Photograph Entire Spheres With Two Fisheye Lens Shots
Analysis of an extreme case. Photographing a complete sphere in just two shots is tempting, but might not be the best option.
If, as we saw in the previous page, a fisheye photograph reaches out to capture an entire hemisphere, two such pictures pointing at two opposite hemispheres should be enough to photograph a complete sphere. This is true but, as we shall see, it is not so easy to capture such photos and join opposite hemispheres.
A successful example
Before dealing with the difficulties, let's see a successful example of spherical panorama created out of two fisheye photos. The original pictures look like this :
Actually, these photos have been cropped for aesthetic reasons and the original source images, which you can see by clicking on them, are a little broader.
These pictures are, indeed, taken exactly 180 degree apart, and being each one a circle of 183 degree, there is a six degree wide stretch where photos overlay, which is the area used by the editing programs to detect similar features and from there, assemble the full spherical panorama.
This spherical or equirectangular panorama, inserted into an interactive animation may look like this :
However, it is worth it to analyze the image and draw some conclusions.
Analysis of the panorama
Looking at the lower end of each original shot we can see that a metallic and round piece peeks at both, which is part of the mechanism that holds the camera in position (tripod). While the side of one shows two locks and a knob, the side of the other shows only one lock. However locks and knob, which belong to the tripod, are at a lower level. The round metal piece that can be seen above is at both photos the same piece, and it can be seen at both pictures because it has rotated along with the camera.
Despite the clear reflection that stands, it is still perceptible the subtle line which, in the interactive panorama, separates both halves of the metal piece which, this way, appears to be a single circular metal piece. Note the almost perfect circular shape of this piece, note how the division goes through the exact center of it and how the lines going through this line and its imaginary extension match across this hemisphere-splitting line.
If we also take into account that the union of the hemispheres was performed by the outermost area of the circles, where the images are compressed increasingly as we move away from the center, we understand that the photo assembling work was conducted in an area where the definition, and therefore the details are lower. It is also easy to understand that if the position of the camera to take one picture and the other had not been so precisely opposite the slightest deviation would have led to parts of the originals not being able to stitch properly. If you pay attention you will notice, in the line which continues the division of hemispheres, a clearer strip that reveals where the seam has been made.
Can you imagine how difficult it must be to place the camera at a point exactly opposite to that in which you have just taken a picture?
Before turning to the full explanation of what is and where stands the nodal point of a lens, we will propose a change which implies a drastic improvement in the ease with which complete spheres can be photographed with fisheye lenses.
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With any camera
360 Degree Interactive Panoramas
In Three Easy Steps
After reading this tutorial you'll be able to create your first 360 degree interactive photography with the camera you already have :
1 - Photograph
Take one or more pictures of the place you want to show.
2 - Edit
Convert your pictures into 360 degree panoramas.
3 - Publish
Make your panoramas interactive and available to the world on the internet.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a 360 degree interactive panorama is worth a thousand pictures...
Online Virtual Tour Creator
Using the online virtual tour creator you can :
Convert your 360 degree pictures to virtual tours with a single click.
Insert your virtual tours into web sites, emails, blogs or wherever you like by just copying and pasting a text.
Know in a practical way all kinds of 360 degree pictures.
Discover that you can create hundreds of interactive virtual tours just as easily as you take pictures with your camera.
Check that with just one click from your camera and another click from your mouse it is possible to create a 360 degree interactive virtual tour out of nothing. And completely free of charge!!!
You can get started right now, even if you don't have a camera
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