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Watsisname
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

17 May 2017 19:49

hiigaran wrote:
Source of the post But when you're exporting the images via SE, there is no option for overlap

Ok, I I think see the confusion.  

For this method you don't want to use the exporter.  You're not taking images of 6 sides of a cube.  All you're doing is exploring in regular planetarium mode and taking screenshots (F11) by manually rotating the camera.  So, pick a starting point, take a shot, then rotate the camera so that a portion of the scene that was near one edge of the screen is now on the other edge, and take another screenshot.  Repeat until the whole scene has been imaged with overlaps.

Maybe this helps explain the idea a bit better visually -- the screenshots should have overlaps like this:

Image

Control points are then locations on a pair of images that correspond to the same thing.  For example, the tip of the point of land on the right side of the bay in the above example would be a good control point for the 4th and 5th images.  The point where the horizon meets the hill could be a control point for the 1st and 2nd images.

Hugin can also handle stitching images vertically as well as horizontally, or even both simultaneously, which was required for the tiny planet example.

Added:  The default resolution in SE is indeed 45 degrees, and you can zoom in or out -- I think the default keys are page up and page down.
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

18 May 2017 03:15

Okay, and what's the best method for taking shots of the top and bottom to complete the fully spherical view?
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

18 May 2017 06:16

I think of it as tracing out lines of latitude across a globe.  Make your first set horizontally, as if it is the equator.  Then make another set above that (which will require fewer images, since it's now a smaller circle to go 360°), and repeat the process until you reach the pole, which should only require a single image.  Then do the southern hemisphere.

The number of sets and images per set that you need depends on your FOV.  The wider the FOV the less you need.  For a full spherical pan I may push the FOV up to 80 or 90 degrees depending on how much detail I want to preserve.

Here's a quick example to illustrate the layout:

Image

I used 80° FOV, with 19 images: 7 along the horizon, 6 in the row above, 4 below, and 1 at each pole.  It probably could have been done with fewer, but all that matters is the whole scene is covered.  It's okay to take redundant images.  

Then here's what it looks like when rendered with equirectangular projection:

► Show Spoiler


or stereographic:

► Show Spoiler
 
hiigaran
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

18 May 2017 09:22

Gave that a try. I have no problem taking the photos around the 'equator', so to speak, but when I look up or down and continue rotating, I don't follow a 'latitude'. I start rotating around a diagonal 'equator'. I don't know if that makes sense. Is there a way to work around that? I'd assume so if everyone else can do it.

As for the FOV, I assume that if I want the the lower the FOV angle, the higher the detail, yes? Since I can't make a screenshot different to my screen resolution, the FOV would be a workaround.

And in regards to importing the images into Hugin, do they need to be in any order, or can I just do a mass import? Last time I tried a mass import, I ended up with something that would make Salvador Dali jealous. 
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

18 May 2017 23:09

Forth try. I think I need to improve my screenshot taking skills. Great & powerful program, but time consuming especially if I need to set control points manually. I did this in normal (rectilinear) mode but got this odd equirectangular view somehow.
Forth try b.jpg
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

19 May 2017 01:30

Yeah, the one big drawback with this method is that it is time consuming if you need to establish control points manually -- especially if you have a lot of images to stitch.  

There is a bit of a skill curve when it comes to taking the screenshots, and using the program itself, and it does get easier and faster with practice.  I came into this with a lot of prior experience using the program to make high resolution landscape photos.

hiigaran, To move the camera along "latitude lines", you'll need to use the mouse and keyboard together -- or whatever control scheme you use -- to both move the camera and rotate it to keep the horizon level.  I use the mouse the shift the camera horizontally to where I want the next shot to be, then rotate with the numpad to get level with the horizon again.  It's also okay if the camera is not perfectly level -- a bit of tilt will not matter in the stitching.
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

19 May 2017 01:38

For screenshot taking I would start with pointing toward an object I liked as a focal point for the center such as a host Gas Giant or system star and make sure I was level with the horizon with the "End" key. I would rotate around with the number pad keys, 4 for left or 6 for right and snap one with F11 when I thought it was close to a quarter or so overlapped with the last one. Then once around the entire 360 I would tilt upwards with the 8 key or downwards with the 2 key, also trying to get around a quarter to overlap with the previous shot. Then tilt up or down again until I knew I would have multiples of the ceiling or floor. I would sometimes keep tiling until I was viewing it upside down. I would reset myself as level with the horizon using the "End" key again after getting one vertical circle so to speak and shifting left or right a bit along the horizon to get the next tilted up or down shots.

When running the Hugin program I would have moved copies of all the shots into a new folder, where it also writes temporary files, then it is set to erase them all when its finished with the final panorama, so the desktop isn't recommended as your working space. In my example, I had to remove one picture taken of the floor, that was fairly empty of any structures or texture for the program to see. It was more of a gradient of the water below and even I could not find adequate control points manually. I don't know why the glitch appeared in my example, as you can see I did grab a good shot of that area.

My first attempt was disastrous.
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

22 May 2017 01:05

Another tip, if the images still aren't aligning well.  In the "Fast Preview Window" (press Ctrl + Shift + P) go to the Assistant tab.  The top right of the screen will show something like: 

"Images are connected by [some #] of control points", as well as the mean error and max error.  

The smaller those errors are, the better, and ideally we want a mean error of less than 1.  Most likely they are not less than 1.  If they're very big, here's what you can try:

In the main Hugin window go back to the "Photos" tab.  Click through the image list and choose one you would like to act as the center of your panorama (it doesn't really matter which you choose).  Right click that image in the list, and select "Anchor this image for position".

Then, at the bottom under "Optimize", select "Geometric > Everything" and press Calculate.  Once this is done, a window will pop up showing the results, again with the average and maximum control point distances.  You may also notice that it adjusted what it thinks the best focal length is.  Hopefully this will have resulted in a better looking stitching in the preview window, and reduced the error.

If the mean error is still very large, then in the preview window check the layout tab.

The lines represent connections between the images by control points, and the color of the line represents the maximum errors on the control points between them (green is good, red is very bad).  You can click on a line to pull up the list of control points, and delete the bad ones.  As you do, visually check to see if they really do make sense or not (clicking a control point pulls up a very zoomed and enhanced image to show exactly where those points are).  Alternatively, you can go back to the main Hugin Window and under "View" open the Control Points list (or press F3).  You can sort them all by distance, and delete the big ones.  Then repeat the optimization.

You should also look through the layout again and see if there are nearby, unconnected images.  If so, try adding a few control points manually.  I often find that Hugin's automatic control point algorithm has a hard time with stars on the sky, but it is often easy to find bright, easily identifiable stars and asterisms which make for great manual control points.



So in summary, the better the control points are, the better the result will be.  Usually the automatic control point finder does a good enough job to find how the images are connected, but some of the points may be very bad and ruin the stitching.  Remove the bad ones and if necessary add more good ones manually.  The other part of the problem may be the FOV or focal length.  I've noticed that using the FOV that Space Engine shows is not necessarily the right FOV for Hugin.  Try running the optimizer.

Finally, if the horizon looks wavy, or upside-down, that's real easy to fix.  In the preview window, go to the "move/drag" tab and click "level horizon".  You can also click and drag the image, or rotate the small sphere on the left.
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

25 May 2017 11:53

Watsisname wrote:
hiigaran wrote:
Source of the post But when you're exporting the images via SE, there is no option for overlap

Ok, I I think see the confusion.  

For this method you don't want to use the exporter.  You're not taking images of 6 sides of a cube.  All you're doing is exploring in regular planetarium mode and taking screenshots (F11) by manually rotating the camera.  So, pick a starting point, take a shot, then rotate the camera so that a portion of the scene that was near one edge of the screen is now on the other edge, and take another screenshot.  Repeat until the whole scene has been imaged with overlaps.

Maybe this helps explain the idea a bit better visually -- the screenshots should have overlaps like this:

Image

Control points are then locations on a pair of images that correspond to the same thing.  For example, the tip of the point of land on the right side of the bay in the above example would be a good control point for the 4th and 5th images.  The point where the horizon meets the hill could be a control point for the 1st and 2nd images.

Hugin can also handle stitching images vertically as well as horizontally, or even both simultaneously, which was required for the tiny planet example.

Added:  The default resolution in SE is indeed 45 degrees, and you can zoom in or out -- I think the default keys are page up and page down.

Is that a screenshot from SE?  It looks so real!
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

25 May 2017 11:54

Gnargenox wrote:
I figured out I had to press the "Try Pro version" button rather than use it in trial mode to be able to use more than 4 nodes. So I made this panorama of TRAPPIST-1f.

Image

Are those towers and monoliths?  Which version of the Trappist-1 add on are you using?  Mine doesn't show all that stuff for planet f.  This looks somewhat like Easter Island lol.
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

25 May 2017 11:57

Gnargenox wrote:
Yeah, cylindrical is pretty easy, too easy.

I wanted to make things hard on myself so I decided to try a Panorama with the 3D Anaglyph settings turned on. I knew the sky-boxes and cylindrical methods were not possible with this setting turned on, so I had to take around 40 screen shots and stitch them together and came up with this -

Image

These are the cell phone apps I used:
Bimostitch Panorama Stitcher
360 ° VR Photos - Social
VaR's VR Player PRO

In an attempt to add a little more depth, I wanted to combine a VR cardboard headset with anaglyph glasses and stumbled across this simple video. Now I can put on my VR head-set and have a 3D 360 degree view of my favorite places in Space Engine where ever I go!

I like that!  What version of the driver do you need to have to use 3D mode?  I have the same graphics card you have (except I have the 2 GB and 4 GB versions) and I can't get 3D mode to work.  Also, what resolution and LOD setting do you use?
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

25 May 2017 11:59

Your GPU is the same as mine, except mine has more VRAM, we have the same amount of regular RAM (except my OS only sees 3.25 GB and yours sees 2 GB), but your CPU is a lot more powerful than mine, I have a quad core Q6600
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

27 May 2017 08:44

The trick is there is no 3D mode available when in cylindrical mode too. That might be why you say you can not get it to work. Or you might mean 3D wont work period. In that case it could possibly be that your TV or monitor needs drivers too. Probably a small chance of that. My Samsung is supposed to have multiple ways of doing 3D, but I don't think it matters. I DO have allow experimental features enabled in the "GeForce Experience" program's menu. The only other feature I can use is the Game Optimization, Gamestream and Share require more RAM. The GeFore Experience program recognizes I have the Kerbal Space Program on my computer, but not Space Engine or Universe Sandbox2 etc...

I'm using the GeForce Game Ready Driver: @1920x1080 60hz & LOD 1
Version 382.33  
Release date 5/21/17
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

27 May 2017 14:00

Would be awesome if SpaceEngineer implements a support for NVIDIA Ansel
in Version 0.9.8.1

Pro: 
-Easy made 360 Screenshots
-Super High Resolution Screenshot with 60000+ Resolution
-Super Fast Rendering
Cons:
-Only NVIDIA Cards of the newer generation support that Feature
 
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How to make 360° panoramas in Space Engine

28 May 2017 02:03

With Hugin you can bypass the control points and optimization process and manually tell it where each picture is. With an exported, cubic skybox, each picture is going to be exactly 90° in FOV. Then it's a matter of finding out which picture goes where, and placing them manually with the pitch, yaw and roll parameters.

Furthermore you should skip the blending part, and output the remapped images so that you can manually merge them back - because otherwise you'd get black seams and gradients at the limits of each quadrant.

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