Once you capture and stitch your first equirectangular image or a classic panorama (a long image that offers a 360° horizontal field of view but limited vertical viewing capabilities), you can easily turn it into an interactive panorama with Pano2VR. These kind of panoramas have become extremely popular in recent years, and many companies now specialise in creating virtual tours for commercial purposes. There is, of course, other equally good software available on-line, but this tutorial will guide you through simple steps of creating your first interactive panorama with Pano2VR. Speaking from my own experience, I think Pano2VR is really simple and intuitive and can be used by people with limited experience in interactive panoramic photography or even absolute beginners. In this tutorial, I will show you my favourite Pano2VR features which you can easily incorporated into a simple and effective workflow in order to create a functional interactive panorama. Then, you can expand upon this tutorial and explore other more advanced features of Pano2VR, compiled in a comprehensive list of official tutorials.
Capturing the Nadir (the area of the ground directly below the Nodal point of your lens) is probably the most challenging and time-consuming aspect of panoramic photography. It is also important to compose the Nadir properly if you want to turn your image into an interactive panorama. This post will explain some techniques you can work on in order to improve or even design the Nadir of your panoramas. If you are completely new to panoramic photography please read my previous posts: Equirectangular Panorama and HDR Panorama.
Time-Lapse photography is gaining increasing recognition to the extent that this technique continues appearing in mainstream motion pictures on a regular basis and there is plenty of great examples on the Web. No photography blog would also be complete without an entry revealing the basics behind Time-Lapse Photography. Therefore, this post will discuss numerous aspects of Time-Lapse Photography including equipment, technique, processing and workflow in order to bring you closer to shooting your own Time-Lapse clip.
What is Time-Lapse Photography?
Basically, time-lapse is a photography technique that involves taking a series of photographs, maintaining the same interval between the shots, and then compiling them into a slide show or a movie clip. This technique is ideal to demonstrate events that usually take substantial time to develop in a relatively short period of time. Numerous examples of Time-Lapse Photography include blossoming flowers, growing plants, rotting vegetables and fruit, changing weather, moving clouds, cityscapes at night, night sky as well as city life. What makes this technique even more interesting is the fact that by increasing the intervals between the shots, it is possible to demonstrate unnoticed events that take time, in seconds.
Here are some of my examples of time-lapse projects shot both at night and in the daytime.
Notice how fast shutter speed and relatively long intervals made the video quite ‘choppy’.
Here on, the other hand, smaller intervals made the video flow better.
Finally, longer exposures taken at night create impressive trails of light.
Also an example of a time-lapse project made form video rather than picture files
You can easily change the composition of your projections by shifting the centre of your panorama in the panorama preview window, while stitching it in Hugin. If you align the centre of the projection with the Nadir (the point where you were standing when shooting the panorama) you will get the classic circular ‘Little Planet’ effect. If you align the centre of your projection with the Zenith (the point right above the place where you were standing when shooting the panorama) you will get a reversed projection. Obviously, you may also shift the centre to other positions in order to achieve different results.
Due to the size of the sensor in DX format cameras, an 8mm fisheye lens will not produce a circular image. FX format cameras, on the other hand, have a bigger sensor and therefore will produce a fully circular image.
If you are shooting with an 8mm fisheye lens on a DX format cameras, you will always have dark corners in your picture that require adjusting in order to de-warp the image to a full frame, just as a ‘full frame fisheye’ such as 10.5mm would do. You may simply crop the image but that way you will lose a considerable amount of picture and the image will still remain distorted. Alternatively, you may use the lens correction options in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom 3, but these offer limited control over the image.
PTLense Photoshop plug-in is a simple and powerful plug-in which also works as standalone software and you will definitely find it useful when working with your fisheye images. The plugin is available to download as a trial version (both Windows and Mac) that has complete functionality, but will only process 10 images. For $25, you can also purchase the licence via PayPal, which is a pretty good deal in my opinion.