Overlay pictures on one another to crop ??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Andy100, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. Andy100

    Andy100 Guest

    I am interested in making a sort of 'time lapse' series of pictures. I was
    planning on taking a photo of our garden at roughly the same time every day,
    then put them together to flick through to see how it changes over the
    autumn. Well, a bit ambitious, i know !, but the problem i have is the fact
    that i won't know the exact line up of the last shot, so i cannot be sure of
    taking the photos in EXACTLY the same frame. So i am going to need software
    to view these pictures in an 'overlay' type of view (pictures one on top of
    the other), so that i can line them all up perfectly then crop to a common
    area in all pictures.

    Yep, a bit hard to explain in words what i mean. Hopefully, someone out
    there will know a way.

    P.S. I have PSP8, but i'm pretty sure i cannot do it in there, or it's too
    difficult. Is there such software out there which will do what i need
    (preferably freeware) ?

    Cheers
    Andy
     
    Andy100, Oct 2, 2004
    #1
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  2. Andy100

    jjs Guest

    "Andy100" <> wrote in message
    news:cjn9k4$9u8$...
    >I am interested in making a sort of 'time lapse' series of pictures. I was
    > planning on taking a photo of our garden at roughly the same time every
    > day,
    > then put them together to flick through to see how it changes over the
    > autumn. Well, a bit ambitious, i know !, but the problem i have is the
    > fact
    > that i won't know the exact line up of the last shot, so i cannot be sure
    > of
    > taking the photos in EXACTLY the same frame. So i am going to need
    > software
    > to view these pictures in an 'overlay' type of view (pictures one on top
    > of
    > the other), so that i can line them all up perfectly then crop to a common
    > area in all pictures.


    Any software that does layers, such as Adobe Elements or Adobe Photoshop.
     
    jjs, Oct 2, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. At the start I would mark where the legs of the tripod stand. Center
    something small....like the stem. Zoom in or out all the way unless there is
    some way to know exactly where you are. You will want the same amount of
    exposure....to make up for the changes of light. I think I would try to
    white balance and meter off a grey card for each shot. After the first one I
    might consider setting up a white backdrop for all others so I could erase
    it.

    The actual assembly will involve putting each shot on a layer and moving it
    a bit to overlap...might need to scale and rotate if you weren't very
    careful in the shooting. After all the layers are assembled you can trim
    them. You might want to consider a morph program to ease between each pair
    of shots to prevent jerkiness. Now....how to make a movie from it....I
    haven't the foggiest!


    "Andy100" <> wrote in message
    news:cjn9k4$9u8$...
    > I am interested in making a sort of 'time lapse' series of pictures. I was
    > planning on taking a photo of our garden at roughly the same time every

    day,
    > then put them together to flick through to see how it changes over the
    > autumn. Well, a bit ambitious, i know !, but the problem i have is the

    fact
    > that i won't know the exact line up of the last shot, so i cannot be sure

    of
    > taking the photos in EXACTLY the same frame. So i am going to need

    software
    > to view these pictures in an 'overlay' type of view (pictures one on top

    of
    > the other), so that i can line them all up perfectly then crop to a common
    > area in all pictures.
    >
    > Yep, a bit hard to explain in words what i mean. Hopefully, someone out
    > there will know a way.
    >
    > P.S. I have PSP8, but i'm pretty sure i cannot do it in there, or it's too
    > difficult. Is there such software out there which will do what i need
    > (preferably freeware) ?
    >
    > Cheers
    > Andy
    >
    >
     
    Gene Palmiter, Oct 3, 2004
    #3
  4. Andy100

    Andy100 Guest

    Cheers Gene, good info there. I am starting to think this might be a bit
    complicated !!.

    Thanks
    Andy

    "Gene Palmiter" <> wrote in message
    news:mBG7d.1950$Y54.1335@trndny09...
    > At the start I would mark where the legs of the tripod stand. Center
    > something small....like the stem. Zoom in or out all the way unless there

    is
    > some way to know exactly where you are. You will want the same amount of
    > exposure....to make up for the changes of light. I think I would try to
    > white balance and meter off a grey card for each shot. After the first one

    I
    > might consider setting up a white backdrop for all others so I could erase
    > it.
    >
    > The actual assembly will involve putting each shot on a layer and moving

    it
    > a bit to overlap...might need to scale and rotate if you weren't very
    > careful in the shooting. After all the layers are assembled you can trim
    > them. You might want to consider a morph program to ease between each

    pair
    > of shots to prevent jerkiness. Now....how to make a movie from it....I
    > haven't the foggiest!
    >
    >
    > "Andy100" <> wrote in message
    > news:cjn9k4$9u8$...
    > > I am interested in making a sort of 'time lapse' series of pictures. I

    was
    > > planning on taking a photo of our garden at roughly the same time every

    > day,
    > > then put them together to flick through to see how it changes over the
    > > autumn. Well, a bit ambitious, i know !, but the problem i have is the

    > fact
    > > that i won't know the exact line up of the last shot, so i cannot be

    sure
    > of
    > > taking the photos in EXACTLY the same frame. So i am going to need

    > software
    > > to view these pictures in an 'overlay' type of view (pictures one on top

    > of
    > > the other), so that i can line them all up perfectly then crop to a

    common
    > > area in all pictures.
    > >
    > > Yep, a bit hard to explain in words what i mean. Hopefully, someone out
    > > there will know a way.
    > >
    > > P.S. I have PSP8, but i'm pretty sure i cannot do it in there, or it's

    too
    > > difficult. Is there such software out there which will do what i need
    > > (preferably freeware) ?
    > >
    > > Cheers
    > > Andy
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
     
    Andy100, Oct 3, 2004
    #4
  5. Andy100

    jjs Guest

    > P.S. I have PSP8, but i'm pretty sure i cannot do it in there, or it's
    > too difficult. Is there such software out there which will do what i need
    > (preferably freeware) ?


    You already have the best photo imaging program in the world, and you expect
    some piece of freeware to be better? You spent hundreds of dollars on that
    software and you aren't willing to learn just a bit to use it? I don't know
    how to take that. In any event, if you do want to succeed in this endeavor,
    best study up. The location remedies posted so far don't make it.
     
    jjs, Oct 3, 2004
    #5
  6. The effects can be magical and well worth doing. I think that if I wanted a
    perfect job I would want a camera that I could tether to a computer and that
    would take a photo every hour....or whatever. Say you want a 5 minute movie
    and you need 30 frames per second. That would be 9000 frames. You won't need
    hi-rez because of something called persistence of vision (Google it). But
    even at low res that is a lot to put on a chip...and changing the chip might
    move something. Then I would get a refrigerator box and paint the inside a
    color that is not in the scene....blue is traditional ...as is green but
    your plant will have green so go with blue.
    Put a grow light at the top and let it grow for a couple of
    weeks...depending on the plant. If the plant takes two weeks and you want
    9000 photos that would be (pulling up calculator...) 336 hours ....so 3
    shots per hour or one every 20 minutes. Be aware that the plant may grow up
    as well and be out of frame...plan for that. Don't expect to get it right
    the first time....and don't trust my math!


    "Andy100" <> wrote in message
    news:cjnfm0$hf8$...
    > Cheers Gene, good info there. I am starting to think this might be a bit
    > complicated !!.
    >
    > Thanks
    > Andy
    >
    > "Gene Palmiter" <> wrote in message
    > news:mBG7d.1950$Y54.1335@trndny09...
    > > At the start I would mark where the legs of the tripod stand. Center
    > > something small....like the stem. Zoom in or out all the way unless

    there
    > is
    > > some way to know exactly where you are. You will want the same amount of
    > > exposure....to make up for the changes of light. I think I would try to
    > > white balance and meter off a grey card for each shot. After the first

    one
    > I
    > > might consider setting up a white backdrop for all others so I could

    erase
    > > it.
    > >
    > > The actual assembly will involve putting each shot on a layer and moving

    > it
    > > a bit to overlap...might need to scale and rotate if you weren't very
    > > careful in the shooting. After all the layers are assembled you can trim
    > > them. You might want to consider a morph program to ease between each

    > pair
    > > of shots to prevent jerkiness. Now....how to make a movie from it....I
    > > haven't the foggiest!
    > >
    > >
    > > "Andy100" <> wrote in message
    > > news:cjn9k4$9u8$...
    > > > I am interested in making a sort of 'time lapse' series of pictures. I

    > was
    > > > planning on taking a photo of our garden at roughly the same time

    every
    > > day,
    > > > then put them together to flick through to see how it changes over the
    > > > autumn. Well, a bit ambitious, i know !, but the problem i have is the

    > > fact
    > > > that i won't know the exact line up of the last shot, so i cannot be

    > sure
    > > of
    > > > taking the photos in EXACTLY the same frame. So i am going to need

    > > software
    > > > to view these pictures in an 'overlay' type of view (pictures one on

    top
    > > of
    > > > the other), so that i can line them all up perfectly then crop to a

    > common
    > > > area in all pictures.
    > > >
    > > > Yep, a bit hard to explain in words what i mean. Hopefully, someone

    out
    > > > there will know a way.
    > > >
    > > > P.S. I have PSP8, but i'm pretty sure i cannot do it in there, or it's

    > too
    > > > difficult. Is there such software out there which will do what i need
    > > > (preferably freeware) ?
    > > >
    > > > Cheers
    > > > Andy
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >

    >
    >
     
    Gene Palmiter, Oct 3, 2004
    #6
  7. Andy100 wrote:
    > I am interested in making a sort of 'time lapse' series of pictures.
    > I was planning on taking a photo of our garden at roughly the same
    > time every day, then put them together to flick through to see how it
    > changes over the autumn.


    To make a movie like this, it might be better to get a WebCam to fit onto
    your computer and automate the picture-taking that way. Clamp the WebCam
    so that it is always looking in the same direction. If your WebCam
    doesn't come with movie software, use the Animation Shop that came with
    your Paint Shop Pro.

    I don't know of any auto-alignment software, but I've never needed to find
    any. Perhaps the software used in astronomy for "stacking" images can do
    this?

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Oct 3, 2004
    #7
  8. On Sun, 3 Oct 2004 01:04:16 +0100, "Andy100" <>
    wrote:

    >Cheers Gene, good info there. I am starting to think this might be a bit
    >complicated !!.
    >
    >Thanks
    >Andy


    Making the "film" wouldnt be to hard, there are free software programs
    arround to create avi's or mpg's

    One thing I would do would be to put some "marker's" into your
    subject... After deciding on where and what you want the shot to
    encompass mark the tripod positions which will give you your camera
    position (use something solid like tent pegs, or a spot of paint if on
    a solid surface) possibly even tie a plumb bob to your tripod so you
    are marking the center to account for the legs/ground not being quite
    the same in each set up.... that said, small differences will
    "probably" not be noticable.

    Then in your subject frame place some form of markers to the outer
    rim/quadrant of your shot. This way it will allow you to set the
    camera to nearly the same subject area each time, and with four pins
    any minor differences can be stretched or shrunk in the graphic
    software so that all four points are overlayed with the four points of
    reference in the previous shot... Again paint or pegs that are bright!
    It should also allow for slight variations in camera tilt by using
    skew in the graphic software to force the four points to line up...
    once you have each picture aligned you can then crop to remove any
    edges that have over or under run the "frame" then transfer the images
    to the animation software.

    Very very time consuming... but could make a very interesting
    _slideshow_. It wouldn't make a real "film" as you would need 50shots
    to create about 1 seconds worth of film time.

    It sound's very reminicent of the original "time machine" film during
    the time travel sequences.


    --
    Jonathan Wilson.
    www.somethingerotic.com
     
    Jonathan Wilson, Oct 3, 2004
    #8
  9. Andy100

    Hunt Guest

    In article <cjn9k4$9u8$>, says...
    >
    >I am interested in making a sort of 'time lapse' series of pictures. I was
    >planning on taking a photo of our garden at roughly the same time every day,
    >then put them together to flick through to see how it changes over the
    >autumn. Well, a bit ambitious, i know !, but the problem i have is the fact
    >that i won't know the exact line up of the last shot, so i cannot be sure of
    >taking the photos in EXACTLY the same frame. So i am going to need software
    >to view these pictures in an 'overlay' type of view (pictures one on top of
    >the other), so that i can line them all up perfectly then crop to a common
    >area in all pictures.
    >
    >Yep, a bit hard to explain in words what i mean. Hopefully, someone out
    >there will know a way.
    >
    >P.S. I have PSP8, but i'm pretty sure i cannot do it in there, or it's too
    >difficult. Is there such software out there which will do what i need
    >(preferably freeware) ?
    >
    >Cheers
    >Andy


    Andy,

    I do not know the freeware image manipulation software market, so I can't
    address that, and I do not use PSP either, but:

    A program that allows you to place each image on a Layer, in which you have
    control of the Opacity is all you need. Just pick a starting image, place on
    Layer, select next image in sequence and place on separate Layer. Adjust the
    Opacity of that Layer, so you can clearly see through it (onionskinning in
    image processing lingo), move this Layer, until it matches (sizing, if
    possible and necessary), then re-set Opacity to 100% and move on to the next.

    As I use Photoshop (4 - 6 - 7 & CS), it does it, but I'll bet PSP has a
    similar operation, though I do not know this to be true. Look for a Layer, and
    Layer Opacity feature (scaling of Layers is also a plus), when you search
    Google for the software.

    A tip, mount a fixed head to a secure spot in your garden and mount the camera
    to it every time - do not remove the fixed head. You might cover it, when not
    in use, so the weather doesn't muck it up, between shots, and so you can re-
    use it later, when your project is done. The fewer adjustments it has, the
    better, however a quick-release connection would be nice for ease of use. Just
    make sure you secure the q-r foot to your camera exactly the same each time.

    Good luck,
    Hunt
     
    Hunt, Oct 3, 2004
    #9
  10. Andy100

    Hunt Guest

    In article <mBG7d.1950$Y54.1335@trndny09>, says...
    >
    >At the start I would mark where the legs of the tripod stand. Center
    >something small....like the stem. Zoom in or out all the way unless there is
    >some way to know exactly where you are. You will want the same amount of
    >exposure....to make up for the changes of light. I think I would try to
    >white balance and meter off a grey card for each shot. After the first one I
    >might consider setting up a white backdrop for all others so I could erase
    >it.
    >
    >The actual assembly will involve putting each shot on a layer and moving it
    >a bit to overlap...might need to scale and rotate if you weren't very
    >careful in the shooting. After all the layers are assembled you can trim
    >them. You might want to consider a morph program to ease between each pair
    >of shots to prevent jerkiness. Now....how to make a movie from it....I
    >haven't the foggiest!

    [SNIP]

    Macromedia Flash would do a great job of this, especially the tweening of the
    shots as Gene states. Or, one could output each Layer to GIF and use any
    number of animated-GIF programs. As for freeware, I can't direct you, but
    Google should yield dozens of animated-GIF programs. Seems that www.tucows.com
    lists a few.

    I don't want to tell you that you need Photoshop and Flash to do these things,
    as I'm sure that there are many freeware/shareware programs with the
    capabilities, it's just that I already own these programs, so I'd use them. My
    stating their capabilities is simply a means of telling you what to look for,
    not what to buy.

    Hunt
     
    Hunt, Oct 3, 2004
    #10
  11. Andy100

    Hunt Guest

    In article <cjnfm0$hf8$>, says...
    >
    >Cheers Gene, good info there. I am starting to think this might be a bit
    >complicated !!.
    >
    >Thanks
    >Andy


    Andy, don't be discouraged, as it's not that big a deal. Plan your shooting
    well, and pick a stable location, that you can use as a base. Do some Googling
    to find out what different programs will do. I've given you some basic
    operations, though based on expensive programs. Just find the free ones that
    offer you the same capability - you may just need to look around a bit and
    perhaps get three or four programs to do the various things that I'd use PS or
    Flash to do, that's all.

    Good luck,
    Hunt
     
    Hunt, Oct 3, 2004
    #11
  12. Andy100

    Hunt Guest

    In article <>, says...
    >
    >> P.S. I have PSP8, but i'm pretty sure i cannot do it in there, or it's
    >> too difficult. Is there such software out there which will do what i need
    >> (preferably freeware) ?

    >
    >You already have the best photo imaging program in the world, and you expect
    >some piece of freeware to be better? You spent hundreds of dollars on that
    >software and you aren't willing to learn just a bit to use it? I don't know
    >how to take that. In any event, if you do want to succeed in this endeavor,
    >best study up. The location remedies posted so far don't make it.


    Hi jjs,

    For my personal edification, can PSP do Layers? I've never even seen the
    program (oh, in stores, but never on a computer). I only use PS for this sort
    of stuff, so I seldom look too far from Adobe myself. However, I have
    recommended PSP to folk just starting in digital image manipulation, based on
    the great things I've heard about it, and my feeling that these folk will not
    need to spend US$600 to start into image manipulation. I probably ought to get
    a copy of PSP and play with it, but I just have not taken the time.

    Thanks for your info,
    Hunt
     
    Hunt, Oct 3, 2004
    #12
  13. Hunt wrote:
    []
    > For my personal edification, can PSP do Layers? I've never even seen
    > the program (oh, in stores, but never on a computer).


    Yes, it has layers, macros, chromatic aberration removal, digital camera
    noise reduction etc. etc. You can get a free trial download of the
    recently released PSP 9 from their Web site:

    http://www.jasc.com/en/products/paintshoppro/psptrialreg.asp

    Another thing I like about the program is how helpful the people in the
    JASC forums are.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Oct 3, 2004
    #13
  14. Andy100

    Jer Guest

    Jonathan Wilson wrote:

    [....]


    > It sound's very reminicent of the original "time machine" film during
    > the time travel sequences.
    >
    >


    Yeah it does. I remember reading about this somewhere, but they left
    the cameras in place while rebuilding the scene for every frame.

    --
    jer email reply - I am not a 'ten'
     
    Jer, Oct 3, 2004
    #14
  15. On Sun, 03 Oct 2004 14:22:03 -0500, Jer <> wrote:

    >Jonathan Wilson wrote:
    >
    >[....]
    >
    >
    >> It sound's very reminicent of the original "time machine" film during
    >> the time travel sequences.
    >>
    >>

    >
    >Yeah it does. I remember reading about this somewhere, but they left
    >the cameras in place while rebuilding the scene for every frame.


    Yeah, talk about painstaking... and considering the constraints they
    had to work with, an amazing film for its time. Stop action
    photography is an art and science in its own rights.

    I've not seen the new re-make, but I believe the CGI and effects work
    are stunning as the small amounts I saw on "the greatest special
    effects" have piqued my interest.

    --
    Jonathan Wilson.
    www.somethingerotic.com
     
    Jonathan Wilson, Oct 3, 2004
    #15
  16. Andy100

    Andy100 Guest

    Cheers everyone for the vast info here. I will take much of that into
    account. I'll not be beaten on this !!!..

    Cheers
    Andy


    "Hunt" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <cjn9k4$9u8$>, says...
    > >
    > >I am interested in making a sort of 'time lapse' series of pictures. I

    was
    > >planning on taking a photo of our garden at roughly the same time every

    day,
    > >then put them together to flick through to see how it changes over the
    > >autumn. Well, a bit ambitious, i know !, but the problem i have is the

    fact
    > >that i won't know the exact line up of the last shot, so i cannot be sure

    of
    > >taking the photos in EXACTLY the same frame. So i am going to need

    software
    > >to view these pictures in an 'overlay' type of view (pictures one on top

    of
    > >the other), so that i can line them all up perfectly then crop to a

    common
    > >area in all pictures.
    > >
    > >Yep, a bit hard to explain in words what i mean. Hopefully, someone out
    > >there will know a way.
    > >
    > >P.S. I have PSP8, but i'm pretty sure i cannot do it in there, or it's

    too
    > >difficult. Is there such software out there which will do what i need
    > >(preferably freeware) ?
    > >
    > >Cheers
    > >Andy

    >
    > Andy,
    >
    > I do not know the freeware image manipulation software market, so I can't
    > address that, and I do not use PSP either, but:
    >
    > A program that allows you to place each image on a Layer, in which you

    have
    > control of the Opacity is all you need. Just pick a starting image, place

    on
    > Layer, select next image in sequence and place on separate Layer. Adjust

    the
    > Opacity of that Layer, so you can clearly see through it (onionskinning in
    > image processing lingo), move this Layer, until it matches (sizing, if
    > possible and necessary), then re-set Opacity to 100% and move on to the

    next.
    >
    > As I use Photoshop (4 - 6 - 7 & CS), it does it, but I'll bet PSP has a
    > similar operation, though I do not know this to be true. Look for a Layer,

    and
    > Layer Opacity feature (scaling of Layers is also a plus), when you search
    > Google for the software.
    >
    > A tip, mount a fixed head to a secure spot in your garden and mount the

    camera
    > to it every time - do not remove the fixed head. You might cover it, when

    not
    > in use, so the weather doesn't muck it up, between shots, and so you can

    re-
    > use it later, when your project is done. The fewer adjustments it has, the
    > better, however a quick-release connection would be nice for ease of use.

    Just
    > make sure you secure the q-r foot to your camera exactly the same each

    time.
    >
    > Good luck,
    > Hunt
    >
     
    Andy100, Oct 4, 2004
    #16
  17. Andy100

    Guest

    In message <FnI7d.479$Cr6.23@trndny03>,
    "Gene Palmiter" <> wrote:

    >The effects can be magical and well worth doing. I think that if I wanted a
    >perfect job I would want a camera that I could tether to a computer and that
    >would take a photo every hour....or whatever. Say you want a 5 minute movie
    >and you need 30 frames per second. That would be 9000 frames. You won't need
    >hi-rez because of something called persistence of vision (Google it).


    You can actually play back high-bandwidth images pretty fast if you have
    a fast hard disk and use uncompressed 24-bit AVI.

    When I had a RAID0 setup with two 45GB Deskstars a couple of years ago,
    I was playing back uncompressed AVIs at 75 MB/s.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Oct 8, 2004
    #17
  18. Andy100

    bob Guest

    "David J Taylor"
    <-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk> wrote in
    news:E2O7d.1547$:


    > I don't know of any auto-alignment software, but I've never needed to
    > find any. Perhaps the software used in astronomy for "stacking"
    > images can do this?
    >


    One can use panorama tools, with hugin and the automatic point finding
    plugin. (http://hugin.sourceforge.net) The software can output multiple
    alligned tif files, and maybe even a layered photoshop file. Having some
    really solid control points would help a lot. The nice thing about using
    panorama software is if some of the photos are slightly rotated, the
    software will correct them.

    I started a project like this when we added onto our house. I locked the
    camera onto the triopd, and then I found two points in the yard that I
    could remember for leg markers. So I put one leg at the corner of a
    stepping stone, and rotated the other leg until it hit a tree root and
    then I took the photo.

    The house went up so quickly it wasn't a very interesting series, since I
    could only shoot one per day.

    Bob


    --
    Delete the inverse SPAM to reply
     
    bob, Oct 9, 2004
    #18
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