Click ..! Click..! Click..! Click..! Stitch… stitch…stitch..stitch. Aaarrrgh..! Well many might be aware of this process for creating panoramas, so I am not going to talk about that it here. This traditional process ofpanoramas i.e. taking multiple images and stitching them involves lot of effort and time. While taking landscape panoramas might be relatively easy this way, making panoramas of a scene with lots of fast moving objects – the stitching can take hours to make it look seamless. And imagine the effort that would involve in a 360 degrees video – stitching frames seamlessly would be a nightmare…!
Panoramic photography has been a niche area in photography so far. I have often seen realtors shooting 360 panoramas of their properties and landscape panoramic photographers but not much in sports or people photography. With 360 degree cameras likes the Sony bloggie, Sony TX1 (~250 degrees panoramas), GoPano+ optics(complete 360 degress) etc the panoramaic photography scene seems to be catching up. Creating panoramas for live events, action sports photography, photo-journalism, commericals and for that matter anything is very easy with these technologies- the applications are endless. The best part of these panoramas is the interactivity it offers to the viewer – the user typically ends up watching the same scene more than once to get a different perspective everytime. CNN a while back reported the Haiti earthquake in 360.
Most of the technologies either involve a multi headed cameras OR have a glass optic which can be mounted on a camera. The later is much cheaper than the multi head camera approach(you may check Immersive Media website for a multi headed camera). There are many companies in market which sell these glass optics – GoPano, 0-360, Egg Solution, Remote reality. These optics also come with a software which help you to “unwarp” the images you get from the camera.
Typically these glass optics can be mounted on any camera you have. Grab the images and import it in the software – Click and voila…! You have a one shot zero stitched panoramic image. You could also create 360 videos with a similar setup.
The images below didn’t take more than a minute, NO KIDDING, it was that easy – Click and “unwarp”. The software will create a interactive panorama like the one below.
Thats me and my girlfriend Pallavi in the panorama at Coopers Rock, West Virginia country side. Drag your mouse in the scene and use Control/Shift keys for zooming in and out.
The equipment I used to create this One shot-0 stitch panorama:
The image shown below shows a typical raw image you get from your camera with the optic mounted on it. You have to drag this image into the software to “unwarp” it. I find this perspective interesting aswell.
You could also create 360 videos using the optic like these –
Thats me and my room mate Mehta in his car. Again I used the same setup to record this video. You can watch the same video in an special 360 videoplayer called VideoWarp player available freely on the internet.
Currently these optics cost around ~500 USD and I am waiting for the eyesee360s cheaper optics (~100USD) scheduled to go on sale sometime late this year.
About the author: Amey Kanade is part-time photographer working with EnduringTribute.com. He likes photographing people, weddings, travel and more recently 360 photography/videography. His pictures have been published on NYtimes on and off.
He also works as a engineer/photographer with eyesee360.com which manufactures optics for 360 video/image capture. Currently he’s also working on building platforms for hosting panoramic photographs/videos and making this technology more popular amongst casual photographers. You can check his stuff on facebook , www.enduringtribute.com and www.eyesee360.com.