panorama software,virtual tour software
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Joined: 2002-04-29
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2003-02-28
#1

A little extra attention to detail

Hi forum,

    I've seen a lot of questions pertaining to exposure indoors
and lighting indoors. I recently shot an apartment complex for an apartment rental management company. Some of the apartments were furnished and occupied and some were not.
So how do you turn all the lights on in an empty apartment were there are no lights. The answer is you can't so you have to use natural outdoor avaiable lighting coming through the windows and patio doors in the apartment. Outdoor lighting is a cooler temperature 5600 degrees kelvin so if your camera is white balanced for indoor lighting or incondesent and you take that picture out side you will end up with a cool blue tinted photo. So that you don't fall into the thinking that your inside therefore I need to use the indoor setting becouse your predominant light source is exterior light with the above scenario. So either use the cloudy exterior setting or read your manual (god forbid I know) and learn how to set the white balance on your camera manually. Here is the finer detail as the title implies. If you set your exposer and I use the manual mode regular photography process using the on camera meter Nikon 990 and make adjustments according to the meter. If I can't get into the sweetspot of the meter reading with opening the lens to the proper f stop I'll drop the shutter speed from 1/30 to 1/15. Knowing you can't smoothly release the shutter even on the tripod at 1/15 I use the built in shutter release. This also comes in handy if there is a mirror in you shot...ex. in a bathroom. You can use the timer shutter release get out of the bathroom listen for the photo to be taken and then you only have to paint out the camera and tripod in photoshop in post. Not you and the camera and tipod.
     Secondly when shooting a two fishey pano the rule of thumb was to place the predominant light source at the edge
of your image or lens. The concept to have the area infront of the lens the same as the inverse shot because it is on the seam and has equal amounts of light falling on the scene. Here is the good part but requires more elbow greese! Now if your inside no lights to turn on but you have a large patio window at one end of the room open those luver blinds and let the light shine in. Take a meter reading of avaiable light in the room with lens at 90 degrees to the light source( in this case) the patio door. While your there chances are the wall facing you is white take a white balance as well wile your there. Once this set you probably won't have to change it This will split the patio door between the 2 fisheyes as well as evenly divide the light between the two fisheyes. If you take a photo properly exposing for the interior what happens the exposer at the window you ask? It gets totally blown out pure white and over exposed. So the fix is to then before rotating the camera take a photo exposing for the view out the window... your room will fall black in that photo. In post you then open both the FE pairs you took in the field into Photoshop layering the correctly exposed interior FE half with the window blown out with FE with the correctly exposed window exactly underneath it and using the eraser tool erase the overexposed window revealing the properly exposed window underneath when your satisfied with your results with a little practice you then flatten the two FE's together. You then do the same for the opposing FE pair. Then import the new FE's into Panoweaver stiching as normal and Voila you have a perfectly exposed room using the natural lighting through a huge patio door that reveals a beutifull view out the window that is also proerly exposed. A little food for thought!
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Joined: 2002-06-22
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2003-03-01
#2
Sounds like good advice. I'll try it too. Except I'm not sure what you mean by taking a camera meter reading. Can you please explain how to do this? 
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2003-03-01
#3

Another question:

"before rotating the camera take a photo exposing for the view out the window"

How do you do this?


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Joined: 2002-04-29
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2003-03-03
#4
Hi trollx,

     What camera are using to capture your images? I have the Nikon 990 and will give the instuctions for that camera. What ever the camera you need to be in the manual mode and have a through the lens metering system incorporated into the camera. What that means is the camera is measuring the light falling on and reflecting off the scene through the lens and your not using a hand held light meter.
      Upon powering your Nikon 990 up with the thumb
selection ring on top of the camera select manual instead of auto. You'll see from left to right in your LCD monitor display the onboard camera metering system mode icon of which on the 990 there are 4... Matrix, Spot, Center Weighted, and Spot Af Area. After reading the differences between the methods in the manual I settled on Matrix. Next is the letter (M) for manual mode, next is your shutter speed and it is designated by a fraction like 1/15, next is your f stop setting
and that is represented by a decimal setting like f 2.5.Then to the right of that is your resolution setting something like normal 30, 30 being the number of exposures left, above that is your iso/asa setting that I did not mention changing in the above tutorial but for indoor photography in this scenario probably should be set to 200. Above that on the right side of your LCD frame should be the no flash symbol and the little mountains icon because you want the camera to be focused on infinity. The reason I'm explaining this is your going to need to adjust either the shutter speed or the fstop or both to achieve the desired effect.
        Now I'm assuming you have your fisheye inplace, you've turned your camera on as described above and your viewing the room through the monitor LCD. Now depending on the last time you used your camera either the shutter speed (the fractional number) or the fstop ( the decimal number) will be in blue designating it is selected for adjustment. Regardless of which one is selected turn the thumb adjuster knob on the top of the camera and depending which is in in blue (selected) the setting will change and you'll see a little exposure scale pop up in the bottom and it also will change.. this is your exposure meter. Now ontop of the camera just above the Func.1 (print) is the mode button. When in manual(m) mode the mode button toggles between your shutter speed and fstop settings, the one that is selected will be highlighted in blue. The meter looks like a scale with a minus sign on the left, a plus sign on the right of the scale and a rectangle in the center desinating what I referred to as the sweet spot. Adjust your fstop to achieve a proper exposer in the center of the meter. Know that adjusting the f stops or aperature/ iris of the lens will yield small incremental adjustments. While adjusting shutter speed would yield lager adjustments. A typical indoor exposure would be a shutter speed of 1/15, f2.5, asa/iso 200. Using the outdoor natural lighting from patio door and or window as described in the above tutorial.
        All this said take one picture properly exposing for the room using the above technique for setting the exposure....then before rotating the camera to take the second fe pairs ( and this is very important so your first FE pair will line up exactly in photoshop) adjust your shutter speed to lets say 1/125.Take another picture. You will have the room fall to black but you will notice the exposure of the window will fall into range and you will see the outside details out the window. Basically your trying to get the properly exposed exterior (window) to layer into the properly exposed interior shot. Now if you shoot using the
method I outlined with the window/patio door at 90 degrees perpendiculalr to the lens half of the door/window will be in your first half of your fe's and the s
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Joined: 2002-04-29
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2003-03-03
#5
A little adendum to the previous post.


      A couple of caveats. When creating the FE pair, care needs to be taken when changing the exposure settings not to move or josstle the camera as the window has to be exactly in the same spot and perspective and scale as it was in the properly exposed room shot. Also the bennifit to shooting in manual mode instead of using the fe lock is you don't have to go into the menu and release the fe lock and re lock when you change from one location to another. This is particularly advantages in exterior shots where your exposure shouldn't change too drastically from location to location. A real time saver. Also mind you this is using the old process of 2FE having the predominant light source on the seem of your pano. I have yet to stitch using the 3fe process and how this process will be affected or needs modification.
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Joined: 2002-04-29
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2003-03-03
#6
Hi all again!

Just to show you all I put my work where my mouth is and
Dave from 360 is always asking for examples check out this
http://www.adsrus.net/virtual_tours.htm. I used panoweaver to do the stitching and the window technique described in this thread as well as PTStitcher to link the pano's. I did the campground as well as the motor coach tour. We designed our own wait screen, nav buttons, (sorry seaman those original nav buttons.... well they were less then attractive I'm glad you changed their look0 and tripod cap. What do you think?
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2003-03-03
#7
Thanks for the info. Nice work by the way. Great job.  I'm using a Coolpix 995 and 4500. I'll keep trying. I think I can get the gist of it. Thanks again. 
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2003-03-03
#8
Hi BixVid,

Thx for posting ur work... nice one... Only problem I'm having is that whilst the camping resort works quickly and well... the coachpark just seems to get to the scene loading screen and then nada. The loading bar just appears full rather then loading up as the image is imported... I've tried a number of times using both netscape7 and explorer 5.5... might wanna double check that one.
I see that u've been doing the 2 hemis... any concerns over ip_x on this one ???

Oh yeah... thx for ur great advice on the window shot issue... As I've bitten the bullet and bought the virtual tour bundle... I'll be posting some work soon.

If I only had an hour to chop down a tree... I'd spend 45 mins sharpening the axe.
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Joined: 2003-01-16
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2003-03-03
#9
Btw.

I experimented with 3pix. This works very well as all I need to do is do a total of 4 shots. Imagine a square room with just the one lightsource... say a patio door. One 120 degree is of the patio door set with ur above instructions so as to get the clean outdoor shot. (So pic 1 is clean outdoors and dark interior) I then switch to menu and to camera setting 2 (This being the setting already optimised for the interior i.e. iso 200, ae lock and the rest) This is the easiest way I've found to ensure not to jostle the camera around. I now take my 2nd shot of the patio and get the interior at the correct lighting and the otside is of course overexposed. Then turn 120 degrees for shot 3 then another 120 for shot 4.
Shot 1 and shot two are identical with exception that the exposure has been optimised for interior/exterior. U can the place both photos over each other and then expose the required exterior as already mentioned in this thread. Alternativly u can cut and paste. I'll post the result shortly.

If I only had an hour to chop down a tree... I'd spend 45 mins sharpening the axe.
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2003-03-03
#10
Thanks for your feedback you guys. Yeah phoenix I had the same problem last night with my Netscape 7, but before I posted that URL I checked it and it loaded like stink. I checked it again this morning with my explorer 5.5 and it once again loaded quickly. I don't know what the problem is. How many hours are you guys ahead of us anyway.... is it like tommorow there for us already? I think that possible the server was getting bogged down on that one during peak sufin' time in the states. You got to check it out the motorcoach because it really illustrates the principle. And yeah I've decided to come out of that proverbial publishing closet. That work is actually a year old and I'm tired of living under a rock while I see dave 360
posting up a storm. Where is he on the beach in Cancoon now what a life!!! Good for you Dave!!!
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2003-03-04
#11
Phoenix,

     By the way a little addendum to cutting and pasting the window in. I use the erase tool becouse you can erase the edge with a stepped feathered transparency....blending the window pain into the frame. I found that gives it the most natural look with the most control.
          If you do cut and paste(for speed sake) feather in the edge of the window into the frame after flattening the image with the blur tool. Just a thought