Day 66: Town Center Virtual Tour

(Click and drag to view 360 degrees after it loads. Quicktime required to view.)

I’ve always thought virtual tours were neat and wanted to learn how to do them. Since acquiring the proper equipment and software this fall I’ve been able to create my own virtual tours. I’m using my Nikon D300 and 10.5mm fisheye lens with a Panosaurous head (the poor-man’s Nodal Ninja) mounted on my tripod to take six images in a circle, then removing my camera and moving the tripod to take hand-held photos directly up and down. I shoot all the photos in manual so the exposures are the same.

After I have the eight images I import the six initial shots into PTGui and let it automatically align them and produce the 360 degree panorama image. This is also the point where I could edit the panorama and distort it to look like a little planet. I save the panorama out and bring it into Pano2QTVR where I convert the equilateral image into six sides of a cube. After doing this I take the bottom and top images and fix the black spots that occur because my lens doesn’t cover the zenith and nadir of the panorama. I try to set up my tripod somewhere where what is directly above and below is easy to clone. I’ll either manually stitch in the hand-held shots I took, clone over the holes, or do a mixture. This is the really time-consuming part of the whole process.

Once the top and bottom images of the cube are fixed, I bring them back into Pano2QTVR and export the virtual tour as a Quicktime .mov file, which is what you see above. I’m sure there are better ways to do it, but this is the way I’ve been able to create them so far.

Copyright © 2007-2014 William Clayton