Panoramic photos

December 2004

Following a discussion on Milliways, I investigated photo stitching software. I downloaded PTgui, which is a graphical front-end to Panorama Tools. Hugin may be a better option, being properly free, but I haven't played with it much yet.

So, I took 33 photos in my parents' office, which is where I happened to be at the time, and glued them together using PTgui. This took a couple of hours. I didn't capture the whole room, as I was only intending to try the software out, which accounts for the black areas. The end result was this file:

Loading this flat file into PTviewer results in the following explorable panorama. To move about, hold the mouse button down and drag. To zoom in, hold down Shift and press the mouse button; to zoom out, hold down Control and press the mouse button.

I also found software that converts the flat file into a QuickTimeVR movie. However, having now got to grips with PTviewer, it doesn't make much sense to use QuickTimeVR - PTviewer appears to offer identical functionality and is not platform-specific.

Before I found out how to use PTviewer, I discovered a tool for creating Philospheres. The idea of these is that they approximate (very roughly) to a sphere upon which you can print the panorama. The net for this can be seen below:

I printed this out and made it, which was quite fun. I then went on to make a number of other polyhedra. These (including the panoramic photo one) can be found on my Polyhedra Page.

My next task is to create a complete 360°x180° panorama of somewhere more interesting than my parents' office. In fact, I did make a panorama of Hadleigh Castle once. At some point, I'll have to go back and do a better one.

Update - January 2015

I recently bought a full-frame fisheye lens and thought I'd recreate the panorama of the office as an experiment. I took 6 photos this time - N, S, E, W, top and bottom so the process of stitching them together was naturally much quicker (helped also of course by having a machine many times faster and with an awful lot more memory than I did in 2004). I spent a little over an hour on the whole process.