> What version of PTGui are you using?
> One option is to work the images a lot more in ACR, then export from PTGui as a LAYERED .psd or .psb and let Photoshop to the blending, then flatten.
Interesting. you are suggesting letting PTGui do the stitch and PS do the blending. Cool.
> Did you use Smartblend, which is no longer the best choice.
I don’t know where Smartblend is. I made no adjustments in PTGui. For Photoshop I used Bridge and did a photo-merge from there.
> OK, so it's a really tough shot, the left side is a lot brighter than the right, partly because of sun direction. And it just got darker while you were shooting, Magic hour panographers must be quick like a bunny.
I may not have a sense of “quick” for the circumstances. I did 3 exposures at each position then moved on to the next position. I would guess a max of about 15 seconds per click (10 second timer). The original pan was 13 frames (I only used 12). The exposures weren’t that long and the goal was to capture the darkening of the sky through the pan. So the total time was about 9-10 minutes from the first to last snap.
> Try to equalize the images a lot more in ACR. Get the center panel looking great, then working meticulously outward from that, make the other panels look more like the central panel, while possibly keeping some sense of the scene being a little brighter on one side. Right now your image-to-image sky variations are little too challenging for the blender, try to minimize variations in the sky. This means you would have to force the left side panels to look darker, and the right side panels to look lighter, but don't over-homogenize. You need to effectively time compress the scene a bit.
This looks like the technique to use….and a reason to get a book on ACR.
> Or if a lazy panographer could get the sky nicely selected, he could replace the ugly sky with a nice, even gradation using representative bright and dark samples from the existing sky. Partial transparency can sometimes help with credibility in these cases. A cloudless sky invites Photoshop mischief.
Never tried this with a sky. Haven’t used gradients except to darken. I will look into this.
> Best remedy...shoot it again when the light is changing at a slower rate, which would be a little earlier or a little later. Looks like you shot during peak rate of change, which happens just before and after sunset. And shoot faster. When I shoot panos like this I start shooting a few minutes before sunset, then keep going for several minutes after. Same pano, over and over, HDR and all. Out of the 1000+ exposures will emerge one set that is Just Right.
Where is the fun in that? Really you appear to be saying that the results will be more predictable by fudging the light end in PS. That’s cool. It’s always better to know. Well usually always. Anyway, the blend shown above that was done in PS is almost there. I could darken a bit which I’d planned to do anyway, it would be okay but for the most discerning eye.
But I will do a re-shoot. I'm thinking a pre sunrise series will be pretty cool too. Except there probably won’t be as many lights on.
> To verify...you are exporting 16 bit .TIF's from ACR, loading them into PTGui, then outputting a .psd from PTGui.
Tried that and outputting tiff from ptgui.
> In PTGui you probably want to select PTGui Blending on a single layer, or an unblended set of layers (one layer per original camera file) for blending in PS.
This echoes your comments from above. You appear to be suggesting decoupling the stitch from the blend. I’ll definitely have to try that.
> Another quick thought...balancing out heavily saturated skies like that is very difficult, almost any change in scene contrast will produce exaggerated affects in the sky. You could think about processing each of the panels twice, one for the ground, and once for the sky, then using masks in Photoshop pick out the best parts of each. You would first need to process each of those two sets in PTGui using the Template function made from the first set to get the second set to line up exactly. Don't create a new set of control points for the second set, use the template from the first which will use those original control points and guarantee a good overlay.
I saw another reference to doing this. Ironically I understand this except I haven’t worked with layer masks very much. Only when incidental to other controls. I’ll look into gradients and masks this weekend. These sound like the core tools for fixing this kind of problem.
> If I had received advice like this when I first started doing panos, I wouldn't have understood a word of it. Sorry. I'm trying.
No problems here! I've been studying panos since December and a lot of details are coming together.
Also of note in a recent thread several said that different stitchers are suitable for differing circumstances. I think this qualifies as officially rubbing my over sized proboscis in one reason why