Make Dynamic Panoramas From Overlapping Still Photos

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Camtasia Studio gives you the ability to do almost anything you can imagine.  

20 years ago, I took an extended camping trip throughout western Canada, Alaska, and the southwest US.  I took over 1,000 photos [film], where some were collections of overlapping photos of hand-panned scenic views.

I recently decided to revisit those photos [now scanned into digital format], and stitch together the sets of overlapping photos into scenic panoramas that I could animate in Camtasia as dynamic "head scanning" videos.

After lots of trial and error, I ended up with 12 such panoramas.  To preserve the details of that workflow, I made a tutorial on how to do this.  Most of the effort involved in making the panorama projects required using the Camtasia Studio canvas, and visual properties, to hand-assemble the images into a coherent single panorama scene, a task that can be greatly simplified with other software like Photoshop or Panorama Maker.

However, I don't have those, so I had to do everything the hard way.

If curious on how to use Camtasia Studio to make these panoramas, fell free to watch the 17 minute tutorial.  There is a hotspot at the end of the tutorial that will play an example panorama.

http://cookbookplus.com/Temp/TechSmith/HowTo/HowToMakeDynamicPanoramas/HowToMakeDynamicPanoramas_pla...

Caveats ...

the tutorial is 1920x1040 [its MP4 is 500 MB]; the example panorama is 1920x1080 [runs 2 minutes, its MP4 is 1 GB]

the example panorama is probably best viewed in Internet Explorer 11; none of the 12 panoramas I made can be viewed in Chrome [at least not on my Win 7 64 system]; they constantly stall, jerk, and jump.   But in IE, they all play back perfectly.  Not a clue why.

The panorama looks best when in full screen mode
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kayakman, Champion

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Posted 5 years ago

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John S. Richards

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Kayakman,


Another great tip. Thanks!


For Panorama photo stitching & High Dynamic Range photo assembly, you might want to try Hugin before importing finished images into Camtasia. This free software's tools may allow you more effective & advanced photo blending. It is all about what you want to see and how you want to see it. If you feel a need for more advanced blending and see a difference, you may like to try http://hugin.sourceforge.net


Hope this helps.

P.S. You can read a little more here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugin_...
(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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John, thanks for the hugin heads-up; it looks like a great supplement to my Camtasia photo work :)
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John S. Richards

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Kayakman,
I may need to apologize in advance.... this free software may become expensive, as you may now want to purchase a new camera & make a second trip! ; )
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kayakman, Champion

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Hey John, I've been wanting to do that trip all over again for the past 19 years!  I was on the road for 50 days; solo tent camped out of the back of my pickup truck; I had a wonderful time; after 50 days, I kept asking myself: "why am I going back?"; it took me 3 weeks to get used to traveling all the time [500 miles/day];  after my return, I never really recovered from all the great experience of that trip; actually, I could leave again tomorrow and do it all over again ...

if you want to burn up some time, this is a map/menu access to screencasts of what I experienced ...

http://cookbookplus.com/Temp/Testing/1994-08-11-AlaskaCamping-Thru-1994-09-30/AlaskaTripMapMenu2015/...

as for a new camera, I currently use a Cannon EOS digital model; but, from my screencasting experiences, the images made from my old film camera, digitized, yield better looking screencasts from photos
(Edited)
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gingerbread

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That's a great video kayakman.
It's a lot of work though. I use Windows Photo Gallery. It's free for all Windows users. It's  fast and creates very good images. It even applies shade blending to compensate for different brightness and color levels.
Enjoy the day, Ginger

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kayakman, Champion

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Hi Gingerbread; thanks a bunch for this tip; I just used Windows Photo Gallery to make a quick panorama out of the same 6 images used in my example; worked great!
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kayakman, Champion

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a great big "TIP OF THE HAT" to John S Richards for giving me the heads-up about the free panorama making software Hugin.

I downloaded it right after his post [with link] above; I have used it to make about 50 panoramas so far, consisting of from 2 to 26 [full 360 pan] photos each

Hugin does a great job of automatically stitching together the panoramas; works on photos from digital or film cameras, but digital photos contain camera meta data that Higin can use for better results.

I initially found the app's learning curve to be a bit steep, so I've made a tutorial on how to use it ...

http://cookbookplus.com/Videos/HuginVideos/HowToMakePhotoPanoramasWithHugin/HowToMakePhotoPanoramasW...

this production is 1920x1040; runs 28 minutes; there is a TOC; production is multi files from markers [better navigation, faster downloads]

panoramas made with Hugin will lose some image sharpness, compared to original photos, due to large amount of image processing required to match overlaps & stitch

with digital photos, it usually only takes 3 clicks of mouse [load photos, align, create panorama]

Hugin sometimes needs some help with aligning certain photos [particularly with film photos]; you then hand assign "control points", and align again

Hugin also blends exposure levels and applies an average look so its panoramas appear like a single image

if you use panoramas in Camtasia projects to make dynamic head-turning views, and you require the highest image quality, hand assembling the panorama in the CS canvas [from all the photos, as described in the tutorial noted in my original post in the thread] will yield superior results, but it also requires a lot more effort.

CS videos productions made with Hugin PNG panoramas have small file sizes as compared to those made from photos hand assembled in the CS canvas

I've successfully made a 360 degree panorama [26 digital photos] using both Hugin and CS canvas

the Hugin based MP4 was 77 MB; the CS canvas based MP4 was 3.2 GB

I've run into 2 occasions, so far, where Hugin could not create a usable panorama [one used film photos, the other digital photos]; both involved only 2 photos

in both cases, hand assembling in the CS canvas yielded excellent results

for best visual clarity when using a Hugin panorama in a 1080p Camtasia project ...

make the Hugin panorama from original, native sized, camera photos

load the panorama image in Snagit and chop it up into separate images that slightly overlap

use those separate images in the Camtasia canvas to hand assemble the dynamic panorama project as described in the initial tutorial in this thread;  note: if you load the original Hugin panorama image, because of its size, the CS editing dimensions function will introduce noticeable blurring due to down-scaling

set the project's duration so that a 180 degree panorama will run for 2 minutes

put markers in the project starting at t=0 and every 15-20 seconds thereafter

when you produce, do a custom production set to make multi files from markers  
(Edited)
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kayakman, Champion

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I've repackaged the Hugin tutorial into a collection of short, snippet videos that are accessed using a button style menu ...

http://cookbookplus.com/Videos/HuginVideos/HowToUseHugin-Menu-Snippets/HowToUseHugin/HowToUseHugin_p...

it was becoming too time consuming to update the original multi-files production, which took 2 hours to produce each time I made a change to the original material

the updated and appended tutorial snippets now run for 42 minutes in total vs. the original's 28

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