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• ## Re: VR-movie of object using random camera positions?

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• Wow Scott, that has been a major project! I m surely not at all in position to mimick something even remotely similar. The best I can hope for is either a kite
Message 1 of 23 , Sep 22, 2008
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Wow Scott, that has been a major project! I'm surely not at all in
position to mimick something even remotely similar. The best I can
hope for is either a kite or an RC plane/helicopter. I don't see an
option to apply the GPS trick you explain in those circumstances, so
some use of PTInterpolate...

Thanks for the comprehensive explanation!

Joost

--- In PanoToolsNG@yahoogroups.com, Scott Highton <scott@...> wrote:
> Joost,
>
> For the Golden Gate bridge object movies, I did not have the GPS
> calculator available yet. But I knew the rough dimensions of the
> bridge structure, including its maximum height and the space
between
> the towers, and was able to figure out what sized circles we could
> reasonably fly in a fixed wing aircraft around one of the towers.
> From there, I chose the lens that I'd use based on the field of
view
> needed. There was also a flight ceiling that we couldn't go above
> due to airspace restrictions, as well as a minimal safe turning
>
> I planned the flights calculating what the aircraft altitude
needed
> to be for each level, or row, and then figured out from maps,
charts
> and aerial photos what good landmarks on the ground could be used
to
> help define the circle diameters for the pilot. Given wind
factors,
> I knew it was impossible to fly perfectly round circles, so instead
I
> told the pilot to do the best he could, but to make sure that he
> finished each circle as close to the starting point (via ground
> reference object) as possible. For example, in the lowest orbit,
I
> think we used the exact middle of the bridge span as our start and
> end point reference.
>
> The first time we tried this, I took an assistant along. We
removed
> the back seat of the plane, as well as the back door, and I sat on
> the floor (in a safety harness) shooting out the door. Of course,
> the pilot's job was to fly the plane. I had my assistant then
watch
> the gyro compass in the cockpit, and once we determined our ground
> references for each circle, had the assistant call out a mark for
> every 10-degrees of turn we made -- at which time I'd shoot
another
> shot. Of course we were shooting on film, and since there were
only
> 37 exposures on each roll, every time we made a mistake, we'd
throw
> away another roll of film.
>
> Unfortunately, our pilot was not quite as good at flying circles
as
> he needed to be (there were high winds hampering him), and the
> assistant would skip 10° increments at times while being
distracted
> out the window. Add the fact that we were all trying something
new
> and we had not much success the first time up.
>
> Several weeks later, I tried again with a different pilot and
> different airplane, but my assistant was unavailable. That meant
> that I had to estimate the 10° increments myself as I was
shooting,
> based on what things looked like through my viewfinder (the 90°
> reference angles of the structure itself made this easier). This
> actually made the shoot more effective, because there was one less
> link in the communication chain. I still threw away rolls of film
> when I'd not kept the bridge tower centered in my viewfinder
> effectively, or the pilot didn't finish the circle at the same
place
> he started it.
>
> We just repeated the same process at each altitude, flying tighter
> circles each time. There was more guesswork and adjustment via
> visual estimation going on as we were shooting than I would have
> liked, but we were able to make it work.
>
> Today, you can simply enter 36 GPS latitude and longitude
waypoints
> as a route into an aircraft's autopilot system, and the plane or
> helicopter will fly its own (almost) perfect circles, even in
strong
> crosswind conditions. I do use a gyro stabilizer attached to my
> camera for aerial work, and this helps me keep the images more
stable
> and consistent between shots. These gyros can be rented from a
> number of pro photography rental houses. You can also purchase
them
> directly from Kenyon Laboratories in Connecticut: http://www.ken-
> lab.com/
>
> Regards,
>
>
>
> Scott Highton
> Author, Virtual Reality Photography
> Web: http://www.vrphotography.com
>
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