A 3D Panorama Starting with a Video


In my last post, I outlined the steps to make a 3D panorama starting with a series of overlapping single image files. As pointed out in that post, it requires several steps after you have captured the images.

In this post, I link to a 3D panorama that started as a video that I shot while simply rotating my DJI Phantom through 360-degrees.

Shooting the video is much easier, because I do not have to worry about properly overlapping the images to be stitched. ICE handles that for me.

Of course the tradeoff is the quality or how closely you can zoom in when viewing the panorama is not as good as when the panorama is based on still images. That is because video files, even 4K videos, are no match for the still images produced by digital cameras, or even many smartphones.

Here is the link to the panorama.

photosynth-screen

It is not nearly as sharp and clear as those produced from still images. My Phantom 2 only shots HD video. New models shoot full 4K video which would significantly improve the results.

Another 3D Aerial Panorama – How I did It


In my previous post, I linked to a 3D panorama I had shot from my DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ drone. In this post, I am linking to a video that demonstrates how I did it. It was a multi-step process, but producing the 3D panorama only uses a couple of free Microsoft programs, which are easy to use they way I did.

By the way, my example uses a sequence of six shots that I took from my Phantom, but they could have just as easily been shot from my hand-held camera. The YouTube video does not include audio annotation to show just how easy it is to create the 3D panorama. Click on the image below to watch the demo.

ICE and Photosynth title

The panorama was shot from above yet another huge soccer complex across the street from the Silverlakes Soccer Complex in Norco/Eastvale CA. Silverlakes can be seen towards the end of the video.

Click on the link below to see the final 3D panorama. Using the scroll wheel on the mouse, zoom in and pan around. There is a tremendous amount of detail captured in the photo.

Silverlakes Pan Link

Please let me know in the comments below if you have used these two programs to produce your own 3D panoramas. How did they work for you? There are other programs available that can produce similar and often superior results. Have you used them?

Finally, please click on the Like and share this post with others if you think it has been helpful.

I’m Not There Yet – Not by a Long Shot


This video by Colin Smith is well beyond anything I will probably do  – ever! He flies three DJI drones at one time over the ocean off Laguna Beach, CA.

I have yet to take my Phantom 2 Vision+ that far out into the water. He flew the three at one time to compare photos from the different cameras installed on each drone. However, the video does show just how easy it is to fly one. Put into the proper mode, take your hands off of the controls, and they just hover. Very impressive.

 

Three Drones

Let me know what you think of this post, and its video.

Recent 360-Degree Panorama From My Drone


The link below is to a recent 360-degree panorama I took from my DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ drone. There was several steps involved to produce the VR or 3D rendering of the image.

  1. I used the Litchi app to automatically take the single row of images making up the 360 degrees.
  2. Then each of the 6 images were edited in Photoshop CC 2015 to correct for DJI camera lens, and remove some haze.
  3. Microsoft’s Image Composition Editor, ICE was used to stitch the photos together.
  4. And finally, Microsoft’s Photosynth program was used to render the 3D view shown in the link.

The Litchi app controls the drone, and making panoramas, including spherical ones is one of its more basic capabilities. There are several other programs that can do the stitching and rendering, and are supposed to do an even better job of rendering the images.

I have just begun to explore the Litchi app, and producing panoramas. I’ll post other noteworthy results here in the future.

DCIM100MEDIA

Click on the above image to view the panorama.

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Use Content Aware Fill Instead of the Clone Stamp to Remove Unwanted Objects


I suspect many of us instinctively reach for the Clone Stamp tool, or possibly the Healing Brush or Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop Elements to remove unwanted objects from our photos.

However, using Content Aware Fill is generally much faster and often even does a better job than the traditional tools. In this Quick Video Tip, I demonstrate how to do just that in Photoshop Elements 14. Like any tool, it may not do a perfect job, and you may have to apply it a second time, or even one of the other tools to tidy up.

Click on the link below to watch the video.

CA Fill Video Title_edited-3

Please leave a comment and let me know how this works for you. If you find this video helpful, please click on the Like button. Thanks for watching.

My Basic Photo Workflow Revisited


Your post production workflow – the steps you take after uploading your photos to your computer – is always a topic that is worth reviewing from time to time. As the technology, software, and your knowledge change, you will probably find that your workflow also changes.

About a year and a half ago, I posted an article that summarized my workflow. Looking back it, there are a few things that I have changed. In this post, I will describe the current steps I generally do. To see that article, CLICK HERE.

In this post, I describe what the basic steps are after I have uploaded my images to Photoshop Elements 14.

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Here is my current workflow that uses both the PSE 14 Organizer and its Photo Editor, with Photoshop CC added to the mix when needed. The description begins as soon as I have imported photos and videos into the PSE 14 Organizer.

  1. The first thing I do is tag my photos. If the subject matter is pretty fixed, this step takes only seconds.
    1. For example, on a typical weekend of watching my granddaughters’ softball and soccer games, I may find that come Sunday evening I have 500 images and several videos on my memory card. I already have the tag structure and tags defined. It’s just a matter of selecting the right images and dragging them over to the appropriate tags.
    2. If the input batch is from a trip or similar event or photo shoot, I will at least tag the images at the Category level, and then come back later to sub-divide them into Sub-Categories, and Keyword Tags.
  2. I use Events, Places, and to a much lesser extent People views – the tabs at the top of the screen.

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3. I next screen the images using the Full Screen View option (F11) in the Organizer.

I skip over any videos I have imported at this point.To cull out the best photos I use the Organizer’s Star Rating feature using:

1 = Delete

2 = Needs work, or is member of a burst, HDR, or panorama sequence.

3 = These will most likely be included into an Album for a slide show, or DVD I plan to make at some point. They may not always be the best photos in the world from a technical standpoint, but are needed to better tell the story. I will also give the best photo of a sequence 3 stars.

4 = These are pretty good for me, and probably are the ones that I will most likely end up printing.

5 = Rarely awarded at this stage

After Step 3, I still have many images that have not been rated. They will remain in my Catalog.

4. I now screen the video clips that were uploaded in the grid view. I double-click on the video file and play the video in the enlarged window that appears, rather than in the full screen mode.

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5. If I am interested in the location where the photos were taken, I will then use Places view to pin point on the map the photos and videos were taken.

My current camera can embed the GPS data into the image files, so while taking the photos I turn this feature on for at least a couple of shots. I do not leave it on all of the time, because it drains the battery significantly.

If I forget to do it, I will take a couple of shots with my iPhone, and use these photos to identify the location using Places.

If need be, like when I have shot only video, I will manually add the location of the photos using the Places view.

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6. At this point, I have finished the vast majority of my keyword tagging of my images. I then write the Keyword Tags and other metadata to the image files – File > Save Metadata to Files. If you do not do this, only those images that have been at least opened in the Editor will have the tagging and other metadata written to the file itself.

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7. I then delete all of the 1 star images/videos from the Catalog, as well as the hard drive.

8. Next comes editing those photos and videos that are either in a sequence (2 Stars) and those that have 3 or 4 Stars.

Since I shoot RAW, I will naturally do my initial editing using the ACR.

Normally, that is all the editing I need to do. I fact, that is my goal, for individual photos.

If I can do that, I do not need to save an edited version. My changes are recorded in a small .xmp file.

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9. To print the photo or make editing changes requiring, for example selections or layers, I will open the image in Elements’ Photo Editor.

Occasionally, I will send the RAW image directly to Photoshop CC’s ACR to take advantage of its added tools and/or Photoshop CC itself. However, this will require that a dupe (actually a Version Set) of the RAW file to be generated, which will take up additional disk drive space.

10. The final step of my basic workflow is to periodically do either a Full Backup or Incremental Backup of my Catalog and all of the media it contains (File > Backup Catalog).

This pretty much summarizes my basic workflow. Generally, after Step 9, I put together my photo projects, whatever they may be.

I would love to hear your thoughts and workflow steps that you use or in PSE or other programs.

Working with Catalogs in Both Photoshop Elements and Lightroom


In Photoshop Elements

PSE Organizer

If you have used the Organizer in Photoshop Elements to manage your photos, you undoubtedly know the Cardinal Rules that you must not disobey if you want to avoid serious heartaches and frustration.

The rules are:

Once a photo has been imported into the Catalog…

Do not Delete the photo,

Do not Move the photo,

Do not Rename the photo,

Unless you use the applicable commands in Photoshop Elements. The same basic rules hold for the folders in which the photos are stored.

Remember, the Organizer’s Catalog is like a card catalog in a library. It does not contain the books. It only contains information about the books, including on what shelf the book is contained.

The PSE commands to move and rename photos are in the sub-menu under File.

 PSE File Sub-Menu

 To see comparable commands to modify folders, do the following:

  1. Open the left panel, by clicking on the Show Panel in the lower left corner of the screen.
  2. Click on Folders at the top of the panel.
  3. Click on the parallel lines button and then select View as Tree.
  4. Scroll to find the folder you want to modify, and then right click on it.
  5. Select the task you want to perform and follow the screen prompts.

PSE Folder View

You can also drag and drop folders to move them in this view, but I prefer to not to. It is too easy for me to move them to the wrong place.

In Lightroom

 LR Library Module

I suspect many of you who started out using Photoshop Elements to organize and edit your photos may be thinking about moving on to Lightroom, or have recently done so. There are many reasons to do that, not the least of which is you can rent Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC from Adobe for $10 per month!

The Catalog used in the Library module of Lightroom is essentially the same as the Catalog in Elements. That is, they are both databases. They do not contain the actual photos, only previews of them, with pointers to where the physical files are stored.

Because Lightroom was designed for professional photographers, it is more robust than the Organizer in Photoshop Elements and consequently somewhat harder to use. There are a multitude of websites and blogs that cover using Lightroom. One of the many Lightroom experts is Victoria Bampton.

Below is a sampling of her articles that discuss similar topics in using Lightroom. As you can see the tasks are a bit more complicated.

How do I move only my photos to another hard drive, leaving the catalog where it is?

How do I find and move or rename my catalog?

 Which Lightroom files do I need to back up?

In future posts, I will cover using Lightroom in much more detail, but hopefully the above articles will get you started on the right foot.

Please click on the Like button below if you found this post interesting and helpful. Also, do not hesitate to add any comments or questions using the area provided below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Change an Edited RAW Image Back to Its Original Settings


One of the great advantages of shooting RAW images is that you can always return an edited image to how it was captured by your camera after you have edited it. In this quick video tip, we’ll demonstrate how to do that using the Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) editor in Photoshop Elements 14.

However, the steps are the same in earlier versions of Elements, as well as in Photoshop CC.

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Upload a Photo to Dropbox Directly From Your iPads Photos App


In this short video, I demonstrate how to upload a single image to Dropbox from within your iPad/iPhone Photos app. True it is limited, but often that is all you need to do.

There is an alternate approach where you start from within the Dropbox app. It allows you to select multiple images and upload them at one time to Dropbox. I will cover that in another video.

1 photo dropbox title.png