One of the types of aerial panoramas that you can take is a 360˚ panoramic image. A photo editing software dedicated to merging 360˚ panoramas is PTGui. What is the photo merge process in PTGui? In this video, Richard Harrington and Francis Torres walk through how to merge a 360˚ panoramic image in PTGui.
- Now we've been talking about Adobe tools and later on we will look at some other tools for HDR. But there are dedicated apps just for fixing and making panoramic photos. Francis you have one that you really like. - Yeah for 360 Panoramas I like to use a program called PT GUI. It is both for Mac and PC and for pro its actually really inexpensive. I think its about 100 or 170 bucks. - Okay and it does some 360s interactive content pretty well. - Yes very well, that's what its made for. - Let's take a look at building a 360 degree panoramic photo.
So when we try to merge the spherical panorama in Photoshop or Lightroom, it didn't quite handle the really complex image. Now it sometimes can handle things shot on a tripod where its very predictable from image to image but shooting a spherical panorama or a 360 on a drone is a little less predictable. - [Instructor] Yes because you have the factors of up and being there, not really being stable even though its in GPS mode but a wind can give it little bumps to make everything mess up a little bit. - [Instructor] Alright so we're gonna tackle this with another application called PT GUI and PT GUI has been around for a long time.
Its very popular in the panoramic community so why don't we go ahead and first merge the panorama together and then we're gonna see that there is one giant hole that we have to fill. - [Instructor] So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna come in here into our images, back here in the Coronado States 360. So I'm gonna just select all of these and then I'm gonna open up PT GUI and I'm just simply gonna come in here and drag and drop all these images. - [Instructor] You just basically load these? - [Instructor] Yeah so once they're all loaded up the EXIF data for all of the photos actually already automatically tell PT GUI what camera it is and what type of panorama its gonna be.
- [Instructor] Yeah and that EXIF data is gonna have information about the manufacturer as well as potentially things like GPS and other data. But software can use that to help customize its approach to how it adjusts things. - [Instructor] So now I don't really have to change anything here. So I'm just gonna hit align images. - [Instructor] That was very fast. - [Instructor] Yeah, so once this is done you should have a flat image of the whole 360 panorama. So going here, and there's our flat image right there and these numbers really tell you which photo was which but a good way to test out how the panorama looks is I go in here and I click preview and I am just gonna change the height to 2500.
- [Instructor] How come? - [Instructor] Just so when the preview comes out its actually a higher resolution. - [Instructor] Okay so its not so down sampled. - [Instructor] Its not so down sampled so I'm gonna hit preview and then hit open in PT GUI viewer. - [Instructor] And this is gonna give you an interactive viewer right? - [Instructor] Correct. So here I'm gonna full screen this and then you could see how this panorama looks prior to actually going into editing. So you can see its pretty stitch so far but the one problem we have is this empty space here where I couldn't capture the sky.
- [Instructor] So we will tackle that in a second. Now its not gonna read like if we made adjustments to these files and Photoshop ahead of time and stored it with the DNG file PT GUI can't recognize that edits made in Lightroom or Camera RAW because that's a different piece of software. But you could preprocess all of these DNGs using Lightroom or Photoshop to sort of recover things. So lets escape out of this and we will go back in and it did a good job with these but we might as well take advantage of actually developing this a bit.
So let's point it at that folder of images and we will select all of these and we're gonna do the same techniques we did before. So go ahead and open those in Camera RAW. And we will just, this is a good representative image. Let's recover the highlights and lower the exposure a little bit. And lift the shadows and the goal is just to get a consistent image. Now we're gonna do a little bit more with color later but what I'm trying to do is if we turn on the hot and cold pixels here, what we're looking at is do we have any clipped pixels and I see that we do in the highlights there.
So that concerns me because clipped pixels means lost detail. So we will recover that a little bit. Just a little bit of color and if we compare the two I can definitely see that a lot of detail that was being lost is brought back. Now I want to avoid doing any style or anything too much here because you still have to merge in a sky image so lets just sink those and instead of simply synchronizing these and then closing it, we actually have to make new files.
So I'm gonna click the save images button here and we're gonna stick these out as new TIFF files or if you want you can rewrap them as new DNG files but that would only work with Photoshop so I really want to embed that data in so lets make TIFFs. We will put them in the same location and we will tell it to make a TIFF file which is fine and that should be fine and we'll make sure that that's 16 bits per channel.
And we will click save. And so now you can process that here in the corner. You see what's happening and it plows right through. And we're just gonna let those generate the new TIFFs and these are having some of the raw corrections applied. Because PT GUI doesn't really let you develop the raw files. You're not accessing the raw data there. You can develop the files but you don't get the ability to recover shadows or highlights using the raw sensor data you're simply using extracted TIFF. So this is gonna give us a little bit more detail.
So now that that's done, once you just hit okay and go back to PT GUI but this time use the TIFFs. - [Instructor] Now with these new TIFF files I'll make sure I select them all and then go into PT GUI. And then I'm just gonna simply drag and drop them back in. And then again just hit align images. - [Instructor] This is very fast. Much faster than Photoshop at doing the merge because its a highly specialized piece of software.
- [Instructor] There's our flat image and just a quick check. I'm just gonna hit preview and make it 2500 open up in viewer. - [Instructor] It looks to me like the ground plain is a tad dark but I bet you can lift some of that off with some shadows and highlights but I think the clouds and the sky are holding together a little better. Alright so go ahead and process it the rest of the way. - [Instructor] So before I process it and create a panorama I'm actually gonna go back into the viewer and to make sure that my sun here is actually lined up in the exact center of the panorama and I'll get back to that in a sec.
So hit here and then make sure that my panorama is straight by clicking the straighten panorama and that looks pretty good. So I'm gonna go here, create a panorama and then I'm gonna change my file format to PSB or Photoshop Large. - [Instructor] Yeah and that's just a larger version of the Photoshop file so its gonna remove some of the limits on the dimensions that you might have hit using the original Photoshop document format. - [Instructor] And just as a good habit that I always do is I click here and then just blend in layers. - [Instructor] Okay. - [Instructor] Then I'm gonna hit control S or command S and I'm just gonna call this Coronado 360.
Hit save, that saves it out to a PTS file or a PT GUI file. And then I'm just gonna hit create panorama. I'm generating a Photoshop file. That has all the stitched files in it. - [Instructor] Right a new document but its processed, and its bent the files and lined them up with each other. - [Instructor] Yes. - [Instructor] Okay so let's see that in Photoshop. - [Instructor] So I'm gonna go into the folder and I'm just gonna look for that, there is the Photoshop file and I double click that and then now it opens up in Photoshop as the flattened image. - [Instructor] Sure, yeah. And that looks really good and I see you've got it all of the merge layers there and we can save those later on if we need to do a change.
Why don't you group those into a smart object in case you need it. So just shift click on the range. Everything except for the background and just right click and group that into a new smart object, convert to smart object. So now that's all the layers. And if you ever need to you can step inside of there and pull out the layers so why don't you name that layered file. Or layers, there we go. We've got the ground. We've got the horizon but because the drone can't fly upside down it can't point its camera up so we need to put something up there.
- [Instructor] Yeah.
- Understanding your country's regulations
- Securing permission from property owners
- Taking your drone on a commercial airline
- Understanding weather conditions that affect flight
- Essential flight techniques for photographers
- Monitoring remotely
- Shooting raw photos
- Establishing a landing zone
- Shooting panoramic and HDR images from a drone
- Developing HDR images