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Patching

 

By now you should have a good grasp working with layers and layer masks.  With panoramas the biggest concern that most people have with editing is creating the nadir patch. 

 

The patching process will depend on the nadir image, if any, that you'll be working with.  If you've read my "Intro to Panoramas" you'll remember that I briefly went over the various patching process.  I will mention them here again. 

 

The following images were taken with a Nikon 10.5mm fisheye lens.  Some older software will require you to "defish" the image before stitching but the same processes more or less apply.

 

 

Topics covered

 

Two nadir images.

Two nadir images and one hand held

One hand held/Tripod nadir shot

PTViewer

Copy, Paste & Mask

 


 

 

Patch process - Two nadir images.

 

Open the two nadir images and paste one on top of the other.

Rotate the upper layer 180.

Reduce the opacity of the upper layer (60%) so you can see the lower layer.

Move or adjust the upper layer to match the lower layer.  

 

NOTE:  The entire image does not have to match perfectly.  The only area that has to match is the area not being masked out.  See the white area in the layer mask. (image below)

 

Add a layer mask to the upper layer. 

Select the brush tool and black foreground color and mask out the upper image as shown below.

 

 

Save the image and import into your stitcher software to create an equirectangular image.

Convert the equirectangular image to a cubical projection.  You can use Pano2QTVR for this.

 

Image below is a sample of a cubical projection of the nadir.

 

 

Since this particular nadir has a pattern it would be wise to use the vanishing point tool.  Open the nadir image in Photoshop and click on ALT+CTRL+V or Filter > Vanishing Point.

 

 


 

A quick note on Vanishing Point tool...

 

Image below is a "made up" nadir.  The clone and vanishing point tools are similar in how you use it.  But the vanishing point tool has an advantage.   It can automatically blend the cloned area against its neighboring image.

 

 

 

 

NOTE:  I intentionally left the black area uncloned

 

Image below:  Notice when the heal is OFF the vanishing point tool works exactly the same as the clone tool.

 

Hardness: 0

Heal: OFF

Hardness: 100

Heal: OFF

 

 

 

 

Image below:  Notice when the heal is ON the vanishing point tool automatically blends the black area with the cloned area.  It tries to have a gradual color blend with the newly cloned area.  This is very important to know when cloning the nadir.

 

Hardness: 0

Heal: ON

Hardness: 100

Heal: ON

 

 

 

 

In a perfect world it is best if you have enough surrounding image to completely clone the nadir in one pass.  This is one reason why there is so much talk about the size of the footprint of the panoramic head...  "Less work". 

 

If it is not possible to clone the hole in one pass then you will have to clone in small amounts using the surrounding images with the "HEAL OFF".  Then once most of the hole has been covered turn the HEAL "ON".  You may have to re-clone the previously cloned areas again to have  natural color transition from one edge to another.

 

 

 

 


 

 

By default the "Create Plane Tool" is selected.

 

 

Again, since this is a patterned nadir, start off creating the plane by clicking on an edge of the hardwood floor.  Click on four points that matches the floor or pattern.  Make sure the plane matches any "continuing" lines or pattern on the floor because this will determine whether or not you have a good "clone".

 

 

 

 

To have more clone area to work with enlarge the plane by simply clicking and dragging on the anchor points.  You can go beyond the size of the image as shown below.

 

 

Select the Clone tool and select Heal "On".  You can change the diameter of your brush by the Diameter field or you can click on  "[" or "]" to increase or decrease the size of your brush.

 

 

Select a clone point from the farthest edge taking into consideration the size of the brush not including the edges of the image.  To select a clone point click on the ALT key and left click on an area you wish to clone.

 

Notice when the clone tool is selected the plane's grid disappears. 

 

NOTE:  For this particular nadir I had to turn off the heal option due to the size of the nadir hole.  I had to select clone points from the four corners to cover the large nadir.  Once completely covered I then turn on the heal option and re-clone to blend the cloned areas properly.

 

The reason for turning off the heal option is because the clone tool calculates the blend around the area being covered relative to the area being cloned.  Since there is a large black area the clone tool calculates the blending with the black area and the area being covered.  This causes unnecessary darkness to the final image.

 

 

Convert the six cubical images back to an equirectangular image or create your MOV file at this stage.

 

 


 

 

 

Patch process - Two nadir images and one hand held.

 

Open the two tripod nadir images and paste one on top of the other. 

Rotate the upper layer 180.

Reduce the opacity of the second layer (60%) so you can see the lower layer.

Move or adjust the upper layer to match the lower layer.

Add a layer mask to the upper layer. 

Select the brush tool and black foreground color and mask out the upper image.

(These are the same steps as above)

 

NOTE:  The upper image does not have to match perfectly with the lower layer.  The only area that has to match is the area not being masked out.  See the white area in the layer mask. (image below)

 

 

Paste the hand held nadir image on top of the other two. 

Reduce the opacity of the third layer (60%) so you can see the lower layer.

Move and adjust to match the lower layer.

Select the brush tool and black foreground color and mask out the upper image as shown below.

 

 

Save the image and import into your stitcher software to create an equirectangular image and/or MOV file.

 

 


 

Patch process - One hand held/Tripod nadir image.

 

 

 

 

 

After converting the equirectangular image to a cubical projection, take the fisheye image of the nadir and "defish" the image through Nikon capture or other software that has a similar function.

 

 

Copy an area of the defished nadir that corresponds with the cubical nadir. 

Paste on top of the cubical nadir.  Adjust accordingly.

Add a layer mask.

 

NOTE:  I intentionally selected the nadir patch to illustrate its location and lowered the opacity to show the location of the hole.

 

 

Convert the six cubical images back to an equirectangular image or create your MOV file at this stage.

 


 

Patch process - PTViewer

 

The advantage of PTViewer is that it can take any angle of view of an equirectangular image, extract the view you want.  Edit the extracted view.  Insert the edited image back in the same view point you left the viewer.

 

You can also zoom in or out to adjust for the view you want to extract. 

CTRL+Left click = Zoom out

SHIFT+Left click = Zoom in

 

 

 Open the equirectangular image:  File > Open Panorama.

 

 

Select an angle of view you wish to edit and extract the partial view.

 

 

 

 

Import the extracted image into Photoshop and edit as per the processes above.

Insert the edited image back into PTViewer.

 

 


 

Patch process - Copy, Paste & Mask

 

When all else fails...

 

This should be last resort.  With practice you should be able to fix most, if not all, parallax or stitching errors on the layered PSD file.

 

After you've extracted a cubical/rectilinear image from either using Pano2QTVR or PTViewer and when any clone tool just won't fix any stitching or parallax errors it's time to get creative.

 

 

Copy an area that is similar to the area you want to patch.

 

 

 

 

Paste on top.  I lowered down the opacity to 50% of the layer below just to show the area copied.

 

 

 

 

Move the copied area into position and rotate to match the pattern on the layer below.

 

 

 

 

Add a layer mask to the copied area and hide unnecessary detail.

 

Below, the brush tool and black foreground were selected.  The opacity of the brush was reduced to 20% to have better control of feathering the edges.

 

The visibility of the lower layer was disabled to illustrate the masked layer.

 

 

 

 

Fixed.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Other topics you may be interested in:

Shaving the Nikon 10.5 Fisheye Lens

Nadir shooting techniques

Avoiding Shadows

 


 

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