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Panorama Stitching, Rick Szeliski's Work Is the Best
Guest_DonPMitchell_*
post Aug 17 2006, 09:20 PM
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I noticed the thread on Photosynth and thought I would add a little more about that research group. I know Rick Szeliski and Matt Uyttendaele, very smart people.

I've tried pretty much all of the panorama stitchers out there. Adobe's is by far the worst, and Microsoft's is by far the best. Szeliski's algorithms are currently found in Microsoft Image Suite 2006. Unlike most stitchers, it is based on a robust treatment of the general camera projective transformations, so it can handle rotations, panning, zooming and even limited camera-position changes (modulo big visiblity changes of course).

[attachment=7042:attachment]

Here's an example that first impressed me. In a Soviet documentary film I own, they discuss this diagram of the Venera soil-drilling apparatus, but they never show the whole diagram. They pan around and zoom in and out, and I didn't expect to be able to resolve all that into one image. I was quite surprised when Rick's program did it.

An updated version of the stitcher is in a new product, Microsoft Graphic Designer, which will give users more control over a big class of transformations (affine, homography, 3D rotation, etc). It handles lens distortion and a variety of projection surfaces. I haven't tried it myself yet. link

I have Panorama Factory and Autostitcher of course, but I never use them now, they are nowhere near as powerful as DIS2006.

Uyttendaele also recommended a program to me called ptlens for some non-projective transformations like vignetting.
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Malmer
post Sep 17 2006, 10:36 PM
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Thats very cool.

I have used ptGui and it works very well. Will look at MDIS as well. Im thinking about using stitching software to create panoramas from the Apollo television broadcasts from the moon. (would be interesting to use stacking and superresolution on it as well.)

(I just bought the spacecraft films big DVD box with all the material from the moon. i think its about 80Hrs of film. Fantastic!)

Its also useful to use 3d tracking software and depth from stereo to generate dense Z information. then its possible to create VR worlds from panoramas that where shot with a moving camera. (takes a bit of work..)

/Mattias
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mars loon
post Sep 18 2006, 12:14 AM
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Mattias,

very nice job on your immense saturn portrait published on APOD at christmastime a few years ago

ken
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Malmer
post Sep 25 2006, 06:27 PM
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QUOTE (mars loon @ Sep 18 2006, 02:14 AM) *
Mattias,

very nice job on your immense saturn portrait published on APOD at christmastime a few years ago

ken


Thanx!

I actuall did not stitch that one using any automatic software. i did it by hand. I made that picture the same day it came down from cassini and had it on my machine for a month of so. Then scince Nasa did not seem to ever release it i thought that I would. I emailed it to the apod people and they had it shown on cristmas eve.

Then I got an email from Carolyn Porco...

...and Im not going to publish anything i have done from any ongoing missions anymore.


/M
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Stu
post Sep 26 2006, 10:08 AM
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QUOTE (Malmer @ Sep 25 2006, 06:27 PM) *
Then I got an email from Carolyn Porco...

...and Im not going to publish anything i have done from any ongoing missions anymore.
/M


That's a crying shame, I know many of us will miss your stunning images... if you really mean it... sad.gif


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ugordan
post Sep 26 2006, 10:48 AM
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QUOTE (Malmer @ Sep 25 2006, 07:27 PM) *
Then I got an email from Carolyn Porco...

...and Im not going to publish anything i have done from any ongoing missions anymore.

That bad? I can understand them wanting to make official releases, but as you say, sometimes there are months that pass and images don't get released. For instance, a Hyperion true color image was released only very recently in the form of a smallish image, the previous releases were all toned down and then enhanced. The public never saw a more natural appearance of the moon and frankly, I think a fair amount would like to see the "real" appearance, not those toned-down versions. Do cases like this prevent us from releasing our own images?

For RAW data composites -- arguably so. Even then, APOD is not an official channel for image releases and the raws ARE publicly released. We're supposed to just look at them, but not touch them?

For PDS releases? Obviously, once the data hits PDS and they still haven't made a PR release, tough luck for them. Period.

I might be out-of-line here, but I think these instrument PIs sometimes seem to forget that while they built the instrument, it's the taxpayers' money that enabled them to do it in the first place.


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djellison
post Sep 26 2006, 11:10 AM
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Not the first time CP has responded negatively to people using the raw images that get put online.

Compare to Nov. last year when JB was on Planetary Radio - commenting on how he though it was great that people were making their own colour images and mosaics from MER.

It's a pity that CP doesn't see the benefit and seems to think the world is hell bent on trying to trump her scientifically. We're not - we just want to have the best view of things we can, as soon as we can, as often as we can. If that means that someone ends up producing a beautiful mosaic or colour composite before the Ciclops team does....then I'm sorry - that's just the way it is.

Doug
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edstrick
post Sep 26 2006, 11:28 AM
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The very simple fact is that the Cassini Imaging team is NOT doing it's job getting the public what it's paying for. We are not getting good periapsis-pass previews (That's the Project's PIO fault, mostly), we're getting dribs-and-drabs of 1 megapixel small press release images.

Then we get the dog-in-a-manger growls from Carolin being porky about us raiding her (I've more then once gotten the impression that it's grudgingly) posted "raw" data. The latest annoyance is the block on ftp style batch downloads from the cassini raw pages that started last summer. They may carp all they want about mass downloaders hogging the bandwidth, but we don't hear that whining from the MER people or the Exploratorium. I'm afraid it's simply an attempt to make it much more work for amateurs to do something substantially better than the team is doing but with substantially worse starting data.

What the stupididity is, is that this hampers all of the many un-paid promoters of planetary exploration out here, giving talks or one-on-one pushing space at public events like last months World Science Fiction Convention in LA (I was on 7 panels, and though none were slide-show or video presentations, I came loaded with piles of pictures, including Enceladus mosaics better than anything the team has doled out to the underserving public.

I'd better stop ranting before I start calling people things.....
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ljk4-1
post Sep 26 2006, 12:47 PM
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This might also explain what went on with the Cassini CD as described
in David Brin's book Deep Time. What could have been a thing of both
art and information was turned into a bunch of signatures as supposed
professionals battled over credit, etc.

Maybe that says more about current humanity than anything else.


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"After having some business dealings with men, I am occasionally chagrined,
and feel as if I had done some wrong, and it is hard to forget the ugly circumstance.
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not thus harden and make coarse. A hard, sensible man whom we liken to a rock is
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no sympathy, I go to commune with the rocks, whose hearts are comparatively soft."

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Guest_DonPMitchell_*
post Sep 26 2006, 02:26 PM
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QUOTE (Malmer @ Sep 25 2006, 11:27 AM) *
Then I got an email from Carolyn Porco...

...and Im not going to publish anything i have done from any ongoing missions anymore.
/M


That makes me angry. As an official American taxpayer, it is OK with me for you to do whatever you want with Cassini images. Porco owns a company (Diamond Sky Productions) that makes space image products. She is telling you, "Don't compete with my company!". Do you think she has the right to tell you that?
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remcook
post Sep 26 2006, 03:09 PM
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QUOTE (ugordan @ Sep 26 2006, 11:48 AM) *
I might be out-of-line here, but I think these instrument PIs sometimes seem to forget that while they built the instrument, it's the taxpayers' money that enabled them to do it in the first place.


Actually....not many PIs actually make their hands dirty in the building of the instrument. Or even designing it!
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djellison
post Sep 26 2006, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE (DonPMitchell @ Sep 26 2006, 03:26 PM) *
Porco owns a company (Diamond Sky Productions) that makes space image products.


Now that I didn't know - and ineed it puts something of a a new spin on the multiple occasions when she has objected in one way or another to the use of the JPG's that go online.

I don't think anyone has tried to do anything more than go "oh - look at that" and "oh - isn't that pretty" with Ciclops imagery - and as a result I just can not understand the root cause of her objection. There's no attempts to trump people scientifically ( because we all know the limitations of the JPG's )

Everything done with the JPGs (and the PDS releases that follow) serves to acknowledge and promote the instrument and it's results.

And when one constrasts this attitude to the one we see from the MER team, you have to wonder why the two teams ( which have overlap ) are so contrasting in their attitudes toward the amateur enthusiast.

Doug
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ugordan
post Sep 26 2006, 03:44 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 26 2006, 04:30 PM) *
I don't think anyone has tried to do anything more than go "oh - look at that" and "oh - isn't that pretty" with Ciclops imagery - and as a result I just can not understand the root cause of her objection.

One has to also wonder if people would be making composites like that if the team did those "ooh" releases more often. Seriously, we see color composites every leap year and they expect us NOT to take a whack at the data when it's just sitting there! That's downright unfair.

QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 26 2006, 04:30 PM) *
And when one constrasts this attitude to the one we see from the MER team, you have to wonder why the two teams ( which have overlap ) are so contrasting in their attitudes toward the amateur enthusiast.

I think that largely depends upon the mindset of the PI and the rest of the team. Jim Bell said it himself he hated the way Voyager Neptune imagery was being proprietarized back then and he knew what that must have felt like to an outside observer. CP obviuosly didn't have that kind of experience.
In a way, the two live in different times. JB acknowledges this is a time of information sharing (and actually thinks that's great!), while CP probably wants things to stay at the level it was back when Voyagers were making the Saturn flybys and the imaging team got the exclusive to see and analyze the images. Just as JB at Neptune (IIRC), she was a grad student back then.


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Ian R
post Sep 26 2006, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE (Malmer @ Sep 25 2006, 07:27 PM) *
Then I got an email from Carolyn Porco...

...and Im not going to publish anything i have done from any ongoing missions anymore.
/M


ohmy.gif

Mattias,

Could you elaborate a little on the content of the email you received from Ms. Porco? What exactly was the nature of her objection to your wonderful Saturn mosaic (which sat proudly on my desktop for many weeks, I might add)?

I'm disgusted and appalled that a senior member of the Cassini imaging team could react this way to members of the general public working with the raw imagery. The way I see it, if you're going to make the raw pictures available for people to access, don't moan and whinge if they actually decide to do something constructive with them.

I'm quite angry about this, and I was formerly a big admirer of Ms. Porco's work on Voyager! mad.gif

Ian.


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Phil Stooke
post Sep 26 2006, 06:03 PM
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My understanding was that the public release of daily raw images was forced on the imaging team by JPL against their wishes.

Phil


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