Here’s a post that is a bit different for this blog. I don’t typically post about photography, but in this case it’s more about image manipulation. Photography is one of my hobbies, and especially panoramic photography. Some of the image straightening techniques explored here can also be used to prepare textures for use in 3D, so it’s still relatively relevant to this blog.
I’ve been using a tool called Hugin (I believe it’s pronounced hyoo-gin) since 2007 when I shot one of my first panoramas; the USS Midway here in San Diego. Since capturing that shot, and being amazed at the power of Hugin’s toolchain (more on that later) I’ve used its basic features and the built in wizard to stitch the occasional set of photos. More recently I purchased a fisheye lens for my Micro Four Thirds camera and discovered a whole new set of features that Hugin has to offer.
Before moving on, it’s important to note that Hugin is free, open-source software built by a team of wonderful folks who have created quite possibly; the best panorama stitching and manipulation tool out there. In addition, almost everything I’ve learned about Hugin is documented in the built-in help or the tutorial page on Hugin’s site. Many of the demos and features I’m going to explore were inspired by the tutorials on the aforementioned page.
This post is a rather long one, and contains a lot of video. My goal is to get you to the point where you can download and install Hugin, stitch your first panorama (I’ve provided some images), and see a few of Hugin’s pixel-bending abilities when it’s used on fisheye photos. If after seeing how easy it can be to stitch photos in Hugin you don’t feel to go out and shoot a collection of photos and try it yourself, then I may have failed.
This first video is an overview of the Hugin user interface, and an example of how to use the alignment and stitching wizard. We start off by stitching three photos of a city street corner, taken with my 20mm (40mm equivalent) lens and Hugin basically does everything for us. Once it’s done, I do my best to explain what Hugin actually did when it ran all of those command-line programs automatically for us.
Here are the source images for this three image stitch: East Village Panorama Images
The second video handles a less well known use of Hugin, and it involves loading a single image and distorting it. Hugin has an amazing model for handling lens distortions and can make a fisheye image straight again, or a series of images appear to have originated from a fisheye or ultra wide-angle lens. In addition, we will also look at straightening an image that appears to be straight, but is not.
Here are the source images for the brick wall exercise: Brick Wall Images. You can also try straightening this house using the horizontal and vertical lines technique that we used on the brick wall.
Hugin can help you straighten and De-Fish images, but in doing so it also allows you to apply different projections to your images. While this feature is likely in existence for panorama mapping, it can create some very cool looking images if used correctly.
Here is the source image for this exercise (and a bonus image): Mural Fisheye
Here are some of the different projections from the last exercise, and the panorama of The Desert Bar in Arizona (created with Hugin).
I plan to create more Hugin tutorials, and I have some challenging ideas lined up. One of my ideas is based on this Hugin tutorial, and I’ve written a story about it on 500px. I’m looking forward to the response from this post, and if you have any feedback for me then please leave a comment and let me know.]]>
The Near Clip and Far Clip features in Cinema 4D are pretty useful, but they can be slightly tricky to understand. In the images below, you can see an example of how near clipping will influence a light’s illumination, but in the video we take a look at how it can also influence its shadow.
Light clipping can cause a light’s influence to be delayed or prematurely ended (in space, not time). For instance, the blue lines in the screenshots represent the light’s “Near Clip” setting. Notice that in the rendered image, the light’s influence does not start until the clipping zone.]]>
This episode takes a quick look at the concepts involved in joining geometry for the simplification of UV texture files.
Typically, when a UV mapped object is textured, we use one texture map per object (or contiguous mesh). This works well for characters and weapons, but for something like the robotic arms, there may be a better way.]]>
This tip takes a quick look at one of my favorite Cinema 4D texturing features; the Create UV Mesh command. Creating a UV mesh layer is primarily useful for taking your UV mapped object into another painting package for additional texturing work. BodyPaint 3D provides a comprehensive toolset for painting and editing textures, but Photoshop is the standard, and a lot of texture artists prefer it.
Check out the video below for the technique.]]>
In this part of the Razorback Screencast, we take a look at the last component that is considered a part of the arm, and we tackle the UV mapping of this part. In addition to UV mapping the aforementioned component, we briefly talk about the difference between using one texture map for all of the parts versus using one texture map per part.
More UV mapping for the Razorback’s robotic arms. This time we focus on the base of the arms (an arguably complex shape) and we see how easy it can be to map an object that has some crazy angles. Later on in the video, we even move a UV seam so it appears in a more out of the way region.
If you’re interested in UV mapping, then be sure to check out my three part UV mapping series.
In this final part of the UV mapping series, we take a look at a special request from one of my viewers. He pointed me to some 3D artwork that involved stylized text as cheese. The context of his question was UV mapping. I decided to see how close I could get to the effect while applying UV mapping as a primary technique.
The video below is essentially a re-creation of the technique involved in creating the cheesy text.
Part two of the UV Mapping series focuses on a practical example of how you would map an irregular object. There’s a bit of discussion about where it’s OK for seams to appear, and why it’s important to keep distortion under control. Of course, we touch on the topic of reducing distortion by creating cuts, moving seams, and breaking apart Islands or Shells.
UV Mapping can sound like a complex, intimidating concept to a 3D newcomer. The truth is that it’s a powerful concept that only takes a little bit of introduction to grasp.
This initial post focuses on the very basics of UV mapping, and what it is at its core. We go into the concept of UV mapping, and instead of talking about the why and how, we just look at what you can accomplish with it.
Following the UV mapping of the Upper Small Arm, this part continues with the UV mapping by mapping the Lower Small Arm. If you’d like to see some UV mapping technique, then I’d suggest checking it out.