Postscript to PSE 2019 Auto Creations Video


A couple of weeks ago, I posted a video on the new hub and Auto Creations feature. You can review that post here.

Here are a couple of things I did not emphasize, but should have. To begin with, Auto Creations uses AI to analyze your photos and videos to automatically identify and create slideshows, video & photo collages, or even just selecting/extracting some interesting images from your videos.

When it is activated, as described in the video, it works in the background to produce these creations, even if PSE 2019 is not running. It can create a maximum of 40 of these editable creations, and then stops. You can delete any or all of these creations or incorporate them into the Organizer. Once the number gets below forty, new Auto Creations are produced. If the Catalog has not changed with new imports, they may be repeats or similar creations previously generated.

Here is how I use this in my workflow. I generally turn off Auto Creations, since it appears to impact the performance of my PC. It may not have any impact  on yours. I review and either incorporate/edit the Auto Creations generated, or delete them. I can do this either with the Auto Creations on or off.

Now when I take a new set of photos perhaps from an event or just a photo shot, I import them into the Catalog, and then I turn Auto Creations on again. After a time, PSE 2019 has produced new creations from my recent imports. I even get a Notification on my desktop in Windows 10 telling me that new creations have been produced. I review the new creations and then turn Auto Creations off again. This process works well for me.

New ACs 12-21-18

I suspect that Adobe will enhance the Auto Creations feature in future versions of the program. I suspect one of those improvements will be to better identify the events and other information about the photos and videos selected for the creation.

If you found this and the original post helpful, please star-rate it and or share it with others. Thank you.

Until next time…

My AppTip Sheets and Why I Bring Them Up


March 27, 2018: This post was originally published on February 17, 2018. The AppTip Sheet that I described here is no longer accurate. It refers to the website, http://360Facebook.com. It has been replaced by a new website, http://nadirpatcher.com. This new site performs a similar function as before, but also includes additional capabilities.  I refer the readers to my later post.

I have a new format that I use to help me do certain tasks on my computer or other devices. I named this format AppTip Sheet. For example, these AppTip Sheets may be the steps involved to accomplish a particular Photoshop editing technique, or how to use a particular Photoshop tool. Or, they may deal with various steps I need to perform in flying my DJI Mavic Pro drone, or how to perform a particular calibration on it.

In general, I write these AppTip Sheets to document any thing that I do not do routinely enough to remember each and every step, but yet do them often enough that a quick cheat sheet helps me avoid pulling out the manual or other document to complete the task. The key is that I try to keep these AppTip Sheets as short as possible.

Occasionally, I may decide that a particular AppTip Sheet may be useful to others, and so I will post it here.

Right now, I am experimenting with using my Mavic Pro flight modes to take 360-degree Spherical panoramas for posting on social media. Once posted, you can use your mouse to zoom in on the subject and pan around throughout the entire scene. That is the subject of this post.

This particular AppTip Sheet deals with posting a spherical panorama on Facebook using 360Facebook.com from the browser on your PC. This is only one of the several ways to accomplish this, and I will explore others in the future. So click on the figure below to get a better idea of what these AppTip Sheets are like.

360 Pano posted

Until next time.

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.

2-27-17: Please note, Microsoft has removed Photosynth, so the link referred to here is no longer valid. They have provided a Photosynth Viewer, as of right now, I not determined an effective method to link the viewer with my downloaded .pano files.

I am currently reviewing alternate ways to produce and display 3D or VR panoramas. Please stay tuned.

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.

New Drive-Lapse


I am still experimenting with time lapse videos. This one was taken with my iPhone 6 using its standard video mode. I then used Premiere Elements 14 to speed up the video by a factor of four.

I have experimented with the iPhone’s Time-Lapse mode for this type of time-lapse video, but the resulting video is too jerky, even when you slow it down. However, I really like it for scenes like moving clouds etc.

Here is the link to the video.

Use Adobe Camera RAW to Edit Video


I have been shooting RAW images with my camera for over four years now. Thus, I am very comfortable using the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) editor in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

I also take a fair amount of videos with my digital camera, which always need some sort of editing. I generally use Adobe’s Premiere Elements of Microsoft’s Movie Maker as my video editor.

Blog Post 1-5-14

For a while now, Photoshop has been able to edit video clips, but I have not really made much use of it. However, Photoshop CC has taken its video editing capability to a new level that is quite intriguing to me. In Photoshop CC, if you import a video clip and then turn it into a Smart Object, you then can edit the clip using the Adobe Camera Raw as a filter. Doing this I can use the same tools and sliders that I routinely use on my still images to edit my video clips. By converting the clip to a Smart Object, every frame is corrected rather than just the first frame of the video.

Below the before and after example of my first attempt at correcting a video clip in this way. The original was shot in lighting that resulted in the video having low contrast and no real snap. I corrected it as described above.  I only made a subtle change using the ACR, but it did improve the video.

Original Video Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2d2zjszGJo

Edited With Adobe Camera RAW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSem6stGEfU

This certainly warrants more investigation on my part. Also, can I get the same or better results using Premiere Elements or Movie Maker?

Have of you tried this approach? What did you think of the results?

Using Microsoft’s 3D PhotoSynthesis Program


Microsoft has a free program that allows you to create three dimensional views of your environment from a series of photos you upload.

The style of view is controlled by how you take the photos and then control the synthesizing process. They call these views the spin, panorama, wall, and the walk.

You can check out some really cool  results and find out all you need to know to begin creating your own synths by going to
http://photosynth.net/

The link below will take you to my first attempt at using Photosynth. It’s a 360-degree panorama of my cluttered computer room. I used 21 images for this synth. To stop the spinning, click on the image, and then drag your mouse around at your leisure.

Office 360

Photosynth Office 360

I plan to try other techniques, for example, the walk. The site includes a detailed user guide. I’m also going to revisit the iPad app.

TRy it out and let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Preview of Upcoming Digital Video & Photo Projects Class


Those of you who are not on my email distribution list, I wanted to give you a preview of what to expect in the Digital Video & Photo Projects class starting in a couple of weeks at Torrance.

CLICK HERE to see its schedule as shown on my website. Sign up at the Torrance Adult School website within the next week or so if you are interested in this class or any of the classes I will be teaching this spring.

From Snapshot to Art (?) via Faux HDR


Earlier this week, the South Bay Camera Club held a slide show evaluation as part of its regular meeting. Since I have been a member, this was the first evaluation of this type. Generally they are for prints or single digital images. The rules were simple, the slide show had to be three minutes or less, and it had to have a theme. A travel log was not considered a theme.

I wanted to participate, because generally I do not. I decided on this post’s title as my theme, mostly because I could not think of anything else. My basic idea was to morph the regular image into the simulated HDR as the image was being shown. The images I chose were processed either in PSE 10 or CS5. and the HDR result was always from a single image. Frankly I was nervous about displaying my work. the club members are serious photographers. A professor from El Camino College was going to be the evaluator. I put the slide show together using the Slide Show Editor built into PSE 10. The title slide was made with Windows 7 DVD Maker.

I copied the slide show to a CD and set it aside to take to the meeting later. But unfortunately the time to leave for the meeting came and went. I got wrapped up in something and totally forgot about it. I suspect it was some type of Freudian slip. I decided I ought to do something with it, so I posted it on YouTube. At least I do not have to listen to the critique of its viewers. But I more than welcome any comments or ratings you may care to leave. I’m a big boy; I can take it. Besides, I can delete the comment if I don’t like it. Just kidding. Smile

 

Epson Printer Blues


Look’s like I screwed up my Epson R1800 printer. This is my prime printer for photos. I have an Epson 1280 I use for everyday printing. I have always used Epson inks on my R1800, which uses pigment as opposed to dye-based inks. Buying Epson brand ink, even online is about $110.

Originally, I also used only Epson inks in my 1280. About the time I bought my R1800 and stopped using my 1280 for photos, I began to buy non-Epson ink for my 1280. Doing this cost me about 30% of buying Epson ink. I use this printer all of the time and have had only minor ink clogging problems over the years.

So about about a year or so ago, I began to buy non-Epson inks for my R1800 at roughly 60% savings relative to Epson-brand ink. I began to have significantly more ink clogging problems than before. I was slow to react to the problem, because I was printing less photos than I had been. At times, I would not use my R1800 for two or three weeks.

So about three months ago, I took my R1800 to a repair shop and had it cleaned etc. I had never had it serviced since I bought it, and I figured it was time. I was not very impressed  with the store, and frankly I do not think they did that good of a job. By the way, I basically cannot find a list of Epson authorized service centers by going to their website. If anyone knows of one in the Los Angeles area or the link to Epson’s list of service centers, please leave a comment.

So over the past couple of months, my clogging problems have increased tremendously. Also, I have had other quality related issues with the non-Epson ink cartridges I have been buying. Recently, I have spent (wasted) a lot of money fighting this problem. By the way, the non-Epson ink cartridges I am buying for my 1280 continue to perform about the same as the Epson ink I initially used.

It all reached a head late last week. I could no longer get my R1800 to pass the Nozzle Check Test, no matter how many times I ran the clean cycle and its more sophisticated auto cleaning routine. I was using up lots of ink trying to clean the nozzles. Blue the ink was almost not present, in the print pattern, even though I put in two different blue cartridges, hence the title of my post. Through Google, I found an Epson authorized service center nearby and took my printer in last Thursday. They called me back Friday. So far they have been unable to unclog my printer using special cleaners and syringes.  They told me I need a new $350 print head. I only paid $500 for the printer. They are going to try some more, and call me back on Monday. I fully expect the result will be the same, so I’ll go and pick up my basically worthless printer.

Fortunately, my daughter gave me her R1800. She had a few ink clog problems and got frustrated, so she gave it to me a few months ago. She basically only prints 4×6 and now and now uses an online printing service. A couple of print nozzle cleaning cycles and her printer is working perfectly. By the way, she has only used Epson inks.

So here is my plan. Assuming the repair shop cannot get mine to function properly, I will bring it home and try to clean the nozzles myself. What harm can I do? Nozzle cleaning kits are a hot item all over the internet. I’ve already ordered one for $20 or so. It should arrive in a couple of weeks.

I’ll let you know how this all turns out in a future post. To be honest, I’m not sure I am going back to Epson inks or not. I want to talk more with the technicians who worked on my printer.

So far, I have learned one thing, however. You are better off using your printer than letting it sit for extended periods regardless of the brand of ink you use, especially if it uses pigment inks instead of the more common (but less permanent) dye-based inks.

Stay tuned.

Please leave a comment and tell us about your photo printing experiences.