Solutions to Common Issues With 360 Devices – RICOH Theta Z1
Are you new to 360 photography? Already an expert but always eager to learn new tips and tricks? This post will focus on common issues with 360 devices starting with the RICOH Theta Z1 DNG Stitching and Lightroom Stitcher.
Let’s look at how the Theta Z1 DNG and Lightroom Stitcher work together to optimize what can be done with raw files. When the Theta Z1 writes the DNG file, there is essential information written into a special notes section of the file; for example, this contains the camera orientation data. This is where the Lightroom Stitcher looks to verify that the DNG is, in fact, from a Theta Z1. It is crucial to note that the DNG files are transferred into a non-destructive method from the camera.
HOW IS THIS DONE? This can be done with “Image Capture” built into Mac or “Windows Explorer” on a windows machine. It’s important to note that just “any” photo editing software that can write files as DNG will erase this information (camera orientation data), making the file incompatible with the Theta Stitcher. And while the Stitcher does not actually stitch DNG, it looks to the original DNG for information on how to Stitch the Tiff file you will end up creating after making adjustments.
ARE THESE ELEMENTS REALLY THAT CRITICAL? Yes, they are! The Tiff must be named the same as the original DNG and in the same folder; if the Tiff has “-edit” or something similar after the original filename, that is ok too. When the final edits are made and exported as a Tiff (with the correct naming) and then sent to the Stitcher, The Stitcher will then look in that same folder for the original DNG with the same name as the Tiff and read the information from the DNG.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Once the Stitcher has verified all information from the original DNG, it takes the information to level and stitch the newly created Tiff properly. Please note, if you are using single exposure files in Lightroom, this will all be very simple and straightforward. If you are going beyond single exposures and doing an HDR Merge, you might run into some issues. If the Stitcher opens but gives you a black and white image with a bunch of lines, then you need to make sure your image was exported with the correct width (7296px) and height (3648px) in pixels. Once corrected, the image will stitch properly.
WHAT ARE OTHER COMMON ERRORS? Other common errors that can potentially occur include editing files in Kandao Raw+, and the Stitcher cannot find a DNG. This is a little more difficult to work around, but taking the knowledge about the process; we can work around this with just a few extra steps. First, rename the RAW+DNG to the same name as the original DNG but have it in a different folder. Then take that file into Lightroom, and once editing is complete, export just like before as a Tiff, but make sure to export the Tiff to the same folder as the original DNG and not the edited DNG. Now the new Tiff can be edited in the Lightroom Stitcher as before.
Stay tuned for more in-depth information on 360 gadgets, cameras, and devices from the Creatives at Creative Quick Fix!
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Content contributed by Bill Lunger.