360 degree image - how to?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by -hh, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #1
    I have a project at work where we want to photograph the interior of a relatively small space (about the interior of a minivan), so that we have it for documentation, as well as for senior level managers to view.

    I'm thinking of the final product being something like Quicktime VR to be able to pan left/right, maybe up/down, and probably some limited amount of zoom.

    Basic question is what tools will I need for this job?

    For the camera equipment, I'm assuming:

    a) that I can loan my dSLR (Canon 20D) for the project. I have an existing 20mm WA, but if this job reallys needs a 10mm, would have to go ask management for the money (would prefer to avoid). If it would work better, I could also use my strobe, or a Canon A80 Point&Shoot.

    b) I'll need a tripod and I expect that I'll need to go figure out how to put the proper type of head on it...my vague recollections are that I need to rotate the camera properly ... around the "I can't remember the special name for it" axis, which IIRC is typically in front of the camera's shutter plane.

    For the software to integrate the individual shots, I have no clue. I'm hoping that I only need Photoshop and the PRO level of Quicktime is what's needed, as I have these.

    Naturally, pointers to the relevant 'How To' primer are greatly appreciated.
    Ditto for comments on the better software tools to consider if what I have won't do, and I'll have to go buy something. Overall, this is a one-shot deal, so I'd prefer to get reasonably good results on a shoestring capital budget.


    -hh
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    The best software would be Apple's QT VR stuff but you could build this as a simple static panorama

    For such a small enclosed space, yes you will need a tripod and you need to mount the camera so that it rotates about the len's "nodal point". or roughtly, just in front of the lens mount flange. You can buy a very expansive devic for this or you can rig something wiith a small piece is hardwood and two 1/4" machine screws and nuts, (tripod sockets are 1/4" threads)

    Try using vertical shots, turn the camera on it's side. It will take more steps to make a complete 360 but you get a taller frames. Getting that Nikon 10.5mm fisheye would be a good idea. You can always rent equipment. Cost about $50/day last I checked

    Depth of field will be a killer, shoot at f/16 or so and use a short lens.

    Do NOT move the lights between shots. So camera mounted flash is out of the question. If the shadows move between shots you will not be able to merge the two images. Use fixed "hot lights" But remember the car is not going to move, you can take 1 second long exposures if required so you don't need much light. Use the self timer for each shot so you are not in there blocking light, making shadows.

    This is the kind of work that you might consider hiring out to a pro who specializes in this kind of work If you value you time at even $10 per hour. This will take some serious amount of time for you to perfect to technique.

     
  3. -hh thread starter macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #3
    I did find that I had a qtvr file on my home machine...I think it was a "save as" option within Quicktime Pro (v6) from an already stitched panorama...?

    Ah..."nodal point" was the phrase I was looking for.

    Good catch; thanks.

    Would consider it, but hiring "professional services" for one day's worth of work is more trouble than its worth within our bureaucratic paperwork nightmare system.


    -hh
     
  4. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #4
    There are several options. The key is the tripod with the camera mounted vertically taking as many photos as possible. If you don't have the ultra wide lens than use the widest you have and take lots of photos to make the stitching as easy as possible. You can stitch in photoshop and there are alternatives to using the quicktime vr software. You can google QTVR and see what is available. It seems you don't hear much about Apple's QTVR much anymore.

    http://www.ptgui.com/info/stitching_software_for_apple_mac.html

    http://echoone.com/doubletake/

    http://www.panoramas.dk/panorama/
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Some more ideas

    One other idea. The guy who practically invented the current round of panorama software also came up with a way to "un-warp" highly distorted images and has used this to make some one frame 360 panos. One method is to take a maco-photograph of a polished steel ball bearing and capture the reflection. The reflection in a spherical mirror is exactly what you want but the "devil is in the details"

    Here is the "mother of all panorama software". What you get in Photoshop is the dumbed down version of this, Pano tools really does give you much finer control. Lots of output options too, not just QTVR. But be warned this is software built by and for people who work in universities and research this kind of stuff.
    http://www.all-in-one.ee/~dersch/

    Check out the "Marburg" demo that was done with a spherical mirror

    One more Idea:
    A video camera would work. Just pan it around hand held. Way low-tech. The user uses fast forward and rewind to control the view.
     

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