PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

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maxlyons
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PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by maxlyons » Thu May 30, 2013 9:27 am

I have just released PTAssembler 6.1.0. The biggest change in this version is the inclusion of a new control point detection program I have written called PTAPicker. PTAPicker implements several different feature detection algorithms and is extremely configurable. When using PTApicker as the control point picker, PTAssembler can also now be instructed to detect control points in specific regions of images. Other changes include support for CPFind (an alternate control point picker), and the ability to save/load photometric settings as "presets". A complete list of changes is:
  • Feature: Added PTAPicker as a new control point picker program. PTAPicker
    is written by Tawbaware and is a fast, patent-free, control point
    detection program.
  • Feature: Added ability to detect control points in a user-specified regions
    of an image. Right-click and drag mouse (while pressing shift key) in
    viewer windows on Step 3 screen to define regions. PTAPicker
    will search for control points when regions are defined in both viewers.
    See help for more details on this feature.
  • Feature: Added support for CPFind as a control point picker program.
  • Feature: Added ability to save and load photometric settings. This allows
    the user to apply photometric settings from one project to another.
  • Change: Removed support for Autopano-SIFT and Autopano-SIFT-C as control
    point picker programs. If you were using one of these programs
    with an earlier version of PTAssembler, you will have to choose
    an alternate. PTAPicker is the suggested program.
PTAssembler (32-bit and 64-bit versions) can be downloaded from this page.

Complete details about PTAPicker are here.

Max

Terrywoodenpic
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by Terrywoodenpic » Thu May 30, 2013 3:30 pm

I have only tried it on a very simple hand held pan and no problem.

Loved the new area selection feature as I was able to easily avoid a lot of moving leaves that had been selected in the previous try.

It all works straight out of the box so far.

Thanks for your efforts............
Terry

old decrepit and still taking photographs

PSHRutPark
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by PSHRutPark » Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 pm

Thanks for that Max.

Looking forward to trying the new features.

Peter
http://www.pastoralsystems.co.nz/photography/

maxlyons
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by maxlyons » Thu May 30, 2013 7:38 pm

Glad to hear that it works! I didn't bother with a beta release this time, but please let me know if you encounter problems.

I was going to post some comparisons between PTAPicker and some other control point picker programs, but the results (speed, accuracy, etc.) are dependent on so many factors (not the least of which is what set of images you use for the test) that I decided against it. For now, at least.

My impression is that PTAPicker should measure up reasonably well against the others (and is likely to be able to handle a lot more images thanks to the use of very space-efficient feature descriptors and 64-bit architecture), but I think I need to test it on a lot of projects before I can make a reasonable conclusion about its overall performance.

PTAPicker does not use either the SIFT or SURF algorithms, both of which seem to be used by most (all?) other control point picker programs, but are protected by patents.

Max

Punkie
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by Punkie » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:48 am

Hello Max

Tested the new area feature and PTA picker.
It works like a charm. With the few pictures I used for testing it's rather fast.
Further I noticed that the description of PTA picker is only accessible from the forum under your announcement of PTAssembler 6.1.0
There is no link to that page from the manual or help button in PTAssembler.
Photometric adjustment and camera position optimisation description have a link under the help button.
Further I still miss under the questionmark button on the control point screen the shortcut keys for masks and now the area feature for control points.
One question I have. Can the area feature be used for removing more control points at the same time?

Kind regards,
Henk Tijdink

maxlyons
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by maxlyons » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:46 pm

Henk,

Thanks...all good points. I'll fix up the help screen. There should be a link on the start menu to the PTAPicker documentation, and the PTAssembler documentation also mentions PTAPicker (but doesn't describe it in as much detail as PTAPicker's own page). But, in general, I think the documentation could use some rearranging. Unfortunately, it is one of my least favorite tasks!

You can remove control points in bulk from the step 3 screen. Drawing a rectangle with the right mouse button pushed on one of the viewer windows will cause any control points within the rectangle to be deleted.

You can also delete control points on the preview screen as well...unfortunately, the command is a little different there. You need to hold the Ctrl-key down while drawing a rectangle with the right mouse button pushed.

Max

pwhole
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by pwhole » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:37 am

Max

Haven't been here for a while, but just wanted to say congratulations on the new release - I'm about to install it soon. However, I'll be installing the 64-bit version now - do you recommend totally uninstalling the old 32-bit version first, as they'll be installed in different locations, so won't 'update' as previous versions did. I just don't want to set up any conflicts.

Many thanks

Phil.

pwhole
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by pwhole » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:42 am

Ah, sorry - it seems you've answered it in another thread (which I missed), so don't bother yourself with it, and sorry I mentioned it! I'll get to work installing it soon - just finishing a job with the previous version, and it won't suffer for that, so I'll be on it soon. Can't wait...

Steerpike
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by Steerpike » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:22 pm

Is Enblend still the preferred blending program, and if so, should I go with 4.1 or 4.0 ?

Update - and should I find the x64 bit version, if I'm on windows x64?

dsp
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by dsp » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:23 pm

Hi Max,
Congratulations on this release!!! You really went to town on the control point pickers. I haven't had much time to play yet, but I was hoping we could maybe start an informal thread on people's experiences with the different control point pickers. For instance which ones empirically have performed best for different classes of troubling images (moving clouds, ocean waves, etc.).
Cheers, Darcy

maxlyons
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by maxlyons » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:45 pm

Steerpike wrote:Is Enblend still the preferred blending program, and if so, should I go with 4.1 or 4.0 ?
I'm not sure there is a "preferred" program. However, last time I looked there were some problems with Enblend 4.1. I generally use Smartblend myself.
Update - and should I find the x64 bit version, if I'm on windows x64?
The x64 version will probably process large panoramas better, and may operate slightly (emphasis on "may" and "slightly") faster on small panoramas. Unless you are trying to create large panoramas, I wouldn't guess that there is much difference.

Max

maxlyons
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by maxlyons » Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:52 pm

dsp wrote:Hi Max,
Congratulations on this release!!! You really went to town on the control point pickers. I haven't had much time to play yet, but I was hoping we could maybe start an informal thread on people's experiences with the different control point pickers. For instance which ones empirically have performed best for different classes of troubling images (moving clouds, ocean waves, etc.).
Cheers, Darcy
Thanks. I should mention that I made use of the excellent OpenCV library for the feature detection and description parts of the program.

I would also be interested to hear peoples' experiences. But, I would caution that there are so many variables at play here that drawing conclusions based on testing with a small number of projects is likely to be misleading. And, adjusting the default options may make a big difference depending on the images you are using.

One improvement that I would like to make to PTAPicker is to have it dynamically adjust its various parameters based on the image content. My own testing suggests that there isn't a single "best" configuration that works with all images. But it might be possible to implement an approach where a first scan of the images is used to set the various program options appropriately for a second scan that detects control points.

Max

dsp
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by dsp » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:10 pm

maxlyons wrote: Thanks. I should mention that I made use of the excellent OpenCV library for the feature detection and description parts of the program.Max
Yeah, I saw while reading your PTAPicker documentation page of the algorithms. Pretty nice collection.
maxlyons wrote:But, I would caution that there are so many variables at play here that drawing conclusions based on testing with a small number of projects is likely to be misleading.
I'm trying to "Crowdsource" the checks ;) What got me thinking about it is exactly what you mention. I barely have time to take any pictures these days, so if we could aggregate our testing, it may help the community. Most pictures do fine with any option, but I have some that are chronic troublemakers.


You now have pretty much the entire suite of tools. Your exposure adjustment addition last round *almost* works as a blender. One more program to go, and there can be Tawbaware for the whole process. Pretty cool.

cheers, dsp

maxlyons
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by maxlyons » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:30 am

dsp wrote:I'm trying to "Crowdsource" the checks
Nice idea...I'm also interested to hear what others' experiences are.
I have some that are chronic troublemakers.
Maybe it would be instructive to have a closer look at some of those...if you want to share some images, perhaps we can see what makes them difficult?
You now have pretty much the entire suite of tools. Your exposure adjustment addition last round *almost* works as a blender. One more program to go, and there can be Tawbaware for the whole process. Pretty cool.
Right...I guess I just need to write a blending program! It is on the list, but so are a number of other things. I have been doing some Android development recently, so the next project might be something for Android devices!

Max

Steerpike
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Re: PTAssembler 6.1.0 released

Post by Steerpike » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:09 pm

maxlyons wrote:
Steerpike wrote:Is Enblend still the preferred blending program, and if so, should I go with 4.1 or 4.0 ?
I'm not sure there is a "preferred" program. However, last time I looked there were some problems with Enblend 4.1. I generally use Smartblend myself.
Update - and should I find the x64 bit version, if I'm on windows x64?
The x64 version will probably process large panoramas better, and may operate slightly (emphasis on "may" and "slightly") faster on small panoramas. Unless you are trying to create large panoramas, I wouldn't guess that there is much difference.

Max
I downloaded and configured the latest - 4.1.1 - and was able to very quickly produce a great panorama. This pano was just a quick test of the latest version of everything ... (Goosenecks state park, just north of Monument Valley, UT)
Image
Three shots hand held, wasn't even attempting a panorama (no attempt to maintain a single point), dropped into PTA and finished off with enblend. I had to do a fair amount of work with control points, and then with optimization - everything fell into place when I turned on all optimization for all lens parameters. Pretty impressive as this could have taken days in the past! The horizon may look choppy but it's perfect).

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