Digital Trends interviewed me on how to shoot 360 panoramas. These pano tips and techniques reflect the path I’ve taken with gear, calibration, and software.
Barcelona based photographer Toni Iglesias and I talk about night photography on Luces de la Noche. The interview is in Spanish and English.
Muffler Man HDR 360 Pole Panorama – Little Planet view
Up in California’s Gold Country, the former site of Sierra Equipment is now the Community Hope Thrift Store – and they still have the impressive muffler man! This 360 panorama was shot using a Nodal Ninja carbon fiber pole with an R1 pano head. A three shot bracket was taken at each camera position. I used a natural looking fusion setting in Photomatix to blend the exposures, PTGui to stitch the pano, Photoshop for image enhancement, and Pano2VR for output.
Take a look around in the interactive version below, the button on the bottom right will take you full screen:
Stitching power lines in 360 panoramas using PTGui Pro
Special thanks to 360 pano expert John Houghton for his advice on how to get the power lines to stitch together.
- Stitch and optimize the panorama using your regular workflow.
- Use the show seams view in the Panorama Editor to see where the power lines will join across images.
- Temporarily switch the Editor to rectilinear to view the power lines as straight as possible.
- Using the masks feature in PTGui Pro, adjust the join area to be across a straight section of the power lines.
- Open the control points tab and select the two images where the power lines will join.
- Under CP type on the bottom left, select new line (t3).
- Add t3 points on the same power line, on each side of where they join across images. You can add multiple t3 points to define the line.
- Optional: Add another set of t4 points along a different line. Add t5 points along yet another line, etc.
- Go to the Optimizer tab, and select Optimize using: Panorama Tools in the bottom left, and then click Run Optimizer.
Hopefully your power lines will now stitch correctly. You may need to use Puppet Warp and the clone stamp in Photoshop to make things perfect.
If you’re using viewpoint optimization to add a nadir to your panorama
- Delete all of the new line control points. Optional: Save off a version of your PTGui project file first.
- The muffler man pano was 4 around + 1 down. On the Optimization tab, I unchecked all of the optimization parameters for images 0-3, so as not to disturb the alignment in the next step.
- Uncheck the lens parameters for image 4 (the nadir), and turn on viewpoint optimization for this image.
- Switch to Optimize using: PTGui, and click Run Optimizer to put the nadir shot into place.
360 night panorama between the lifts at the abandoned ski resort
This virtual night tour of an abandoned ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area has four 360º panoramas. Use the button on the bottom right to go full screen, and enjoy exploring under the full moon.