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Thread: Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

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    Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

    I am having a difficult time processing panoramas. My hardware and software may need to be upgraded to handle the large files, but also would like to know what others are doing in this regard. I think the ideal workflow I am trying to achieve is:

    a) C1 5.2 16bit TIF output processed with some sharpening
    b) Panorama stitching with 16bit TIF output
    c) Final processing in PS or LR. My CS3 cannot open larger panoramas, but LR should be able to handle this. Is this a reason to upgrade to CS5?

    Regarding workflow:

    1. How much processing do you do before assembling the panorama, specifically do you perform some sharpening before and also afterwards?
    2. Do you assemble the panorama from 16bit TIF or JPEG files?
    3. Do you output the panorama as 16bit TIF or JPEG?

    Hardware: I have Windows 7 64bit with 4GB RAM (maximum amount for this computer). Would I see an improvement in performance if I changed to the 32bit version? A simple four-frame stitch from a P65+ already runs well above 1GB TIF file size and takes forever to load. It is very difficult to handle on my system.

    Hardware recommendations?

    If I were to invest in a new Windows 7 64bit computer, how much RAM would you recommend? Does the size of the RAM on the video card matter?

    Many thanks, - Christopher

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

    I use fully processed 16-bit tiffs to generate my final panoramas from. I may use 8-bit tiffs or even reduced size jpegs on occasion to sample the final and make sure it's going to be worth the effort to make full-sized. I typically use AutoPano Giga to render them, however the PhotoMerge tool in CS5 is significantly improved over CS4, which was also improved over CS3 --- IMO improved to the point now in CS5 I'm not certain that a specialty program like AutoPano is really necessary. So yes, I think it's going to be worth upgrading to CS5 for that and the file size gains.

    Once processed out, I then flatten and edit it as a single image in Photoshop.

    We teach this in our workshops, but the basics are you want to process your raws to maximized state with as much image information as possible, not a final optimized image output state --- save the final image optimization for the Photoshop edit. Assemble with your preferred tool, then edit conventionally as you would a single image in a layered workflow.

    Hardware certainly matters. My own experience is that Open-GL offers pretty limited improvements to processing large 2-D files in Photoshop, so RAM is a far better investment of dollars than a really high-end video card. Any card with 512 of VRAM should be more than good enough for 2-D pano generation.
    Jack
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    Re: Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

    I'm relatively uncritical on panoramas ... I don't do too many of them, just started doing some stitching recently.

    I use Photoshop CS4 and deliver raw files to it via Lightroom to do the stitching. It produces pretty nice results with just a little work required. This was from six 12Mpixel frames ...


    click above image to obtain the half-size JPEG

    Detail is terrific and while this one could use some other work, the basic stitching is very well done IMO. It does consume a lot of computer resources when pumping these images out ...

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    Re: Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

    I process my RAW's pretty flat, with as much information as possible, make the pano through AutoPano, let it process (it's faster and allows you to free up resources by slowing it down if necessary mid render). Once I have the completed pano I can start adding the processing I would normally have done to the RAW file knowing that all the info is there in the 16bit TIFF. I use ACR but if you don't have CS5 then just send it back to LR3, apply perspective adjustments, curves, colour, local adjustments, etc as you would with a raw file. Only then send it to PS when most of your work is already done.
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    Super Duper
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    Re: Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

    I might do things a little differently as I shoot with a technical camera. I normally open each image in C1 Pro and do an LCC on each then save each image. I then open the images in CS5 and stitch them into a finished panorama, flatten and begin the process of working on the image as if it were a single image (it is by now) using any number of layers before flattening and final crop. I'll normally save and duplicate the image numerous time while I'm working on the image sometime ending with 5 duplicate images all with a slightly different stage of processing.

    As far as equipment goes the studio computer is a Dell Precision 650 workstation with 32 GB RAM and the video cards (I've got 2) are very simple. My travel laptop is a Dell Precision 690 quad core currently with 8 but will soon be upgraded to the max 16 GB RAM.

    My panos run anywhere from 1.5GB and larger and the 32GB RAM handles it just fine.

    Hope this helps..

    Don
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    Re: Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

    all the stitches should be processed the same, for the most part, so i process one (I use Phocus) save the adjustments (typically color, sat, exposure, contrast, maybe curves) and apply those adjustments to the other stitches. all 16bit.
    then open each in PS and hunt for dust, no sharpening, flatten and save
    then run autopano.
    load the final into PS, flatten, save, run genuine fractals to set final print size, then sharpen, save.


    ready to print

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

    I follow a pretty similar to John with the exception that I leave the spotting until after the pano merge in PS CS5. I used to use Autopano Giga but actually find that CS5 works better for me, especially running in 64bit mode. As per Don, with the technical camera I do shoot LCC images at each shift position and use those against the source images in C1 too. Minimal capture sharpening in the raw tool (C1 for MF, Nikon Capture NX2 for NEFs).

    Here's a Nikon example:

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    "Stitch with Photoshop" in Capture One

    If you're using "Stitch with Photoshop" in Capture One, how's it working out for you with 16-bit Phase One files?

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    Re: Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

    Good question. I just previewed a 3-image capture taken with a P65+. The images were opened in C1 Pro then save for Photoshop. Using Bridge I selected the 3-files and stitched them directly from Bridge using the 16-bit files (Tools, Photoshop, Photomerge). Might sound time consuming using 2-seperate programs however the end result is more than worth it.

    Works for me.

    Don
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  10. #10
    shannon moore
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    Re: Panorama Processing and Workflow Recommendations

    This accounts many steps.. pano stitching has to have approx 40% of image overlap else pano cannot be stitched. and also it should not overlap more than 70%, even in this case pano stitching cannot be done. Therefore the focal length must be the same of the camera even while zooming. Small degrees though can be manipulated with. Negate flash while clicking. also color, contrast, temperature and sharpness need correction.

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