Wider panoramas on my photo blog!

I’ve just updated my custom version of the AutoFocus WordPress theme to support wider panoramas. Before the update it could handle 800 px wide panoramas and now it works with 1024 px wide!

I also removed one feature of AutoFocus that automatically embeds the last attached image instead of the complete post content. It’s a nice feature but not what I want. One drawback is that I’m getting the title above the image instead of below, so I think I’ll have to make some adjustments to it but that’s for another day!

Old version did only support 800 px wide panoramas
Updated to support 1024 px wide panoramas

Combine Time Lapses with standard DV – Avidemux and Sony Vegas

I’ve just gone trough some hoops to import a time lapse video made in Avidemux into my standard DV project in Sony Vegas. My first issue was to find a suitable video format and the second to get the size of the time lapse video to match the size of the DV format. I’ll go through all steps in an example project below. I’ll use a time lapse with 14 stills and a DV project (PAL, 720×576, 4:3) with one clip.

Sequence the filenames
Avidemux is a bit picky that the file names of the images are in a sequence. I use ReNamer to automatically serialize the images.

I use ReNamer to serialize file names
I use ReNamer to serialize file names

Making the time lapse video in Avidemux
Even though Sony Vegas can import still images I prefer Avidemux for my time lapses.

Open the first image in Avidemux and make sure all frames are visible in the video. Since I’m going to export the video to Sony Vegas I want to use a format that preserves as much quality as possible. I chose Huffyuv.

Select the frame rate you want. I choose 5 fps.

My time lapse images are in 640 x 480 px and my DV stream is in 720 x 576. I’ll resize the images to 768 x 576 px, then I crop 24 px on each side to get a 720 x 576 px image.

Scale the time lapse images in Avidemux
Scale the time lapse images in Avidemux

Save your time lapse video to avi.

To be able to play the video (in Windows Media Player) I had to install a codec for Huffyuv. I installed the latest ffdshow and selected to install Huffyuv only. I also had to enable Huffyuv in ffdshows VFW configuration utility.

Enable the correct codec
Compare the black border in the preview window with the next screenshot

Now you should be able to play the file in Windows Media Player and it’s time to import the video to Sony Vegas!

Import to Sony Vegas and fix the size problem
I start by just adding my two files to Vegas and preview them. I can see a black border around my time lapse file. I fiddeled around quite a while with this. I tried to resize the time lapse in Event Pan/Crop -tool but could only get that to work if I dissabled Maintain aspect ration.

Compare the black border in the preview window with the next screenshot
Compare the black border in the preview window with the next screenshot
See the black border on the left and right hand side in the preview window. Time lapse video has wrong pixel aspect ratio.
See the black border on the left and right hand side in the preview window. Time lapse video has wrong pixel aspect ratio.

Finally I found out that the pixel aspect ratio differs from my DV file and my time lapse file. On the DV file it’s set to 1,0926 (PAL DV) and on the time lapse it’s set to 1,0000 (Square). I changed it by right clicking on the media, select properties and it’s in the media tab.

Media properties for DV file
Media properties for DV file
Media properties for time lapse file
Media properties for time lapse file

You are done!

Big thanks fo LoRd_Mulder and DarkZell666 in the Avidemux forum for helping me out!

Logitech QuickCam mod to fit a standard tripod

I have a Logitech QuickCam Communicate Deluxe webcam. It’s a decent webcam apart from the non standard mounting holes. I wanted it to fit a standard tripod so I did some modding. Here is how.

Webcam before mod

I started out by splitting the screen clip from the cam. It’s a bit scary but I pulled until it released.

Split clip from cam
Split clip and cam

We will going to use the plastic part with the screws so just unscrew it from the screen clip.

Removed the plastic part from the clip
Removed the plastic part from the clip

A standard tripod is just a 1/4″ screw. I found the following two.

I found the following two 1/4" screws that could work
One of these two could work

Here is how they would look. Not sure what the right one was used for but I think it would be easier to attach to the plastic part so I chose that one.

Trying out my options
Trying out my options

I’ll glue the plastic part with the metallic part so I’ll polish both to make the glue stick better.

Polish to make the glue stick
Polish to make the glue stick

Time to glue. I used a double sided tape but glue would work just as well.

Glue together
Glued together

Put the plastic part back to the webcam attach it to you tripod and we are done.

My modded webcam attached to a Gorillapod
My modded webcam attached to a Gorillapod

Picasa Microsoft ICE Button

I have been playing around with Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) some days and it’s really great for stitching several images to a panorama! The only thing missing is a way to open images in ICE from Picasa without needing to locate them in Explorer.

I created a button that you can add to Picasa that opens the selected images in ICE. It’s available for automatic installation or manual installation. If you choose manual installation copy the file to <your user folder>AppDataLocalGooglePicasa2buttons. If you want to remove it from Picasa you can delete the file from that directory. The pbz file contains two zipped files; one XML-file and one icon file. See Picasa Button API for more information about Picasa Buttons.

Prerequisites:

  • Picasa Installed. I used the version 3 beta.
  • Microsoft ICE installed. Note! It must be installed to the following folder: C:Program FilesMicrosoft ResearchImage Composite Editor

Issues / TODOs:

  • There are a hard coded path for the ICE executable. I tried to find a registry key for ICE but I found none so you must install Microsoft ICE to the following folder: C:Program FilesMicrosoft ResearchImage Composite Editor
  • The icon and text on the button doesn’t look quite alright. It works but looks a bit lame.
  • Try to send a path where ICE should save the stitched image so it defaults to the same location as the unstitched.

I’ll try to fix the above issues. See my post in ICEs forum.

If you are using Flickr you might also want to check out picasa2flickr and if your are using Gimp the Gimp Picasa Button!

Mosaic Maker

The Mosaic Maker is a sweet web site! I allows you to create mosaic from images, links and best of all (if you are using it) your Flickr pages!

An example from some of my photos that I uploaded when I used Flickr.

Mosaic Maker - Flickr Page

Portrait photography

After reading the Street Photography article at Photojojo I decided to try and make some spontaneous portraits. I asked John and he told me that he wasn’t very photo genius, which I believe is bull and look at the images below. Of course he is photo genius!

Portrait: John Wennergren Portrait: John Wennergren
John portraits.

Portrait: Fredrik Bergstrand
And a portrait on Fredrik Bergstrand.

New digital camera!

Today I finally bought myself a new digital compact camera, a Canon PowerShot A540. So far, I like it! I attach some photos from today’s on-the-roof photography. Enjoy!

John The cranes at Lindholmen, Gothenburg, Sweden

Läppstiftet in Gothenburg, Sweden Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden

The photos are scaled and cropped to be bettor of viewing online (which means that they are not representative for the complete quality of what’s the camera is producing).

If you like it, check out a panoramic photo from today (3MB) as well.

Thanks a lot to my parents for this wonderful present!