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Old Jan 9, 2003, 9:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hay River Township, WI
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One issue with panoramas or very wide angle shots is "distortion". It is impossible to avoid whenever the field of view is much larger than our eye's - something like 90 degrees. It is not noticed with cylindrical projections of landscapes even if includes distant buildings or straight line features that run through the center of the image, but is in 360 panos like this:

The solution is to limit the field of view with a viewer - which also gives the advantage of zooming in/out to look at details - see http://www.tc.umn.edu/~horma001/deck...k020112web.jpg PTViewer (http://www.path.unimelb.edu.au/~dersch/ mirror site) also converts to a rectilinear projection in the viewer to keep straight lines straight.

Coding that viewer by hand can be really nasty - in particular for VR tours. The folks at Panorama Technologies (http://www.easypano.com/) have PTViewer Stitcher which makes the job much easier. It is advertised to work only with 360x180 pans, but can be made to work with 360x~50 pans by either padding or by dinging with the vertical possition of the hot-spots (http://www.tc.umn.edu/~horma001/tour...1215small.html is a tour of part of my Wisconsin farm). EasyPano's demo is limited to saving only their demo images, but is valuable for figuring out the meaning of some of the coding in PTViewer if you want to do it by hand.
Since Jesse Ventura is no longer governor of Minnesota, I am now using a picture of myself instead of him. I'm going to miss Jesse - very high entertainment value and he did a pretty good job.
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