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  #1  
Old 11-21-2013, 01:12 PM
PeterJPayne PeterJPayne is offline
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101 Course in New Photo Realistic Field Generation

Has anyone put together a step by step tutorial on how to produce a quality photo Realistic field in RF7? I am new to this process. The three paragraphs in the manual leave a lot of questions to be answered; What is the best focal length to use on a digital camera? What readily available program is suitable for the stitching process? How do you achieve the 2X1 ratio or 360 deg. X 180 deg. image on a camera format that is base on thirds, 4 X 6?

Thanks for you help.
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2013, 03:40 PM
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phrank phrank is offline
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There is so much information on the topic, that it is beyond the scope of this forum.
Your search keyword for Google and Youtube is "equirectangular panorama"

There you will find videos, and hundreds of sample panoramas that you can import into realflight.

Don't worry too much about focal length, or anything too technical, I've seen some decent quality sim panoramas done with an iphone.
Your goal is to understand the process first, then you can worry about the technicals.

Good Luck.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:43 PM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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This subject has a lot of coverage.. Yup... search engine is working fine.

http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27839
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:15 PM
PeterJPayne PeterJPayne is offline
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Thanks to 12oclockhigh and phrank for pointing me in the right direction. I was not using the correct search request.

Thanks again,

Pete
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  #5  
Old 11-22-2013, 07:05 PM
PeterJPayne PeterJPayne is offline
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The following youtube site will give anyone trying to figure out how to take a 360 X180 deg. photo a lot of valuable information and explain why the images you tried did not work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotat...&v=ouOEM4cKKGc

Pete
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2013, 08:17 PM
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Fun2av8RC Fun2av8RC is offline
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Have you searched the Real Flight 6 designers forum? I remember that there was a lot of discussion on creating these panoramas for RF.

Ive been told that it is both easy and hard. If you do figure it out - how about posting your own DIY Guide to Building Photo Realistic Field if Real Flight for the rest of us?
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2013, 02:27 PM
PeterJPayne PeterJPayne is offline
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Has anyone used one of the many Apps for 360 photos for the iPhone? I was under the impression that bigger and more expensive was the only way to go, however, the iPhone with the right App seems to do everthing in seconds that my big SLR takes hours to complete. Sizing the competed image to 2 X 1 may be an issue. The iPhone with the propper application may be the key to everyone being able to produce their own photo realistic air fields.

Thanks for your help.

Pete
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2013, 02:49 PM
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Maj. Numbskully Maj. Numbskully is offline
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yes
another user Jeffpn sent me a pano done with his phone ..I stitched it together and was really impressed how well it did the job ..I was asked not to post it and will respect that

if its for your own personal use it'll do ..not sure how many Mega pixels his phone was or yours
Imo 8MP is the minimum for expectable detail for something that you would post to the swap page ...I don't have an iphone so I don't know ...the only other problem I can possibly forsee is that many times using automatic exposure settings can be a problematic in some situations ...bottom line is yes you can use an iphone ...but even if I owned one I'd still always use my Camera
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:12 AM
PeterJPayne PeterJPayne is offline
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The iPhone apps I am talking about will do a 360 and stitch the photos in seconds. One of my friends at the air field pulled out his iPhone and produced a nice 360 and emailed it to me in less than 2 minutes. I later tried to import the image, however, the ratio was not right so the image did not work. The image sharpness and clarity surprised me, there were no preceptable stitch lines. I think that if I turn the iPhone in the portrait position and use the horizon as the top border on the field shot and the horizon as the bottom border on the sky shot I may be able to capture the 360 deg and the 180 deg to complete the image. The iPhone 5 has a better lens and higher memory which may get the job done, if I can contol the 2 X 1 ratio.

Thanks for your help

Pete
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:35 AM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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you are going to have to use image editing software and RF will not handle as much resolution as you have.
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  #11  
Old 11-26-2013, 07:57 PM
PeterJPayne PeterJPayne is offline
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I downloaded a app on my iphone called 360 Panp Camera, by Go2Share, I think it cost $2.00.
This program has 2 pano settings, I chose the one that pans up and down and side to side. The stitching is completed in a couple of minutes. This produced a 180 deg x 90 deg file that I was able to import directly in to RF-7. The resulting image is not as sharp as what we are accustomed to, however, I was able to try flying my light weight 3D biplane in my front yard, something I always wanted to try.

The iphone 4s and up can produce a pretty good image at about 35 mm. These images could be stitched together to make a working image. I tried to use the panoramic mode built in to the camera an got good sharp photos however when I tried to stitch these panos on different horizons the stitching software could not handle it. I think that the iphone can be a qick way to generate fields, however someone will have to build an app specifically for this function.

Pete
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:14 PM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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What is there to build? Apps already exist for stitching. The largest pano you can import in RealFlight is 10,000 x 5,000 pixels or 50mpxl image. Your image ratio needs to be 2wide x 1high. I really don't think the a iphone is strong enough to process an image as large as this. Wrong tool for the job.

Everything exists... ,maybe not for your iPhone, to do this kind of work. Can you even open a 50mpxl image (on the iPhone)?

I think that just about any modern digital camera is capable of taking the image if you have a system of pointing and shooting and keeping the nodal point steady between shots. Hand held panoramas are not going to work and tripod panoramas are only slightly better.

Last edited by 12oclockhigh; 11-27-2013 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:52 PM
PeterJPayne PeterJPayne is offline
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You are of course right. I am looking for an faster easier way to get the custom image imported into the simulator. The iphone app that I mentioned in the previous post was designed to generate a nice looking panoramic image that exceeds what is a currently installed feature of the iphone. However, if the parameters were changed to meet the needs of RealFlight, it would be a handy way to generate photo realistic fields, fast and on the cheap. I found that the lack of resolution was not as distracting as I though it would be. You are concentrating on the plane so the lack of sharpness mimics your peripheral vision or the vision of an old geezer, which I resemble.

I am waiting for the weather to clear so that I can get back to the field and try to build a quality image using my more capable professional Canon cameras and the good information that you and others have provided since I started this project.

Thanks again for your good work.

Pete
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  #14  
Old 11-27-2013, 09:28 PM
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Maj. Numbskully Maj. Numbskully is offline
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Peter...Did you say Canon ....your in luck..... read on .............

Its not that hard or complicated (even hand held 12)
I Have done one 90x360 and several ?x180 panos hand held that are almost flawless.with out any touch up ....and perfect after a little manipulation with my Canon G9
I've posted several at RF retreat

I have done several panos hand held successfully and then there were some that I had given up on .... after trying 2 different versions of Photo shops stitching
and a Pgui trial ( or what ever its called) and they did not turn out very good

I wrote them off due to the fact they were done hand held ...I was wrong , enter Canon

After getting a new PC I was installing software and ran across a disc that came with my Canon G9 (Great little camera !) that I thought only had a photo editor on it and as I have PS and Gimp I didn't pay it much attention and never got around to installing
It was only then that I realized what was really on it .....a RAW file editor, a conventional photo editor and ........... stitching software ! (teach me not to read the manual )

So after installing it I grabbed a set of one of those panos that in the past did not work very well and that I had gave up on
Canons software produced a nearly perfect alignment on the first try automatically and after using its built in alignment fine tuning tool
it simply amazed me

I have since been told (by a knowledgeable source, I'm still trying to find documentation of that from canon ) that it reads the metadata and histogram information generated only when the camera is in stich assist mode to aid itself in the stitching process and it works remarkably well ......even on hand held panos
it wont work miracles , but I'm very impressed.... it has rescued 6 out of 6 that I previously thought were useless (not bad ..with a few more on deck)

Any 180x360 done on a level tripod and swung (actually a pivot)even close to the nodal point AND in stich assist mode .....should be a piece of cake for any Canon using the proprietary software...... that or I'm a lot better than I thought at doing hand held panos.....but I'm sure its the former ... rather than the latter


I suggest you look for the program that came with your Canon if its a pro level Canon I'm sure you already have it ...try it ...I'm pretty confident it will surprise you how well it works if you used the stitch assist while shooting .....what Canon model do you own ?
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Last edited by Maj. Numbskully; 11-28-2013 at 12:37 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2013, 09:46 PM
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PTgui got me the closest to good ones: http://www.ptgui.com/
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