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Re: Will HD change the way we take take panoramas?

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  • Scott Highton
    Couple of quick comments... First, the no-parallax point about which we rotate a camera lens when shooting panoramas should properly be referred to as the
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 1, 2009
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      Couple of quick comments...

      First, the no-parallax point about which we rotate a camera lens when
      shooting panoramas should properly be referred to as the "entrance
      pupil", rather than nodal point. The confusion is understandable.
      There are two (front and rear) nodal points within a lens system, and
      one of them is even used for the rotation alignment of a swing lens
      panoramic camera,. But the term "entrance pupil" is what we should be
      using to describe the no-parallax point of a lens for properly
      shooting a sequence of images for stitching together as a panorama.
      (There is still lots of confusion about this, since the term "nodal
      point" was improperly described back at the beginning of QTVR in
      Apple's documentation.)



      Secondly, if you are going to shoot wide angle images for stitching
      with a video camera, it is wise to also align the pan axis of the
      camera/lens with the entrance pupil of that lens. However, the longer
      the focal length of the lens, and/or the greater the distance (of the
      nearest subject) from the lens, the less critical this entrance pupil
      alignment is for stitching. Stitching applications such as PanoTools
      and PTGUI have gotten fairly good at compensating for minor
      misalignments in many instances.

      However, consider that "video VR" does not necessarily require
      stiching, in a number of instances. One example is the use of one-
      shot parabolic mirror optics, such as EyeSee360's GoPano. Every frame
      shot already comprises a complete 360-degree view.



      Furthermore, I have seen traditional video movies used on web sites
      that very much had the look and feel of an interactive VR panorama,
      but were simply a wide angle video recording done on a fluid video
      head tripod. The result looked very much like an auto-panning VR
      panoramic movie. In one instance, the viewer could even click on the
      movie window to drag left or right. The result was that the video
      scrolled forward or backward, essentially increasing the forward speed
      or reversing the pan direction.

      With a setup like this, entrance pupil alignment is irrelevant,
      because there's no stitching involved -- just an old-fashioned video
      stream (that happens to be a slowly panning camera movement).



      Sometimes, it's good to take a step back and look again at what we're
      trying to do. On occasion, one might find that it's better to go with
      a different, existing technology than it is to spend endless hours and
      energies trying to make a proverbial round peg fit into a square
      hole. Figure out what it is that you want (or need) to do -- your
      desired end result -- before choosing the tool(s) that will help you
      best create it.

      Regards,



      Scott Highton
      Author, Virtual Reality Photography
      Web: http://www.vrphotography.com



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