Sunday, December 23, 2007

GPS for Photographers

Wintec offers a nice little gadget named "G-Rays 2" (or WBT-201).
It is mainly a GPS-Mouse which can be connected via USB or Bluetooth. This doesn't sound extraordinary if there wouldn't be another feature: It can log data without the need of any external device. You can even "flag" a specific location by pressing a button on the device.
The data can then be processed with "Time Machine X", a software included in the package. You can convert your GPS tracks to many common file formats and even auto-geotag your photos.

Some selected technical data:
- Atmel Antaris 4 Chipset
- can track 131000 points with internal memory
- up to 12hrs. battery lifetime in logging mode
- Uses standard Nokia BL-4C battery type
- standard mini-USB connector (also used for charging)

German readers may click here for more information.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Slicer: Sliced Gigapixel Rendering and PTGui Template Multi-Apply

The new version of the Slicer-App. can now multi-apply a PTGui project as a template for any number of images in a given directory.

The "multiplier"-feature can be used for:
- precision heads: Batch-stitch a days work without having to load every single image set.
- panoramic movies: Create the accompanying project files for your panoramic movie frames.

Download and usage instructions can be found here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Large object movie

Mt. Wilson telescope, captured by Carel Struycken:

Quicktime version

Flash version

See the telescope as Panorama

The HDRI-Handbook is available!

You can order the Book via Amazon.

The topics include:
  • Understanding the foundation of HDRI
  • Tools for a High Dynamic Range Workflow
  • How to capture HDR images: now and tomorrow
  • Tone mapping for creating superior prints
  • HDR Image processing and compositing
  • Shooting and stitching HDR panoramas
  • Image based lighting and CG rendering
  • World premiere of Picturenaut and Smart IBL
  • Creative uses and unconventional applications

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ars Electronica 2007 - The panoramas

The panoramas from the 2007 event are now online.

One of the festival's main themes concentrated on "Second Life" and presented an interference of virtuality with reality. Unintentionally, the exhibitions in the "Mariengasse" and "Pfarrplatz" exposed some scurrility by taking place in a street struggling with abandonment and forsake - something you may be familiar with in Second Live...

Sound is still missing, unfortunately. No time to edit and add the snippets to the panoramas. I hope to catch up soon.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Sliced Gigapixel Panorama Rendering: "Slicer"

One of the most annoying problems in gigapixel imaging is the fact that most image formats can't handle large files. Some proprietary (like Photoshop PSB) or rare (like VIPS) can do, but using them will inhibit continous workflow.

In an attempt to circumvent this restriction - and to make rendering faster, i have created a small helper application that will divide a large PTGui/Hugin project into smaller slices.
The rendered panorama slices can be easily post-processed or assembled in your favorite application.

You can download the current version here:

Update 2007/10/17: Microsoft Research has updated its HDMake tool. It can now assemble tiled source images. See this HDView blog entry for more information.

Compiling latest Hugin on OpenSuSE 10.3

Good news: with openSuSE 10.3, most dependent libraries for Hugin 0.7beta are in the correct state, so here's a quick roundup how to get and install:

  • Download latest sources:
    svn co hugin
    See for more information
  • Create bootstrap:
  • run "make", then "make install". You can speed up things with modern computers by using more than 2 CPUs, e.g. "make -j2" will use 2 CPUs.
  • At least for Gnome, Hugin will automatically create a start menu entry

What else is needed to run Hugin?

  • Mandatory: The panotools library (pano12):
    svn co libpano12
    See for more information
  • Optional: Autopano-SIFT (Tool for automatic creation of control points)
    Install instructions for the ignorant:
    - unpack autopano-sift-2.4.tar.gz
    - copy all files from the ../bin subdirectory to your harddisk (e.g. /usr/local/bin)
    - configure Hugin to use for control point creation
  • Optional: Enblend (Tool for seamless blending)
    I recommend still using Enblend Version 2.5 as V3 introduced GPU-based calculation which - at least on my computer - turned out to be tricky to compile.

Friday, September 14, 2007

More annotated HDView

Linz, Upper Austria
View from Pöstlingberg

312 images captured with a 300mm lens in auto exposure mode.
Control point creation with Autopano-SIFT, warped and blended with Autopano Pro. The resulting image is uploaded with a resolution of 0.65 Gigapixel.

Also new: A detailed tour through Vienna by Wolfgang Stich, based on the View from Danube Tower

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Annotating Gigapixel images using HDView

One of the most fascinating things you can do with gigapixel images is, to annotate the panorama and create a "guided tour" within the image.

I worked out how to control Microsoft HDView by injecting new view parameters with Javascript.
This is fairly easy to implement, so here is an example:

Choose a name from the drop-down list and press the "Show me!" button. This will change the viewport to the selected feature.

Gigabot Software Update 0.3c

I have made minor changes to the Gigabot software:
- Bug in "reshoot"-mode fixed
- Shorter timings for faster operation

You can download the binary here.
If you want the most recent source code, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ars Electronica Festival 2007

"Goodbye Privacy"
Image: Seeker
Leon Cmielewski, Josephine Starrs (AU)
Award of Distinction Interactive Art
(c) the Ars Electronica Picture Archive

Quoting the Ars Electronica website, this year's "[...] focus will be on these late-breaking phenomena of a new culture of everyday life being played out between angst-inducing scenarios of seamless surveillance and the zest we bring to staging our public personas via digital media".

The festival is taking place from 5. to 11. September 2007 in Linz, Austria (see program and content). A detailed schedule is also available.

I will visit the festival and the exhibition to capture some immersive images of the festival's atmosphere.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Subway Extension Vienna

Work in progress updated: Donaukanal/Schottenring March 2007
Technical information:
  • 3 bracketed shots (Fuji S3 extended range) merged to HDR with PTGui Pro and saved as Radiance (.hdr) files.
  • Photoreceptor tonemapping to 8bit TIFF with Picturenaut
  • Further postprocessing with Gimp: Local contrast enhancement, color normalisation and sharpening

Sunday, August 26, 2007

2 extreme hobbies...

Extreme ironing - captured by extreme underwater panography

Captured by
See an image of his setup

Microsoft HDView and Dynamic Range Adaption

The new beta 2 of HView offers an interesting feature: "Auto Tone Adjust"
It is some sort of dynamic range adaption - a feature highly anticipated by panorama photographers. Instead of pre-computing the best visual appearance for the whole image, you can let the viewer calculate the appearance on the fly.
If you already use HDView on your webpage, this feature is automatically added to your published content - no need to edit or re-publish.

Some interesting uses of this feature:

3 different types of adjustment are available. You can toggle these types by clicking a button in the upper right window of the viewer:

No tone adjust: leaves image as it is

Medium tone adjust: enhanced contrast

High tone adjust: enhanced contrast and colors

You can set the default tone adjust method by adding a parameter to the XML call in your HTML page, e.g.

args =
will change to medium tone adjust setting.

Some caveats:
  • HDView beta 2 still works exclusively with LDR images. Although the new HDPhoto-format can deal with HDR images, HDView can't display them (this may be adressed in one of the next beta versions of HDView).

  • Tone adjustment seems to be calculated on a per-tile base. This can clip small distinct features. Images that consist of one tile (e.g. a single jpeg image viewed with HDView) won't be adjusted at all.

  • Large featureless areas can lead to clipping colors in "high" mode, e.g. a view window with large amount of sky may expose weird colors.

Compare the visual appearance with a standard viewer:

Zoomify version
Microsoft HDView version no tone adjust
Microsoft HDView version medium tone adjust
Microsoft HDView version hight tone adjust

Saturday, August 25, 2007

New panorama uploaded to

Another high resolution panorama by Wolfgang Stich:
Grossglockner Pasterze Glacier

Click the thumbnail to open the panorama.
The original 1.2 Gigapixel image was resized to 665 Megapixel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Easily integrate Google Maps in your webpage

You can now integrate a Google Map into your website without custom programming via Maps API. Just create the needed code via "Create Link" and paste it into your own HTML code.

Larger view of the map

Now i only have to find out, how to set the properties for this iframe to open links in the parent window...