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Creating full resolution 360x180 spherical panos with the Mini 2
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I've finally figured out how to create full resolutiomn 360 spherical panoramas for free from Mini 2 images.

For comparison, the panorama images that DJI Fly creates are 4096x2048px; the images created by following this method are approximately 10126x5063px. ie this method creates a panorama with more than four times the detail of that of teh DJI Fly app panoramas (and you have a lot more control over the resulting image as well if you want to get into the software more than described here).


Download and Register the software

First of all, grab a copy of the last release of AutoPano Giga. This is commercial software from a company called Kolor but as it is now out of development the developers very kindly gave away a free unlock account.

You can get the latest version from https://download.kolor.com/apg/stable/x64?src=apg/4.4.1.400

The registration details are:
User: freecopy@kolor.com
Registration code: KAPG7-K3A9X-IZJHX-FIIT7-C5IM8-MQF2N.

Open up the software once you've installed it and go through the registration process by copying an pasting those registration details as required.

(Note that this forum insists on converting the user email address above into a clickable link. DO NOT click the link as this will open yor email programme - you just need to copy the email address into the registration form along with the registration code)


Grab your original Panorama part images

Grab the original panoramic images off your SD card. You'll find them in a sub-folder of 'PANORAMA'. There should be 26 images that make up the panorama.

Note, however, that the Mini 2 cannot take photos directly upwards, so there is no image of the sky directly above the drone... we'll see why that is a problem in a bit.

Setup AutoPano to create correct panoramas from Mini 2 images

As we don't actually have enough images to make a full 360x180 sphere with the Mini 2 images, we need to change a default setting in the AutoPano software. Spherical panorama images are twoce as wide as they are high, but if you just stitch the images from your drone with the AutoPano iout-of-the-box defaults, your panorama will be the wrong shape - it will not be tall enough because of that missing top image...

In AutoPano, click Edit > Settings.

In the 'Panorama' tab change the 'Default Crop' setting to 'Maximum Projection Range'.

Settings_MaxProjectionRange.PNG

This will ensure that the rendered panorama is the correct aspect ratio to display in Panorama viewers. If you don't do this then your panoramas will have a very curved horizon as well as a black area at the top of the scene.

(Note that you can change this setting on a project by project basis rather than in teh global default settings, but it makes sense to set it as a default so that you always get useable panoramas).

Create your full resolution Panorama

Now load in the set of 26 Mini 2 spherical panorama part images that you grabbed off your SD card.

The loaded images will appear in a box top left of the AutoPano window.

AutoPano will now analyse the photos and work out how to stitch them together. Despite not knowing the DJI Mini 2, it should make a perfect job of this.

When it's analysed the photos it will pop up another box in the top right of the screen - this will be a preview of your sticthed panorama... note that it has a scalloped black area at the top. Don't worry about that just yet.

PanoWithGapAtTop.PNG

If you click the 'cog' icon above the preview, the render window will open. You shouldn't need to change anything here, just start the render and your full-res spherical panorama will be created. Depending on your machine spec it coud take a few minutes as there is a lot of number crunching involved.

The resulting panorama should work in any panorama viewer (Such as FSPViewer) as it is now the correct aspect ratio - but it will still have the octagonal black hole at the top...

Here is an example [click].



3-10 10:55
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How to get rid of the black hole?

First of all we create a new image to fill the black hole with

Copy one of the original panorama part images to a new file name - 360top.jpg for example.

Open this file in your favourite image editor and clear the entire image.

Now you have a couple of choices - you can go for a blank area of white which will be blended with the sky, or you could stick your logo in it.

Basically, edit the contents of this file to what you want - if you put a logo in there make sure it is about 1/2 to 2/3 the size of the whole image, leaving the background plain white or a colour that closely matches most of the sky around the black hole.

Then save this image with its new file name - eg 360top.jpg.

Add the new image to your panorama

Now go back to AutoPano and double click the right hand panorama preview. This will bring up a window that by default has a grid view of the panorama at the top.

Below that you will a section called 'Layers' with a big right hand pointing triangle.

Click the triangle and it will open a list of all of the part images in the panorama and their settings.

On the left just below the 'Layers' panel header you will see an icon of an image with a + sign.. click it to add a new photo.

Select your 360top.jpg image that you just created - this will add it to the centre of your panorama in the preview above.

Position the new image and scale it to cover the hole

Now we need to tell AutoPano how to incorporate that image by tweaking its settings...

Set the pitch to 90 and the FoV to 120 as show below:

AdditionalPicSettings.PNG

Your logo or black image will now be added and filling the black hole area.

Preview and render your complete Panorama

Now close the edit window to return to the main AutoPano window...

The preview in this window will now also show your logo (or filled area).

PanoWithLogoAtTop.PNG

Render again and you have a good panorama that should work anywhere with your logo branded at the top of the sky rather than a black hole!

Here's an example with the logo added: [click]



3-10 11:05
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Blériot53
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Very useful!  The example you give opens nicely in th free version of PTGUI.   I have the Mini version one, so it should work the same I think?
3-10 12:09
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Mobilehomer
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When I try to register it, my e-mail opens. When I search for it, the website is closed.
3-10 13:11
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blue_canyon21
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Awesome! I like the logo idea.

Also, if you're uploading these to Facebook, you can run them through this site to get them to display correctly.
3-10 14:33
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No Original Thought
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Mobilehomer Posted at 3-10 13:11
When I try to register it, my e-mail opens. When I search for it, the website is closed.

The company and their website is gone, but the download should still work - they very kindly left that bit of their site available.

Once you've installed you software, you need to copy the email address in the first post (not click on it - that will open your email as you say) and enter that as the registration email address in the software registration popup that opens when you first run AutoPano.

Then copy the registration code and paste that into the activation/registration code box (can't remember exactly what it's called as I installed it a couple of months ago).

You then get a fully registered and fully functional version of what was a commercial panorama maker. And it seems to be really really powerful.
3-10 14:40
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blue_canyon21 Posted at 3-10 14:33
Awesome! I like the logo idea.

Also, if you're uploading these to Facebook, you can run them through this site to get them to display correctly.

It works quite well.

I also tried to fake the sky in the black hole using bits of sky from the other shots in various ways but it always comes out either pinched or just odd. I might play with that idea a bit more, but as drone shots are mainly about looking anywhere but directly up it seems like a fairly unobtrusive place to stick a bit of branding.
3-10 14:43
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Mobilehomer
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-10 14:40
The company and their website is gone, but the download should still work - they very kindly left that bit of their site available.

Once you've installed you software, you need to copy the email address in the first post (not click on it - that will open your email as you say) and enter that as the registration email address in the software registration popup that opens when you first run AutoPano.

Thanks, that did it. Now to take some panoramas and try it.
3-10 14:46
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Mobilehomer Posted at 3-10 14:46
Thanks, that did it. Now to take some panoramas and try it.



And don't be keeping them to yourself when you do!
3-10 14:51
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DJI Paladin
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Hi there. We really appreciate you for sharing this helpful information that you had posted. I was able to check your sample and it was Awesome! Thank you for your valued support and have a wonderful day ahead.
3-10 17:51
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Bashy
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I already knew of a way to do these, ok, well, i did, would need to look it up again lol
So, with that in mind, i have Liked and Faved your post as its certainly worthy of doing so, i have also downloaded and reg'ed the software and copied your instructions, just in case, ya never know, databases have exploded in the past losing X amount of data, members have deleted post content and so on so always best to keep a backup, thanks chap, much appreciated
3-10 22:24
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Bashy Posted at 3-10 22:24
I already knew of a way to do these, ok, well, i did, would need to look it up again lol
So, with that in mind, i have Liked and Faved your post as its certainly worthy of doing so, i have also downloaded and reg'ed the software and copied your instructions, just in case, ya never know, databases have exploded in the past losing X amount of data, members have deleted post content and so on so always best to keep a backup, thanks chap, much appreciated

No problem Bashy, good to know its valuable enough to want to keep.

I've only scratched the surface of AutoPano so far working out how to do this. It looks really quite powerful.

I noticed some HDR stuff in there as well which might be an area for investigation - would be really nice if if did the HDR stacking as well as Pano stitching.
3-11 00:20
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DAFlys
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This is brilliant you should post this in the tutorials section.   
3-11 00:59
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DAFlys Posted at 3-11 00:59
This is brilliant you should post this in the tutorials section.

I was thinking I might do a YouTube video of it.... you know, long winded, bragging.... etc etc

3-11 08:09
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-11 08:09
I was thinking I might do a YouTube video of it.... you know, long winded, bragging.... etc etc

,    That gave me a big smile.   
3-12 01:18
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Herbie53
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Thanks for the working link and free registration info for Kolor Autopano Giga.
Works a lot better (and offers more control) than Microsoft's Image Composite Editor.
Mind you, you even get better panorama's if you start from raw images (DNG). That yields impressive panorama's of 19978x7365 pixels.
To get your drone to take raw images in panorama mode, first put it in the air, then go to the panoramic images and then change the image settings to raw+jpeg.
You can even directly drop the DNG images into Autopano Giga (not possible in Microsoft ICE). It's a good idea to activate the vignetting correction (in the right-hand window click on 'Edit' and then in the Edit window click on the colored ring with "Auto" written inside. Then activate Vignetting and click the green 'Apply' symbol (green "V"). After that, render the panorama as described above.

Another tip: if you don't want to publish your panorama on Facebook but just want to watch it on your PC, it is not really necessary to fill the missing space on top. Just use this free tool to watch the panorama: PanGazer    http://speleotrove.com/pangazer/
This tool accepts the 360x131 degree panorama just fine and lets you zoom in and pan using your mouse.

3-13 08:49
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Mobilehomer Posted at 3-10 13:11
When I try to register it, my e-mail opens. When I search for it, the website is closed.

Yes, it's a scam to get your email contact addresses and more! Don't go there!
3-13 08:51
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Mobilehomer
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Johnny_J Posted at 3-13 08:51
Yes, it's a scam to get your email contact addresses and more! Don't go there!

No. The e-mail is the one you use to register. The program works great.
3-13 09:42
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smbishop
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Thank you so much for the tutorial!  I downloaded the app a few weeks ago and played with it a little bit.  I can't wait to go through your steps.
I did find this link:  https://www.panoramic-photo-guid ... es.html#preferences

And this video, however I was looking for something exactly what you just provided!  Thanks again for time you took to write this up...



3-13 09:45
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Johnny_J Posted at 3-13 08:51
Yes, it's a scam to get your email contact addresses and more! Don't go there!
No it's not Johnny... Think before you speak up with accusations like that, will you?

The problem mentioned was that Mobilehomer was clicking the link instead of copying it. Simple as that.

Copying and pasting the link does not reveal your own email address to anyone, so how could it possibly be a scam.

Unfortunately this forum automatically converts email addresses into links - I could not find any way to prevent that other than langling the email address which would render it useless in the registration form.
3-13 10:55
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Herbie53 Posted at 3-13 08:49
Thanks for the working link and free registration info for Kolor Autopano Giga.
Works a lot better (and offers more control) than Microsoft's Image Composite Editor.
Mind you, you even get better panorama's if you start from raw images (DNG). That yields impressive panorama's of 19978x7365 pixels.

I did wonder if raw was possible with panos on the Mini 2... I'll have to try that because the original images already have jpeg artifacts... Raw would be brilliant - definitely going to try that!

As for the other pointers... I'm still experimenting so will have a look at those as well. Thanks
3-13 10:57
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smbishop Posted at 3-13 09:45
Thank you so much for the tutorial!  I downloaded the app a few weeks ago and played with it a little bit.  I can't wait to go through your steps.
I did find this link:  https://www.panoramic-photo-guid ... es.html#preferences


You're more than welcome.

If the forum wasn't for giving and receiving help to/from fellow flyers then it wouldn't be much good.
3-13 11:00
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Blériot53
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I've experimented with this as you suggest, and have achieved reasonable results on the first go.  Using the Mavic Mini ONE and the Beta version of Litchi.  Thanks for the tips.
3-23 01:54
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Blériot53 Posted at 3-23 01:54
I've experimented with this as you suggest, and have achieved reasonable results on the first go.  Using the Mavic Mini ONE and the Beta version of Litchi.  Thanks for the tips.
You're welcome Mr B.

I had a play with some raw images from the Osmo Pocket as well (cylindrical panos), but found the raw processing a bit tricky getting colour and exposure right.

I need to play more again, though, as avoiding the JPEG compression until the final result is always a godo idea where possible.
3-23 03:21
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Blériot53
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-23 03:21
You're welcome Mr B.

I had a play with some raw images from the Osmo Pocket as well (cylindrical panos), but found the raw processing a bit tricky getting colour and exposire right.

All useful information for a dabbler like me
3-23 08:22
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Blériot53 Posted at 3-23 08:22
All useful information for a dabbler like me

Dabblers of the world unite!
3-23 14:55
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-23 14:55
Dabblers of the world unite!

A new motto for the forum
3-23 22:48
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Blériot53 Posted at 3-23 22:48
A new motto for the forum

I was hoping for a bit more reach than that, but it's a good start
3-23 23:50
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Blériot53
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-23 23:50
I was hoping for a bit more reach than that, but it's a good start

3-23 23:57
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Blériot53
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-23 03:21
You're welcome Mr B.

I had a play with some raw images from the Osmo Pocket as well (cylindrical panos), but found the raw processing a bit tricky getting colour and exposure right.

Now that I've grasped the basics and can produce reasonable 360 panos, the next logical step is to post them for others to see.  The finished JPEGs are arounf 24 Mb and hence cannot be uploaded directly to the forum. Also, without a viewer such as FSPViewer, the images are just curved images.
How do YOU go about it?
3-24 14:56
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Blériot53 Posted at 3-24 14:56
Now that I've grasped the basics and can produce reasonable 360 panos, the next logical step is to post them for others to see.  The finished JPEGs are arounf 24 Mb and hence cannot be uploaded directly to the forum. Also, without a viewer such as FSPViewer, the images are just curved images.
How do YOU go about it?

I haven't figure that bit out yet I'm just keeping the full-res version for my own enjoyment - they're my preciousz.

Seriously, though, I've seen a few posts about panorama sharing sites, and I found a few myself when I first got the OP, but I didn't keep a note of them and didn't really looked into any of tem at the time.

I still don't really have anything worth sharing at the moment anyway - hopefully I'll start to get some better, share worthy shots this (fingers crossed).

3-25 02:41
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Blériot53
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-25 02:41
I haven't figure that bit out yet  I'm just keeping the full-res version for my own enjoyment - they're my preciousz.

Seriously, though, I've seen a few posts about panorama sharing sites, and I found a few myself when I first got the OP, but I didn't keep a note of them and didn't really looked into any of tem at the time.

I think we're running in parallel there
3-25 04:34
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Blériot53
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-25 02:41
I haven't figure that bit out yet  I'm just keeping the full-res version for my own enjoyment - they're my preciousz.

Seriously, though, I've seen a few posts about panorama sharing sites, and I found a few myself when I first got the OP, but I didn't keep a note of them and didn't really looked into any of tem at the time.

I think I may have cracked it.
Nothing fancy, just an experiment to see if it works.

https://www.skypixel.com/photo360s/chin3
3-25 07:04
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Blériot53 Posted at 3-25 07:04
I think I may have cracked it.
Nothing fancy, just an experiment to see if it works.

All those train lines and not a train in sight - Monty will be disappointed

Not sure if it's just me, but there looks like an 'Exorcist'-style black spike in the picture, and is that an added top image - the top of the pano looks like the ones I tried where I coudln't quiet fake the missing image correctly.

You're getting pretty close, though.
3-25 08:20
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Blériot53
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-25 08:20
All those train lines and not a train in sight - Monty will be disappointed

Not sure if it's just me, but there looks like an 'Exorcist'-style black spike in the picture, and is that an added top image - the top of the pano looks like the ones I tried where I coudln't quiet fake the missing image correctly.

Yes, for some reason the two ends of the loop don't quite join up, leaving that black spike.
Tried to blend in the sky, crudely, but a black circle overhead remains.
I'll keep experimenting
3-25 08:25
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Blériot53
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-25 08:20
All those train lines and not a train in sight - Monty will be disappointed

Not sure if it's just me, but there looks like an 'Exorcist'-style black spike in the picture, and is that an added top image - the top of the pano looks like the ones I tried where I coudln't quiet fake the missing image correctly.

And maybe Monty will  be patient a little longer
3-25 08:26
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Blériot53 Posted at 3-25 08:25
Yes, for some reason the two ends of the loop don't quite join up, leaving that black spike.
Tried to blend in the sky, crudely, but a black circle overhead remains.
I'll keep experimenting

The spike is a strange one...

Blending the sky, though... I've given up on that for now. I probably need to spend a bit of time thinking about how the pano software stretched the image, and then to reverse that and... hmmm... no, I've definitely given up on that for now
3-25 08:30
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Blériot53
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-25 08:30
The spike is a strange one...

Blending the sky, though... I've given up on that for now. I probably need to spend a bit of time thinking about how the pano software stretched the image, and then to reverse that and... hmmm... no, I've definitely given up on that for now

I don't have the smarts to work out the maths, but I'm wondering if the algorithm used to "warp" the top-down image ( the last one taken) to fill in below the drone, could somehow be used 180 degrees "out of phase" if that makes sense, to fill in what would theoretically be the FIRST image in the sequence.
Or is that just fanciful?
3-25 08:44
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Blériot53 Posted at 3-25 08:44
I don't have the smarts to work out the maths, but I'm wondering if the algorithm used to "warp" the top-down image ( the last one taken) to fill in below the drone, could somehow be used 180 degrees "out of phase" if that makes sense, to fill in what would theoretically be the FIRST image in the sequence.
Or is that just fanciful?

If you switch AutoPano to 'Images mode' (I think that's what its called - there's an icon for it on the top toolbar in the pano edit screen) it actually shows you teh warping of each image as its used in teh final pano... but even just looking at that was hurting my head as to just how warped the images get.
3-25 10:42
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No Original Thought Posted at 3-25 10:42
If you switch AutoPano to 'Images mode' (I think that's what its called - there's an icon for it on the top toolbar in the pano edit screen) it actually shows you teh warping of each image as its used in teh final pano... but even just looking at that was hurting my head as to just how warped the images get.

Maybe there's a simpler solution.  Something will come to light, I hope.
3-25 10:51
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