A New 360 Panorama Example


In my last post, I discussed a 360-degree panorama that I used http://www.jkuula.co to display. In this post, I went a bit further in complexity and used Microsoft’s Image Composite Editor (ICE) to stitch the 34 photos making up the panorama. The steps were basically these.

  1. The images were taken with my DJI Mavic Pro using its automatic Spherical Pan flight mode.
  2. Then each of 34 DNG images were edited in PS CC to improve their brightness/contrast and color with identical settings for each image.
  3. Than the edited images were saved as JPEG files and imported into ICE for stitching to create a spherical projection 6000 pixels wide.
  4. PS CC was used to add additional sky to top of the stitched panorama to get 6000×3000 image. The 2:1 ratio is required by Facebook in order for it to project the final image.  Other projection sites may not have this requirement.
  5. The composite was then converted to a 3D image in PS CC and saved.

2019-02-21_15-25-24

Here is the link to the Panorama as displayed using Kuula.co.

I like the workflow highlighted above, because it allows me to make any desired adjustments to the DNG (RAW) images prior compositing.

Until next time…

 

 

 

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Using Okolo.com to Display Mavic 360 Panoramas


In my previous post I should 360 panoramas or panospheres that were shot with my DJI Mavic Pro drone. In this post I will general describe the process using projects generated by http://www.okolo.com.

Remeber, Kuula.co works with pictures that have already been stitched, whereas okolo.com requires the individual images taken by the Mavic to be uploaded. Okolo.com then stitches them and prepares the panospheric projection.

Any photo editing that is desired must first be done to each individual image. In the case of the Mavic Pro 360 Panoramas, that means 34 separate images. Additionally, Okolo.com, only accepts JPEG images.

Even though the Mavic takes both a JPEG and DNG (RAW) images, I generally use the DNG version to hopefully gain the best quality.  Each of the 34 images are 12 megapixels.

The basic steps I used to produce the 360 panorama linked below were to:

  1. Upload the images from the Mavic’s memory card.
  2. Import the thirty-four DNG images into Photoshop CC 2019.
  3. Edit each one with the same settings for color, brightness and contrast.
  4. Save the edited version as a JPEG image required by Okolo.com.
  5. Upload the batch of images to Okolo.com.
  6. Use Okolo.com to create and project the panosphere.

Click Here to view the final panospere on okolo.com. Below is a screen shot from the projection.

Freedom Bell okolo screen shot

So to summarize, I use Kuula.co if I want to quickly project an display a previously stitched set of images as a panosphere. I use okolo.com to start with the individual images and thereby potentially getting a better quality result.

However, there other stitching and projecting panosphere programs and websites I am experimenting with. I will describe those in future posts.

Until next time…

Some Recent Mavic 360 Panoramas Using Kuula.co


My DJI Mavic Pro drone can photograph 360-degree, and 180-degree panorama photos, pretty much automatically. All you do is position the drone from where you want, select the right shot mode, and tap the shutter button. Then in the case of taking a 360-degree panorama, the Mavic takes a series of 34 DNG and 34 JPEG images that will make up the panorama.

That’s the easy part. The JPEG images can be stitched together while you are still flying right in the DJI Go4 app. The resolution and some times the stitching is not as good as you can get by using the images recorded onto the memory card of the drone.

After stitching, the resultant image needs to be projected properly to be viewed as intended. There are Apps that can do this as well as websites. Some are free and others cost. Some of the apps are quite powerful, but can be difficult to use.

One of the most popular types of images posted on Facebook are 360-degree panoramas that you can zoom in on, and scroll around. These are either taken from a drone or 360-degree camera. These cameras can take a 360-degree photo directly – no stitching required.  They use the same apps and websites to project the images. Real estate agents more and more are using these images and videos to provide online virtual tours of new offerings. Many people are also using 360-degree selfies on social media.

I have been taking 360-degree panoramas, which I will call 360-panospheres with my drone for some time. And recently I bought an Insta360 Nano S camera. It takes both high resolution 360-degree images as well as 4K HD 360-degree video.

I am still experimenting with apps and websites that will create the proper projection for viewing. I am still low on the learning curve. I will link to a few of my most recent and early efforts in this post and describe my experiments more thoroughly in future posts.

One of the websites that I have found good for projecting and sharing my pre-stitched panospheres is http://www.kuula.co.

Click on the image below to see one of my recent ones, shot with my Mavic Pro.

2019-02-21_15-25-24

This particular one is from an on-board-stitched panosphere. There are some artifact issues. I expect that once I upload the panosphere that is generated from the RAW images recorded on the Mavic’s memory card, the results will be better. You can also view the kuula.co projected image as a small planet from the same link.

Another Example from Kuula.co

You can even form a collection of images that kuula.co refers to as a tour. Here is a screen shot of an example tour.

kuula collection screenshot

There is a subscription Pro version of Kuula that has even more options. Currently, I generally use kuula.co to project and share my panospheres. However, there are others that I am going to try and share the results I get here. So stay tuned.

If you like reading about my adventures in digital photograhy, please don’t hesitate to comment and share them using the buttons below.

Until next time…

 

Editing Video in Photoshop ACR Revisited – Once Again


Colin Smith of Photoshop Café recently described how to edit and color grade video in Photoshop CC.

The steps on color grading were new to me, but it turns out I had posted two articles sometime ago on how to edit video using ACR in Photoshop.

The first one was in 2014. I am not sure where I leaned how to do this, but it could have been from Colin Smith. Here is its link:

https://don26812.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/use-adobe-camera-raw-to-edit-video/

I revisited the subject in December 2016. This time my before and after comparison was better. Here is the link to this one.

https://don26812.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/revisiting-processing-video-using-adobe-camera-raw-acr-in-photoshop/

In the Colin Smith’s recent video, he goes on to how to use ACR to color grade a video, and give it a cinematic effect with is popular. Personally, I do not like the look for most of my videos.

By the way, I find that Photoshop renders the video much more slowly than say Premiere Elements 2019, at least on my PC. But I can live with that, because I am much more comfortable using the sliders of the ACR.

After all this time, I am curious to see if others use this technique to edit their videos.

And finally, there are a lot of other things you can do to enhance your videos using Photoshop CC, like trimming, and adding transitions.

Until next time…

What is Lightroom CC Classic Anyway?


In my initial post, I stated that I was switching my image/video media management from Photoshop Elements, specifically its Organizer to Lightroom CC Classic. In the attached AppTip Sheet, I explained how I prepared for migrating my PSE 2019 Catalog to Lightroom CC Classic, going on to describe the actual importing of the Catalog.

Before going any further in this series, I will very briefly describe what Lightroom CC Classic is all about. Please click on the link below.

LR Logo

Next time, we will get started in actually working with Lightroom CC Classic. In this series, we will first go over what we need to know about working with the Library module, Lightroom’s equivalent and superior sister to PSE 2019’s Organizer. Then we will move on to the Develop and other modules making up the program.

Until then…

 

I am Changing My Photo Manage From Photoshop Elments to Lightroom CC Classic


I have been using the Organizer in Photoshop Elements to manage my photos and videos since Adobe first combined it with Photoshop Elements 2 to create Photoshop Elements 3 (PSE 3). It has served me well.

Adobe has routinely updated the program annually to incrementally add new capabilities and features. I have installed each new version. Over the years I have created and maintained multiple Catalogs for a variety of reasons. All my photos and more recent videos are contained in two main Catalogs, that together have over 60,000 items. I have other special Catalogs primarily for videos. I even have a Catalog devoted to managing my large collection of MP3 audio recordings.

However, I have decided to move on to a workflow that uses Lightroom CC Classic for media management and basic editing, and Photoshop CC for more involved editing. I have used both programs for several years as well, but not as my primary software. It is not that PSE no longer works for me. It is just that I want to expand my horizons a bit.

As I transition from Elements to Lightroom, I will add a series of demos and tutorials that will hopefully help others make the transition and learn the basics of Lightroom CC Classic. I will continue to post new Photoshop Elements tutorials from time to time, as topics come up that interest me and might help others.

In this first AppTip Sheet, I will describe the steps I have taken to convert my PSE Catalogs to Lightroom CC Classic. It begins with preparing your Photoshop Elements 2019 Organizer for migration. The steps are also comatible with early versions of Elements.

In the tutorial that is linked below, I will be using my PSE 2019 Catalog that essentially contains all the photos/videos shot before 2015 as the example.  The name of the Catalog is “PSE 2019 Fixed Prime Photos 7-3-14”. This Catalog has 46932 total items.

  • 45,522 Photos
  • 1,137 Videos
  • 98 Audio Files
  • 175 PSE Projects

The vast majority of the media are on a Drobo, Drive O. But as shown in the left column in the figure below, they are scattered all over my PC on various internal and external drives. 

Click Here to view or download the tutorial PDF.

Until next time…