Inverted panoramas

A forum to ask questions, post setups, and generally discuss anything having to do with photomacrography and photomicroscopy.

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Graham Stabler
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Location: Swindon, UK

Inverted panoramas

Post by Graham Stabler »

I have been taking close up pictures of parts of bees and flies for my research into insect flight and one thing I have found very useful is taking a set of pictures from all around a sample, I mount the sample on a stepper motor shaft and sync the rotation and my camera (a 1.5Mpix Sony firewire CCD on top of a Nikon SMZ-10). I'm going to try the same but with stacks for each angle for better DOF.

I was wondering if I had a stage with two rotational degrees of freedom if I could stitch together images to make a 360 type panorama but instead of looking out you would be looking in at the sample.

Any ideas? Could I just use conventional panorama stitching software?

Graham

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Graham,

What you're doing sounds more like what's called an "object movie", even though usually they're interactive. See http://developer.apple.com/documentatio ... ion_5.html. The typical movie is only cylindrical, but there are full spherical versions also.

In any case, the geometry you have is basically different from what panorama stitchers work with, so most of that software will not be of use to you.

However, it turns out that many individuals who are active in the stitched panorama world are also active in object movies, and sometimes they discuss that technology in their forums. Searching through the PanoTools archives at http://www.panotools.org/mailarchive should yield some insight and contacts. The current forum is a Yahoo group, http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/PanoToolsNG/. It's a friendly and knowledgeable bunch of people.

--Rik

Graham Stabler
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:22 am
Location: Swindon, UK

Post by Graham Stabler »

Thanks, it really helps knowing the correct name for things, I'm getting much further with my searches.

Thinking about it further, as each image I take will always contain the entire area of interest all I need to do is find a satifactory way of displaying the images. For a single axis cylindrical image set it would just be a movie, for a 2-axis version then it would have to be something like the spherical panoramas use so I can look into that more carefully.

Cheers,

Graham

Graham Stabler
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:22 am
Location: Swindon, UK

Post by Graham Stabler »

After some searching I found this software that looks just the ticket and will produce flash object movies as well as quicktime.

http://gardengnomesoftware.com/pano2qtvr.php

Just need to work out the mechanics.

Graham

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Sounds good. That product has an excellent reputation within the PanoTools community.

Please keep us informed of how your work goes, and show pictures when you can.

Thanks!
--Rik

elf
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Post by elf »

Take a look at Microsoft Photosynth. It may do the stitching for you. http://www.labs.live.com/photosynth/

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Photosynth is a very promising research project, but it requires to download a custom viewer, it's not really designed for this sort of problem, and at present their FAQ seems pretty explicit that you can't put your own photos into it yet.
When will I be able to upload my own photos?

We want to provide this capability as soon as we can, but there are some real technical hurdles to solve before we're ready for primetime. We're still learning what works and what doesn't with the recognition algorithms, improving them as we go. It's also very computationally intensive; the processing to build a collection can take hours or days at the moment. We're working on these issues, but we're not going to release anything until we're happy with the results. Please stay tuned to the blog for updates.
Ed, do you know something more about this than what's posted in the FAQ?

--Rik

elf
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Post by elf »

No inside info here, but I think it will bear watching for this type of project.

Graham Stabler
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Location: Swindon, UK

Post by Graham Stabler »

It seems that Keyence have a rather lovely system that would be excellent for micro object movies.

The stage rotates and the head tilts, the focusing rail also works with real time stacking software to get things in focus.

Downside is the cost but it gets me thinking.

In the mean time I am continuing with my 3-axis system that will sit under my microscope.

Graham

Image

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Keyence seems to make nice stuff. I looked at their writeups a year or so ago, in this thread. Interesting note there was:
The Keyence system is very impressive -- not just the technology but also the density of offices in the US, considering that this is a Japanese company. They seem to be doing very well from a business standpoint, with sales of $600,000 per employee and profits almost 1/3 of sales! :shock: (Forbes report here.)
--Rik

augusthouse
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Post by augusthouse »

Graham,
Do you have a photo of your gizmo? I've been looking at rotation stages myself lately and would be interested to see your approach.

Thinking in horizontal mode (not using the scope) I was curious about using a 180 or 360 degree 'dolly' rail for the camera (or using more than one camera) or rotating the subject - illumination consistancy and continuity is the main issue here I suspect.

Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

augusthouse
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Post by augusthouse »

Here's a micro manipulator. It's on eBay. Might be good for ideas.

110230098965

If anyone on the forum is bidding on this, let me know and I will remove the post.

Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

Graham Stabler
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:22 am
Location: Swindon, UK

Post by Graham Stabler »

Rik,

Thanks for the link, it makes for interesting reading. It looks as if you were using that USB camera in much the same way as I am using my firewire one. However in my case I can use an electrical signal to trigger the camera to add a frame to the AVI. If the USB cameras have that facility it would be a pretty easy task to add an encoder to a the focus knob of a stage as Keyence had done. I suppose it might be even easier with a DSLR if they have a suitable trigger input.

If anyone thinks a unit incorporating an encoder input and trigger output plus some adjustabilty might be of interest let me know. Interfacing with the cheap Chinese vernier calipers is also fairly trivial.

Craig,

At the moment it is a pile of parts, it is next on my list of things to do after I explore serial microtomy further. I have two small stepper motors, they are 20mmX20mmX33mm in size, one will have the sample mounted on it's shaft (or on to some holder) this will then be mounted on a small rotary stage made by Newport, part number M-MT-RS. This is basically a little worm gear drive which will be driven by the other stepper. It needs to be modified because as standard it has a slipping clutch to allow easy hand adjustment of optics but it should not be too much of a problem.

This will then be mounted on a small upright ball screw stage I have, also stepper controlled, this will allow the stacking. All of this is to be controlled by a parallax propeller microcontroller which already controls my automated microtome and the basic rotary object movie and optical CT rig.

When (if) done I will probably publish and also post some pics here.

Graham

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

This may be a useful place for this link:

http://www.easypano.com/Virtual-tour-so ... 9_409.html

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

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