hug the far side of the channel (about 70 feet wide). Our shooter will be on the truck platform, and will keep a constant distance from the mural using a laser rangefinder, doing fine adjustments by moving on the platform (so the truck doesn't need to be precisely positioned). An assistant will be on the ground, helping position the truck and likely placing a gray wedge or other color chart ever so often so we can keep exposure and color reasonably consistent over the course of shooting. 

                    Assuming we're 65 feet back, we're shooting in portrait a subject of 10' tall, quick calcs tell me we need about 150mm focal length (35mm equiv.). Assuming each frame represents about 6'10' wide, if we allow for only about a foot of overlap on each side (meaning each frame is effectively 4 feet wide, with 2 feet of overlap) I'm seeing about 675 shots - obviously, more overlap will be highly desirable, and I'd like to see twice this many shots to be more comfortable. These numbers are rough (lots of rounding error) to get me close enough to estimate order of magnitude - for instance, assuming a rough 1 minute per shot average, this is still 10 hours of shooting - factoring in light and access issues, this is a minimum of three days of shooting - and as much as double that. Whew.

                    Gonna be fun. I doubt I'll be shooting it myself - it's not even remotely my job - but it's exciting.

                    -R
                  • prague
                    if it s really a flat surface then it should be easy. BTW Bruno postle made some utility for stitching such panos (of trains shot from the side) but I can t
                    Message 9 of 13 , Oct 25, 2011
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                      if it's really a flat surface then it should be easy.

                      BTW Bruno postle made some utility for stitching such panos (of trains shot from the side) but I can't find it at the moment.



                      --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "panovrx" <panovrx@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Picture Window Pro
                      > http://dl-c.com/content/view/47/74/
                      > has some more advanced image alignment tools than Photoshop and might be useful for this. (Under the Composites/Transformation menu)
                      >
                      > It has rubbersheeting -- which means you can pin matching features in separate shots like sticking pins in rubber sheets and the program stretches the images to make them fit. It is used for instance when you want to make an aerial photograph fit a map.
                      >
                      > PeterM
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, Roger Howard <rogerhoward@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > I have an opportunity to assist in capturing a cultural landmark in LA
                      > > - The "Great Wall of Los Angeles" (
                      > > http://www.google.com/search?q=great+wall+of+los+angeles ) - coming up
                      > > soon, for a local preservation organization. This mural is something
                      > > like 12 feet tall by 300 feet long, so obviously a typical,
                      > > single-perspective panorama is not going to cut it. The goal is to
                      > > generate a flat, perspective-free, extremely high resolution digital
                      > > surrogate. I'm wondering if anyone can share advice, particularly on
                      > > the stitching side of the project. The challenge is of course made a
                      > > bit easier by the fact that the subject is on a flat surface - our
                      > > thinking is to mount the camera on a dolly with a rangefinder to
                      > > maintain a consistent distance to the subject; position as far back,
                      > > with as long a lens as the location/subject will allow; and capture
                      > > frequently with a large amount of overlap (50% or so?) - I know the
                      > > more overlap, the easier on this; and then stitch with a minimum of
                      > > perspective correction.
                      > >
                      > > We will also be shooting using other methods while we're there -
                      > > traditional 360's, details, etc.
                      > >
                      > > Obviously we're expecting a sizable amount of manual retouch (not a
                      > > problem, we have a retouch lab available) but want to minimize that as
                      > > much as possible while preserving the integrity of the subject.
                      > > Thoughts/ideas/suggestions?
                      > >
                      > > -Roger
                      > >
                      >
                    • guillaume_fulchiron
                      ... Yes, and if there s no background stitching shouldn t be that much time consuming. I think Jeffrey thought about this :
                      Message 10 of 13 , Oct 25, 2011
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                        --- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, "prague" <panoramas@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > if it's really a flat surface then it should be easy.
                        >
                        > BTW Bruno postle made some utility for stitching such panos (of trains shot from the side) but I can't find it at the moment.
                        >

                        Yes, and if there's no background stitching shouldn't be that much time consuming.
                        I think Jeffrey thought about this :
                        http://www.dojoe.net/tutorials/linear-pano/

                        Cheers,

                        G.
                      • paul womack
                        Roger ... Is it possible to shoot a reference item (e.g. colorchecker) in each frame to allow for post-production lighting correction. This is a compromise
                        Message 11 of 13 , Nov 1, 2011
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                          Roger
                          > It's going to probably come down to
                          > timing more than anything - how quickly do we capture to minimize light
                          > changes, how quickly can we move the rig and shoot and repeat...

                          Is it possible to shoot a reference item (e.g. colorchecker)
                          in each frame to allow for post-production
                          lighting correction.

                          This is a compromise with shooting speed of course.

                          It's a playoff of images-under-constant-light versus images-correctible-for-light

                          BugBear
                        • Roger Howard
                          ... Yes - we d already decided we needed to shoot a ColorChecker target - not every frame, as we can balance between frames, but depending on the time of day
                          Message 12 of 13 , Nov 1, 2011
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                            On Nov 1, 2011, at 3:03 AM, paul womack wrote:

                            Is it possible to shoot a reference item (e.g. colorchecker)
                            in each frame to allow for post-production
                            lighting correction.

                            Yes - we'd already decided we needed to shoot a ColorChecker target - not every frame, as we can balance between frames, but depending on the time of day up to every 5-10 minutes (~ every 5-10 frames). There are some common colors in the mural, in the outline, and in the credit blocks, we can also use as semi-objective references for color/density matching across frames, but yes - the photo assistant will probably spend much of her time running back and forth with a ColorChecker SG.

                            -R
                          • Erik Krause
                            ... For white balance adjustment you don t need a fully featured color checker, a gray card would do. Since you will probably use a large overlap anyway you
                            Message 13 of 13 , Nov 6, 2011
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                              Am 01.11.2011 15:52, schrieb Roger Howard:
                              > the photo assistant will probably spend much of her time running back
                              > and forth with a ColorChecker SG.

                              For white balance adjustment you don't need a fully featured color
                              checker, a gray card would do. Since you will probably use a large
                              overlap anyway you can mount it on an arm such that it is in one corner
                              of the image. It doesn't need to be sharp, only larger than twice the
                              blur in order to ensure you have still a valid gray in it's center.

                              --
                              Erik Krause
                              http://www.erik-krause.de
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