Zinc

[qt:http://360.itcow.com/fullscreens/29sept07_zinc/zinc.mov 480 267]

Today, something different, object pano just for fun. Mouse over the above quicktime and drag your mouse left or tight to rotate the phone.

Opensource Pano-ing with Hugin

Hugin. You might have of it, the main author pronounced it (“hu” as in “Hue”) so get that right first. Here‘s the main author, Pablo d’Angelo doing a demo at the recent PanoTools Meeting. Whole list of videos are here.

I hear a few people lament about the cost of Pano hardware then when they need to stitch them up, the software costs dawn on them.

Check out Hugin. I took it for a spin. It works just the speed as compared to PTGui is, slower. I’m using the same test files used here.

Loading the images, drag and drop the same way as in PTGui.

It’ll take a while and if it’s the first time you are like me, using Hugin, you need to define where is autopano.exe . Download it here. Then tell Hugin where it i and it’ll go to work.

The result:

Optimising, i chose “Everything”. The speed is fast but I do not see much changes on the preview window.

Stitch them up.

Results, resized to 500 x 250.

Not bad at all huh. I completed the whole workflow in Pano2QTVR, Photoshop then Pleinpot and gotten ths following.

Quicktime | DevalVR

Not bad at all for an Opensource stitcher GUI front but do note that often than not, if your photos are not taken well and or with tons of Parallex errors, there’s really nothing much ANY software can help you with. Like we all hear, “Garbage in, garbage out”. So take your shots well before attempting any stitching, if not, you’re just wasting a lot of your precious time.

Hugin – http://hugin.sourceforge.net/

AutoPano – http://autopano.kolor.com/

Tan Kim Seng Fountain

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“Tan Kim Seng came from Malacca to Singapore in 1840. He had a humble beginning but through perseverance rose to be a very wealthy man. He founded Kim Seng and Company, a trading house on Boat Quay. Tan Kim Seng was a leader among the Chinese; he was often asked to settle disputes among them.

On 18 November 1857 Tan Kim Seng offered a sum of $13,000 for a supply of water to the Town from Bukit Timah. This water was to be carried through pipes on the main roads in Singapore. The Secretary of State for India praised the public spiritedness of Tan Kim Seng” – Source

Lim Bo Seng Memorial

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“Lim Bo Seng was a hero of the Second World War, a Singaporean who was a Kuomintang member and vigorously raised funds for the China war efforts from the time of the atrocities in China in 1937 to the invasion of Malaya. He had to leave Singapore before the arrival of the Japanese in Singapore leaving behind his wife and children. He was enlisted by the S.O.E. to negotiate with Chiang Kai Shek to recruit Chinese young men for Force 136. He was much respected by both the European officers and his Chinese colleagues for his integrity, patriotism, courage and selflessness. He was in one of the first groups of Force 136 to return to Malay in May 1943. Unfortunately on his first trip from the jungle into the town of Ipoh he was arrested by the Japanese, possibly betrayed by Lai Teck, the M.C.P. Secretary-General who was a double agent working for the Japanese too. Lim was put in the Ipoh Prison at Batu Gajah and here he was unmercilessly tortured. The Japanese wanted the names of the Malaysian Communist Party (M.C.P.) members and the whereabouts of their hideouts. In spite of great pain and suffering he would not give in to their demands. Finally he died from dysentery and was buried in a shallow grave in the jungle near the prison. At the end of the war his body was exumed and he was given a proper burial in Singapore after a state funeral. Later with funds from Hong Kong, a pagoda-like memorial was built in his memory.”Source

Cenotaph

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“Cenotaph was unveiled on 31 March 1922 in memory of those who gave their lives in World War one with a 2nd dedication added in rememberance of those who died in World War Two. It is designed by Denis Saritry. The foundation stone was laid by Sir Lawrence Nunns Guillemard, the Governor of the Straits Settlement, on 15 November 1920. In attendance was the visiting French Premier, George Clemenceau who was the French Minister of War from 1917 to 1919. At the end of World War Two, Mountbatten returned to Singapore as the Singapore Commander of the South East Asia Command to receive the surrender of the Japanese at the City Hall at 12 September 1945.” – Source

Esplanade Roof Terrace

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Esplanade Root Terrace view all around. Below, celebration for the upcoming Moon Cake Festival/ Latern Festival with “xiang sheng”, a kind of traditional chinese stand up comedy. Above, the almost full moon that will appear on the Chinese Traditional calendar 15th day of the 8th month, that’s Tuesday 25th Sept this year. Enjoy!

Ann Siang Hill Park

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A beautiful park hidden away from the busy Central Business District (CBD). Ann Siang Hill Park. Taken over a rare clear blue sky with the 6pm moon in sight.

360 Precision

360Precision has a new revamped look on it’s website. Check them out.

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Picture – www.360precision.com

For those not knowing, they produce one of the most expensive/ professional pano head money can buy. At time of writing, it is USD1195, a cool SGD1.8k! Enough for a mid range DSLR like the Canon EOS 40D. So why do people still buy them?

If you notice, most pano heads out there like the Nodal Ninja3, Kingpano, Panosauras can’t really take DSLR that are in the taller heights range, meaning the more expensive/ professional ones like the 1D series (eg MarkII, MarkIII) but the 360Precision Adjuste can take the MarkII with no problem! I can only gauge them roughly now but my old Canon 350D with grips attached is not mountable to the Kingpano or the Nodal Ninja3.

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Picture -www.nodalninja.com, seen here with a compact/ point and shoot camera. It’s totally possible to take a full 360 pano with the NN3.

I have too complained about the price of pano heads for some time. It’s so expensive at times for the hardware wait till I start on the software. Pete L. has actually home made his own. He’s totally into this pano machining idea! Check out his handmade pano head here. It’s crude looking but it gets the job done on his 350D matched with a Sigma 10-20mm.

Software, an overview again shall we?

PTGui – 79Euros for Personal. 149Euros for a Personal Professional license.

Pano2QTVR – 30 Euros for Pro version and 130 Euros for Pro and flashpack. (You’ll need the flashpack to export your panos as flash)

Pleinpot – 25 Euros.

So yes, with these prices in place, they do make people serious in pano to be serious and people starting out to try out pano taking sometimes, away from the idea of getting started. It’s just bad especially for people in general of Asia/ Singapore. It’s hard enough to see people actually trying out this great photography technique, the prices involved shy people away.

There are alternative opensource ones like Hugin but the output and final results is just not as good as I hope for. It’s my personal view, you may have better results.

I hope, through this small site, I can bring pano to more people, introduce the fun that can be had! Thanks to all who has left comments on certain panos, registration has been flowing in quite smoothly since I enabled the user registration. Do keep the comments coming so I can better my panos.

Telok Ayer Green

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“Commemorating the Malay, Indian and Chinese communities that settled in this area, Telok Ayer Green is a quaint little park filled with sculptures of the street’s former inhabitants as well as various signboards detailing its history.”

Rainy Car Park

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On my way to buy dinner and a quick pano before I get the dinner and it rained! Lucky me. Also, I’ve completed a small tutorial. Check it out and do leave me comments.

Esplanade Reloaded

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A re-visit of The Esplanade at roughly the same timing with my new gears. 7pm+ to have that same blue evening skies. The older one is here. Note the outdoor stage is gone and replaced with greens.

Orient Foto

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The friendly and helpful staff of Orient Foto were kind enough to give me permission of doing this 3 panos in their shop! Visit them @ http://www.orientfoto.com.sg/ or better yet, visit them @ 1 Rochor Canal Road, #06-53/31, Sim Lim Square for good service, nice chat and most important competitive prices.

A “Break”

I’m taking a break from pano due to a break…on my tripod!

It all happened on location pano taking at The Esparis…

I hope to have it replaced soon and almost really bought another Benro gem, the new Travel Angle Tripod that can do a back 180 degrees fold, yes just like the Gitzo Traveller series at 1/3 the price! Of course, comparing the Gitzo and the Benro is really a very unfair comparision as I tried it for myself today Gitzo’s G-Lock system, ALR (Anti Leg Rotation) and felt the weight of Gitzo’s Basalt and their carbon fibre series, it’s well worth the money for quality and strength.

In the meantime, I’m getting the tripod “repaired” tomorrow as I popped by Orient Photo in Sim Lim Square asking if it’s possible to have it repaired, spent money on accessories for my new 40D and the reply was a nice yes. Bring it down…

I hope I can be back doing Pano by the end of the week, new camera but no tripod! argh…