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Welcome to the GigaPan Forum!

This is the place for Gigapan.com members to offer peer-to-peer support for exchanging tips, ideas, comments, etc.

Those who need direct technical assistance with their GigaPan EPIC Series imagers, stitching software or gigapan.com membership account should contact us.

Recent Posts
Tom Nelson Tom Nelson
Posted: May 18, 2012

Topic: Gigapan Mechanism / Few questions

I’m using PowerGenix nickel-zinc (NiZn) AA batteries in my Epic 100. They have a higher voltage and I use five batteries and a slug cut from a curtain rod in the GP battery tray. If the batteries are getting low, I’ll swap out the slug for another NiZn battery. NiZn’s have higher voltage (1.6v) than NiMH, do better in the cold and have a longer shelf life. They also are less toxic when recycled than NiMH batteries. I bought mine from Thomas Distributing but I know B&H also sells them.

Tom Nelson Tom Nelson
Posted: May 18, 2012

Topic: Gigapan Mechanism / Voltage

mskp’s link is dead, but I had copied the following from the thread:

Re: Battery Life Problems
In a prior discussion Stoney Vintson stated “Never exceed 9.6 volts. You may damage your imager electronics if you exceed 9.6 volts to the linear voltage regulator.” These NiZn batteries would be at the max limit, providing they don’t have a higher ambient (idle) voltage as do lead acids as the initial surge could do damage. Perhaps GigaPan could test these cells as it might solve some of the battery problems.

Re: Battery Life Problems
by Stoney Vintson on Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:19 pm
Actually we have been using the Energizer lithium batteries which are usually 6 batteries in series * X volts = 9.4 to 10.4 volts. The voltage is fed to a linear regulator which needs the voltage to be in a certain range in order to output a particular voltage such as 5 volts.

[end of copied thread]
On my Epic 100, I routinely use over 9 volts. On my previous early-version Epic, I once gave it about 10.6 volts (IIRC). It clicked and shut down. When I fired it back up with a lower voltage, it had reset everything to factory defaults but showed no damage.
Tom

Tom Nelson Tom Nelson
Posted: May 18, 2012

Topic: Gigapan Mechanism / Plug spec for elect. shutter release

On the old forum (which is now gone) someone posted a spec for the plug GigaPan uses to connect their electronic shutter cord to the robot. Does anyone still have that information? I want the plug that goes into the robot, not the camera, on the Epic 100.

Jason Buchheim Jason Buchheim
Posted: May 18, 2012

Topic: api.gigapan.org / API JPG dimensions

Ron, of course you may hack! But dont start there, start at http://www.stereopan.com/ipan, it already works as a general purpose renderer!

The image pyramid render-er is open source. It works wonderfully on the desktop and iOS devices. It has better speed than Seadragon, but missing much of its animation and inclusion technology [ie. layers on top] (how much can you expect out of 600 lines of javascript?) It only works well on HTML5 hardware accelerated <canvas> browsers (all modern incarnations work well- ie, safari, opera, firefox, chrome) The coding is soo efficient, it should only take 3 months to wrap your head around it entirely and understand its magic (that was my timeframe at least).

Ron Schott Ron Schott
Posted: May 18, 2012

Topic: api.gigapan.org / API JPG dimensions

That’s great, Jason! Do you mind if I hack (ethically) your JavaScript renderer to play around with this on my own site? I’ve been meaning to explore whether the <canvas> tag would provide an HTML5 compatible way of rendering GigaPans (especially for non-Flash capable devices) – I see now that you’re way ahead of me (as usual).

Jason Buchheim Jason Buchheim
Posted: May 18, 2012

Topic: api.gigapan.org / API JPG dimensions

So I could not resist myself, I thought, could this tile composting be done in a javascript <canvas> tag entirely in the browser? So I came up with this image pyramid render-er for a very large canvas. Seems my browser could only handle a canvas width of 8000 pixels, so I set this as the upper limit. This is rendered entirely in javascript, use it sparingly as it requests all tiles for a width of 8000 pixels image. Its 4x larger than the api offers.

Jason Buchheim Jason Buchheim
Posted: May 17, 2012

Topic: api.gigapan.org / API JPG dimensions

Well, I did not know what you wanted the thumbnails for, but 10000×2000 is hardly a thumbnail;)

Ron Schott Ron Schott
Posted: May 17, 2012

Topic: api.gigapan.org / API JPG dimensions

Says Jason: “The max thumbnail width is now 2000 pixels (for a while the api would actually return jpgs of any requested width!!!)”

And I had been taking good advantage of the wider widths – I have a dual monitor setup where each screen has a width of 2048 pixels – coincidentally, the maximum width Google+ will allow image uploads without costing one for storage space. Also, it was very convenient to be able to return large JPG images (say 10000×2000 pixels) so that I could crop out sections at high resolution in Photoshop – much easier than having to restitch an image and save the Tiff or Photoshop RAW to do the same thing.

Capping the width of JPGs from the API thus breaks a feature of the API as far as I’m concerned, so in my view the issue is not fixed.

[As long as I can get arbitrarily large images via the API it’s actually easier for me to crop what I need in Photoshop than to use the JSON API to calculate the proper proportional dimensions – in most cases I want to trim the ragged edges off anyhow, so bigger black bars don’t bother me in the least.]

Jason Buchheim Jason Buchheim
Posted: May 17, 2012

Topic: api.gigapan.org / API JPG dimensions

If you query the api with the widths and heights set to the correct aspect ratio, it will return a thumbnail without any padding. The thumbnail api is designed for delivering the images on the Gigapans list pages, whose thumbnails have a maximum height of 360 pixels. The Gigapan list pages use some JavaScript code to compute how big of an image to request – it is not hard coded into the pages html. Each list page result gets updated in the browser via ajax magic to show an image of the proper resolution for the window width of the calling browser (thus reducing download time on small screen devices or window widths).

The Gigapan data api is publicly accessible, you may query the api with JavaScript or php to get the image width and height (as well as all the Gigapans pertinent data), then do your math, and output your desired result. For instance, for your image, the new api address would be http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/104010.json . If using javascript, you can use jquery library to easily request and decode the data into javascript variables, but you will need to use the OLD api, as javascript requires the data to be wrapped in a function (JSONP format) to access the data cross domain. [The new api address does not support JSONP…] The old api address is http://api.gigapan.org/beta/gigapans/104010.json. Returned data includes the Gigapans width and height, then do your math to get the aspect ratio (width/height), set your thumb height at 360 pixels and multiply 360 by your aspect ratio result to get your width, and you will get your image without the ugly black padding bars (e.g. http://api.gigapan.org/beta/gigapans/104010-168…)

The max thumbnail width is now 2000 pixels (for a while the api would actually return jpgs of any requested width!!!)

Here is a simple php script that will output a page with the Gigapans thumbnail 360 pixels tall and spit out a list of other dimensions with the proper aspect ratio. (just change the id in the address to match your Gigapans id)

http://www.3d-360.com/gigathumb.php?id=104010

source: http://www.3d-360.com/gigathumb.php.txt

Cheers

Jason

PS. In a nutshell, visit this page with your Gigapans ID to get your proper thumbnail dimensions:
http://www.3d-360.com/gigathumb.php?id=66615 (change the 66615 to match your Gigapan ID)

Gabriel O&#x27;Donnell Gabriel O&#...
Posted: May 17, 2012

Topic: api.gigapan.org / API JPG dimensions

Your image should render now. The max height was not set to an appropriate value.

nickerjo nickerjo
Posted: May 16, 2012

Topic: General Gigapanning / What's in your bag?

Greetings: Since you asked. I have a fine art photo studio and am represented by three galleries in SC, two ithe Charleston Tourist Mecca area.I also do 15-20 show sayer including the Charleston Spoleto festival.

My primary body is a Canon 5 D MK II. ll of my lenses are L series going from a 17 – 40 to the 500 f4 lS.

I was intrigued by the concept and bought the Epic last week to test the concept. I used it with my Canon Elph to capture the first image. After my first awkward capture I am thrilled with the potential and look forward to getting the pro to support my usual gear. Although I believe the Epic will be best for international travel.

Please feel free to check out my first gigapan stitch on gigapan. Search for nickerjo. Also please feel free to visit my studio site,
Leaningpalmstudio.com.

All the best,

j. Nickerson

Ron Schott Ron Schott
Posted: May 16, 2012

Topic: api.gigapan.org / API JPG dimensions

It would appear that somebody jiggered with the API recently so that the pixel dimensions of output JPGs no longer match those input via the URL. For example: http://api.gigapan.org/beta/gigapans/104010-200… is currently returning a JPG image with pixel dimensions 1584×396.

Please fix this so it works properly again.

jessegittens jessegittens
Posted: May 16, 2012

Topic: Special-effects Gigapans / HDR Workflow

Hello. does anyone have any tips for HDR workflow? right now what i am trying is creating 3 gigapan images 1 High, 1 Mid and 1 Low ex. Then i batch crop them in CS5 but for some reason i can’t get finish the last step of combining them as a HDR. I have tried both Cs5 and Photomatix Pro but they both fail. Could it be that the image size is to big?

Jason Buchheim Jason Buchheim
Posted: May 16, 2012

Topic: Gigapan Mechanism / Galileo iOS Iphone Robotic Mount

Just found out about this kickstarter project http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/449163977/g… Seems promising, very cool for stop motion timelapse. They mention it being good for 360 degree spherical photography, but as the control is through the base of the phone connecting to the device, that puts the lens out to one side, not rotating though its entrance pupil. Also, the camera in the iphone is really just a toy. I very much like the concept of using a phone to control a panoramic robot, it would be super nice if the Gigapan unit could be controlled via wifi or usb from another device. What does the future hold?

Jason

David Pivin David Pivin
Posted: May 15, 2012

Topic: General Gigapanning / new camera or not, from 6mp to 24mp

Mark,

You will certainly see a difference going to 24 megapixels. I strongly recommend doing it. The only downside is that you will fill up your memory cards a lot faster. ;-) I would recommend you use a 16G or 32G card, especially if you choose to use RAW format. Also, you should put a zoom tele on your shopping list if you don’t already have one. As I told Tim above, 300mm or more will give you great results with the 24 megapixel sensor.

Dave

David Pivin David Pivin
Posted: May 15, 2012

Topic: General Gigapanning / new camera or not, from 6mp to 24mp

Tim,

I am using a T2i and have mated it with a 75-300mm Canon zoom that I bought years ago when I was using a Canon XTi. This was not too expensive and is marvelous for nature photography outside of GigaPan use. It is very light. Today the equivalent is the 70-300mm that you can get for $427 at Amazon. You could also look at Sigma or other less expensive lenses, but you really want to be 300mm or more.

The D60 is a semi-pro level camera, but of 2002 vintage with only 6.5 megapixels. Perhaps you inverted the letters, because the 60D is the current next step up from the Rebel family. Your T2i has 18 megapixels and so does the 60D. You will not see any difference in GigaPan photos taken with either one as they have the same sensor. All the feature differences between the two don’t contribute to better GigaPans. BTW, they both have Canon’s Auto Lighting Optimizer feature that can mess up exposures during a GigaPan shoot. Disable this. The problem it causes is a darkening of the sky at the transition to the horizon where there are darker objects. This is on by default and does not disable when you switch to manual.

Search for user ‘mrpiv’ to see my recent larger GigaPans that use this combination of lens and camera, like Goosenecks, Spider Rock, Tempe ASU 360, Sedona Oak Creek.

Dave

aleksthedove aleksthedove
Posted: May 15, 2012

Topic: General Gigapanning / gigapan

Hi all. I have project for giga photo panorama theory. I need to learn for this: What is gigapan? What technology is behind? How to make giga pan from shooting to uploading on web. If you have some links of materials where i can research please write.

Tom Nelson Tom Nelson
Posted: May 15, 2012

Topic: General Gigapanning / Tips & Tricks - Stitching with missed images and using auto focus

Remember that, if you have editing software and some time, about 8/9 of the missing image is available on other images. (The standard overlap is about 1/3 top, bottom and sides. If you imagine a 3×3 grid inside your missing image, all but the middle tile will be covered by other images.)

Tim Brown Tim Brown
Posted: May 15, 2012

Topic: General Gigapanning / Tips & Tricks - Stitching with missed images and using auto focus

I got this email request and thought I’d post the answers publicly since this is a common issue…
___________________________

I’m writting to you, because I saw that your’d answered a question very well, so I think you know a lot about Gigapaning.

I’m new in this and I’m having some problems that I will aprecciate your help.

First of all I want to know what can I do in the Stitch Software to create the Gigapan image without the missing photos caused for the use of Autofocus?

Then, I would like to recieve some opinion of what I’ve to do in the case of a stadium full of people, when I shoot to the people is better to have the camera in Autofocus, and when I shoot to the sky put the camera in manual focus?

I’ll aprecciate any kind of advice, thanks for your time.

Answers…

Dealing with missed images can be quite a hassle I’m finding the best solution is prevention – it is worth the effort in the field to make sure you don’t miss any images (See tips below).

To deal with missed images in the stitcher:
Once you have identified the image that is missing, you can load the image adjacent to it again. It will load at the end of the image list and you drag it to the location you want to use. You can select or mouse over an image to figure out what the file name is. Lately I have been trying very hard to not miss any images because it can make the difference between a quick stitch and hours of annoying work.

A few tricks:

  • Always make sure you write down the number of rows/columns when shooting a gigapan. Knowing what size you are trying to reach when you are missing images in the stitcher can save you tons of time.
  • Listen to your camera and try to hear when it doesn’t shoot a picture. If you miss one go back and fix it. If you aren’t sure, go back and make sure you got the shot. If you shoot a duplicate image, delete one of them. The cleaner you keep the initial image set the better.
  • If you miss a shot, load the previous shot on the camera. Move the gigapan back an image and look through the camera viewfinder and match the shot on the camera with where the camera is. Remember that the gigapan will take the shot it is currently on when you unpause it, so move forward one shot before starting the gigapan again to avoid duplicates. Delete any shots that didn’t look right, were out of focus or repeats. The more you can do in the field the better.
  • Change whether the gigapan shoots rows or columns first. To do areas with tons of sky or landscapes with some stuff up close on autofocus, shoot rows from top down. Do the top rows where everything is sky on manual, Do the bottom rows on autosfocus. For example this was done like that: http://gigapan.com/gigapans/75518
  • Get to know what your camera will fail on. Keep an eye out for trouble areas and listen to make sure it shoots. Turn off the auto focus if you are coming to a trouble area.
  • Usually the camera focuses better if its set to focus using all points in the image but sometimes it might work better with just the center focus point. experiment to see.
  • If the camera can almost focus but fails some times, go into the gigapan settings and have it do a longer shutter press
  • For shooting people or scenes that are changing a lot, have the gigapan shoot as fast as possible so you get by moving sections quickly.
Tim Brown Tim Brown
Posted: May 15, 2012

Topic: General Gigapanning / new camera or not, from 6mp to 24mp

I’m no expert on cameras but I’ve been having the same questions. My impression is that once you have a decent camera the lens makes all the difference. (Although in your case going from 6mp to a new 24mp camera will probably make a huge difference). But in general, once you have a decent DSLR the lens is a huge factor. For example I keep trying to improve the size and quality of my gigapans. I recently upgraded from a canon T2i to a D60 which is the next DSLR up the food chain. The images on the D60 are insanely good. But if you take the huge lens that came with the camera and stick it on my T2i, those images are insanely good too. The D60 does do some things better but in terms of image quality it all seems driven by the lens.

Unfortunately for gigapaning, to go from the cheaper sub $400 200mm lenses to something better is going to cost you $1500 which is more than a lot of new cameras. But as I said if you have a decent camera I’m pretty sure that the lens is what’s going to make the difference.

Anyone else want to weigh in on this?

MediaPila MediaPila
Posted: May 15, 2012

Topic: Embedding / Customize Control Interface

Hey! Im interesed too!

Any idea?

Mosley Hardy Mosley Hardy
Posted: May 14, 2012

Topic: General Gigapanning / What's in your bag?

For the sake of the noobies that are just taking up GigaPanning, I thought it might be worthwhile for some of us that have been doing this for a while to “open our bags” and share their contents.

What do you carry beyond the imager, camera, batteries and tripod to make your Gigapan outings successful? It would also be useful to chime in with brands/types of tripods, batteries, etc.

Ian Burrows Ian Burrows
Posted: May 14, 2012

Topic: Special-effects Gigapans / Continuous Pan/Tilt

It is possible to get a gigapan to pan or tilt and shoot a timelapse. I have achieved this before by artificially calibrating the system such that I only move the gigapan one pan or tilt increment when the system asks you to align the top of your view screen, then the bottom of your view screen. The machine indicates 0.1 degrees field of view. Then I create a pano and set the appropriate exposure length etc.

This sort achieves a panning time lapse. I believe there may be some limits on the amount of columns or rows but it does the job.

The obvious limitation is that it can only pan or tilt still but shoots images in an appropriate sequence to create a timelapse video.

Ian Burrows Ian Burrows
Posted: May 14, 2012

Topic: Web Site and Forum / astro use of Epic Pro?

I have been interested in this. This could be a very valuable potential improvement. I read on another post that the minimum tilt increment is 0.04 degrees which is almost acceptable for astro photography however the pan increment is only 0.1 degrees which may be problematic.

It might be theoretically possible to angle the head of your gigapan so that only tilting is required in which case you could do the astro photography now come to think of it.

I also posted on another thread that it is possible to trick the gigapan field of view calibration to get the minimum pan or tilt increment. This may actually work.

Combining these two techniques may get you close to doing astro photography. Someone who knows more about it might be able to comment.

I know the movement of the stars is on some kind of arc so moving in one axis only won’t be the right answer but it may allow longer photo shutter speeds than not using the gigapan.

Joey Mena Joey Mena
Posted: May 14, 2012

Topic: Web Site and Forum / astro use of Epic Pro?

This will be a very very interesting use for the Epic Pro!!!